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Scheduled remote wake up multiple computers?

Posted on 2008-10-07
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
There is never a convenient time to run backups of individual user desktops. We don't use profiles on our domain as it's too slow to log on and off as we work with very large files.

I don't have the funding to have a fast NAS setup as the location of redirected desktops along with a backup solution for that. This would be my ideal solution.

Critical data is backed up every night on the server but user's desktops are too big and don't get backed up. We tell all users to ensure their critical files are on the server and not their desktop, but it's nice to have desktops backed up, work in progress is sometimes not copied to the server. A weekly backup would be sufficient. Even then, if I used incremental backups then night backups could be done over night.

So I came up with this idea.

1) Remotely boot all computers over the weekend.
2) Windows XP scheduled tasks runs ntbackup copying data to a cheap slow NAS we have
3) After backup computer shuts down

Does anyone know of a free or cheap tool to boot multiple PCs using Wake on lan. Also it would need to be schduled.

Could a batch script be written to do this?

I know this post is pretty vague but I could ramble on for years adding keywords and explaining it.

On a less frequent basis I can run a network location backup to tape so the regular updates are on the NAS and readily recoverable. And perhaps monthly a tape backup is available should the NAS and desktop get destroyed.

Hopefully this post will get seen!

I know there are lots of points of failure will this solution but it would be better than the current situation of no desktop backups!
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Question by:jdunnill
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simeonf earned 250 total points
ID: 22658278
Hi jdunill,

For the wakeup bit have a look at the free tools at depicus - http://www.depicus.com/wake-on-lan/wake-on-lan-cmd.aspx. There is source code, gui and command line tools for WoLing machines. You might need to do some router config if you're waking machines across multiple subnets.

Regarding the backup - ntbackup is a good start, depending on network speed and NAS capacity you might benefit from compressing the backup before copying it over. 7zip is a great free compression tool which I've found to well outperform (both time + compression ratio) some commercial compression software. It is command line scriptable so after the wakeup have a scheduled task backup, compress, then transfer to the NAS.

For the copy itself, have a look at robocopy from Microsoft (bulitin to Vista, or free downloadable in the 2003 resource kit http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=9d467a69-57ff-4ae7-96ee-b18c4790cffd&displaylang=en) - it supports multiple attempts, can do restartable copies and has good logging.

Hope that helps get you started!
Simeon
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Author Comment

by:jdunnill
ID: 22658741
That depicus is tremendus, I just tried booting 8 machines at once from a batch file and it worked perfect!! Now I was going to schedule a shutdown in windows scheduler but is there a way to write a batch file to shut down all machines ina similar fashion, I know it would't use WOL but would somehow activate shutdown.exe on each machine. Obviously it's ran from the server as domain admin so permissions shouldn't be an issue.

I haven't googled this yet so was going, was just reporting back on how great the depicus batch file works!

I've had issues with WOL software in the past only working sometimes but so far in testing it has worked on 100% machines 100% of the time!
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Author Closing Comment

by:jdunnill
ID: 31505963
Thanks for this, works brilliantly! So flexible! Thanks for talking me through each stage!
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