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Thread: looking for a good backup program for a small Windows network

  1. #1
    Platinum Member SilverNodashi's Avatar
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    looking for a good backup program for a small Windows network

    I'm curios, what backup software do you use for a small Windows network?



    I need to backup 4 Windows XP PC's onto a central Windows PC, which has a removable backup drive that our accountant takes home every day. The other 4 PC's are used by accounts & sales staff, who don't necessarely know Windows or networking that well.



    So I'm looking for something which I can install, configure and forget on those PC's. i.e. I want to setup a backup profile, tell it to backup to the account's PC every day @ 17:00 and not have to worry about it. basically, I won't want the staff to manually run the backups (since they forget, and tend to mess it up), and it should even run when they're not logged in, i.e. run as Windows service.



    But, I want something that is free, since it's for a non-profit organization, so their budget is very tight.



    Ideally, I'd like to get something which doesn't create one big archive, or propriatory image of the backup, but rather just copy the files across to the hard drive. Thus, if they need to restore a single file, they can just look for it on the backup drive. Many backup programs create big dump and then you need that particular program again to restore the backup. Differently put, let's say all the PC's got stolen / struck by lightning / flood / etc, and they urgently need a file(s), then it would be easier to just copy the file(s) from the USB drive, than having to try and remember which backup program they used, how it was setup, etc and then trying to figure out which files to restore to find a single file.



    Can someone recommend something for me?
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    Moderator IanF's Avatar
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    Try Microsoft SyncToy with scheduling. I just battle to get the scheduling to work but will try again.
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    Gold Member Chrisjan B's Avatar
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    Try Syncback there is a free version.
    SyncBack Freeware V3.2.21 - download from http://www.2brightsparks.com/downloads.html#freeware

    Be careful when using this type of program, you may delete stuff you may want to keep with the sync feature. I use the backup feature. Take the time to understand what the will happen it may save you some grief. It can also be scheduled and different profiles being setup.

    It works well in my opinion.

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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    Removed.
    Last edited by adrianh; 14-Jul-10 at 08:43 PM. Reason: Redundant
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    Gold Member irneb's Avatar
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    Or even this one: Karen's Powertools: Replicator. Works with schedules and in the background. Takes up a whole 5MB of RAM .
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    Handy Backup software can do it well. I have used several backup programs for years, and I recommend Handy Backup, it's easy and reliable backup software for Windows network.

    Hope it will work for you too.

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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    I wrote a DOS batch file for my backup on my home network. It works in conjunction with a command line version of WinZIP. You create the backupstore directory on your target machine and it runs automatically every night. It keeps the last six backups, each time it runs then it renumbers the old backups and writes over the oldest one.

    If you create a user account called backup on each machine on the network and give each backup account the same password it can also initiate the backup process on another pc when it has completed. I arranged it so each one of my seven pc's on my home network backs up to another pc, which then backs up to another pc and so on in a complete circle. It can also backup the outlook pst file as a separate option. It's pretty customisable and it will send you an email each day to tell you what completed and what failed if necessary. As long as nobody messes with the network fundamentals, it's been very robust, so much so that I'm going to install it in my office when I find the time.

    You're welcome to use it under the beerware license if you're interested.
    Last edited by AndyD; 21-Jul-10 at 10:34 PM.

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    Gold Member irneb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyD View Post
    You're welcome to use it under the beerware license if you're interested.
    Sounds interesting. Do you want your beer before sharing the code?
    Gold is the money of kings; silver is the money of gentlemen; barter is the money of peasants; but debt is the money of slaves. - Norm Franz
    And central banks are the slave clearing houses

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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    Nope, you can buy the beer if it's useful :-)

    Rename the attachment a .bat file.
    Manually make the target directories.
    Run it as backup user.
    Use it alongside a version of WinZip which has commandline interface.
    It was written to backup sql databases amongst other things so obviously adapt it to your needs.

    Oh yeah and just keep an eye on the time/date/year format settings which can cause issues.
    Attached Files Attached Files

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    Gold Member irneb's Avatar
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    That's quite a nice little thing. I see it's loading some other BAT files as well though (which shows some errors because I don't have them - had to rem those lines).

    Just goes to show how powerful even the old DOS commands were!
    Gold is the money of kings; silver is the money of gentlemen; barter is the money of peasants; but debt is the money of slaves. - Norm Franz
    And central banks are the slave clearing houses

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