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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need to do nightly backups of data stored on a windows 2000 server.
The customer would like something he can do nightly and then store the media in a safe in case of some catastrophic occurrence.

There is a night auditor who takes care of the financial records so we like to make it as simple as possible for the night auditor to perform the backup. Also the auditor does not have access to all folders on the server that need to backed up but they asked if I could set something up so that at the end of the night he could run a program that would still create a backup of all neccessary files and some of those that he normally does not have access to from his workstation.

Then then when the boss comes in to work in the morning he would take what ever backup was created and put it in a safe.

So is there software that will allow this and then does that depend on what hardware is used.
I still need to get an exact size of how much data needs to be backed up but I know it is between 4 & 8 gigs. We would like to have no further interaction once the download is started so the guy can just start it & leave without have to replace tapes.

So from reading other posts here I suppose we could use a dvd burner if the data does not exceed the disc space. Then I see sometimes tapes recommended and sometimes and external hard drive.

If an external HD a bad idea since they are daily moving them around and you would need several to keep them in rotation.

Thanks,
-George
 

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I've pretty much given up on tapes for the past several years. Seem to even recall on the major Mags with an article about this in the past month or so. Too slow, unreliable, and complicated when it comes to both backups and restores.

Most customers are using removable drives. These can either be internal IDE drives or now with USB 2.0 I have also been using external USB drives. If you get one large enough, there is not need to move anything around on a daily basis.

Generally, if there is enough room, I keep 5 days backup over the network to a local computer's hard drive and then copy each day's to that backup drive. So now you have 5 day's backup in two different places.

Then you switch out the backup drive just once a week and take it off site. If you want to do it more often, get smaller drives since you don't need to fit so much on each one. Given the prices of hard drives these days, the cost either way is not that much.

Then to restore, you just use the plain old Windows Explorer to copy whatever you want back to wherever it is supposed to go. It's just too simple. If you want you can use the scheduler as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The guy wants to have a backup everday he can drop in a safe but I am almost positive he will never remember or is just to lazy to that every day.

They do have many pcs in different offices in one large building so that is a good idea to just copy the data from the server to several of the pcs so at least there are several copies. He is kind of thinking that if the place burns down he wants to have a copy off site. But the reality is they won't move tapes around daily but if he only has to swap out a hard drive every friday then that will probably get done.

Bob you mentioned how simple it is to restore using explorer. If you use ntbackup then you have to restore the bkf file somewhere first & then you can move everything, right?

Thank you very much!
 

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virtualgeorg said:
Yes I think I would be much better since while doing some test backups with ntbackup I was getting some errors on restoration.

I also had this one recommended: http://www.2brightsparks.com/syncback/
It also supports ftp and they have a commercial version that is only $15

Thank! This is going to be much easier than I thought.
I have been using syncback for quite a while. I love it for automatic backups. I haven't tried the ftp, but for scheduling unattended backups to an external USB harddrive is works flawlessly. I have it set to backup some files while I am working (pharmacy), every 30-minutes. It works in the background.
 

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I use the free program TaskZip to schedule multiple backups at different schedules, it's always worked well for me. I like the fact that TaskZip gives me generations of my backup data so I can go back in time if I choose. Using something like XCOPY doesn't give you that option.

There are tons of ways to skin this cat, and you've seen several presented here.
 

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A sample one line batch file using XCOPY would be something like:

xcopy d:\data g:\Monday /s /y /c /i /r /h /d

This would backup all you data to Monday's directory.
/s - Included subdirectories
/y - Overwrites any existing files automatically
/c - Continues on error - This is important so if there are any open file the backup will continue.
/I - Creates subdirectory structure
/r - Overwrites read only files
/h - Copies hidden and system files
/d - Copies only new or changed files. This is the important one. The first time you run the backup it copies everything. The next time you run it, it only copies new or changed files. Make subsequent backups go much faster.

Also never liked keeping huge amounts of data in compressed zip or other format. If it does, everything goes. Copying just like it is on the source drives makes restores so much easier.

So you can have something like \Monday, \Tuesday, \Wednesday\ etc. directories on your backup drive. Very easy to backup. Very easy to restore.
 

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Sure Bob, but I don't have to make a complex directory structure to make it work, TaskZip does all the work for me.

FWIW, I have a direct copy of everything on my data drive every night, but I backup currently active projects with TaskZip so I have generations of data to roll back changes several weeks or more if the need arises.

As far as keeping data compressed, welcome to the 21th Century, I don't know of many backup applications that don't keep data compressed nowadays.
 

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virtualgeorg,

Another way I've done backups is with an inexpensive program called Second Copy. Something like $29.

Gives you a lot more choices:

Simple Copy of directories and folders
Exact Copy of directories and folders
PKZIP compatible compression
Exact compression
Two-way directory synchronization
Archive up to 25 older versions of files
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
On a pc I just backup the data from the programs and if something bad happens I just reinstall the OS & programs from disks & restore data.

But what about on a server, same process? It wouldn't be so easy to reinstall the OS & all the settings especially if someone else set it up. Maybe you guys also have recommendations on a complete backup of everything on a server that would also make it easy to restore the data & settings & get the server back up should you happen to lose everthing for some reason.

Thanks again!
 

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The way I set up my servers is with a:

1. Relatively small C: partition with just the OS and what it needs to run

2. The rest of the drive is for everything else (data, programs, source files, whatever.). These are organized as best as possible (e.g. d:\data, d:\program files, d:\apps etc.)

Then I image the C: drive to a hard drive I keep with me. I also burn this to as many CDs as it takes, which is generally not that many.

Backup the d: partition to removable hard drives

So now for the scenario of something like a server hard drive crash. There's nothing to setup or reinstall.

1. Restore the OS image to a new drive
2. Boot and partition the rest of the drive
3. Since I like to just file copy everything as files, I copy all them from the backup drive to the d: partition.

Have completely restored a totally crashed server this way in under an hour, user accounts, network shares, data files, everything.
 
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