Wake Vista, backup, then immediately go back to sleep

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by neilsp, Aug 13, 2009.

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  1. neilsp
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    neilsp Registered Member

    Vista Home Premium SP2 (with all recommend patches)
    True Image 2009 (build 9796)

    I have been trying to implement an unattended (and unnoticed) backup scheme, with the following two objectives. When the system is in sleep mode, it should wake up at the scheduled time, conduct an incremental or differential backup, and then immediately go back to sleep. When the system is in normal operation, the backup should occur without any interference with the user, other than the usual notification from the Acronis scheduler.

    I can get almost all of the desired functionality with the method that uses the Vista scheduler, the StayAwake utility and a batch file, as discussed in the following thread

    http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=176925

    and very nicely summarized in the following document

    http://www.personal.psu.edu/mjw12/public/StayAwake.pdf

    The only thing that I do not like about the results are the two command line windows that appear while the backup is occurring, which I find quite annoying if I'm actually using the machine at the time.

    One solution to this could be made possible by installing Microsoft hot fix KB957473, which fixes the problem where a 'scheduled task is suspended unexpectedly, and the operating system resumes sleep when you select the "Wake the computer to run this task" option in Windows Vista or in Windows Server 2008', as described in

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/KB957473

    If that worked, then I could simply use the Vista scheduler without the StayAwake utility and the batch file (which appear to be the sources of the two spurious command line windows.

    Before I install this hot fix, I would like hear from anybody else who has tried it. Does it work as expected with True Image and do any other problems occur?

    Neil
  2. K0LO
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    K0LO Registered Member

    Neil:

    I haven't tried the Microsoft hotfix but it does look like it would be a solution to the problem.

    Another solution that you could try is to change the credentials for the scheduled task. Instead of running it under your user name, run it under the SYSTEM account. In this way the cmd window will not be shown.

    Backup.PNG
  3. neilsp
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    neilsp Registered Member

    Thanks Mark. Sure enough, switching to the SYSTEM account got rid of the extra two command line windows.

    Some more testing is showing that automatic file naming of differential backups is now malfunctioning. It appears that new files in a differential set are being created with previously used file names, causing the earlier files to be replaced. I don't yet know if this has anything to do with the switch to the SYSTEM account, but I had not noticed this behavior before that change. The True Image scheduler does seem unacceptably fragile.

    I have seen posts elsewhere from Acronis staff advising people to install a more recent version of the True Image scheduler. I had made the brash assumption that build 9769 would contain the latest version of the scheduler. Perhaps that assumption is wrong.

    Neil
  4. K0LO
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    K0LO Registered Member

    Neil:

    It may have something to do with the fact that the scheduler is running with different credentials. I don't know very much about the Acronis scheduler other than what I've read here on the forum. And I have read that if an image is restored to a different disk, the GUIDs of the tasks are invalid, requiring re-creation of the scheduled task.

    If this is indeed what is happening to your tasks, and they do behave correctly when run with your normal user account credentials, then you may want to stop using my method and install the Microsoft hotfix instead.
  5. neilsp
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    neilsp Registered Member

    Further testing (in both cases starting the same True Image task multiple times manually, either from the Vista scheduler or from the True Image user interface:

    1) Switching the user account from SYSTEM back to the one I had been using (my usual user account with Administrator privileges) did not help. When run from the Vista scheduler, the True Image task still incorrectly over-wrote files as described above.

    2) Running the same True Image task, started from the True Image user interface, appears to work correctly.

    My conclusion at this point is that the True Image 2009 command line interface is not reliable enough to use (at least not when called from the Vista scheduler). I would be interested in differing opinions from anybody.

    Neil
  6. K0LO
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    K0LO Registered Member

    Neil:

    I think your conclusion is correct. Some of the features that work fine in the GUI (like sending email) just do not work when started from the command line. Others on the forum have reported that starting a TI task for an incremental image from the GUI works perfectly but produces a full image when the same task is started from a command prompt.

    A better solution would be if TI were to fix their scheduler so that it could wake the PC and keep it awake, since their scheduler seems to always produce the intended outcome.

    Thanks for sharing your test results.
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