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  1. #1

    Backup Solutions, Windows and Linux?

    I am running Debian Server and have several laptops that I currently backup onto portable HD using the "waist 3 hours copping the files over USB" method. I would like to do incremental backups from windows laptops over the network to the server. I looked a few programs but am a bit lost. One thing that I would like is a File Level backup. That is I would like a system that would backup files and folders preserving dates and such, but store them on the Linux side as files, not compressed, so I can open the files and look at them and edit them on the server. Basically like rsync on linux, but something I can teach non-technical people to do on windows side. Something with windows front-end?

    The other backups solution I am looking for is to do full image backup of Drive C on windows, and something that can be restored by booting from a CD and connecting to the net. So say a HD fails on one of the laptops, I could swap a new one in, put a CD in, boot from the CD and have the laptop pull an image of the HD from the server. Any ideas of something Like that? I looked around but I keep reading windows backup does not work for open files. Is there a way to avoid this problem for both options, file level backup and HD Image. I know this also is not a Linux question, but is there a way to do Image Backup without shutting down windows?

    I appreciate any help,

    - Bogdan

  2. #2
    Linux Engineer
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Well, for the second part of your post, our lab uses Norton Ghost to create a backup image of a properly configured system, with 1000s of students using our labs, it is quite easy to reinstall by just popping in the cd with the ghost image on it. Now, sometimes, hell, most of the time, ghost images are larger than 1 cd, so rather than multimple cds you can put the ghost image on the server, and network boot to the ghost image on the server and install that way. You can also use pxe booting to an iso, but I've never tried that, check out norton should fulfill your need nicely.

    For the fist part of the post, I'm not sure which program I would run, maybe you could create a quite large vfat drive on the server and use samba to network and share it with the linux and windows machines in the network. Anything that you wanted to backup you could simply drop onto its icon in my computer. You could set up cron to automaticall erase multiple copies, or the entire disk everyday at a certain time, or have the files that are droped into the shared drive automatically backed up and preserved in a safer location. We use a drive like this named the drop box, that anyone can write to, but that no one can rewrite to, which is beneficial in that no files can be modified or deleted, if you make changes to your file, then you just simply have to reneme it to drop it in the dropbox. The dropbox also makes sharing files from one comp to the next very easy for us. It tends to fill up; but I have a cron job set up everyday at 11:00AM to completely empty out the drive. For complete and archived backup, we have people drop all their files in a folder with their name on it into the dropbox, all folders with out staffs name, soon we will start using id numbers, are automatically copied by cron and archived in tarball format.

    Really these things are only limited by your creativity...good luck, I love playing with **** on a network
    Operating System: GNU Emacs

  3. #3
    I do use Norton Ghost disk to disk backups, I am going to try to make it work on the network, never tried that.

    As far as file level backup, I like the drop box idea for another project, but this one really need a backup style operation. I don't really trust the users to remember to update the files they change manually, I really want a thing that will update all the files by clicking on one icon or something.

    - Bogdan

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  5. #4
    something like vertris software or partimage wich is a gnu clone of ghost
    All i want for christmas is a new liver....a second chance to get afflicted with Cirrhosis

  6. #5
    Just Joined! JoeB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Elburn, Illinois
    Check out Acronis TrueImage

    It's not open or free

    but it is quite good

  7. #6
    Partimage unfortunately is not all that stable on NTFS That may soon be fixed but for now Ghost it is. I am going to borrow a copy from a friend and see how it works, my copy is so old it does not run on XP. In my limited experience with ghost I remember that it does not do live images (that is, does not image a running OS). Is that true for the latest copy as well, or have they fixed that. If not, are there any other solutions that will allow me to to image windows wile it is running. Hahhh, this just the kind of thing I do not have to worry in Linux, a simple CP command will do

    Also, I have been looking at the NDMP standard. It looks like that may be a good way to go. Are there any GNU NDMP servers out there you can point me to. Have been looking, but most seam to be proprietary HP and IBM server applications.

    - Bogdan

  8. #7

    alot of network based backup solutions personaly ive been looking in to network based control of back ups.
    All i want for christmas is a new liver....a second chance to get afflicted with Cirrhosis

  9. #8
    A really easy solution would be if windows supported something like rsync and if I knew how to mount samba drives from command line (in Win). That's what I do now with my Linux stations, mount and rsync the data drives, no problem Not as easy on win though

    I have been looking at different NSA boxes on eBay, most claim to work with Windows XP backup software. Most NSAs right now run linux. Do you guys know what might they be using to interact with WinXP Backup client?

    I am also looking at Bacula, perhaps that would work.

    - Bogdan

  10. #9
    Answered my first question my self! Rsync for win, called cwRsync. It is running from under Cygwin, so it is not native, but it works grate!! :P And I do not have to do much learning to implement it. I wrote few bat scripts to sync D drive (data drive on win laptops) with my server and it works very well. Not the best UI, DOS command, but the end user can see all the files being copied and all they need to do is click on an icon and everything is done automatically. Though I am sure some one will manage to brake it

    The other problem steal remains. I need a way to do bare metal restore from the network for these machines, but have not found a solution that works for windows thus far. Any ideas?

    - Bogdan

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