Work Group Backup

Hello Experts!

I have a client that is not quite ready for a server.  He has 6 XP Pro PCs and another XP Pro box available as a file server..  Im looking at several ways of giving him a cheap and reliable backup system.

1)      Redirect users My Documents to the file server and run a simple BU program on the box daily.  Users would be Accessing their data over a 100mb wire which should be fine for XLS and DOC files but maybe not so good for CAD files.

2)      Schedule batch files to xcopy their My Documents to the file server after hours and before the simple BU app runs nightly on same.

3)      Spend more money on a BU app that is capable of reaching out to the workstations during the nightly BU run.

In all cases, I am thinking he would have 2 external drives which he would rotate weekly, keeping the previous weeks drive offsite.

I am looking for suggestions or tweaks to the above solutions or something completely different.  Recommendations on a simple, ($ 50 or under BU app), I could install&and the same for a more sophisticated BU app that could reach out to the PCs from the file server.

THANKS in advance!

Mick
snake454Asked:
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
This is one of the reasons you DO want a server.  Why do you think they aren't ready?  Small Business Server is designed for this.  I've got clients with 2 PCs that demand a server...  If you only had FIVE systems, you could consider Windows Home Server which is also designed to handle backups.
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snake454Author Commented:
leew, you are absolutely right!  The business is a young startup machine shop.  Budgets are tight, and we all know that IT is always at the back of the line.  I hope to get them on a $ 1000 or under SBS by the middle of next year, but until then they need a BU solution.
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JoWickermanCommented:
Hi snake454,

Your idea of removable drives will be sufficient. I would suggest using NT backup on XP as your backup utility as it's free and much more powerful than most people can imagine, because the engine is based on a very well know backup utility...

I personally would redirect the My Documents folder for each user to the "server", but xcopy the CAD files after hours to make sure that the users don't struggle during working hours.

Cheers.
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snake454Author Commented:
Thanks JoWickerman!  My Doc redirect sounds good.  EXCELLANT idea to xcopy the cad files.  Have a great day.
Mick
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