Privacy guaranteed - Your email is not shared with anyone.

Welcome to Glock Forum at

Why should YOU join our forums?

  • Reason #1
  • Reason #2
  • Reason #3

Site Description

Home backup server - software?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by inthefrey, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. inthefrey

    inthefrey Moved on...

    Jul 3, 2009
    Western Pennsylvania
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2011
  2. HerrGlock

    HerrGlock Scouts Out CLM

    Dec 28, 2000
    Why not use a RAID as a shared drive and then no matter what computer you're on you have access to it. Then backup the RAID as well. That gives you a single item to have to figure out rather than eighteen different computers.

  3. srhoades


    Jul 14, 2000
    And using a RAID0 as a backup is a very bad idea, unless your are mirroring the stripe.
  4. inthefrey

    inthefrey Moved on...

    Jul 3, 2009
    Western Pennsylvania

    Please explain - I have crucial system in my plant on (EDIT:RAID1) . If I see a fault, I replace a drive - problem solved without data loss.:wavey:
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2011
  5. Bado


    Apr 22, 2007
    So when you have a drive go bad in a raid 0 config you replace the drive and all is well?
  6. inthefrey

    inthefrey Moved on...

    Jul 3, 2009
    Western Pennsylvania
    Sorry, I was completely wrong.
    Duh! Yes, +1 on the idiot meter for inthefrey.

    I meant RAID 1. RAID0 impoives access speed, and is not a true backup.

    RAID1 is on all my machines. **do you hear laughter inthefrey?**. Yes, I have repalced RAID1 drives and all is well...
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2011
  7. Willard

    Willard Who, me?

    Jan 2, 2000
    Karen's Replicator is freeware that works great for automatic backups. Each PC can then backup across the network to your server. I've used it for years.
  8. Bado


    Apr 22, 2007

    I was just checking. :supergrin:
  9. mr.scott


    Oct 26, 2008
    For $100 you can get Windows Home Server.
    You can use it to create backups of up to i think 10 machines. No need to setup RAID configs ect.
    Just slap in a few 2TB drives, add everything into the storage pool, set replication and you are good to go. You can do the backups, and use it as a file server.
    I have it setup and I keep all the important data on the WHS and just access it onver the network.
    You can also setup WHS to serve web pages, blogs, and use it to stream media from outside of your network if you wish.
    Once you install WHS on the "server computer" you unplug everything but the power and network and put it somewhere out of the way. You just RDP or use the Connector to manage it.

    If you have a drive or OS fail on the client computer, you can boot from the restore CD and it will go out to the server, you select the backup to restore and it does all the work.
  10. Pierre!

    Pierre! NRA Life Member

    Jun 20, 2003
    Lovin Sparks Nv!
    Be sure you buy the older version based on Server 2003! The new version removes the ablility to JBOD the drives (disk extender technology) and really makes the deal a bummer...

    And be aware that X64 systems DO NOT easily restore from the backups. You can get the files easily, but full restore of X64 Vista and Windows 7 is *VERY* twitchy and not to be relied upon.

    Image restores of 32bit systems have always gone well for me,

    Great platform to install HomeSeer and automate your home from too!

    Good Luck with the decision.

    (PS - RoboCopy and RichFiler can be used to run scheduled backups. They only grab changed files during the copy and run very fast after the first 'seed' is extablished - They are both MS utilities and *FREE*)
  11. boomhower


    Feb 14, 2010
    North Carolina
    I've got a Windows Home Server box and I love it. Backs up my two notebooks and streams video to my TV. Best $300 I have spent in a long long time. I've up to 7TB's in it now.
  12. gemeinschaft

    gemeinschaft AKA Fluffy316

    Feb 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    I'll post this again.

    I wrote a batch file using XCOPY command to backup my computers and then set the task scheduler to run and copy to my server here at the house.

    Here is my batch file and you can edit it as you see fit :

    Here is a sample that you can change to your liking
    REM Copies files from Laptop to Backup drive

    xcopy "C:\users\david\documents\work\*.*" "G:\Backup\work" /D/S/V/I/R/Y/J
    xcopy "C:\users\david\documents\personal\*.*" "G:\Backup\personal" /D/S/V/I/R/Y/J

    Simply write in the location of the data that you want to backup, in this case "C:\users\david\documents\work\*.*" and then edit the destination for the data, in this case "G:\Backup\work" with the command switches /D/S/V/I/R/Y/J

    For an explanation of what the command switches are, refer to

    It is important to make sure that your filepath to your backup never changes, otherwise your backup will fail.

    I have a shared storage device on my local network, so my destination looks more like "\\\c$\Backup\work"

    My backup server at home has a static IP address assigned from the router, to eliminate issues with duplicate IPs being handed out.

    Once you have edited your file to include the proper filepaths using Notepad, save the file as a .BAT and run it manually from the CMD prompt. This way, you can watch to see if there are any errors when you run it. Once you tweak your Bat file to run correctly, you should see the files being copied one by one. Run it again to make sure that the Bat file is skipping those files that already exist without changes since the last backup.

    Then, simply schedule the .Bat to run at a specific time in Task Scheduler.
  13. I use windows home server V1 (32bit), I works fine for me and I use it to back up my NAS raid system and my other computers. Currently it has 12TB and works great, to inlcude streaming HD as needed. The beauty of V1 is that with drive extender you can add any drive, any size, any time you want to increase your storage...
  14. wct097


    Jan 11, 2000
    I'm a geek, so I have a fully automated, free, backup solution. The downside is that it's probably a bit more complex than non-techies would do.

    I have an old Dell 2650 rackmount server that I got from work when it was retired. I run Ubuntu Server on it with Samba for file shares. On both my laptop and my wife's laptop, I run DeltaCopy (rsync for Windows) and have our machines backup changes nightly to the Dell in the basement (over SSH). Additionally, I have an old desktop chocked full of old hard drives at my mom's house. That machines has a nightly cron job to rsync the backups across the internet over SSH. This way, our backups are stored both locally on our home network, and remotely at my mom's house.

    Having had a house fire that destroyed my PC and it's backups, I'm a big fan of automated offsite solutions. Barring that, I'd probably suggest that most people use a cloud backup solution.
  15. Cool thread, lots of good ideas.

    Didn't realize so many people use Windows Home Server! I'll have to check it out.

    As for backing up multiple PCs, I love and use SugarSync. You pay for one account and can sync as many PC's to it as you want. The only downside is that unless you pay for a business account at about $300/year, everyone can see all files that are being backed up by looking through the SugarSync program manager.

    It can also keep files synced/mirrored across multiple computers; say your home desktop and laptop; thus eliminating the need to email files or use USB drives.

    Anyhow, here's what I do for myself:

    - Important personal and daily working files are backed up with SugarSync and mirrored between my desktop & laptop. This means I actually have three copies of my files already; one on my desktop, one on my laptop, and another on SugarSync's servers.

    - I have a Netgear ReadyNAS with 2x2TB drives. This gives me only 2TB storage, as the drives are mirrors of each other, protecting me against one of the drives failing. I keep all of my music, pictures & movies on here.

    - There is a 1TB USB drive connected directly to my NAS that backs up virtually all of it (there's some stuff I don't care about & do not waste space backing up) every night.

    - I routinely manually copy my working files from my PC to my NAS. Need to find a better way to do this; rsync/DeltaCopy, perhaps, just haven't gotten around to it yet.

    - I periodically (not as often as I should) bring my GF's external drive over, backup her stuff onto my NAS and backup my NAS onto her drive; again, just really important stuff like music, pictures & working documents. Movies & stuff don't get backed up there.

    - My C: drive on my desktop is a small (60GB) SSD, superfast, but low capacity. I also have a 2TB drive inside my desktop and have re-routed my documents, pictures, etc. to reside there. I also periodically (again, not as often as I should) backup stuff to there as well. Again, need to look into rsync/DeltaCopy for that.....

    That's all!
  16. JimmyN


    Sep 29, 2006
    For a total cost of nothing you could install FreeNAS on it and use rsync to backup. I'd recommend using rsync as the first choice for backing up anyway, but since you have an extra PC I would install FreeNAS on it so you would have a solid file server as well. Two birds, one stone.

    It's free.
    Minimal FreeBSD UNIX OS, solid security, no vulnerabilities, no security patches or updates to install periodically.
    WebGUI interface, like your router which is running a *NIX OS you really don't have to learn UNIX to use it.
    No limit on number of machines you can back up.
    Files are not compressed or changed, you can use a file manager or Explorer to retrieve individual files from the backup folders.
    When backing up over WAN, or a slow LAN, rsync can compress the files before sending, then uncompress them when received to speed up the transfer.
    No limit on number or size of drives.
    Hardware or software RAID if you desire.
    Minimum hardware, works perfectly on an old Pentium 4 with 256megs of RAM.
    Headless, once it's installed (15 minutes) you don't need keyboard, mouse, or monitor. Stick the box under the desk, on a shelf, or in a closet.
    Installation includes Samba(CIFS), web server, FTP server, iTunes server, BitTorrent, SSH server, rsync, firewall, etc. It also includes a DynamicDNS service, if you use or other DNS service it will keep your IP updated so you can use a domain name to access your NAS from anywhere.

    Rsync is the fastest backup method I've found. Deltacopy is the Windows port for it so you can run it on a Windows OS. Since the background process is always running on both client and server it doesn't have to do all the file comparisons at backup time to find differences, it has already logged which files were changed/added/deleted in it's 'virtual' folder since the last sync.

    My FreeNAS boxes (I have one here and two remote) send me a status report email every morning. I can check disk space, smart drive tests, backup results, etc. The system log from this mornings email shows these results for some of yesterdays backup runs, rsync is fast;

    It backed up all my mail files in 7 seconds (6 accounts)
    Jan 30 18:00:00 nas jimmy: Start of remote RSYNC synchronization from amd64mail on to /mnt/bkup/AMD64/Mail/
    Jan 30 18:00:07 nas jimmy: End of remote RSYNC synchronization from amd64mail on to /mnt/bkup/AMD64/Mail/

    Then it backed up all my documents on that PC in 1 second (not much changed)
    Jan 30 18:05:00 nas jimmy: Start of remote RSYNC synchronization from amd64documents on to /mnt/bkup/AMD64/documents/
    Jan 30 18:05:01 nas jimmy: End of remote RSYNC synchronization from amd64documents on to /mnt/bkup/AMD64/documents/

    Then it backed up all my work related CAD, video, and image files from a striped drive on another PC, in 15 seconds (I was working on some concept drawings yesterday morning).
    Jan 30 18:10:00 nas jimmy: Start of remote RSYNC synchronization from DriveF on to /mnt/bkup/Winix/F_Drive/
    Jan 30 18:10:15 nas jimmy: End of remote RSYNC synchronization from DriveF on to /mnt/bkup/Winix/F_Drive/

    It backed up two more PC's on my LAN ("Boss" and "Littlebit"), then using an SSH tunnel two remote FreeNAS boxes (The Pres and VicePres systems at their homes), and then just before midnight backed up two web servers.

    At 1am it synced to a USB external drive and mirrored the backups. I have no complaints.
  17. gemeinschaft

    gemeinschaft AKA Fluffy316

    Feb 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    This has my interest peaked. I am going to try this out, sounds like a great way to go. So much better than my little Batch file. :rofl::rofl::rofl: