looking for best method to backup a NAS device

Posted on 2010-03-23
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-01
My scenario, many users store data to a Buffalo Linkstation NAS device, (2 - 1 TB hard drives in a Raid 1 array.)  User access the Linkstation over the network, (it has a static ip and formatted xfs.)

I was using acronis from my windows xp workstation to compress the entire contents of this drive and back it up to a removable hard drive to take off site every week or so.  This process takes about 8 hours to run but has been effective as I just run it overnight.

I was wondering if there is a faster...better...easier...method to accomplish this?  My XP workstation will soon be upgraded to Windows 7 64 bit so my old Acronis software probably won't work.  Any advice would be appreciated.
Question by:FASP

Expert Comment

ID: 28368608
NTBackup is an easy solution. Just schedule it to run as a task using a batch file. Super simple.
Here's a link to NTBackup syntax:


Expert Comment

ID: 28368631
It kind of depends on how much you want to spend.  Obviously, there are offsite backup solutions that would give you access to transfer over the internet through a secured connection.

If you are looking for something similar to what you already have, you could build a batch file that runs Robocopy transfer to an external drive and schedule it as a task.
LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 28369577
Irregardless of backup software, I'm assuming this NAS device came with a Gigabit port. Make sure the connection between the NAS device and whatever computer runs the backup software is not being limited by a 100Mb path.
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Accepted Solution

manicsquirrel earned 1000 total points
ID: 28375966
NTBackup won't image your drive like you are used to with Acronis.  There is no automagic type restore with NTBackup.

As for offsite backup, unless you have a super fat outgoing pipe, you'll never get a drive image pushed out,  You may get some discreet data, but that's all.

I've been using Acronis for many, many years.  I loved it.  Now, I hate it and am looking for an alternative.  By the way, we also swap out hard drive on a NAS.

True, gigabit helps a lot.  If your workstation, switch and NAS support Jumbo Frames, this will help even more.  If you use Acronis, or something like it, if it has an option to exclude certain files, like temp files, or the paging file, make sure you use that option.  It will make your image a bit smaller and speed the process up a wee bit.

Lastly, the competitor products I am evaluating right now are at http://www.storagecraft.com, http://www.farstone.com, and http://www.paragon-software.com.

I don't really like Paragon.  I like the interface on Farstone, but the speed of StorageCraft.

One method you might consider is performing a complete image over the weekend, but creating a job to backup only a file set daily.  Then if you have to restore, you can restore the image and then the file set.

Author Comment

ID: 28401876
I was looking at using ntbackup but my server is running w2k8.  You can't backup a drive not NTFS with it nor can you backup a network drive.  The Linkstation would have to be physically connected to the server by usb, etc.  It is not, it is connected to my switch via Cat5,  

Assisted Solution

CPetrich12 earned 1000 total points
ID: 28402461
You can back up using NTBackup if you map the drive for the network location.  You can do this simply in the batch file using the net command: (net use m: \\Buffalo_NAS\data).

As far as the NTFS thing, you're probably right. We use to backup several Buffalo NAS drives for a client. I believe we used XCOPY to copy all the files to a temporary location and then backed up those files.

Expert Comment

ID: 28402908
You do understand that if you use NTBackup and your hard drive or operating system crashes you will have to restore your system by installing the operating system from scratch and then restoring the system state.

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