Tag Archives: backup

Note To Self: Copy Files Between Two Systems with Rsync

I needed to copy a couple hundred GBs of data as a precaution from a VPS to another location for temporary storage since I was about to mess with the file system. After reading the man pages and other blogs I guess this was the best I could come up with.

rsync -arz -e ssh /local_path/ remote_user@ip_address:/remote_path/
-a archive mode
-r recurse into directories
-z compress file during the transfer
-e ssh remote shell SSH

Other parmeters to add:

--partial keep partially transferred files
--delete delete extraneous files from destination dirs

Cloning A Drive With EaseUS Disc Copy – Simple Cloning Utility

EaseUS Disk Copy Home Edition is a simple cloning utility in the form of a Live CD. Disc Copy performs a sector by sector copy of the source drive and deposits the resulting data in to another drive, Sectory by sector copies are exact copies of the source drive resulting in an exact image. EaseUS Disk Copy interface is simple to understand, actually the user is presented with few options in regards to how the cloning will performed. EaseUS Disk Copy Home Edition is freely available to home users, business users need to purchase a license.

There a few limitations:

    its not possible to clone the source drive into an image file for later transfer

    free version has a 1TB drive limit.

Consider using EaseUS Disk Copy if you need to migrate an operating system from a smaller drive over to a larger one. For this tutorial I will be cloning the contents of a 80GB drive over to a 120GB drive.

But before you can use start cloning you need need to download the EaseUS Disk Copy executable which is responsible for creating either a Live CD, .ISO or bootable USB needed to start the application.
Download: EaseUS_DiskCopy_Home.exe

Create USB, CD/DVD, Bootable ISO

Run EaseUS_DiskCopy_Home.exe. Depending on your preferences you can choose to create either a bootable USB drive, .ISO file, or bootable DVD/DVD.

Depending on the system BIOS you need to boot in to either the CD/DVD Drive or Removable Devices which is another name for USB drive.

Choose Start Disk Copy

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Select Next.

You can decided what will be copied:

  • Disk Copy – Copies the entire drive
  • Partition Copy – copies a single partition

For most cases you should pick Disk Copy.

I wish to transfer the content of my 80GB drive over to the new 120GB, which is why I selected the 80GB drive as the source. Click on Next when ready.

The 120GB drive will be the destination. Click on Next when ready.

Task preview – this is where you review the changes that are about to be made. Click on Proceed when ready.

Make sure you are working with the right drives. Click on Yes if you are positive of the changes.

Depending on the amount of data being handled the operation might take a while.

You can review the results if you like.

With the cloning operation successfully completed you can click on Done or Quit to exit.

When prompted click on Yes to reboot.

Now, make sure you remove the source drive and install the new drive in the same port where the previous was connected to.

Conclusion

If you need a some cloning utility then EaseUS Disk Copy Home Edition is the answer, I don’t have much to say other than it works and is free for home users.

Link: EaseUS.com

How To ‘Create A System Image’ In Windows 7 – Part 1

The reason why backups and imaging tools never go out of style is due to the fact that magnetic media fails, flash media fails, storage arrays fail and once in a while users fail. The good news is that Windows 7 improved in several areas and one of them was better backup options like imaging.

The focus of this tutorial will be to demonstrate the creation of a system image only using the tools provided by Windows and the steps need to restore a system using the image. The first portion of this tutorial will focus on creating an image, the second portion will cover the restore process.

Microsoft defines a ‘system image’ in the following way.

A system image is an exact copy of a drive. By default, a system image includes the drives required for Windows to run. It also includes Windows and your system settings, programs, and files.
Source: Microsoft

Think of a system image as a one time complete backup only to be used in special events and the kind of event I am talking about refers to :

  1. Hard drive failure
  2. In the case you have to reinstall the entire system because of malware, or maintenance
  3. Or you wish to have a backup copy of your current system with all customizations

Keep in mind that you can only image the drive that holds Windows also known as the C: drive.

Notes:

  • You will need to store the resulting image either on a 2nd drive or network drive
  • You can included more than one drive in the imaging process, except for the drive where the system will be residing
  • It’s a one time process, if you want scheduled backups look for another solution
  • Images do not support compression, you better have plenty of storage space for the resulting image

Let’s Start Imaging

Start by going to Start > Control Panel > Back up you computer > Create a system image

Or just type: backup on the search bar.

Click on Create a system image.

Choose the location where the C: drive image will stored. Your options are to either save the image in: other hard drive, DVD, or network location. This tutorial will store the image in a second internal drive. Also known as the E: drive.

Select the drive you wish to include in the image. I only want to image the C: drive.

The image is being prepared.

Confirm this the correct backup location and drives to be included in the image.

You will be asked to ‘Create a system repair disc’ do so unless you already have a disc, without the repair disc you will not be able to restore the system.

There is no option to save the image to an ISO you will need a blank CD. Save the disk otherwise you will not be able to restore the image until you make one in a working system. You cannot use a disc created on a X86 system to restore an X64 image and vice-versa(architecture matters).

Insert the blank disc and press on Create disc.

The result was an image that weights around 9GB in size

Pretty easy to accomplish, with a few clicks you were able to create an exact image of your system drive that may come in handy at some point. The second portion of this tutorial will cover the Recovery process.

How To ‘Create A System Image’ In Windows 7 – Part 2

Acronis True Image WD Edition – Free Backup Application

You’ve probably heard or used Acronis True Image a backup application for Windows, but did you know that owners of Western Digital storage products have access to a special version of True Image for free. Acronis True Image WD Edition is re-branded and feature limited version intended to be used only on Western Digital storage products. Free has its limitations, like:

You can download Acronis True Image WD Edition from WD Support.

  • The only available backup option is ‘Full’ backup
  • No scheduler
  • Will only work with Western Digital products

So, what’s the point?

Despite the limitations Acronis True Image WD Edition remains useful:

  1. Users will find the GUI easy to work with
  2. You can migrate all your data from one drive to another or store the backup image for later recovery(not limitation)
  3. Acronis DriveCleanser included, good for wiping all sensitive data
  4. Backup images can be mounted with Acronis True Image WD Edition, in case you need to pull specific files from the backup image
  5. You are allowed to create Bootable Rescue Media, a Live-CD can you help you in the recovery process

Acronis True Image WD Edition

Examples:

  • Acronis True Image WD Edition will be helpful if you need to migrate from a smaller hard drive to a larger hard drive.
  • If you like to make partition changes Acronis True Image WD Edition will be helpful for making a one time backup.

Before you start using Acronis True Image WD Edition you need to know that Western Digital decided to do its users a favor by licensing a special version of Acronis, the limitations that come with Acronis True Image WD Edition means you should not rely on it to be continous backup solution(lacks the ability to). While Acronis True Image WD Edition can be compared with other backup tools like Clonezilla, since they are not intended for creating incremental backups.

You can download Acronis True Image WD Edition from WD Support.

Windows Server Backup – Part 1

Windows Server 2008 features a native backup solution called Windows Server Backup. Has expected Windows Server backup is a simple backup solution, by simple I mean the administrator has few backup options. If you are on a tight budget Windows Server Backup might be the solution.

Windows Server Backup limitations:

  • It can only backup entire volumes, backing up a specific directory is not an option
  • Only two types of backups are supported: full and incremental
  • Windows Server Backup lacks the ability to backup to Tape

Windows Server Backup benefits:

  • No cost solution
  • Simple to implement and administer
  • Makes use of VSS

Install Windows Server Backup

Go to Start > Server Manager > Features Summary > Add Features.

Search for Windows Server Backup Features and check the box to install this feature > Click on Next > Click on Install.

First Time Configuration

To begin the backup process for the first time go to Start > Administrative Tools > Windows Server Backup.

To schedule a backup for the first time click on Backup Schedule.

In the Backup Schedule Wizard window click on Next to continue.

This is when you decide which volume or volumes you want to backup, if you wish to remove a volume from the backup schedule select Custom otherwise select Full Server (recommended) and click on Next.

Ideally you want to run backups during hours when the load is going to be minimal on the server, running a backup during business hours could cause slow downs. Click on Next after you select the time.

Click on Show All Available Disks…

The disk being displayed is where the backups will be stored to, select carefully. And click on OK.

Once again confirm the selected disk by checking the box corresponding to the drive you wish to backup to. And click on Next.

Windows Server Backup requires a dedicated drive, the seleted backup drive will be re-formated. This mean all the data in the drive will be removed. Click on Yes to continue.

Take note of the label that was assigned to the backup drive. You might needed later in order to know which backup drive contains the backup volume you wish to recover. Click on Next to continue.

Review this window before clicking on Finish to start the process.

Once you click on Finish the formatting process and backup schedule process will be started.

You can go one step further by modifying the type of backups you wish to make on the system. Options include Full Backup and Incremental Backup. To change this setting click on Configure Performance Settings…

Change this setting according to your needs.

Now that you have configured the backup schedule all you have to is wait for the backup to be executed at the specified time. Congratulations, you have just configured Windows Server Backup on your Windows system. Hopefully the steps outlined in this tutorial made it clear how easy Windows Server backup is to configure and implement as a backup tool.

Part 2 – Coming soon………………………