Backing up with HP Simple Save

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HPSimpleSave Portable hard driveNever have a hard drive failure? You’re lucky. But when that time comes (most probably it will), you’d better be ready or you’ll find that money can’t buy everything the hard way (definitely can’t buy back your lost data). Hard drive may not last forever and when that disastrous time comes, you’d better be ready.

If you’ve been backing up your data consistently on a different partition, you might still want to consider: “What if the whole drive breaks?”. Or if you’ve been backing up on a different physical internal hard drive: “What if one day I get a surge and my whole computer is on fire?” (a bit extreme here but still a possibility). That’s when backing up on an external hard drive comes in handy!

HP provides a simple backup-restore solution with HP SimpleSave. Let’s have a look to see whether it is as simple as the model suggests.

HP SimpleSave hard drive unit is light and compact. It’s not those bulky cheap external hard drives with external power requirement, thank goodness. This means that you can also use the drive as an ordinary external hard drive. So yes, you can carry it around with ease between home and your office, say.

HP SimpleSave

As a backup and restore tool, HP SimpleSave is best used for users who are not too tech savvy or don’t require advanced backup requirements, which is probably the only thing that HP SimpleSave lacks of.

HP SimpleSave is good for non tech savvy users because:

  • HP SimpleSave doesn’t require any software to install (it has a built-in software that will automatically run when the drive is plugged in).
  • HP SimpleSave backs up according to file types such as “Videos”, “Images”, etc (although you can manually add more files’ extensions in).
  • HP SimpleSave automatically scans and backs up any changes every time your computer is idle for 5 minutes (no headache in setting up the backup schedules).
  • HP SimpleSave interface is pretty simple and minimalist.
HP Simple Save Initial Folders

The application is in the hard drive - HPSimpleSave.exe

How to backup with HP SimpleSave

When you first plugged in the HP SimpleSave portable drive, the program will automatically scan all possible files to be backed up on your system. It may take a while (depending on how many files you have in your whole computer) but after the wait is finally over, you’ll be presented with the files that can be backed up:

HP SimpleSave Backup Main Menu

As you can see clearly from the screenshot, the files are automatically categorized as “Photo files”, “Video files” and so on. This makes everything simpler because your photo files are not necessarily be in one folder. However, this also means that HP SimpleSave will save ALL “photo” files (jpg, png, etc) anywhere in your computer (unwanted image files included).

To remedy this situation, you need to specify specific folders to be monitored and backed up instead of your whole system:

HP SimpleSave Choose Backup location

You can click on the “+” sign to exclude/include certain folders on each drive. This feature is also useful because you might have lots of stuffs that you don’t want to be backed up that are wasting space. For example, I have gigabytes of raw video files that I converted from a camcorder months earlier for video editing. It’s not really important to back them up (in my case) because it takes too much space:

HP SimpleSave not enough space

Backing up 62,810 files (mixed of pictures, videos, music, and other files) to the drive took a while so if you are backing up for the first time, I’d suggest to leave it running overnight or have some coffee or tea first :)

HP SimpleSave Saving 197 GB - after half an hour

Once the backup is finished, it’s recommended to keep the external hard drive plugged into your USB. The HP SimpleSave monitor will automatically back-up new/modified files on those monitored folders. I find it weird though that whenever I re-plug the hard drive, the application re-scans my whole computer again and asks me what files to back-up. I’d be happier if the application knows that I’ve already been into this process before.

HP SimpleSave doesn’t have a file versioning backup so updated files will simply get overwritten. It’s okay for home users but definitely not okay for an office environment where you might need to store different versions of a document or a piece of programming code.

There is also no full system backup and no “whole folder-based” backup, which is a pity. Since I’m quite an organised person, I store files in certain folder structures and it’d be great if I can simply get HP SimpleSave to backup files, folder by folder. You can practically do it in HP SimpleSave but you need to add every single possible file extensions on the drive and then select the folders to be included in the backup. Or else, you might find plenty of folders being backed up, only to contain a few text or picture files.

How to restore with HP SimpleSave

To restore, just use the explorer tool on the application to restore certain files OR the whole thing. HP SimpleSave will then copy over the files you want to restore from the drive to either their original location or to a new location:

Restoring HP Simple Save

When duplicates are found, you can specify whether to skip or overwrite the files. I like how HP SimpleSave shows the size and the time of the files being modified (this way, you can quickly compare whether the restored files will be newer or older than your current version).

HP Simple Save Restore Duplicate Files

The restoration process was simple when I tried and all missing folders/files were back after the restoration was completed.

HP SimpleSave Review Conclusion

HPSimpleSave Review ConclusionMost casual users need a backup system to backup their important documents, music files, and their photo collections. HP SimpleSave provides a simple solution to both tech and non-tech savvy users although it is geared more towards non-tech savvy users. No confusing separate software installation necessary and files are divided into categories (such as photos, videos, etc), making it easier to backup your computer files as a whole.

For an intermediate user, however, HP SimpleSave is probably too simple to be used as the ultimate backup solution. It doesn’t have a full system backup/restore and there is no easy way to backup the whole files in a given folder.

Thankfully, the drive is not locked/encrypted so you can let your mom uses the HP SimpleSave application to backup her photos and documents but you can use a separate backup application to backup the way you want HP SimpleSave to be. All files are stored unencrypted in the hard drive, so you can browse the folders if you want to with your Windows Explorer and copy-paste them just like a normal external hard drive.

Since the backup and restore process are all controlled by the SimpleSave software, we might get a nice software update in the future with more powerful backup features. Let’s hope so!

HP SimpleSave Pros

+ Easy to backup and easy to restore.
+ Light and compact size.
+ No software installation is necessary.
+ Only occupy 1 USB slot.
+ No external power is required.
+ Auto monitor and backup only when the computer is idle.

HP SimpleSave Cons

- Too simple for more advanced users.
- No full system backup feature.
- No easy folder-based backup solution.

Note: HP SimpleSave 320 GB review unit was provided by HP




320Gb HP Simplesave Portable Hard Drive - Usb2.0 - 2.5 External HD - 2 Year Warranty
List Price:$89.99 USD
New From:0 Out of Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

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A technology enthusiast, blogger, gamer, and reviewer. Proud owner of Craving Tech
  • http://www.wheyproteinsite.co.uk/ Whey protein site

    I’m glad Simple save doesn’t need a power cable. I recently bought an external HD with said power cable but I now think the extra cost justifies the convenience and space…

    • http://www.cravingtech.com/blog Michael Aulia

      Problem with the power cable is the hassle to bring them along whenever you go. Most likely you’ll have to carry a bag or a pouch for the extra cables. They are not tiny, unfortunately!

  • http://kelvinonian.com/ Kelvin Servigon

    HP Simple Save looks nice. I am looking for an external hard drive to back up my photos (which are really important for me), and I’ll include HP Simple Save in the list.

    Thank you for this post. :)

    • http://www.cravingtech.com/blog Michael Aulia

      Thanks for the comment, Kelvin. Hope you’ll find a good backup solution soon

  • Dana

    I’m practically computer illiterate when it comes to this stuff. See my system had a BIG failure a while back, and it told me I could factory restore; with the option to save most of my files provided I had an external drive. I bought one and it seemingly saved/backed up most if not all of the files I wanted, but I can’t seem to find out how to get to them. The HPSS Restore application button doesn’t work, and when I try to do the quick launch it shows WAY less files than there should be. Any clues as to how to work this doohickey?

  • Kurt

    I just experienced the dreaded computer crash. Thank goodness I recently purchased the HP SimpleSave. Now I’m trying to figure out how to transfer the backed up files to another computer. I can’t eem to locate them on the portable hard drive. Any help would be appreciated. ASAP.

    • http://www.michaelaulia.com Michael Aulia

      Hm it should be on one of the folder (re-read my post) but you should be able to just run the program and do the Restore from the menu.

    • Dana

      Michael, I tried to do a restore and it wouldn’t let me. I also can’t seem to find the folder that should contain the backed up files

      (Not The same person as Kurt, but the same problem)

  • Penny

    Can someone please tell me how to delete files from the external hard drive? I accidentally downloaded my entire computer but I only wanted to do music/pictures. I have looked up directions but can’t find anything, so if someone could please help, that would be great. Thank you.

    • http://www.michaelaulia.com Michael Aulia

      You can safely delete all files and folders in there, except for the HPSimpleSave.exe file

    • ro

      that was not much of an explanation from mike. i am also looking to delete files on the harddrive. did you ever find out how?

  • Karen

    Does anyone know how to delete files on the simplesave hard drive? Thanks!

  • Anup Kumar Sen

    HP SimpleSave has suddenly stopped incremental backup. The software does not automatically run. When I run it, it starts from the begining and creates a new copy of all the files in a different folder. Kindly help.

  • Buck

    Does anyone have a COMPLETE file extension listing that shows all file extensions that SimpleSave backsup?

    Thank you,

    Buck

  • Brenda Pace

    I can’t find any files or any drives to restore. What am I missing? It appears that no one answers anyone else’s questions. Is that right also?

    • http://www.michaelaulia.com Michael Aulia

      Brenda, the best place is probably to email HP support about the product, if there is any faulty (assuming it is a faulty) in the product.

  • BLACK

    MICHAEL THE ANSWERS YOU PROVIDE ARE SHORT & LEAVE US BACK WHERE WE STARTED. IT IS VERY NICE THAT YOU ARE WILLING TO HELP OTHERS. PLEASE ELABORATE ON YOUR KNOWLEDGE. ALL PEOPLE WANT IS HAVE A SIMPLE BACKUP SOLUTION, NOT ENDLESS WORRIES & CONFUSION. WORSE IS THE CUSTOMER SUPPORT WITH ALL THESE COMPANIES, THEY HAVE NO CLUE WHAT THERE SELLING & DO NOT HAVE THE KNOWLEDGE TO BACK UP THERE PRODUCT, INSTEAD OF CREATING A GOOD BACK UP PRODUCT, THEY HAVE CREATED A MESS.

  • Charles

    I was given one of these, and am glad I didn’t pay for it. 2 big problems:

    1/ I unplugged it from my pc and replugged it in and it wants to re-back up my pc: it doesn’t recognise it has already done this and just needs to refresh!

    2/ I can’t delete files.

    I’d like to clean the thing out and give it to someone else (unsuspecting fool).

    Any ideas?