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How do I conduct unattended Vista File and Folder Backups

Posted on 2009-05-08
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Last Modified: 2013-12-01
Hi Guys,

I have a few Vista Business PCs (HP DC5800's) one of which uses an Iomega REV35 drive with removable media. The PC is situated in a remote location in a warehouse so we conduct local backups.

I have setup Vista File and Folder Backup to run daily at 1800hrs. It completes each day if someone is there at 1800 hrs to click the button to confirm that the media in drive E: is to be used. Since we only have one piece of media we always want to use it.

How can I stop the prompting and get the backup to run seamlessly. I don't mind a prompt saying it was completed OK I just don't want to rely on a users input to start the backup.

I see that many are going back to ntbackup, surely this is not the only route !!!

Regards
Trevor White
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Question by:TrevorWhite
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Expert Comment

by:souseran
ID: 24336132
Are you using the Vista Task Scheduler to schedule this task?

See this Microsoft article:

Windows Vista Task Scheduler

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/appcompat/aa906020.aspx

Also see here:

Setting Up Hands-free Incremental Backup in Vista

http://www.brighthub.com/computing/windows-platform/articles/3071.aspx

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Expert Comment

by:technious
ID: 24351239
I don't know the nature of the data, but I know you could navigate to the share, and choose the folder you want to backup, and right click and choose make available off line. You can then configure off line files to synchronize this file/folder. Whenever the file changes it can sync. However, this will not work if you want incremental backups unless you set up shadow copies.

There are also free open-source backup utilities like bacula http://www.bacula.org/en/ , or Amanda http://amanda.zmanda.com/ that can accomplish much more than vista's built in backup util.
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Author Comment

by:TrevorWhite
ID: 24369504
Hi Guys,
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you and it is late now too.

I tried the wbadmin app but it didn't seem to like the removeable media (remember I'm using Iomega REV drives). I started the command line running as admin and entered the command line. There were a couple of prompts as per the article the last of which said the drive needed formating!!. I thought it would be a once off action but it didn't get that far saying the format failed and did I want to try again.

I'll get a screen shot of this soon but I was working remotely and getting tired so gave up.

Are the limited backup facilities in Vista (gui or wbadmin) capable of using removable media or do we have to turn the Removable Media Manager on ???

I see that there is an official NTbackup.exe restore only program. But others are deploying the full NTbackup.exe by copying files and turning the Removable Media Manager on. Does this work and is it any way supported by MS.

Getting V frustrated.

Trevor . . . . Yawn  . . . nigt night.
 
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Expert Comment

by:technious
ID: 24379871
Trevor,

I would try to use the wbadmin command to make a script that backs up to your drive and then use a task scheduler to run it. You can use the quiet option for the wbadmin command so that it wont prompt the user. Here is a site that helps you understand the wbadmin command: http://technet.microsoft.com/ja-jp/library/cc742083(WS.10).aspx
Also read:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wbadmin
And this explains how to do it in server 2008, but the same principles should apply with Vista:
http://www.wbadmin.info/articles/scheduled-backups-nas-windows-server-2008-backup.html

Removable media is supported if run from a script.
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Author Comment

by:TrevorWhite
ID: 24379940
Thanks technious.
I'll take a look at these articles.

Does it explain if I need the Removable media manager enabled or does wbadmin manage all this itself.

Thanks again

Trevor
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Author Comment

by:TrevorWhite
ID: 24388957
Hi Technious,

Thanks for the link to the wbadmin at Microsoft and wikpedia. They gave a further insite into the sub command of wbadmin but nothing more about sub command wbadmin start backup.

Attached is a screen dump of what happens when I run the wbadmin from the an elevated priviledge command prompt. In short it wants to format the drive and fails. Surely just running this from within a file won't acheive anything different.

I have flagged this with iomega support who think it might be to do with the disk format not being NTFS or FAT. I'm waiting for them to respond. Has no one else running Vista had this problem with wbadmin and an Iomega REV drive ??

Trev
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Author Comment

by:TrevorWhite
ID: 24389029
Hi
Not sure where the attachment went . . . I'll try to upload again. Its a .docx with a bitmap screen shot pasted in it.

Trev
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Author Comment

by:TrevorWhite
ID: 24389080
Hi
I'm running IE 8 (now in compatability mode) to see if this will upload now.

Looks like IE8 or EE have problems  . . its uploaded this time

Trev
VistaWbadminScreenShot.docx
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Expert Comment

by:technious
ID: 24444548
Author Wrote:  I have flagged this with iomega support who think it might be to do with the disk format not being NTFS or FAT. I'm waiting for them to respond. Has no one else running Vista had this problem with wbadmin and an Iomega REV drive ?

I am fairly certain that you must format the drive NTFS for this to work properly. Is this an option?
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Accepted Solution

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TrevorWhite earned 0 total points
ID: 24666134
Hi One and all.
I'm closing this question. Iomega have stated that although they are refering use of the wbadmin tool to their dev guys, they only support the main backup program in Vista. So I can't any further forward.

My solution has been to use XCOPY preceeded by an RMDIR within a batch file. Quick, dirty but does the job for now. I'll follow up later with iomega when I have more time.

Just to conlude, I did try to format the drive as NTFS but could not. Can't remember the specific error now, I think it was along the lines of 'no exclusive access' but there was nothing obviously open which refered to that drive.

Regards
Trevor
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