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Scheduled backup to USB hard drives

rutlandict
rutlandict asked
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A recommendation please for backup software for rotating USB hard drives on a PC.
We would like the secretary to have to do no more than plug in the hard drive each morning!

We would like software which ideally
a) allows specific folders to be designated for backup
b) automatically runs on schedule whichever USB hard drive is connected.
c) Carries out an incremental backup
d) Emails success/failure reports
e) Works when logged off

It is not essential for it to work with open files if this restricts the choice and/or raises the cost.
Veritas is way out of the cost leage for most of our clients who run small businesses with 2-3 PCs



thanks
David

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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
A scripted NTBackup job should do just fine.  But do you really want to do incremental backups?

You might want to also review my backup comment - turned into a backup web page because it got so long:
http://www.lwcomputing.com/tips/static/backup.asp

Author

Commented:
No sorry forget the incremental bit
Commented:
us ntbackup and 2 maxtor external usb drives, the ntbackup wizard will walk you throught the set-up and daily/weekly run. Do a full backup with compression. This will save hassles later on when and if you have to recover. If you do a 5 day back-up(each day Mon - Fri) it will be 2 weeks before you overwrite the old data.

Commented:
forgot to mention, if you are backing up on a raid 1 array using sata drives watch the size of your backups, they can fall over once the back-up gets over 1.8gb in size(file size) if you use the hard drive as a folder to hold the file. ;-) Completely destroys the raid array. Software dependant.

Author

Commented:
Client prefers to backup as folders/files in Windows format, not in any other compressed format i.e. to be able to plug the hard drive into any PC and open the files and folders. Recovery is then much easier for them than with compression.
So all we want to be able to do is copy certain folders to the hard drives.
Are we still on the right lines with NT backup?


Commented:
yep ntbackup done from xp will open on any other xp machine. NtBackup will dump them into a single file wich you simply double click on in any machine to open up and extract all or any file you want
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
NTBackup does not compress anything.  And the file format can be read by any workstation or server running 2000, XP, or 2003, all you need to do is run a catalog of the file which does not take very long.  Besides that, to PROPERLY backup a system, you NEED to backup the system state - which can only be done with a backup program (like NTBackup).

Commented:
Correct leew it will only compress if the hardware device supports this(ie most tape drives) and yes a system state is a good idea however I think from the question the issue is only files not a system that is needing to be backed up;-) Also over complicating things in this case to create catalogs, just run the wizard choose advanced at the right time and set the dates to back up on a weekly scale, zippo all done!

Author

Commented:
Yes thanks at first they only want to backup a single accounts database, no need for compression.
Want it to overwrite each time.

The Freecom USB hard drives come with backup software but we have not found it very effective - particularly with multiple drives.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Commented:
rutlandict:

If you are using Active Directory, the only way to backup the Directory (accounts database) is through a program that supports system state backups.  NTBACKUP does.  USE IT.  Or buy Veritas BackupExec or some other expensive program.  

You can also look into a scripted copy using xcopy or Robocopy (as most people seem to prefer this).  However, These scripted backups do not use the Volume Shadow Copy service and cannot backup files in use.  NTBackup can use VSS and has a better chance (though it too is not a certainty) to backup in-use files.