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Support Forums => General Board => Topic started by: raymw on September 30, 2019, 09:32:53 AM

Title: W10 backup/storage
Post by: raymw on September 30, 2019, 09:32:53 AM
Maybe it is not the best way to solve a problem, but perhaps different opinions may give me some ideas.
At the moment, I have three pc's and a windows tablet, all running w10, the majority r1809, on my network. They are backed up automatically each day by a hp server, running windows server 12 R2. However the latest w10 (1903) does not connect with the server, but can access files there. At the moment, w10(1903) is only on one pc, that does not need backing up much, it only has a few programs and the operating system, but the laptop and desktop pc will be updated sometime soon to 1903. Microsoft are not supporting the server software, anymore, afaik, wanting users to update to server 19. The advantage of the server is that it just works, (within the limits of hp hardware and MS software) and the 8 mirrored sata drives are written in ntfs format, so can be read, if server fails, by another windows pc.

Many years ago, I used 'sync back pro', from 2bright sparks, backing up files to other pc's, and I'm thinking about doing that again. I could sort of software mirror files to two independent usb drives. That gives most options for recovery, if one drive fails, I can read the other via one of my other pcs. I was thinking of using Nas, but afaik, they use proprietary formats, e.g. not purely ntfs, and if the unit fails, then I have to either get it repaired, or have another identical unit to get at the data files. I believe usb 3 is quite fast enough for what I need, but as my desktop pc does not have usb3, it seems most likely to get a separate pc, just as a file server. Intel do them (nuc) and others, with numerous usb ports, and not much else.

At the moment, I've about 12Tbytes stored, not doing much streaming, no games so speed not too critical. I suppose none of the data is important, my world will not end if it all is lost, but hdd storage is cheap compared to thinking 'if only I'd kept that'.

So, any other ideas? I've not completely decided, but I'll have to fairly soon.
Title: Re: W10 backup/storage
Post by: SeaVipe on September 30, 2019, 01:51:11 PM
Hi Ray,
Years ago I wrote a (very basic) batch file to do my back ups. Nothing overly complicated, just XCOPY. The batch file creates a unique sub dir name using the date and time like so:

Code: [Select]

REM /E copies directories, /Y suppresses overwrite prompt.
REM Convert the current time (with colons and a decimal)
REM to a string with hyphenated numbers (nn-nn-nn-nn):
set coln=%time%
set coln=%coln::=-%
set coln=%coln:.=-%
set coln=%coln: =0%
REM Copy to new dir with date-time designation:

xcopy /E /Y C:\SRC\TeriBase\*.*    "C:\Users\Clive\OneDrive\BackUp\CRM\SRC\TeriBasebak.%date%-%coln%\" >  E:\BackUp\SRC\CRM\BakFiles.log

ECHO ------------------------------------------ >> E:\BackUp\SRC\CRM\backup.log
ECHO Done with back up.
ECHO TeriBase CRM SRC is backed up as of %date%-%coln% >> E:\BackUp\SRC\CRM\backup.log
ECHO ------------------------------------------ >> E:\BackUp\SRC\CRM\backup.log

There are multiple source code folders in the above batch file.
I have a built-in back up routine for data that uses a similar algorithm as the above batch file:

Code: [Select]

Dim as String   s_file_name_modifier    = Format( Now, "yyyy-mmm-dd_hhnnss" )
Dim as String   s_source                = "the source folder"
Dim as String   s_destination           = "the destination root" & "\Expired_" & s_file_name_modifier & ".csv"
l_ret_val = FileCopy( s_source, s_destination )

I've left this FF code unmodified since I wrote it in VB in the 90s. It's destined for a makeover with proper error checking etc. when I port it all over to WinFBE.
My main PC has a removable SATA drive caddy (KINGWIN KF-253-bk) with 2.5" and 3.5" trays. Once a drive is full, it goes into storage and replaced with a new, empty drive.

As a further back up destination I use OneDrive (paid version 1 TB), DropBox (free version), Google Drive (free version) and iCloud Photos.
My Blackberry KeyONE (Android - SMS Backup & Restore) backs up all my (emails,) texts and calls to the above cloud drives and also sends an email with back up files as attachments to a gmail account.

Have a look at MirrorFolder here: There are a number of options for each "backup" but I mostly use RAID1.
Title: Re: W10 backup/storage
Post by: raymw on September 30, 2019, 03:01:10 PM
Thanks for the ideas, Clive. Not sure how many removed hdd's you have, but it may pay to fire them up once a month, or so, to check they still turn. The advantage of keeping it all on line, is that smart or other systems can detect impending failure. Folk have lost loads of photos by relying on dvds. I'd thought of batch files and writing some fb code to read/wrte binary files. If it is all in ntfs, until something else comes out, then it can be created/recovered in many ways.
Title: Re: W10 backup/storage
Post by: SeaVipe on September 30, 2019, 03:15:44 PM
Thanks for the "fire them up once a month" idea, Ray. I'll certainly try to get into the habit. The drives vary in size from 500MB to 3TB and the caddy is supposed to be "hot-swap" but Win 10 only recognizes the swapped drive after a reboot.
As for cloud drives, I send identical back-ups to all of them with the exception of iCloud.
When I have time my intention is to write FB code with WinFBE which may include all the files I currently back-up with MirrorFolder.
Title: Re: W10 backup/storage
Post by: raymw on October 06, 2019, 12:24:22 PM
I contacted wd wrt their 'my cloud' and similar Nas. Their software, they said, is based on linux, and they said removing a drive from the unit, it would not be directly readable on a windows PC. So, I'm going down the route of usb3 drive enclosures, attached to a separate windows pc. I've purchased a very cheap mini pc - SMALLRT Mini PC Windows 10 Pro DDR3L 4GBRAM /64GB ROM eMMC Intel x5-Z8350 HD Graphics Desktop Computer,4K/Built-in Dual band WiFi/BT 4.0 /1000Mbps LAN  It's 4 inches square by 1 inch thick, no fans. Not yet powered it up, been milling plastic, instead. It runs w10pro, must be a some really special licensing arrangement from Microsoft (or not), since it is cheaper than buying a normal license. Can't find much info on it, but it will most likely do what I want, if not, It'll be driving a cnc something or other. It weighs so little, I thought Amazon had sent out an empty box.
Title: Re: W10 backup/storage
Post by: raymw on October 17, 2019, 01:11:08 PM
So far, it all seems fairly reliable. I'm adding 4 usb3 wd elements drives. Currently, I'm running it headless, using remote desktop connection. I've not finalised exactly what software I will be using for backups, or if I'll bother with image copying of drives. The advantage of the w10 built in file history backup, is that it allows getting back to previous versions, and windows can directly access them. Another system I've looked - backup4all - saves everything zipped up, afaik, and I could not get the email notification working in the trial. I did not like the interface, I think it was written using Delphi. I've used synchback in the past (from 3bright sparks) I like the interface, but not too happy with the log file reports, and other odds and ends, but I'm pretty sure it records all the data without any compression, unless you ask for it. Still, I've plenty of time, well maybe a week or two, until w10 updates to 1903, maybe 1909. Sometimes, I almost wish I'd gone with Linux, after M$ split off from ibm at the end of OS2 joint development. ibm got into bed with red-hat, I've no idea what they are up to now.
Title: Re: W10 backup/storage
Post by: raymw on May 15, 2020, 02:39:06 PM
Thought I'd update this thread, in case anyone is interested. So far, the four external wd drives and the small/cheap pc are running fine. I'm using the free version of synchback, every night it copies files from the server to 2 of its drives. I then copy those drives to the other two (mirroring, I guess).

A recent w10 update failed on the Acer tablet. Acer support is non-existent for a four year old device. They want it to be sent in to their repair centre, but it is not worth the cost of delivery, never mind their charges.

A Samsung drive in the windows server has failed. The drives are striped, and the server has been off line for three days, trying to find space to re-copy the files I guess. I'll terminate that server system, it was at end of life, anyway.

I've bought a PCI express esata card, so I'm going to use 5 of the server discs (which were in an external esata drive) as extra shared drives in my main desktop pc, and rejig my other machines to look to there, instead of the server. It'll take a few days to copy the data back from the small pc drives to the desktop drives, and then I'll have to modify the synchback commands to copy from the desktop instead of the server.

I need to sort out some disc imaging software for drive C: I've looked at Veeam, but It is only a partial solution, afaik, unless I buy an annual license. Windows 10 still has the old w7 disc imaging software, but not sure if that will always be around. Although it is relatively easy to re-install the basic windows operating system, other software puts stuff in the registry and elsewhere, making it tedious recovering drive c:

Title: Re: W10 backup/storage
Post by: James Padgett on May 15, 2020, 09:43:26 PM
AOMEI has a real value in backup software.
Title: Re: W10 backup/storage
Post by: raymw on May 17, 2020, 08:48:57 AM
Thanks James, The AOMEI software looks simple enough for me to use.

The HP server has four drives in its case, and 5 drives in an external case. There were two or three storage pools with striped drives. I connected the external case to the desktop using the esata cable, and most of the files are usable, but one partition? is not accessible. The server, that works with its four drives, but of course the partitions on the extension box are not accessible.
I think I will avoid the storage pool system. It is not possible to easily read data from a hdd separated from the pool, afaik. I'm going to have to decide how to reconfigure my storage requirements, I'm tending towards just having more drive letters.
Title: Re: W10 backup/storage
Post by: Paul Squires on May 17, 2020, 11:00:03 AM
AOMEI has a real value in backup software.

Thanks James, I just downloaded it and am now backing up my system to a spare portable hard drive. Too bad the free version doesn't do system cloning but it is a very slick looking program nonetheless.
Title: Re: W10 backup/storage
Post by: James Padgett on May 17, 2020, 11:18:50 AM
There is a lifetime license for the Pro version that is a reasonable price. 
Title: Re: W10 backup/storage
Post by: Paul Squires on May 17, 2020, 11:44:28 AM
There is a lifetime license for the Pro version that is a reasonable price. 

Right you are. Lifetime license with lifetime upgrades on sale now for $50.
Title: Re: W10 backup/storage
Post by: James Padgett on May 17, 2020, 07:39:17 PM
for 10% off

Should be a weekend sale right now as well..

 AOMEI Backupper Professional
AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional

for $50
Title: Re: W10 backup/storage
Post by: raymw on May 21, 2020, 01:05:17 PM
fwiw, I signed up to the Aomei newsletter when i installed the free version. They have now sent an email to me offering a much lower price for the pro version, so I've just piuchased it. Mainly because I want to be able to run a backup scheme for the disc image files.