[Box Backup] Windows backups

Dennis Speekenbrink boxbackup at fluffy.co.uk
Tue Nov 30 00:16:07 GMT 2004

Joe Krahn wrote:

> Windows backups are a real pain, due to file locking, the Registry, etc.
> The only way to really backup Windows correctly is to run the backup 
> outside of the Windows OS you're backing up.
> My Windoze backup plan is to do a nightly reboot-to-Linux, then backup 
> the Windoze partitions from Linux. Afterwards, automatically reboot 
> back to Windoze. It would also be possible to set up a network boot 
> server to supply the Linux backup system, so the Windows box wouldn't 
> need any Linux partitions or CD.
> This seems a bit complicated at first, but when you realize all of the 
> issues working with Windows, it is really a much easier solution.
> The only drawback is having to do scheduled reboots.
> OH... just remembered: This won't work to backup NTFS file systems,
> and may be a problem with LVM partitions. But, our desktop systems 
> don't have these.
> Joe Krahn
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> boxbackup at fluffy.co.uk
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Another solution may be to
a) "image" the desktops pristine install  (the windows OS and any 
'default' application like office suite, email programs etc)
b) backup the 'volatile' data (documents, e-mail, etc) using boxbackup.

On restore you'd need to:
a) restore basic image
b) restore volatile data
c) reconfigure applications to use the restored data, and possibly 
reinstall applications that were not in the basic image.
(in the restore process "c" is the new step compared to the above setup, 
and it's time/cost effect will differ upon system use)

Ofcourse restoring will not be as easy as your solution, but it will 
work, and without the need for a 'reboot-policy' potentially hurting 
24/7 operations.
It is a trade-off between a more difficult backup policy but quick and 
easy restore on failure, and a simple backup solution with longer 
restore time.
The preferred solution depends on cost of downtime, number of expected 
failures and cost/risk/maintenance of a more complex backup policy.

just my 2 cents,


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