I've got a few comments on this subject...

1)  Yes, Windows has the equiv of object locks that will prevent things
      from being backed up.

2)  Windows just loves to "protect you" by preventing access to certain
      files, such as fonts, .inf files, the registery, etc.  It doesn't
      let you easily backup or restore these files using standard file
      copying techniques.   This frequently leaves you with a system
      that can't be restored.

3)  If you really want something that will restore all of the system,
      including Windows itself, make sure that your "restore" software
      does not require windows in order to run.

      I bought a package which was supposed to do a "full backup" of
      the PC to tape.  However, once we had a failed hard drive we
      found out that the "restore" software required Windows to already
      be loaded on the PC in order to run.

      So, of course, we installed Windows, then did a restore.   This
      caused even bigger problems, as the restore software tried to
      restore windows objects, configuration, etc on a system that was
      already set up and running.  After the restore was finished,
      Windows was so messed up that it required a re-format of the
      hard drive and a resinstall to fix.

      I think you can see the the problem with this :)

4)  Okay... now having said all of that... :)   One solution is the
      Microsoft Backup software that comes with Windows.  You can
      simply back up your data to the IFS using a Network Neighborhood
      share, by choosing "back up to file".   If you do this, I recommend
      only backing up your variable data -- since the network won't be
      available for a restore until you reinstall windows anyway.

5)  Another idea (and this is what we do here) is to create a boot disk
      that can be used for your backups.   I have a "PicoBSD" (which is
      a single-floppy install of FreeBSD) diskette that I created that
      I can boot from.   Then I use the UNIX tar command to back up my
      Windows partition over the network to our AS/400.

      I wrote software that runs on both the PC and the AS/400 so that
      the PC data can be written directly to the AS/400's tape drive.

      Using this method I can boot the PicoBSD disk when I want to do
      a restore, and completely restore the whole hard drive from the
      AS/400.

      Because I'm running FreeBSD when I'm doing the backup and restore,
      Windows cannot stop me from getting everything, and the restores
      work quite well.  (I have done several of them flawlessly)

      In your scenario you wouldn't need my custom software, you can
      just pipe the output of TAR to FTP, and have FTP save it to
      the IFS.

So...  to sum up:  I agree with Mr. Wills that you shouldn't try a
"whole system" backup using Windows-based backup tools... Just back up
the data that you can't reinstall from a vendor's CD.  But if you need
a whole-PC solution, there are ways around the problem...


On Mon, 21 Jan 2002, Wills, Mike N. (TC) wrote:

> Just a word of warning...
>
> When backing up this way. Don't back up the system or program files, just
> the data. To the best of my knowledge (which tends to be quite good) you
> can't just restore files to a system and expect it to work. Some files have
> to be in certain places on the disk drive to work properly.
>
> Just back up the data, that is what people consider the most important. If
> you also want fast recovery from a disk crash on the PC, use a utility
> designed for that such as Norton Ghost or other similar utilities. Then you
> can create a "base install" and then from there add in the "specialty"
> software.
>
> > He also wants to use the old machine to hold the images of his PC hard
> > drives as insurance against failure on those devices. I know how to
> > get the PC's set up to receive commands from the 400, but here I'll
> > show my ignorance. What would be the command on the PC to copy
> > everything on the C drive into the IFS and ensure that everything gets
> > copied? Are there things like object locks on PC's that would prevent
> > everything from getting copied?
> >
> > Are there tools out there that could make this real simple?



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