How 2 Setup a network backup.

Dell / Precision 350
January 19, 2009 at 08:40:55
Specs: Windows XP Pro Pack3, 2800 mhz
I need to setup a backup system for my small office workgroup, about 8 users. Is there a free software I can install in my XPpro machine ( which manages the user logins and paswds to each user's share ) to automatically do a backup update, hopefully of only the changed files? I currently use the XP backup for my own machine but it creates a huge .bkf file which I don't really trust.
Any idea?

See More: How 2 Setup a network backup.

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January 19, 2009 at 10:33:59
NTbackup is already in Windows.

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January 19, 2009 at 10:52:49
But that creates .bkf files. I'd like something that just copies and not compress stuff.

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January 19, 2009 at 11:19:48
You have that kind of disk space to spare? The whole idea behind compression in a backup to to store a lot in a little space.

If you just want to copy write some batch file scripts that copy and then schedule them.

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January 19, 2009 at 11:38:23
Yes, we have only 40 gigs to backup, at the most. In my ignorance... I'm a afraid that the backup file will keep backing up files that are corrupted or not the right ones and the day we'll need something they won't be available. If i just copy stuff I'll be able to see what actually gets copied and run tests.
Also: is the "differential" the type of backup that only changes the files that have been edited?
In the years I've read many times about incremental and differential and still...I'm confused.
Thnx for the help.

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January 19, 2009 at 12:16:09
Only 40gigs...

How big is your drive?
The 40gig the combined folders on all pcs you want to backup?

Here's a link explaining backup types

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January 19, 2009 at 13:29:18
40 gigs to backup between all users. The backup drive has 80 gigs.

I've been running tests on the XP backup feature and I can't get to some of the PCs to grab their files. The computers are part of a domain on NT. I can access the files directly from my pc but the backup wizard ( also started from my pc) can't get there to pick files to be backed up. "Access to this folder has been denied".
The wizard also shows only the XP machines on the network and not the 2000 and 98se.

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January 19, 2009 at 13:29:51
Yes, you definately need to get the different types of backups straight before you proceed.

The builtin ntbackup should serve your purpose but there are a couple caveats you need to keep in mind.

Open files cannot be backed up. I know for sure the ntbackup will stop if it encounters an open file. So, if you plan on backing up a database you must first figure out how to stop it, so that all files are closed and can be backed up, and then restart it after the backup has run. I know the MS SQL has a built in backup program that does all the above. You simply configure it to run at say 2:00 am and then run the full system backup 30 min's later and include the file generated by SQL in the full system backup.

Also, you said, "If i just copy stuff I'll be able to see what actually gets copied and run tests."

The techonology to do all that is built into ntbackup. To see what's in the file, run the "restore" feature, open the backup file and you can look through the complete backup at any/all files within it. Also, you can restore a single file, multiple files, or if need be, the whole backup.

As to running tests, I know that you can have it double check the data in the backup to ensure it matches what was backed up. But, to be really really sure your backup is working properly, you must setup a test server that exactly duplicates the production server(s) you're backing up and then restore that backup to the test server in order to verify the backup restores correctly. This is an important step that many admin's don't take to their regret. Believe me, it totally sucks to discover your backup is no good when you need it. Better to find that out on a test server, fix the problem and ensure it can be restored before you ever need it (hopefully you never will right!).

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January 19, 2009 at 13:51:07
I've been running tests on the XP backup feature and I can't get to some of the PCs to grab their files.

You would have to run ntbackup on each XP Pro PC individually. Then, use a .bat file to transfer all backups to your main backup 80 GB drive. You see, the window's ntbackup isn't capable of backing up across a network like that.

You can be sneaky and do both in a single batchfile. Here's an example:

***Begin Batchfile***

@echo off

rem clear mapped network drive

net use w: /d /y

rem map network drive to backup folder on server

net use w: \\server\share /persistent:yes

rem perform the backup

C:\WINDOWS\system32\ntbackup.exe backup "@C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows NT\NTBackup\data\Daily Backup.bks" /n "Daily Backup.bkf created 6/6/2005 at 11:04 AM" /d "Set created 6/6/2005 at 11:04 AM" /v:yes /r:no /rs:no /hc:off /m normal /j "Daily Backup" /l:s /f "C:\Backup\Daily Backup.bkf"

rem copy the backup to the server

xcopy c:\backup\"daily backup.bkf" w:\ /y

rem release mapped drive

net use w: /d /y

rem exit the batch file


***End Batchfile***

The command line for the backup is simple to do. You create a backup set and schedule it (all using the backup wizard) and once done, open the scheduled task (inside of ntbackup) and then copy the command line and paste it into your batchfile. Once you've done that, you delete the scheduled task and then, go into the Task Scheduler (ie: Start >> Programs >> Accessories >> System Tools >> Scheduled Tasks) and create a task that points at the backup batchfile you've created.

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