Technology Advice by Ryan Taylor Adams

NVBackup: Freeware Palm Backup

March 13th, 2008 · No Comments · Printer Friendly Version


While I make an effort to update older posts to keep them relevant and technically accurate, the rapidly changing nature of the tech world makes it possible that the content of this post may no longer be relevant, current, or even accurate. Additionally, because of this post's age, adding new comments has been disabled. If you would like to contribute new information to this post, or have questions pertaining to this post, please use the Contact Form.

NVBackup is a backup utility for NVFS-based PDAs: Palm T5, LifeDrive, TX, TE2, Treo 650, Treo 700P. Unlike commercial backup utilities that access data via the database cache, this reads data direct out of the flash disk where it is store. This seems to be the best backup utility in terms of restoring the exact state of the system before the backup.

 Features include:

  • scheduled daily backups (including on locked devices)
  • ftp server support–automatically or manually export your backup to an ftp server
  • compression and checksum1
  • AES 128-bit encryption
  • selective restore
  • fast update of existing backup
  • connect to atomic clocks on the Internet to set the time, either manually or after a scheduled backup
  • BSD licensed so you can make a closed-source commercial backup program on the basis of this


  • exact state restoration, with no need for warm or hard reset before restoring
  • should work better on unstable systems (e.g., due to unstable third-party utilities) than other utilities
  • may be faster for very large backup sets (say, 50mb)
  • does not affect cache memory significantly


  • backup cannot be restored on another model PDA
  • uses undocumented APIs
  • slower for smaller backup sets than some commercial solutions

NVbackup is by far the best Palm backup software I have tried. It’s fast, accurate, and FREE. I suggest you download NVBackup and try it for yourself, and if you are unhappy with it you can simply remove it.

 *For clarification, you will need a SecureDigital card in your device as this is where the backup set will be saved.