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the WbAdmin Windows 8 backup utility is not releasing file after backup finishes.

This is the first time I have used the Windows 8 wbadmin utility and I have a few questions.

My boss wants to backup his laptop once a week while alternating between two 4GB disks.  

I intend to make a scrpt file that he can run manually.

it will start with two parts:

part 1 will be:  <wbadmin start backup -backupTarget:E: -include:C: -allCritical -systemState -quiet>


Part 2 will contain logic that deletes any E: backup file that is over 12 weeks old except files created in the first week of the month will be kept forever.


Since each 4GB disk can hold about 25 full backups, the above simple logic will run almost 4 years before either drive fills up.




So, here are my questions:



#1.  How can I force the wbadmin to release the lock on the external drive? After a recent test, I could not eject the external drive because it was in use.  I was thinking of adding a taskkill command to my script, but it makes me a little nervous to kill the backup task so abruptly.


#2 The boss is supposed to close outlook before running the backup, but I suspect he might forget. I believe the above command will backup up Outlook PST files even if Outlook is open.  Is that correct?  

Please don't worry about issues like in flight database updates, or even losing one or two eamils.  This laptop doesn't contain life or death data, just "normal" business records.

#3. I saw a forum post that explain that the first run of WbAdmin backups up the whole image, and that subsequent executions will run much faster because they only backup files that changed. I assume that means there will be an incremental change file for each run.  How can I direct wbAdmin to always make a full image?
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rberke
Asked:
rberke
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1 Solution
 
McKnifeCommented:
First of all: systemstate is a server parameter, it cannot be used on client OS'.
1 About locks: it's not wbadmin, it's windows. Just unplug it, no fear. As long as you don't write to it, just unplug it when done.
2 correct. He does not need to close outlook, all will be fine.
3 as long as wbadmin finds the old backup, it will do a differential backup. So to avoid this, you will need to move the old backups/rename their folders first.
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rberkeAuthor Commented:
<no fear> I am always worried about unplugging an external drive without a proper close.  But, there does not seem to be any other choice, so that is what we will do.  

Just to be careful, I checked to make sure that the external drives were properly configured for quick removal.  I believe this will always be the case for a newly purchased external drives under windows 8, but it never hurts to be careful.  Here is how I checked.

Start screen > settings > "device manager" > disk drives > right click external disk > Policies
Then, make sure that  "quick removal" is selected.    (In this case, it was already selected, but I felt better because I checked.)
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rberkeAuthor Commented:
Boy, I really wish the sdclt.exe GUI would take care of this junk for me.

Anyway, I still have two other questions.  


How would I clear WbAdmin and tell it to discard previous junk I might have entered? It seems to keep some of previous actions in a cache or catalog of some sort that is separate from the image folder (see item #3 below).


Also, as far as I can tell, WbAdmin always does a differential backup, then merges it with the original backup to create a unified FULL backup. I can't figure out how to get it to SKIP THE MERGE.

My goal would be to leave the external drive connected to the computer for a week and the be able to restore from any one of the 7 items in the chain.
                                         

Chain #1 \WindowsImageBackup\cpu355\backup\*.*  
Chain #2  \cpu355\backup+differential1\*.*  
Chain #3 \cpu355\backup+differential2\*.*  
etc

Or perhaps even incremental changes?

I have previously done similar things with shadowProtect and ntbackup, but I can't figure out how to get wbAdmin to do it.


I have seen some documentation about versions, but I think that only applies to file versions and not image versions.  



On a separate subject, I discovered that renaming the backup folder was quite weird:



--------- item #1 this rename did not work --------
I then renamed
"E:\WindowsImageBackup\Cpu355\Backup 153151"
to be
"E:\WindowsImageBackup\Cpu355\Backup 2014-08-07 153151"

When I ran another backup, wbadmin ran super fast because it continued to use the renamed folder and performed a differential backup.


--------- item #2 this rename worked better but see comment #3 -----------
I then renamed
"E:\WindowsImageBackup\Cpu355\Backup 2014-08-07 153151"  
to be
"E:\WindowsImageBackup\Cpu355 2014-08-07\Backup 2014-08-07 153151"

That worked. The cpu355 2014-08-07 file was no longer being used. WbAdmin created a new full backup named ..\cpu355\backup 2014-08-07 163104

--------- item #3 a final weirdness ----------------------
I then deleted ..\cp355\*.* entirely and did a full backup again. It ran for an hour and created a new cpu355 folder with a subfolder named

   "E:\WindowsImageBackup\Cpu355\Backup 2014-08-07 171051"

You will notice that it changed the random 6 digit number but, AND THIS IS VERY WEIRD ==>, continued to put in the "2014-08-07" which I TYPED IN STEP #1.


--------- item #4 a final note --------------

After reinserting the unplugged drive I could not open E:\WindowsImageBackup until I took ownership. I did this by opening command line as administrator and running < c:\myutilities\ItsMIne  e:\windowsimagebackup >  to take ownership.

And, every time wbadmin runs, the security is reset so I have to run ItsMine again.
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McKnifeCommented:
I find it very hard to follow without reading that huge text multiple times :)
Your main concern seems to be versioning of backups. Just use a scheduled task and use the date variable in your batch.
If you need to delete old ones, look at forfiles.exe or the downloadable delage32.exe, whatever suits you better.
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rberkeAuthor Commented:
The boss has taken his laptop on extended trip.  I will continue research when he returns next week.
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rberkeAuthor Commented:
Unfortunately, Windows Remote Assistance  works very poorly.  I finally gave up and switched to the free version of Join.me.

For instance, when the Join.me window maximized, I can strike the windows key on my Win7 laptop and it acts upon my wife's Win8 computer.  With WRA when I strike the windows key, it acts upon my Windows 7 laptop.

Even worse, the clipboard is not shared, so I cannot cut something from my computer and paste it onto her computer.  

Windows Home Remote Assistance is a very disappointing product.
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rberkeAuthor Commented:
oops, ignore that comment I posted to the wrong thread.
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McKnifeCommented:
And your boss...? Is he back?
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rberkeAuthor Commented:
Sorry to keep you hanging.

He was back for a day then off to China.  I will close this question and post a new one if I need further help.
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