Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Huntley, IL USA
    Posts
    42
    Thanks
    9
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    MSbackup: app functions after data restore from root app folder? Need app backup solution.

    Hi folks,

    Ive got several clients that run small tax businesses' from their SOHO both use win 7 HP as their primary os. They use different professional preparing packages and Im amazed that none of these programs do autobackups of client data.

    These packages keep their data internally, typically in a users folder within the primary folder. Its a data base format, and not easily readable using a text editor, although its not encrypted.

    All 3 tax accounting software packages Ive encountered allow for manual backups to an external drive, but in all 3 cases, these are users and not techies at all, and even though Ive shown them how to do a nightly manual backup, they typically forget and don't do it so the backup of their business data falls to me.

    Im now in charge of safeguarding data for all 3 clients, and they trust me. Ive got to preserve my reputation in this community by designing a backup strategy that works and is quick to restore if (heaven forbid) a crash happens on their primary machines.

    Ive thought about NAS but until the apps do a scheduled autobackup, that isn't an option, and it doesn't look like that will happen soon. All 3 vendors say that to do a backup, its a nightly manual effort that's required to be done by the user. Ive put two clients on Macrium imaging every 2 weeks during tax season, both feeding an external 2 TB drive; that will capture at least the majority of the data if something crashes and I need to do a total reload, however anything within that 2 week period would be gone. I can change it to weekly image or investigate if Macrium has an incremental feature for daily backups using the last image (Im using free version of Macrium, and have used TrueImage too, but Macrium seems to do the same thing without the cost of always having to upgrade Acronis for every OS version we encounter when new hardware is purchased every 3-4 years or so)

    Another is a new client that is using MSbackup. Their previous IT guy told them that a restore of the root folder of the app will restore the program and all the data. I don't think that's how restore works, and I don't think that a restore will indeed restore the app to working condition on a new hard drive. (how would it restore any registry entries? Or does it?) Im the client's new IT guy because the old one is no longer doing business (retired). BTW, no IT work has been done at this client for the last 2 years, his external drive is a 500G and the backups were failing because the drive was full, so Ive got to find a solution quickly. I just purchased a 3TB dirve for this guy and plan to implement on it whatever solution we come up with here.)

    Im not even vaguely familiar with ms backup. Can anyone refute or agree with the last IT guy's claims? If they don't hold water, do you have suggestions as to how I can keep these clients safe every night? Tax season is mostly form Jan 1 till April 30 so I only need to do daily work for 5 months, and then can go in and clean up the old images, etc and keep only the most current one.

    Thanks very much for your assistance and opinions.

  2. #2
    WS Lounge VIP
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    8,193
    Thanks
    48
    Thanked 986 Times in 916 Posts
    Internal program backups are always a nightmare so I opt for one or two methods.
    1. Backup the program data daily using a 3rd party backup program. Test restore, obviously.
    2. If 1 fails to restore, create an AutoIt program that opens the application and performs the backup for the user, or intervenes when the user attempts to close the program, to run a backup. This is the hardest option, but it's better than no backup.

    No "straight" backup program will restore a program from scratch, but restore of data is usually OK - see 1 above. If you want to actively backup the program and data you could try Easus Todo PCTrans free, or go the Backup Workstation software, backup an image and convert the image to a virtual machine file for ease of recovery.

    cheers, Paul

  3. #3
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Manning, South Carolina
    Posts
    9,436
    Thanks
    372
    Thanked 1,457 Times in 1,326 Posts
    WM,

    Another possibility, if you can get them to leave their computers on overnight, would be to setup a NAS (the router probably has a USB port where you can connect an external drive like a WD My Book), then use a program like ToDo Backup or Macrium Reflect and just create a scheduled task to run the backup at 0 Dark thirty! I like Macrium because it lets you create backup scripts that can be easily run in this scenario.

    For data backup you can easily setup a RoboCopy batch file that is triggered by a scheduled task. I have one that triggers at 18:30 every day (while I watch the evening news) and syncs my entire Documents folder to a second internal HD. I have have another batch file that does the same thing to my NAS on demand (I usually run this one once a week JIC the computer fries and takes both drives with it.)

    Then every other week I take an entire computer Image copy to an external drive and store it in a fire safe. Can't be too careful!

    Of course, since this is a business all the computers have UPS attached...right?

    HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

    PowerShell & VBA Rule!

    My Systems: Desktop Specs
    Laptop Specs

  4. #4
    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    2,154
    Thanks
    31
    Thanked 307 Times in 267 Posts
    @ wmgoat,

    You could have a look at Personal Backup

    I don't have any need to use it myself, but I have helped a number of customers who use it to backup specific business data files at set times. The configuration options available are very extensive.
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
    Most common computing error is EBKAC: Error Between Keyboard And Chairback
    AMD FX8120 (8-core @ 3.1GHz) CPU, Gigabyte GA-990FXA-D3 motherboard, 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1866MHz RAM, ATI-AMD Radeon HD6770 PCI-E VGA, 480GB Kingston SSD, 2TB Seagate SATA3.0 HDD, ASUS DVD/RW.

  5. #5
    WS Lounge VIP
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    8,193
    Thanks
    48
    Thanked 986 Times in 916 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by RetiredGeek View Post
    Of course, since this is a business all the computers have UPS attached...right?
    Thanks for the good laugh!

    cheers, Paul

  6. #6
    Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Huntley, IL USA
    Posts
    42
    Thanks
    9
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Guys, in your replies, you didnt answer if MS backup did indeed backup app data that I could restore if Hd failed.

    Im under impression that MSbackup, even if you backup app, when doing a restore of the app, does not give you a working version of the app. It would also have to restore the registry as well, correct? So backup of the app is worthless, since when it is recovered, its a non executable app since it doesnt have any registry entries. Only imaging would work to save that for a functional backup.

    Does anyone know of a software product that does do an app backup so that when the app directory by itself is restored in case of failure, it runs? Keep in mind that these apps keep their data within the same app folder, so its not a simple "save the data in the documents folder" and then reload the program.

  7. #7
    WS Lounge VIP
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    8,193
    Thanks
    48
    Thanked 986 Times in 916 Posts
    There is no backup program that I know of that will restore a program correctly without re-imaging. The program I mentioned in post #2 might do it.

    cheers, Paul

  8. The Following User Says Thank You to Paul T For This Useful Post:

    wmgoat (2015-03-23)

  9. #8
    Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Huntley, IL USA
    Posts
    42
    Thanks
    9
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Paul,

    thats what I thought. MSBackup of this guys app is worthless. why a "techie" would ever tell a business client that they are protected with MS Backup for apps is beyond me.

    Ill go with Macrium Free and image, then setup recurring images to the new external drive.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •