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Backup Options

Posted on 2015-02-20
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Dear Experts,
I am facing a problem I do not have enough knowledge to resolve.  I need to purchase a PC that act as a Quickbooks server and a file server.  Any good desktop PC should be sufficient.  The issue is, the user insists on using something like Dell RD1000 Removable Disk Storage for data backup, where your backup drive stays connected, but you switch the backup media daily.  From what I can see, I need to purchase a server to work with RD1000, not a regular desktop.  I asked HP, and they also replied that I need to purchase a server.  The user does not want to use cloud backup, and wants to be able to make a daily backup, then take the media home with him.  
I remember this was simple to do when iOmega Zipdrive was around, but I think that technology is not current anymore.
Purchasing a decent server for him seems like an overkill, and certainly puts us above his budget.  Is there another type of backup storage alternative?  
Please advise.
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Question by:yballan
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Expert Comment

by:CorinTack
ID: 40621975
If you get Windows 7 or Windows 8 professional, you can use the Windows backup agent to back up to standard external USB drives.

This also has the options for folder backups, and even image-based whole drive backups.

If they just want a functional, inexpensive solution, this should work for them.
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Expert Comment

by:akb
ID: 40622143
USB HDD's are cheap. I'd suggest they use several of these.
The problem with any backup solution which uses removable cartridges is that the only way to restore is to use the same type of backup device. Will they have a backup (spare) of that device?
How can they be sure there backups are working? With USB device it is easy to connect backup to another PC and check it.
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Expert Comment

by:Harper McDonald
ID: 40622150
Make a scheduled task via Task Schedule that has a Robocopy script (xxx.bat) that will copy data to an external drive daily (incrementally if needed) and you are good to go.

For example:

robocopy D:\ F:\ /E /COPYALL /B /XO /R:1 /W:1

Search the web on Task Scheduler and Robocopy - it's fairly easy, it will work for what you need.

-Harp
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Author Comment

by:yballan
ID: 40622170
Dear CorinTack,
Thank you for a prompt response, doesn't your solution only work with one backup media, though?
My user wants to have Monday backup, Tuesday backup, and so on, so he can go home with the media.
Does that mean I should setup up 5 backup jobs for 5 separate external harddrives?  I thought Windows 7 and 8 only let me do one set.

Dear akb and Harper McDonald,
Thank you for your suggestions.  If I were to use 5 external HDDs for each weekday of the week, and created a backup job,  does the destination drive always stay the same?  For example, if I use Monday HDD that becomes F drive when I plug in, then remove it to plug in Tuesday HDD, does it become F drive again reliably?
For some reason, I had a problem in the past using USB backup drives, where every once in a while, the drive name changed and caused an error.  Having to go through "Safely remove hardware" step was always a problem for the users, also.
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Accepted Solution

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Harper McDonald earned 250 total points
ID: 40622190
Here's info on Robocopy:

http://acidx.net/wordpress/2011/12/data-backups-with-robocopy/

You can always change the drive letter in Disk Management to what you need it to be...usually it should stay the same unless you have something else plugged into another USB port, etc..

More on .bat and Task Scheduler:

http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Batch-File

http://www.thewindowsclub.com/how-to-schedule-batch-file-run-automatically-windows-7
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Assisted Solution

by:akb
akb earned 250 total points
ID: 40622194
If you aren't plugging other USB devices the the letter should stay the same.
No need to eject the drive as long as the backup has finished writing.
ON a server Windows Backup doesn't assign letters to the backup devices. Also, it will do incremental backups so you potentially have many weeks of backups on the one drive. Not sure if this is the same for a workstation backup.
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Author Closing Comment

by:yballan
ID: 40622196
Thank you, those answered all of my questions!
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