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  1. #1
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    Automated Backup System

    I want a P2P 3-computer network system to automatically, i.e. completely unattended, make backups. At the moment I do this manually with AcronisTI11 (one license for each machine) and a 500 GB network HD. Ideally the computers (2xXP and 1x Win98, later 1xXP and 2xVista HP) should switch themselves on at a predefined moment, run Acronis and switch themselves off again. So presumably I would have to use Windows Taskmanager and the AcronisTI's built-in task manager. My questions are: how to combine the two? Where to find some info on how to do it (scripts? macros?)?

    Regards, Teunis

  2. #2
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    Re: Automated Backup System

    Unless the BIOSes in all the PCs have a facility to cause the PC to power itself on at a particular time (like, say, the Dell Optiplexes do), your scheme may fall at the first hurdle. Comparatively, turning them off is dead easy...

    Does Acronix TrueImage have a command-line interface, so you could do some simple BATch file scripting?
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  3. #3
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    Re: Automated Backup System

    John,

    I realise waking up the computers is a first hurdle. My laptop has a feature Wake-up on LAN. As far as I could work out this means that my laptop could be waken-up by a "magic packet" sent from another computer on the (same) network, i.e. not remotely via the internet. This is hardly useful.

    Anyway if self starting is not possible then I have to leave the computers running during the periods the built-in Acronis scheduler has been setup (no command-line instructions) to do the required backup type.

    I have to look into that self starting feature when we order the new computers. Could you please tell me what the correct expression (jargon) for such a feature is, so I can do some googling?

    Regards, Teunis

  4. #4
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    Re: Automated Backup System

    I use Wake-On-Lan (via a scheduled BATch file running WOLCMD on the server) to wake stood-by/hibernated computers up on a Wednesday evening so they can run a defrag and do the Windows Updates (if any), and so on. Only problem is when some dopey individual powers their system unit down before going home. WOLCMD is supposed to be able to wake computers over the internet, but when I read the instructions it seemed too messy to me, and I didn't need the facility anyway.

    Of our 19 computers, only three can power themselves up (at 09:00 on Mon-Fri), and it's just an obscure BIOS option which isn't even mentioned (as far as I can see) in the relevant customer brochure. I can't get into the BIOS until Monday to see what the feature is actually called, but I suspect it's something like BIOS Power-On... I would imagine that it would be available only on 'business-class' PCs, anyway. (It has worked faultlessly, as far as I am aware, except for some puzzlement when Daylight Saving Time comes into operation!)
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  5. #5
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    Re: Automated Backup System

    John,

    Thanks for the info. I am still interested about that BIOS option.

    Regards, Teunis

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    Re: Automated Backup System

    Since John can't get to the machine until Monday to look at its BIOS why don't you poke around one of your machines? Many times different BIOSes will have things named slightly differently. If you don't make any changes you aren't going to hurt anything.

    Joe
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  7. #7
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    Re: Automated Backup System

    You're right of course,

    but I cannot find anything similar in the present BIOS setups. However I would like to know this for the 2 new Vista machines we plan to buy.

    Regards, Teunis

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    Re: Automated Backup System

    As I said, unfortunately feature do not tend to be called the same thing by different vendors. Are you going to purchase directly from a large OEM (such as Dell, HP, etc), from a big box retailer (such as Best Buy, or Circuit City both in the USA), or from a small local OEM? Any of them should be able to tell you if the BIOS supports a scheduled power up time.

    Joe
    Joe

  9. #9
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    Re: Automated Backup System

    Joe,

    It will be one of the retailers here in Amsterdam, incl Dell, Acer, etc. depending on their offer. And I'll know now what to ask for!

    Regards, Teunis

  10. #10
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    Re: Automated Backup System

    I'm a bit late in checking, but I was curious where my computer's wake up setting was located since I have mine set to start up at 07:00 if it happens to be turned off. Mine is in the BIOS under Power Management Setup and it is called RTC Alarm Power On. It is Enabled. The starting time on mine can be set to hour/minute and second.

    <img src=/S/whisper.gif border=0 alt=whisper width=29 height=17> RTC - stands for Real Time Clock! <img src=/S/yep.gif border=0 alt=yep width=15 height=15>


    "Peace begins with a smile. "-- Mother Teresa

  11. #11
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    Re: Automated Backup System

    Skitterbug,

    Thanks for your info. It gives me something in hand where to look for the settings and how they are called.

    Regards, Teuns

  12. #12
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    Re: Automated Backup System

    The Dell Optiplex 520/620/300 series has a pair of BIOS Power Management settings:

    Auto Power On: settable to Off or Weekdays (in my instance) or probably Weekends or All Week
    Auto Power Time: the time to turn the PC on from being powered off, in my case 09:00 AM
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  13. #13
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    Re: Automated Backup System

    John,

    Thanks. I know now what to look for. However, if the new computers do not have this auto power feature, it will probably be a case of asking the users to leave the computers switched on e.g. friday at close of business after which Acronis will do its scheduled tasks and the freeware small Autoclose program switch off the computers.

    Regards, Teun

  14. #14
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    Re: Automated Backup System

    One of our PCs is not needed on a Friday, so it gets powered on at 09:00 and a scheduled task runs at 09:05 to check whether today is Friday, and if so runs PsShutDown to power it off.

    Yes, good luck on getting even 70% of your users to remember to leave their system units on on a Friday afternoon when they go home. Even threatening them under pain of death is inadequate, for they are users, are they not? <img src=/S/evilgrin.gif border=0 alt=evilgrin width=15 height=15>
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  15. #15
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    Re: Automated Backup System

    If I were put to death, it wouldn't do me any good if I had left my PC on, so why should I bother? <img src=/S/innocent.gif border=0 alt=innocent width=20 height=20>

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