Need Help take snapshot of users Hard Drive  w/o them knowing it

Mike
Mike used Ask the Experts™
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Greeting Experts,

I need help locating a software that is able to take a snapshot of a remote computers H/D without the end user knowing it. I have been searching the internet and have not found anything so far. Can somebody recommend software that is able to do this type of function?
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RobertSystem Admin

Commented:
So typically when you say with out them knowing there is a specific reason you need to hide the fact from the user.
as for snapshot technology there are few that wont impact the computer in the rage of performance as a reading the drive to perform the snapshot usually takes a toll on the disk utilization.
When user sees slowdown they typically open task manager and will see the process running.

That said you can remotely access the computers hard disk using the UNC path and transfer / copy specific files.

However with out knowing what your attempting to accomplish with the snapshot it is hard to make a recommendation.
Is your purpose to backup the machine? Is the machine a VM? Are you attempting to monitor for unauthorized use?

There are various solutions out there but as for a software that allows snapshot with out any knowledge of it occurring from the user prospective I am not aware of one unless it is a VM then you can create snapshots of the vhd and the guest would not know it was happening.
MikeSecurity

Author

Commented:
currently, I am using the technique of copying files over using the UNC path for multiple users.  I thought of a possible way to take a snapshot of their computers with out them knowing. To be honest, I can still stick with that but when you are needing to do it for 5-10 people it can take a lot of time. A software that can target "My Documents" and pst files is what I mostly looking for as a possible alternative to the manual process of using know.
RobertSystem Admin

Commented:
I would recommend instead of doing snapshot, setup folder redirection and just redirect their profile folders. (or use roaming profiles) and store them on the file server instead of local machine.
if you don't have AD setup you could use the windows offline files configuration to sync to a network location.

You could also use a script to do this as a scheduled task that triggers at the interval you want.
That way you would only need to setup the script once on each machine and let it run the copy for you.

All of that said all of the above options would be fairly transparent to the users (at least after the initial sync or redirection)
MikeSecurity

Author

Commented:
Do you have a recommended script that could complete the copy user profile from end users remote computer to a different file location?
System Admin
Commented:
you wouldn't need anything real advanced you could just use powershell or batch file to run robocopy or copy command.
robocopy.exe "C:\users\username" "\\UNCpath\" /B /MIR /w:1 /r:1 /COPYALL 

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however it will not copy in use files and I would recommend excluding the temp internet files from the copy or writing it to copy specific files/folders.

Also you can make it run in background by running as system. (note copy requires the permissions to the target folder)

The following article gives some more guidance on scripts to copy profile.
https://www.experts-exchange.com/questions/27033432/Robocopy-Script-to-Copy-User-Profiles.html
Shaun VermaakSenior Consultant
Awarded 2017
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Instead of Robocopy, use Hobocopy. Hobocopy uses VSS to copy files that are in use.
https://github.com/candera/hobocopy
MikeSecurity

Author

Commented:
Thanks

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