PC backups

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Dream on. Yes, there's an initial setyp file which can record the settings for that tiny subset of the overall set of configuration data which the setup routine would otherwise require to to enter interactively: time zone, NT domain name, and a (good) few others. Not, though, your Net settings; or links to other net resources (say networked printers, other machines); not, of course, any application settings. MS have tried to add a "file and app migration tool" to XP, to make moving from one machine to another easier - possibly useful in a system restore. Of course, it only works for apps which follow a previously-nonexistent MS-proprietary config-data-registration scheme.
So in-a-word, use a real backup&restore strategy; reinstalling from scratch is a pain in the nether regions...
Stefek
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[10 lines snipped]

I have no idea. So far as I am concerned, Windows is a fly-blown, festering heap of rotting entrails and I would very much like it to go away.
--
"The road to Paradise is through Intercourse."
The uk.transport FAQ; http://www.huge.org.uk/transport/FAQ.html
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Huge wrote:

So not a fan of windows then ;-) Linux?
--
Regards
Tony Hogarty
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You noticed.

I have no particular axe to grind, but I like Unix and its variants, yes. My home system(s) are Suns running Solaris.
--
"The road to Paradise is through Intercourse."
The uk.transport FAQ; http://www.huge.org.uk/transport/FAQ.html
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On 16 Oct 2003 18:50:53 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@ukmisc.org.uk (Huge) wrote:

It'll be great when they get a gui to run on it :-) In the meantime lets roar ahead with ed vi sh tbl adb nroff troff boff sod etc
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Even 'ed' still has its place on slow lines. Mind, they sold out the day they increased the number of error messages from 2 to 3....
1) ? 2) TMP
3) ??
--
Bob Eager
rde at tavi.co.uk
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I have the same sort of situation, I have a "spare" pc in the loft running Linux and samba - all the PC's in the house have mapped network drives to this, and all users save files to the network
The server is then mirrored with another PC in the garage running windows, using some software on the windows PC called syncromagic
The Server in the loft is also backed up to AIT tape at least twice a month (I keep the tapes at work)
All PC's are UPS protected, and I have also just installed a generator with line conditioning.
I have the Linksys wireless router, and tried to establish a wireless connection to my workshop - the signal was pretty hopeless, so I ran Cat5 (also WiFi has vulnerability's, where if you collect enough data the WEP key can be worked out - so it is not totally secure!
If a "normal" pc breaks down, it is a reinstall of windows and all the relevant software, but this is not a bad thing usually, as by the time it happens, there is usually new versions of everything anyway!
Sparks...
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Something which would trouble me if I put a PC in the loft is that in the summer it gets stinking hot, and in the winter freezing cold. PCs are generally specced to work in the range 5-40 degrees C and I feel sure that temperature range could be exceeded.
I'm curious about whether this might be a problem for your installation?
PoP
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (David) wrote:
Hello David

Due to far too many failing HD's, my system's had some extensive testing this year - and so far has worked perfectly. Might be a little complicated, but it does work.

I'd personally go for wired LAN, but dealer's choice.

My system at work, which backs up five PCs running Win98.
Wired LAN.
Backup machine is a low spec PC called "ego" with a largish HD (40Gb). It runs Debian (a free linux OS). This makes it immune from lan-spread viruses, and also allows you to run lots of other stuff like caches, mail server, print server, web server - without slowing down your main machine.
ego connects to all the other machines using Samba which interacts perfectly with Microsoft networking.
Four times a day, ego copies files from each of the other machines - but only the files that have changed. This takes almost no time at all and unlike doing this by windows, also copies system data and the registry.
This effectively mirrors the other PC's drives, but doesn't remove deleted files, so eventually it does need a prune (I simply move the backup elsewhere on the drive and start afresh).
Steps:
1. Cron kicks off a samba connect to computer1 as readonly.
2. "cp -U -r //computer1/c/* /home/computer1/" (Copy updated files recursively to local drive.
3. Disconnect samba link.
Because the LAN is only 10M/s, it doesn't push enough traffic through to significantly slow down the other computer, so it's backing up while you're using it and 9/10 you never even notice.
Reinstall after failure is fast:
1. Connect new HD to another win machine on the LAN as slave. 2. Fdisk and format. 3. Map drive letter to Samba share on backup machine. 4. xcopy /y /v /c /s ... from remote to new drive. 5. Cuppa tea. 6. Remove drive and fit to original machine. 7. Start windows and start working again. (No need to install windows, find drivers for all your hardware and reinstall all your software - a drive mirror does all that for you)
(I've needed to do this 4 times this year, Maxtor no longer seem to make reliable drives)
At most 3 hours data loss for no slowdown, negligable ongoing costs, expensive backup software (all free!) and NO need to remember to backup manually. You can even make it email you to tell you it's done each backup, when something went wrong or when it's running out of drive space.
Perhaps not for everyone, but it's proved its worth for me. Just remember that all backup strategies are fine, UNTIL you need to use them - that's what sorts out the good from bad.
Hard drives are absurdly cheap now, they're the only media worth considering for large backups.
--
Simon Avery, Dartmoor, UK
uk.d-i-y FAQ: http://www.diyfaq.org.uk /
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (David) wrote in message

Keeping a tight grip on a large wooden desk ;-) Personally, I use Linux, and simply copy a compressed tar (Windows read Winzip) file of my home directory to a Zip100 drive. I have three or four Zip disks that I rotate.
I may have missed something on the complete thread, but am I not correct in thinking that the reliability of CD-RW is a bit hit and miss?

From R. Wallace, "MCSE Training Kit Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional, Microsoft Press, 2000 (which I teach from, but haven't actually used in anger for backup):
- Normal Backup: all selected files and folders backed up; ... doesn't rely on markers ... anay existing markers cleared ... faster restore because doesn't need to go through multiple backups (see below);
- Copy: As Normal, but no effect on any markers;
- Incremental: backs up changes since last backup (Normal, Incremental);
- Differential: backs up changes since last Normal (my, jc's, interpretation);
- Daily: files and folders that changes during the day are backed up.
I think you'd have to be very confident in your procedures and media to trust Incremental.
Another point, especially wondering about the advisability of two disk drives in the PC. I think someone wondered about what happened if the PC was stolen or died some other horrible death. The question is, what risk are you using your backup to insure against? For me, the chief seem to be: (a) stealing; (b) a horrible death for the whole PC (like a lightning surge up its jacksy); (c) disk hardware failure; (d) serious software failure. I.e. a second disk unit may be susceptible to (c) and (d).
For similar reasons, I'd say also that you must have three or four backup media in rotation. Scenario: software caused crash; restore; that backup corrupted by the software, ... The more backups you have, the more likely you are to have one left after you have.
I know it's hard to arrange, but you must keep backup media somewhere separate. Even a car (assuming the burgular that steals the PC doesn't take the car as well).
Finally, I figure few backups are tested. IMHO, this is untrivial and risky unless you have a spare machine. (There was a famous line of machines that started in the late 1970s -- the Digital VAX series; reputedly, there was a bug in the initial version of the backup software, and it was only after a year of the machine being introduced that anyone had to use it in anger ... and anger was the operative word).
Best regards,
Jon C.
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snipped-for-privacy@ntlworld.com (Jonathan G Campbell) wrote in

Not half as hit and miss as a Zip disk! Seen and heard too many 'Click of Death' drives to even bother with mine now. I would use CDR (rather than CDRW) and they are very reliable IME.
Rod
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