Win7 backup options to replace WHS

jebo_4jc

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Given the limitations of WHS1 and the uncertain future of WHS2, I think I am going to replace my current WHS1 install with a Windows 7 install. Basically, it will hold my media in the "Libraries" and share those on the network.

If I'm not going to use WHS, there are two problems I need to address.

1. Duplication. Outside of RAID1, what are my options for ensuring the data that is stored on my server's hard drives would survive a hard drive crash the way WHS duplication did?

2. Client PC backup. How should my 5 "client" PCs back themselves up? They are all Win7 as well. Should they just back up locally? This isn't preferable since a laptop hard drive failure for example would screw me.

Thanks
 

Forceman

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Win 7 can do a backup to a network share, so you could back up the client PCs that way. I'm not sure if the built-in backup does an incremental backup, or if it does a new full backup each time (logic would say incremental, but when I've done network share backups subsequent backups seem to take just as long as the initial one). Not sure how to solve the duplication issue though.
 

jebo_4jc

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Oh of course. I knew that. Good tip.

Really duplication, I was considering a sync app or script that ran nightly.
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Forceman

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Oh of course. I knew that. Good tip.

Really duplication, I was considering a sync app or script that ran nightly.
Posted via [H] Mobile Device
I guess it is only Ultimate and Pro that allow network backups, didn't realize that. I use a old program called Second Copy to keep my files duplicated - not sure if it is still in development/sale though.

Edit: Looks like it is http://www.centered.com/
 

criccio

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For me, my WHS v1 is getting replaced with Server 2008 R2 and a RocketRaid 4310. MS screwing the pooch on WHS v2 was my wake up call to move to a real RAID.
 

jay2472000

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But still, youre moving to Win7. Thats like saying well, my 2009 F-150 doesnt have a large enough bed. And I dont think I like the 2010 models, so ,..................Im gonna buy a volvo.

I could see if you were debating 2 server OS'es but your comparing a Server to a Workstation OS, and then on top of it are going to further complicate it with raid. ( do a quick search, here, right here on hardforum for the terms "failed raid" and let me know how that works for ya)


EIDT: as per your first post, please explain the limitations youre having
 

jebo_4jc

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1. I'm a home user

2. I'm not going with raid. Read the posts.
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jay2472000

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Ok, well the H in WHS stands for Home.......

And I apologize, I misunderstood your comment about raid. From your first post it seemed as though you were considering raid1 for duplication.

Once again though, youre going from a server OS to a workstation OS. Youre gonna end up with a lot of tradeoffs such as baremetal backups and whatnot.

Sorry, dont have much else to offer, just wondering why is all. Good luck.
 

Dangman

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Might want to check out FlexRAID and see if it works out for you.
 

odditory

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I guess it is only Ultimate and Pro that allow network backups, didn't realize that. I use a old program called Second Copy to keep my files duplicated - not sure if it is still in development/sale though.

Edit: Looks like it is http://www.centered.com/
+1, great software. I evaluated it for a month against my old favorite SyncbackPro, and I've uninstalled SBP on all my servers and have SC doing my scheduled file duplication now.

I made three or four feature requests to the author, and he responded to all of them with explanations and an ETA when he'll get them implemented. Features like delta-copying (copying only the changed bytes within large files) have become a must-have for me, he's committed to adding it soon.

Unlike SyncbackPro it also does realtime syncing (called "when files change" in the program) which is handy in some scenarios.
 

MrCrispy

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I am also considering replacing my WHS with Server 2008 R2 (which I have for free). OP a few points to consider -

- I never used duplication, since its not a form of backup anyway. You should backup imp data on external media.

- There is AFAIK no substitute for pc backups that includes the automatic backups and space management. I believe Ghost 15 comes close but if you don't need the automation, the Win7 backup would work too.

- Win 7 and Server 2008 share a lot of code, its not like you are losing any major server features that a home user would need. In fact for a lot of software the server version costs more.

- There is no substitute for the WHS console and monitoring of client pc's.

- Make sure you install Live Mesh. Its a great way to get remote access and works just as well as the WHS builtin one. I also use it to sync all my imp data across pc's and the cloud.

- I have not found a good substitute for LightsOut which is one of the most useful addon's in WHS. Disk Management you can somewhat duplicate by connecting to a remote pc and using the diskmgmt MMC version.

- Another good backup program is Oops! Backup (haven't tried it personally but it does file delta backups so may be faster)
 

fmaster

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Is there any harm in sticking with WHS?

I bet those HP home servers will start dropping in price. I love the form factor of those servers.
 

MrCrispy

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I'm going to pick up a HP MediaSmart too if they go on sale - its great hardware. The only thing to be aware of is WHS does not have native support for the newer 4k sector drives, but there are ways around that.
 

Chimel

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Windows 7 Backup is incremental all right, but that's why I don't like it:
It creates a folder with the initial full backup, then one daily folder for the increments, but none of the data is readable from Windows Explorer, you just have to pray it's doing its job properly. I don't doubt it does, but I'd prefer to be able to confirm...

I currently have a eSATA DAS connected to my desktop machine, so no need of a separate server license, but I am planning for a FlexRAID server next year. It's a simple form of software RAID that could run on your current WHS, it does the daily mirroring you need, and there's even a "live" mirroring version planned to release very soon. RAID without the complexity of RAID...
 

jay2472000

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"its not like you are losing any major server features that a home user would need."

Well, since need is a murky term I suppose you could tiptoe around that.

@Fmaster, WHS is fine. I still havent found a legit reason to go to Win7, other than possibly the itunes thing ???


You lose a lot. Yeah WHS' data duplication isnt a true backup solution. ( it kills me how people confuse the term Windows Home SERVER with Windows home BACKUP, its a server. Its heres to serve files) BUT with that said, if you have your important data on 2 spindles, you have pretty much eliminated the majority of non-end user error data loss. Yeah your house could still burn, it could get stolen, etc, but HD failure is far more likely to happen.

WHS gives that Win7 cant is

1) Bare metal backups. The first time you restore a pc from dead hard drive to your old comfortable desktop in under 13 minutes it pays for itself.

2) Data deduplication across all backups of client PC's. IE you wont have 2gigs worth of thingamajig folder copied to it 6 times. It copies it once.

3) Manage it easily from any pc with connector software.


I just dont get it. Still dont see why , assuming you have a legit WHS license, youd mess with Win7. Theres a reason all of the pc's in the storage showoff thread use a server OS.
 

drescherjm

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For me, my WHS v1 is getting replaced with Server 2008 R2 and a RocketRaid 4310. MS screwing the pooch on WHS v2 was my wake up call to move to a real RAID.
That is a very expensive upgrade for a home user. I mean isn't a copy of Server 2008 like $800 US. And then you have to deal with extra licensing costs for a lot of software like anti virus and cloning.
 

Numan

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I keep seeing the 4k sector drives and WHS pop up as issues. I have a couple of the newer 2TB WD EARS on my WHS and a couple more of those drives I was planning on adding. Besides that I should have the OS on its own normal drive instead of partitioning one of those greenies like I have now, I used the Acronis Format tool for WD drives to realign them on the WHS computer after WHS added them to its collective. Is there anything else?

It *is* tempting to go grab Hyper V R2 freebie and run a fixed Win7 just for media sharing and the WHS just for the backups just to be [H] and something to do on my day off next week :D
 

jebo_4jc

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I keep seeing the 4k sector drives and WHS pop up as issues. I have a couple of the newer 2TB WD EARS on my WHS and a couple more of those drives I was planning on adding. Besides that I should have the OS on its own normal drive instead of partitioning one of those greenies like I have now, I used the Acronis Format tool for WD drives to realign them on the WHS computer after WHS added them to its collective. Is there anything else?

It *is* tempting to go grab Hyper V R2 freebie and run a fixed Win7 just for media sharing and the WHS just for the backups just to be [H] and something to do on my day off next week :D
this is tempting

downloading Hyper V R2 free right now....
 

Numan

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I should of mentioned I have one of those 2TB drives not in the drive pool to experiment on first :D

Seriously, is there anything really wrong with the 4k 'green' drives after you've run some util to realign it for WHS?

Also I dunno if Win7 would be good enough for you because doesn't Pro/Ult have 10 connections and some things will take more than 1?
 

cditty

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+1, great software. I evaluated it for a month against my old favorite SyncbackPro, and I've uninstalled SBP on all my servers and have SC doing my scheduled file duplication now.

I made three or four feature requests to the author, and he responded to all of them with explanations and an ETA when he'll get them implemented. Features like delta-copying (copying only the changed bytes within large files) have become a must-have for me, he's committed to adding it soon.

Unlike SyncbackPro it also does realtime syncing (called "when files change" in the program) which is handy in some scenarios.
Second Copy is great. I use it at work to go out and backup important files to a backup drive in the middle of the night. I highly recommend that program.
 

jebo_4jc

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what are the advantages of commercial apps like Second Copy or SuncbackPro vs the free SyncToy powertool?
 

OmegaAvenger

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I for one intend to replace WHS with unraid and then build a small atom box for my copy of WHS with just 2 drives and have it be for backups only.
 
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