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Does Home Server do real time backup? RRS feed

  • Question

  •  

    Hello;

     

    I had Windows Home Server installed today at my photography studio by a computer company.  I asked the technician several times if in addition to the nightly backup if Home Server also did real time backups i.e. when I save a file, etc. is the saved file/work backed up immediately instead of having to wait for the "backup period" at midnight.  The technician told me yes, Home Server also does real time backup.

     

    I have looked through the online help files and cannot find anywhere that it says Home Server does real time backup.

     

    Does anyone know does Home Server do real time backup in addition to the nightly backup?

     

    Thanks for your help!

     

    Bill Artman

    Thursday, May 29, 2008 5:38 AM

Answers

  • WHS does not do real time backup of files you store locally on your computers. Each computer gets backed up nightly, but if you store a file on a WHS share and have duplication turned on on that share (requires at least two disks in your WHS), then WHS automatically makes a copy of the stored file on another disk, so that if one disk dies the file isn't lost. This happens in almost real-time behind the scenes. There's a process continuously running in the background doing this. I hope the technician alerted you to the data corruption bug, which can corrupt files if you edit them directly on the server with certain applications and your WHS has more than one disk. If not, do a search on this forum.
    Thursday, May 29, 2008 6:34 AM
  • Bill,

    WHS and the associated clients, if it's enabled correctly, has the facility of Volume Shadow Copy service, which has the facility to create point in time copies. That is, if you change a file, the unchanged file is still available through the Properties page of the file; so, a file edited, say four times, should have the three previous versions available.

    As a new user, it might be worthwhile reading through the WHS documentation, it gives a lot of the details.

    After that, I'm sure there are people on here, who can expand on anything you don't grasp.

     

    Colin

     

    Thursday, May 29, 2008 9:26 AM
  • No, Bill, there isn't. Your window of vulnerability is relatively small, however. Typically a home PC is used heavily (homework, word processing, etc.) in the afternoon and evening, so you've only got a few hours before the automated backup occurs. There are tools (with varying degrees of automation) that can monitor the file system and copy modified files to another location on a regular basis. One example (free, but difficult to configure until you have some experience) is robocopy. (Note: that's a link to a GUI tool that lets you build robocopy command lines, run them, and save them. But you still have to understand the robocopy command line switches.) You can find a number of other tools by just searching, though winnowing the wheat from the chaff can be annoying...
    Tuesday, June 3, 2008 3:23 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • WHS does not do real time backup of files you store locally on your computers. Each computer gets backed up nightly, but if you store a file on a WHS share and have duplication turned on on that share (requires at least two disks in your WHS), then WHS automatically makes a copy of the stored file on another disk, so that if one disk dies the file isn't lost. This happens in almost real-time behind the scenes. There's a process continuously running in the background doing this. I hope the technician alerted you to the data corruption bug, which can corrupt files if you edit them directly on the server with certain applications and your WHS has more than one disk. If not, do a search on this forum.
    Thursday, May 29, 2008 6:34 AM
  • Bill,

    WHS and the associated clients, if it's enabled correctly, has the facility of Volume Shadow Copy service, which has the facility to create point in time copies. That is, if you change a file, the unchanged file is still available through the Properties page of the file; so, a file edited, say four times, should have the three previous versions available.

    As a new user, it might be worthwhile reading through the WHS documentation, it gives a lot of the details.

    After that, I'm sure there are people on here, who can expand on anything you don't grasp.

     

    Colin

     

    Thursday, May 29, 2008 9:26 AM
  • Colin and Superswiss;

    Thanks for your reply to my question.  I'm sorry to take so long getting back but my photography studio has been a real zoo the last week.

    The technician that installed my WHS did not mention the bug you are talking about.  Can to tell me where to find additional information?

    Also Colin I double clicked on the Volume Shadow Copy link in your reply and got a page not found.  Could you please give me the link again.

    Also could you please let me know where to get additional information on setting up Volume Shadow Copy so I have have at least somewhat real time backups when I save my files.

    As I mentioned in my original post, the computer tech told be several times that WHS would do real time backup so I an disappointed that he was wrong.

    Thanks for all of your help!  Have a great week!
    Tuesday, June 3, 2008 1:42 AM
  • Here's the link to the KB article about the data corruption bug;

     

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/946676/en-us

     

    Tuesday, June 3, 2008 3:09 AM
  • Bill, I would skip the shadow copy service technet article. There are issues with VSS on Windows Home Server right now that make it an unreliable way of restoring to a previous version of a file.
    Tuesday, June 3, 2008 12:00 PM
    Moderator
  • Superswiss -

    Thanks for the bug link.  I think I am OK because I am only using WHS for nightly backups.  I am not storing any "real time" files on the server.

    Bill
    Tuesday, June 3, 2008 1:46 PM
  • Ken;

    Thanks for the info on VSS.  Is there any other way to have WHS do "real time" backup when I work and save a file instead of waiting until Midnight when the normal backup runs?

    Thanks!

    Bill
    Tuesday, June 3, 2008 1:50 PM
  • Bill. you can always just do a 'Back Up Now' in WHS whenever you want. say you just saved a bunch of photos to your client computer. in the lower right corner of the desktop (in the taskbar), right click on the WHS green icon. it will list 'Back Up Now' as an option. select it. your files will be backed up at that time. you can do thi as many times as you want throughout the day. WHS will also do it's regular nightly backup as well.

     

    Tuesday, June 3, 2008 3:19 PM
  • No, Bill, there isn't. Your window of vulnerability is relatively small, however. Typically a home PC is used heavily (homework, word processing, etc.) in the afternoon and evening, so you've only got a few hours before the automated backup occurs. There are tools (with varying degrees of automation) that can monitor the file system and copy modified files to another location on a regular basis. One example (free, but difficult to configure until you have some experience) is robocopy. (Note: that's a link to a GUI tool that lets you build robocopy command lines, run them, and save them. But you still have to understand the robocopy command line switches.) You can find a number of other tools by just searching, though winnowing the wheat from the chaff can be annoying...
    Tuesday, June 3, 2008 3:23 PM
    Moderator
  • Bill,

    There are other methods of achieving what you want, as Ken says.

    I use a (paid) program Called Second Copy, which is very flexible and I'm sure others can recommend similar.

    It can copy files at multiple times, to multiple destinations, even over the internet. I use it the opposite way that you may want to - I keep all sorts on the WHS, and then copy off different copies of files at different times to various destinations. It has various possibilities for you, it can monitor folder and copy when it sees changes, it can encrypt them

     

    As I say, there are options available to achieve what you want.

     

    Colin

    Tuesday, June 3, 2008 4:52 PM
  • Everyone -

    Thanks very much for all of the information you have shared with me.  I really appreciate it!  Have a great week!

    Bill
    Tuesday, June 3, 2008 5:39 PM