drive snapshot automation and performance

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by davidlynch, Jul 14, 2009.

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  1. davidlynch

    davidlynch Registered Member

    Nov 17, 2008
    on is mentioned that --? shows all documented features; what would be the undocumented features?

    I am missing a feature: automatic folder creation, like '--createfolder'. Example:

    snapshot.exe c:+d: \\backup\sna$\$computername\$computername-$disk-$day$month$year-$type -t -Go --usevss --logfile:snapshot.log

    ...did not work, I always have to use a batch to create a subfolder based on
    %computername%; for everything else, total automation with ful/difs is
    possible with a single command line.

    I'm using --usevss as in some tests that I've made it is faster than internal driver. Anyone else experienced this?

    What's the difference between --setdefaultpwd= and -PW= ? Where the password is stored? does not seem to be on the .exe, so if it is used on a network every workstation need to have the password set first? (wouldn't be better to do it like on the registration, integrated on snapshot.exe?)

    comments are always welcome, thanks in advance :)
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2009
  2. pot2pan

    pot2pan Registered Member

    Feb 13, 2009
    I found the info below somewhere on these forums, don't remember where. The pseudo was Markimoo (I think). He is the guy who was writing a front end for DS, found it a lot of work and removed it from circulation. He should know a lot about DS. However DS does not create folders AFAIK.

    I am no expert, just getting into writing a script to drive DS. This info is precious. I know it is probably too late for davidlynch, but I am reproducing it here just in case someone searching for the same finds this thread:

    [backup a volume]
    Snapshot C: X:\C-DRIVE.sna
    -A - save ALL sectors, ignore free cluster info (maintenance)
    -L650 - Limit resulting imagesize to 650MB (CDROM size)
    -T - Test generated image file (verify correct checksums)
    -W - suppress <Hit any key> if started from scheduler
    -R - Empty Recycle Bin for this drive before Backup
    -G - Graphical status display for command line mode
    -PW=MyPassword (also used for restore and viewing)
    -C="My comment" add a comment to the image
    -o[path][filename] generate hash file with name "path\filename"
    -o - don't generate hash file
    -h<HashFile> make a differential image

    Options for command line substitutions

    Possible values for substitution are:
    $disk is substituted with the drive letter
    $date results in 050131 which represents January 31 2005
    $computername is substituted with the computername
    $type results in "dif" or "ful" for differential or full image
    $weekday is substituted with the first two characters of the Weekday
    $year is substituted with the year (4 digits)
    $month is substituted with the month (2 digits)
    $day is substituted with the day of the month (2 digits)
    $hour is substituted with the hour
    $minute is substituted with the minute
    $second is substituted with the second

    [restore a volume]
    Snapshot X:\C-DRIVE.sna C:

    [view a saved file]
    Snapshot X:\C.sna Z: -V
    explores X:\C.sna as virtual drive Z: (-VM for mount only)
    (-VQ for mount only and wait for event. Use --unmount to terminate)

    [generate a new hash file from a full image]
    Snapshot X:\C.sna -h<HashFileName>

    [info about a file] Snapshot X:\C-DRIVE.sna -I
    [partition info ] Snapshot X:\C-DRIVE.sna -P
    [validate file ] Snapshot X:\C-DRIVE.sna -T

    special operations :
    --unmount - unmount all virtual disks and terminate Snapshot started with -VQ
    --unmount:Z - unmount virtual disk Z
    --resize X: - show possible resize range for drive X:
    --resize X: 1000 - (try to) resize drive X: to 1000 MB
    --resizepart X: 1000 - (try to) grow partition and filesystem to 1000 MB
    resizepart is unable to shrink partitions or filesystems!
    --SetPartitionSize HD1 1 130000000 (use with care !!)
    --exec:"NET START ORACLE" - execute commands as soon as
    backup really started
    MUST be the last option on the command line!
    --ClearSignature HD1
    --SetSignature HD1 01234567
    --Checkboot HD1 - test if HD1 seems to be bootable
    --Activate X: set active flag for drive X:
    --Deactivate X: clear active flag for drive X:
    --RestoreMBR HD1 filename - writes the MBR from filename to HD1
    --RestorePartitionStructure HD1 filename -
    writes the partition information from filename to HD1
    --exclude:path excludes the path and all subdirectories from backup
    --exclude:filename1,filename2,... excludes all given filenames from backup
    --exclude:mad:filename.txt exclude from file filename.txt
    --LogFile:filename.log - append log output to file filename.log
    --DontLogStdout - don't write VSS log output to standard output
    --DontLogProgress - don't write the progress report lines to stderr
    --novss - don't use the volume shadow service
    --usevss - use the volume shadow service if available
    --forcevss - use the volume shadow service. If not available exit with error.
    --register:License.lic - register Snapshot
    --setdefaultpwd=MyPassword - sets the default password to MyPassword
    --SearchFull:path1,path2,path3 while working with differential images
    search the full image in the given pathes.
    --LimitIORate:10 - limts the IO rate to 10MB/s (accepted range 1-100)
    --show HD1 - show size and partitions on HD1
    --show - show size and partitions of all connected hard disks

    plus the options in the new version.

    V1.39 - 15 July 2008: Drive Snapshot 1.39

    * Supports Restore into Virtual Machines (VMWare/Virtual Server)
    * mounted Snapshots are write able (data are buffered in RAM) - and you can make a new snapshot of this virtual disk
    * Ability to exclude files and folders has been enhanced ( --exclude:\*.MP3 )
    * defect Images can be - within limits - repaired
    * allows in WinPE/BartPE Installation of additional (disk) drivers
    * fixes/tolerates some bugs in Vista/2008 X64
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2009
  3. davidlynch

    davidlynch Registered Member

    Nov 17, 2008
    it is never too late for davidlynch. go see Inland Empire to understand that :D

    all this info is available on drive snapshot website:

    I think that folder creation should be enabled by default. it is used as a example on the site:

    ...Some 'magic' strings in the command line are replaced with the data, computer name, disk, etc.

    So it makes sense to

    c:\>snapshot C: \\server\backups\$computername\$DISK-$DATE.sna


    so $computername would result on error if the folder wasn't created before, manually or with a batch only to this, since every other common snapshot use as daily backup differential or full is possible with task scheduler and a single command line.

    I've tried to mail him but could not get an answer too.

  4. davidlynch

    davidlynch Registered Member

    Nov 17, 2008
    received a reply from him today:

    sorry, there's no switch for destiantion folder creation; the folder
    has to exist in advance

    I'm the only one missing this feature? it creates filenames based on $'name', why not subfolder? it is best to leave all backups on a huge folder? :D
  5. pot2pan

    pot2pan Registered Member

    Feb 13, 2009
    The DS author assumes that the command line interface will be usually driven from a batch file. He therefore does not provide facilities for things like folder creation that can be just as easily implemented within the driving batch file.

    The philosophy of DS is to remain reliable but basic, without the bells and whistle that characterise other imaging software (a featuritis that frequently makes them unreliable. Check the Acronis True Image forums if you need an example).
  6. linp

    linp Registered Member

    Aug 29, 2007
    I don't want to open a new thread ;
    i am usind DS on win 7 , works fine except this : " could not exclude pagefile.sys" ,anyone else noticed this?
  7. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

    Jan 28, 2005
    NSW, Australia

    Good observation. Yes I do. Can't exclude pagefile.sys or hiberfil.sys.

    That's no good for us.
  8. linp

    linp Registered Member

    Aug 29, 2007
    I sent a mail to the maker,Tom Ehlert asking for the possibility of an update for win 7.
    Let you know any news.
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