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  1. #1
    Plutonium Lounger
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    NTI Backup Now and AutoIt

    You may have been following the <!post=thread starting here,,255152>thread starting here<!/post> so I don't want to go into too much detail here about it. I have settled on NTI's Backup Now as the most viable alternative for my nightly selected files backup from five different partitions. Unfortunately, I did get a response from NTI support saying that I would have to delete the previous file MANUALLY if I want to use their software's scheduler to run my nightlies in the wee hours of the morning - unattended, unless I want to use a different filename every day. Since that kind of defeats the purpose of making this whole process automatic, it becomes a nonsense point!

    Enter AutoIt, as suggested by TimOz and others here in the Lounge! So, I finally got around to downloading a copy and wanted to ask a question about THAT. When I run Backup Now in unattended mode, it pops up a screen requiring a response from the user because the filename already exists. Taking the advice of TimOz, I ran AUTOIT in its"reveal" mode to see what that prompt window looks like. It's in the attachment. With limited "self-training" with AutoIt, I created the following script to "Answer" the prompt and it works like a charm! The backup continues without a hitch. Since I have about FIVE backup jobs starting at 1:00 AM I have so far left the script running as a never-ending loop. However, I'm wondering if an AutoIt guru could tell me how to insert some code to make the script STOP running at something like 3:00 AM when all the jobs will have been completed. It takes little or no system resources so I don't really have a problem with letting it run 24/7, but you know how it is once you "get your feet wet." Here's the SIMPLE script:

    ; Using NTI's "Backup Now" 3.0.39 On A Nightly Basis
    ; ==================================================
    ;
    ; OS: Windows XP Pro SP-1
    ; Author: Al Hoffman
    ;
    ; To Answer A Prompt Window Of NTI's Backup Now Program
    ;

    Begin:

    WinWaitActive, NTI Backup NOW! Deluxe, The same backup file already exists

    Send, !y

    Goto, Begin

    ; I need to put something here to either branch back to "Begin:" so the
    ; script will keep running, or if the system clock says it's equal to or
    ; greater than 3 AM, then go to "Exit"

    Exit
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  2. #2
    Gold Lounger
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    Re: NTI Backup Now and AutoIt

    Al--

    What if you were to try to go for the best of 2 or 3 worlds and ran 2 or three backups--alternating them from time to time. I'm not suggesting you do it. I'm asking if there would be conflicts in some of the sorting and arranging each utility might have to do. Is this a bad idea? I think I'm doing what I need done with one, but just wondered. Appreciate your detailing your experiences and your reaons for the choice you make.

    SMBP

  3. #3
    5 Star Lounger
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    Re: NTI Backup Now and AutoIt

    Congrats! Glad it worked out so easily. I was sorta expecting this question <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15> A quick, crude "fix" first, then a more elegant, but slightly trickier way.

    If you have exactly five (say) b/u jobs you could get rid of the loop in the script and repeat the "wait & send" steps five times. You may need a short "sleep" between repeated steps to make sure the dialog has time vanish after the "y".

    If you have a job that occurs after the b/u jobs are done, like a reorg or a time synch, you can use it to trigger the script to quit. You'll need to label the exit, and add an "ADLIB" section to catch the trigger (otherwise the script will just sit at the "wait" until the next night). It should look something like this:


    QUIT:
    Exit

    [ADLIB]
    Trigger Title, (optional) trigger text, Goto, QUIT

    If the trigger job runs minimised, or in the tray, you'll need a "detecthiddentext, on" line at the start of the script so it can "see" the title.
    <font face="Comic Sans MS" color="blue">TimOz</font>
    <img src=/S/flags/Finland.gif border=0 alt=Finland width=30 height=18> <img src=/S/flags/Australia.gif border=0 alt=Australia width=30 height=18>

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: NTI Backup Now and AutoIt

    Thanks Tim! I saw about the ADLIB in my first pass thru the command list but passed it by. One thing I guess I could have ADLIB watch for is my defragger, Perfect Disk, which also runs avery morning starting at 3 AM. I've never been up at that hour to see if it puts an active window on the screen (see attachment) or if it just runs from the tray. I think I'll "schedule" a test run of it later today to get the answer. If it is running minimized or in the tray, is it typical for the window title to be the same as it would in active or focused view? I guess I should leave AutoIt running in "reveal" mode too, so I can see.....

    Bottom line is, AutoIt IS a great program and I'm glad I finally got off my butt and downloaded a copy, thanks to your push! A few years ago I bought a copy of WinBatch which has been around for a number of years, but it's not "free" at $100 bucks a pop! Great program too, but if you want to compile your scripts, then you're talking BIG bucks!
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  5. #5
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    Re: NTI Backup Now and AutoIt

    I've also experienced AutoIt following TimOz's advice some months ago, and though my tasks do not require me to use all its potential, I try to keep in mind that whenever I need to perform a more complex task I should have it handy. The problem is, not having to use it and the fact that I'm not too familiar with programming frequently prevent my keeping it in mind, as happened here <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>.

    AutoIt's a great app for anyone to, at least, get to know.
    <img src=/w3timages/blue3line.gif width=33% height=2>
    <img src=/S/flags/Argentina.gif border=0 alt=Argentina width=30 height=18> <big><font color=4682b4><font face="Comic Sans MS">Diegol</font face=comic></font color=4682b4> </big>

  6. #6
    Gold Lounger
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    Re: NTI Backup Now and AutoIt

    Al--
    Meant to ask you--if you're doing unattended backup in the wee hours, what medium are you backing up to--don't you have the problem that you are having to span and switch CDR's or CDRW's so are you backing up to tape or DVD? Also what do you use as burning software?
    Ran accross this short comparison review of BUNow 2.51 and Retrospect Express 5.6--not the newest versions.

    SMBP

  7. #7
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: NTI Backup Now and AutoIt

    I've said multiple times in my posts on this "adventure" that I backup to BIG hard drives on a dedicated machine on my LAN.....

  8. #8
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: NTI Backup Now and AutoIt

    How 'bout this, Mr. Tim? Does this look like it will do the trick? When I did a scheduled defrag using PerfectDisk, it does run in the tray with a window like the attachment. I had AutoIt running in reveal mode and right-clicked on the tray icon while the defrag was working. So, I've modified my AutoIt script like this. Whatcha think?

    AdlibOn
    DetectHiddenText, on

    Begin:

    WinWaitActive, NTI Backup NOW! Deluxe, The same backup file already exists

    Send, !y

    Goto, Begin

    End:
    Exit

    [ADLIB]
    InvisibleWnd,, Goto, End
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  9. #9
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    Re: NTI Backup Now and AutoIt

    Looks promising, and you picked up the "adlibon" that I forgot - well spotted. I dislike that window title, rather generic, but as reveal picked it up you should be in business.

    I'm glad you & Diegol have found AutoIt useful. I had a look at WinBatch too, before I found AutoIt, but the price was unreasonable for my (non-critical) needs even without the extra for compile. At least with AutoIt it's all "in the price", as are the ActiveX and DLL versions (that I haven't tried). I'm still surprised at how few people know about AutoIt. It seems like it's a well kept secret.
    <font face="Comic Sans MS" color="blue">TimOz</font>
    <img src=/S/flags/Finland.gif border=0 alt=Finland width=30 height=18> <img src=/S/flags/Australia.gif border=0 alt=Australia width=30 height=18>

  10. #10
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: NTI Backup Now and AutoIt

    I don't want to turn this thread into a detailed tutorial on AUTOIT and I know youse guys don't have time for that anyway. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15> But I did want to followup just in case any other AutoIt "converts" are watching. The little AdLib section I added didn't work overnight, for some reason. But that's for me to wrestle with and I'll let you know if and when I find out why, or come up with a different alternative. I guess maybe PerfectDisk didn't "present" that invisible window after all or something..... I did check the logs and all five of my chosen partitions WERE backed up and the partitions defragged by PerfectDisk. That's life, and I'll be back.

  11. #11
    5 Star Lounger
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    Re: NTI Backup Now and AutoIt

    <P ID="edit" class=small>(Edited by TimOz on 25-May-03 20:29. Added PS)</P>This should be simple, and is my own doing <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>, so I don't mind pitching in when I'm around. Not too many ideas, except to try some other app, at or after 3am, as your trigger. In either case, it might help to set up a "live" dummy run to see if you can catch what's going on. The other "debugging" tool I've found handy is to use "MsgBox" to display and confirm my assumptions about values and progress thru the script.
    A potential problem is that the defrag window never becomes "active" (ie it only ever runs as a background task), and thus adlib never becomes aware of it. If that's the case, then you will definitely need another trigger.

    PS If we get enough converts, and annoy enough people here, we could end up with a new forum <img src=/S/evilgrin.gif border=0 alt=evilgrin width=15 height=15>
    <font face="Comic Sans MS" color="blue">TimOz</font>
    <img src=/S/flags/Finland.gif border=0 alt=Finland width=30 height=18> <img src=/S/flags/Australia.gif border=0 alt=Australia width=30 height=18>

  12. #12
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: NTI Backup Now and AutoIt

    Hi, Tim! Well, I think I already found not only the problem, but a solution! This AutoIt is GREAT stuff! Here's an excerpt from the Help file:
    <hr>...The ADLIB section consists of single line commands that check if a window is active and if so, <big>send keys to it.</big><hr>
    All's I gotta do is RTFM! So, I did some more RTFM'ing and here's a solution that works. I just set my system clock and tested this code:

    Begin:
    IfGreaterOrEqual, A_HOUR, 04, Goto, End
    WinWaitActive, NTI Backup NOW! Deluxe, The same backup file already exists
    Send, !y
    Goto, Begin
    End:
    Exit

    I've taken out the double spacing to save Lounge space <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>. Hey, thanks for being up at "this hour" (DownUnder!)

  13. #13
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: NTI Backup Now and AutoIt

    Maybe I should start a new thread and not make this one get too big, so I'll do that if there is a next time. Tim, have you ever had any experience with the Windows Screensaver getting in the way of an AUTOIT script running? I've looked through the Help file and can't (yet) find any explicit mention of the topic. I'm still messing with my nightly backup script and have included the latest in an attachment text file so you wouldn't have to look at it here. The bottom line is that after messing around with several alternatives to get the script to "loop" through the FIVE backup jobs, I finally did what you initially suggested - one continuous script with enough pause time between each job. Funny thing is that, even at 1:00 AM when the screensaver MUST be active, the first four segments of the script run just fine, but the last one is still sitting there when I get up. As soon as I press the SHIFT key to clear the screensaver, I can see the fifth backup job getting fed the " Y " from AutoIt and starting on its merry way. For two nights I turned off the screensaver and all five jobs ran successfully so last night I turned on the screensaver and guess what?

    I don't think it should have anything to do with it, but the fourth job was the longest, taking about 30 minutes, so I made it the fifth job, where it is now. The other four jobs only take somewhere from 2 to 5 minutes each.
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  14. #14
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    Re: NTI Backup Now and AutoIt

    BigAl
    I have a vague memory that atool or AutXtra (2 autoit add-ons) have something that takes care of the screensaver. I haven't got it at the moment so can't point you at them but you can link to them on the AutoIt site.
    Peter

  15. #15
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: NTI Backup Now and AutoIt

    Thanx, Peter! I'll go check that out.

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