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Help with a Backup Solution for Company Data

Posted on 2006-10-24
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Last Modified: 2010-04-19
Hello Experts,

I'm in need of some assistance or suggestions for backing up data on the client machines.  Here's a quick rundown of our setup.

We have 1 Dell server running SBS2003.  (The Server contents are backed up nightly to tapes which are kept offsite and it runs a RAID5 SCSI for redundancy)
We have about 5 desktops that are always connected to the server.
We have around 15 laptops that come in and out of the office, at various times of the day, to connect and upload patient data to the server.

The users have no real personal data except for a couple things in "My Documents."  The most critical documents are kept in a "Data" folder for the home health software we use.

Backups for the desktops are easy because they are always connected and I can set a daily schedule to have it Auto-Backup to their personal folder on the server at 5pm using the XP Backup utility.

Backups for the laptops are the main topic of concern because the nurses aren't always in at any specific time during the day.  The backup would ideally be run after they finish with the program and run just before they log off to leave.  Of course it shouldn't run or "ignore" the job/script if they're not logged on the domain and outside the office.

So what I need is either a suggestion for a solution to this backup problem or a windows script that would run everytime they log on/log off to the domain and backup "My Documents" and a "C:\Data" folder to their personal "\\Uses\<Username>" folder on the Server.

Thank you for the assistance.
Steve
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Question by:shosterman
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10 Comments
 
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Accepted Solution

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Zadkin earned 125 total points
ID: 17797244
You can use Configure My Documents Redirection wizard on Users - Server Management.  After that the documents will be part of the server backup.  I suppose that the users and computers where joined to SBS using the apropiate wizards

The help file explains: "A cached copy of My Documents is stored on the users' computers. Users can work on documents even when disconnected from the network. Each time they log off of or log on to the network, the copy of their My Documents folder on their client computer synchronizes with the server copy"
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Author Comment

by:shosterman
ID: 17797720
Perfect, I setup the "My Documents Redirection" and it works great.  I can't believe I've never seen that option before, I stare at that screen all day.

Anyway, the "C:\Data" folder is the most important aspect of this question as that's where our most vital data is stored.  Is there any way to do that same synchronization with that folder as we just did with the My Documents folder?
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Expert Comment

by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 17798625
I guess since it's a ""Home"" Health softare package the people who developed that didn't think that there should be centralized storage or synchronization, huh?

There are a number of ways to synchronize a folder but it depends on the contents of the folder.  Because Windows Off-line files synchronization won't synch an MDB database file (since that could potentially corrupt the database).  

I'd suggest that you use either Microsoft's SyncToy (definitely more than a toy):
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=E0FC1154-C975-4814-9649-CCE41AF06EB7&displaylang=en

This can sync to a UNC path if you like quite easily.

Or you can use https://www.foldershare.com which is a new WindowsLive service if you want the Synchronization to occur even when they are not connected to the network.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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Expert Comment

by:Zadkin
ID: 17801389
As an alternative to Jeffs proposal,  you could backup (at the application startup/stop or daily) C:\Data to My Documents.  And use the My Documents synchronisation to move this data then to the server.
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Author Comment

by:shosterman
ID: 17804259
I tried the SyncToy and while the application seems to be a perfect fit for syncing data, I can't find any command line arguments to run it automatically at Logon/Logoff.  As it is, it's the users responsibility to Sync and I need to ensure it is completed automatically.  I can't guarantee the users will backup regularly.

Zadkin, taking your suggestion, I think I could use a simple xcopy command to copy the folder to the User's My Documents folder.
XCOPY C:\HHCC %USERPROFILE%\My Documents

So how would I globally apply this to all users on the domain so it at least runs at Login (hopefully before the sync takes place)?
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Expert Comment

by:Zadkin
ID: 17806122
I was thinking at an application startup script, but you have to install it and it can be bypassed.

Never modified it, but there is the login script.  I don't know what good practices are there.
%systemroot%\SYSVOL\sysvol\domain_name\scripts\SBS_LOGIN_SCRIPT.bat
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Expert Comment

by:Zadkin
ID: 17806150
Help says: "In Computer Management, you can use the User Property dialog box to assign logon scripts to user accounts by typing the file name (for example, Clerks.bat) in the Logon script text box. At logon, the server authenticating the logon locates an assigned logon script. It looks for the specified file following the local logon script path on the server (usually %systemroot%\SYSVOL\sysvol\domain_name\scripts). If a relative path is provided before the file name (for example, Admins\User1.bat), the server looks for the logon script in that subdirectory of the logon script path."

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Assisted Solution

by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy earned 125 total points
ID: 17828232
If you want to schedule SyncToy to run at logon, you just need to create a Scheduled Task in the Control Panel and select "when I log on" as the scheduled time.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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LVL 2

Author Comment

by:shosterman
ID: 17834247
So much for keeping it simple.  Here I was trying to create a script and find a complex answer to what ended up being just a few quick clicks.

1.  Zadkin - Redirect the My Documents folder to the Users Shared Folder.
2.  TechSoEasy - Use the SyncToy program and the Windows Scheduled Tasks service to run at logon.  (Had to append a -R to the Run line to automate the Folder Pairs)

Combined Users can now save personal documents in their My Documents folder and have them automatically backed up.  Also, the Data folder for the program will automatically backup at logon(assuming they are connected to the network).

Thanks!
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LVL 74

Expert Comment

by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 17839216
I'll tell you that the reason you got such a workable solution is that you outlined your ultimate goal rather than asking a more direct question such as, "How do I write a script to do so and so".  That is a rarity here... and I thank you for the clarity because I don't know how many times I've had to respond to an initial question with, "what exactly are you trying to accomplish here?"

Thanks back!

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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