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Backup to External HDD

Backup to External HDD

Backup to External HDD


I've just stuck a big USB hard disk onto our 2000 server, with the intention of copying all the files off each partition to it, daily  (in addtion to nightly tape backup).

I just started a Windows Backup of "everything", which is going to take 1.5 days, so obviously unsuitable!

My next idea is to use robocopy or xxcopy, as part of a batch file, scheduled to run once a day. Has anybody got any better ideas, or if you have a similar scenario, a sample batch file I can crib?

many thanks

RE: Backup to External HDD

Here's a question - is the drive talking at USB2 speeds - or at USB 1.1.  because at 1.1 speeds (12 Mbit max) transfer time to fill a 250 GB hard drive will be 5.4 GB/hour, or 1.5 days to copy 194 GB, assuming full 12 Mbit per second.

Now if you were using USB (you might need to add a USB card), it would get you about 72 GB/hour (realistic performance of 160 Mbit sustained; not based on theoretical maximum of 480 Mbit) - or about 2.5 hours for 180 GB.

It won't matter what you use - xcopy, robocopy, xxcopy, copy, scopy, ntbackup - the limiting factor is your USB connection.

That said, why would you copy EVERY file daily?  Why not just the changed files daily and maybe every file once a month or once a week on the weekend.

Overall, you might find my article on backups worth reading - it started as a backup comment on another site and grew and grew and grew, so I made it a web page.  Read it here:

RE: Backup to External HDD

Interesting stuff - I did of course mean that I would copy  everything on day1, and subsequently copy changed files.

This server is quite old, so may well be USB1. Plus it's stuffed full so no room for a USB card.

So I'm still after a nice batch file I can stick in Scheduled Tasks to backup my various partitions with a "xcopy" or equiv. Which do you use?

And a final note - I have seen your webpage before - very informative. The link you posted was wrong though - I went back through my links to see the correct one - there shouldn't be an s at the end of static...

many thanks

RE: Backup to External HDD

Thanks - my computer occasionally has a weird problem where cut and paste doesn't work.  I typed the link manually and yes, I mistyped it.

I use NTBackup - it backs up security and puts things into a large file that, if I want to copy places, copies fast.

So, if the server's I/O slots are full (no room to add a USB 2 card) and the system uses USB 1.1, how would I do it?  Think outside the box.  Literally.  Setup NTBackup to run a backup job to a file, stored on another computer.  That other computer - and even the drive on the other computer - can be a USB2 drive connected to a newer USB2 capable computer.  The network connection will transfer almost as fast as the USB2 connection - probably taking about 4-6 hours for a complete 200GB backup.

Now, there are other options.  I don't usually recommend cheap NAS solutions because they tend to cost more in than most other solutions, but they CAN be useful in a case like this.  In addition, you could also use firewire (if the server uses firewire).  Or you could possibly consolidate the I/O cards currently in the system.  For example, if you have two NICs, you might get a single dual NIC card, freeing up a slot.

RE: Backup to External HDD

I did think about putting the drive on another machine and either sharing it, or copying to the other machine and then  copying from other machine to external HDD.

However this adds a layer of complication - and something else to go wrong. Plus I can't ensure the other machine is available 100%, and I was trying to keep it simple. I think I will do this for the initial copy, then put the drive back onto the server...


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