Automate Backup with Windows 2000 Server.

Hi,

How would you go about automating the process of backing up certain folders from the workstations, without them doing it themselves?  I would like to back up their "my documents and settings" folders.  I would like to run this either at a specific time or when they log onto their machine.  Which software is best equipped for this?  I would like to run it as a service.

Thanks.
clubxnyAsked:
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Steve McCarthy, MCSE, MCSA, MCP x8, Network+, i-Net+, A+, CIWA, CCNA, FDLE FCIC, HIPAA Security OfficerConnect With a Mentor IT Consultant, Network Engineer, Windows Network Administrator, VMware AdministratorCommented:
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hit4063Commented:
A cheap solution for you problem is launching the built-in ntbackup with the task scheduler or autostart folder.

*) run ntbackup, select all files you need to backup and save the selection using the job menu.
*) write a very short .bat or .cmd which calls the ntbackup with all command-line switches you need (try "ntbackup /?" to get all possible command-line switches)
*) run this .bat / .cmd from task scheduler or autostart
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Steve McCarthy, MCSE, MCSA, MCP x8, Network+, i-Net+, A+, CIWA, CCNA, FDLE FCIC, HIPAA Security OfficerIT Consultant, Network Engineer, Windows Network Administrator, VMware AdministratorCommented:
You can use Group Policy and do a Folder Redirection.  When my users logon their My Documents is synchronized from a home directory, so it actually is on their local machines and on the network where my server backs up the files.
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clubxnyAuthor Commented:
Sammcarthy - can you explain that in more detail or point me in that direction.  So basically it is like offline files?  Can this be accomplished where if a new user logs on I do not need to go to their machine and set this?  Or will it automatically create a folder on my server for that person?
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Steve McCarthy, MCSE, MCSA, MCP x8, Network+, i-Net+, A+, CIWA, CCNA, FDLE FCIC, HIPAA Security OfficerIT Consultant, Network Engineer, Windows Network Administrator, VMware AdministratorCommented:
Yes, it is like offline files.  I just setup the policy and when I create a user in a group that is subject to the policy, it automatically happens.  I just make sure when I create the account that I create a user directory too.  The first time they logon, it sets up and is invisible to the user.  There's nothing to do on the user's machine.

Windows 2000 group policy allows you to redirect the Application Data, Desktop, My Documents, My Pictures, and Start Menu folders. When the user logs on and group policy is applied, Windows looks to the specified network location for the folders. For example, you might redirect a user's
My Documents folder to his or her home folder on a network file server. When the user double-clicks the My Documents icon, Windows displays the contents of the remote folder, rather than the user's local folder.  If for some reason the network connection is not available or the share, the local copies will be used until it can resync again.

Redirecting a user's documents to a network share enables you to easily back them up. You don't need to worry whether the user has left his or her computer running, and you can schedule the backup as needed. The capability to back up at the server also eliminates the need to run backup agents on users' computers.

To configure Folder Redirection policies, open the user's OU in the Active Directory, create or modify a Group Policy Object (GPO) for it, and configure the policies in the User Configuration\Windows Settings\Folder Redirection branch as needed to redirect client folders to a server.

This is really very easy and works fine.
Steve
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clubxnyAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the explanation Samccarthy.  I will try it at home and reward you the points after I am done. :)
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clubxnyAuthor Commented:
01. Open Active Directory Users and Computers in the Administrative Tools group.

02. Right-click your Domain and select Properties.

03. On the Group Policies tab, press Default Domain Policy and press Edit.

04. In the Group Policy. Press User Configuration / Windows Settings / Folder Redirection.

05. Right-click the Desktop Folder and press Properties.

06. On the Target tab, select Advanced - Specify the location for various user groups.

07. Press Add. In the Security Group Membership box, press Browse to display the Groups. Select one from the list.

08. Enter a UNC path for the Desktop folder in Target Folder Location.

09. On the Settings tab, clearing the Grant the user... box would leave the permissions unchanged.

10. Clearing the Move the contents.... box would NOT move the desktop folder.

11. Select the action you desire in the Policy Removal box.

12. Press Apply and OK.

13. Close the Group Policy Editor.

When a user logs on, the redirection policy will be implemented.

You might want to trigger a GPO resfresh, SECEDIT /REFRESHPOLICY USER_POLICY /ENFORCE.

What is the variable I need to use in the UNC for the user's path?  %user?  Will that automatically create the user's folder if it is already not in there?  
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