Where are the pre-command and post-command options?

Discussion in 'Paragon Drive Backup Product Line' started by VanguardLH, Apr 3, 2012.

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  1. VanguardLH
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    VanguardLH Registered Member

    Backup & Recovery 2012 Free
    Windows XP Pro SP-3

    Before the backup job begins, I want to run some commands. After the backup job completes, I want to run some commands. I have not found any settings when defining a backup job where I can specify what program to run before and after the backup. That is, I found no pre-command and post-command options. Does this backup program not have that feature?
  2. seekforever
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    seekforever Registered Member

    It's in Tools -- Settings in the paid version, it may not be available in the free version.
  3. VanguardLH
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    VanguardLH Registered Member

    Not there in the 2012 free version.

    If it were there at that settings level, seems it would be global for all backup jobs. However, I might want different pre- and post-commands for a full backup than I would for a differential backup. However, it doesn't look like global pre- and post-commands are available, either.
  4. JosephB
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    JosephB Registered Member

    VanguardLH,

    You have 2 options:

    1. Go to windows task scheduler and into your paragon backup job(s) and copy the command executing your paragon backup job script (scripts.exe xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx) into a .bat or .cmd batch file and add a line before it to execute your "pre-" command and enter a line after it to execute your "post-" command.

    2. Edit your paragon backup job script and place at the beginning of the script (before the backup command) the paragon script command "exec file xxxxxxxxxxxx" for your "Pre-" Command and place at the end of the script (just before the "Exit" command) the script command "exec file xxxxxxxxxxxx" for your "Post-" Command.
    (Refer to the paragon psl scripting manual for syntax for the "exec file" command.
  5. cincinnatijack
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    cincinnatijack Registered Member

    Go to task scheduler and select the backup task that you want to add the function to, right click and select "properties", under the "actions" tab you can add the new function by selecting the "new" button and "start a program", after you finish inputting the function you can move it up or down in the execution order as needed.

    That way you can add as many functions you need to before or after the backup execution.
  6. JosephB
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    JosephB Registered Member

    cincinnatijack,
    BTW, Is this a new task scheduler option for Win 7 ? (I have win xp and don't find this function of "actions", in the task scheduler). VanguardLH, mentioned that he is also using Win XP, sp3.
  7. cincinnatijack
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    cincinnatijack Registered Member

    I am running Windows 7 and I don't remember how to setup the task scheduler in XP.
    I know that when I was using the Windows XP I did use the additional functions, I could have done it by exporting the scheduled task to the desktop, editing it manually and then importing back into the task scheduler.
  8. JosephB
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    JosephB Registered Member

    cincinnatijack,

    Thanks for info. .... Yeah, I have to plan on moving to Win 7, sounds like some nice features have been added, including the enhancement to the task scheduler you described.
    (from what I read, I don't like what win 8 has changed to, so I will go Win 7)
  9. VanguardLH
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    VanguardLH Registered Member

    I don't have Windows 7 to comment on what features are available with its Task Scheduler service. I have used 3rd party job schedulers that can make jobs dependent; that is, a 2nd job couldn't run until a 1st job completed AND if the 1st job completed okay (no error; else the 2nd job didn't run). Task Scheduler in Windows XP never had that ability.

    The .job files (stored under the %windir%\Tasks folder for all Windows accounts) are not text files that you can edit. So perhaps you meant by "export" that you edited the .xml file (which is a text file) used to define a list of directives in a "script" used by the Macrium Reflect program. In fact, Macrium Reflect creates a "My Documents\Refect" folder to save the backup plans. Those are .xml files. XML files are text files with tags (just like HTML).

    For Windows XP, and since there each job is independent of each other, and since you cannot guarantee a job will complete before the start of another job, you have to take the command out of Task Scheduler and, as mentioned by JosephB, put it into a .bat or other script file where you can order the sequence of commands and even test their result status to determine in the following commands are executed. Alternatively, and as JosephB also mentioned, you could edit the .xml file (since it is a text file) for the backup plan and use the 'exec' directive to run an executable at that point in the script.
  10. VanguardLH
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    VanguardLH Registered Member

    I was thinking of that as a solution (but was hoping for something more elegant, like pre- and post-command options in the wizard used to compose the .xml script input file.

    I wanted to stay away from yet another program that had its own speciality script (or, more accurately, a list of directives fed into an interpreter). I didn't want to spend the time learning yet another script-like language for just one program which is, after all, a utility program and not a production-level task (it's for disaster recovery and runs in the background rather than being a primary task for the user). Thanks for that clue, however, as it does provide a means of specifying pre- and post-commands within the backup job instead of having to do it externally by the #1 method above.

    Since the script file for a backup plan supports the 'exec' directive, it would seem that the pre- and post-command feature was considered. While it is absent in the freeware version that I'm using now, is this a feature that is brought out into the config UI or wizards available in the payware version?
  11. JosephB
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    JosephB Registered Member

    VanguardLH,

    No, at least paid version of B&R Home, only has pre- and post global, under menu, options.

    P.S. I see you have used Macrium Reflect, so curious as to why you switched to paragon ?

    P.P.S. FYI, I actually do not use the win xp task scheduler any more, since I found the WinAutomation software which is a high level scripting tool. I schedule all my batch tasks/jobs under winautomation which has basic task job step after dependency capability, but also excels at being able to automate just about anything that you currently do manually under windows, you can even use image recognition to execute applications that do not have a batch command interface. The new beta version will allow you to automate what you manullay do on the internet/web. You might want to try its 30 day trial.
  12. VanguardLH
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    VanguardLH Registered Member

    I haven't so much as switched to Paragon (or Macrium) as I am looking at both backup solutions.

    I have a paid license for Acronis True Image Home but it's an old version and has problems with handling my old computer with its mix of IDE and SATA drives. While the backup operation completes okay, verification of the backup fails way too often. I could eliminate the verify errors by moving the OS off a SATA disk and putting it on an IDE disk but the IDE drives are slower. Also, other backup products didn't produce this verify error so it was something peculiar to Acronis. Their shotgun solution (i.e., they haven't a clue and are just shooting around trying to hit the fly) is to upgrade to a later version. They don't guarantee the problem would go away but, um, that's all they can suggest. Uh huh.

    Instead of throwing money away on Acronis hoping their verify errors go away, I started looking at other backup products, like Macrium Reflect, Easeus ToDo Backup, and Paragon Backup & Recovery. Macrium doesn't support pre- and post-commands so you have to steal the command they put in a scheduled task and put it into a .bat file that you then substitute for their scheduled task. Unlike Acronis or Paragon, Macrium doesn't hide the backup location claiming it is still possible to corrupt the backups but then they are ignorant that some protection is still valuable protection. I have a spare tire in my care but that won't cover the situation when more than one tire goes flat. That doesn't stop me from wanting to have a spare tire. Hiding the backup location is not a trivial protection scheme. Easeus also provides no means of securing the backups. Of the freeware choices, Paragon has the option to use a hidden partition to store its backups and why I'm looking at that product.

    Alas, I'm finding Paragon a bit clumsy to use and it still doesn't do what I want. Although it has the pre- and post-command feature, it isn't straight forward since I've run into pathing problems with that feature. The user has to edit the script itself instead of re-running the backup wizard to modify an existing backup definition. A wizard would ensure the commands were positioned correctly in the script and also ensure correct syntax.

    Easeus lets you save full and incremental backups in a cyclic schedule. It still has some deficiencies, like not letting you specify which is the first day of the week (I'd like Monday instead of Sunday) but, at least, I can have it run through a cyclic backup schedule so full backups are performed at the start of the week with incrementals the other days. That's missing from both Paragon and Macrium. Easeus also has options to manage the backup location regarding how many backups to retain. Backup management is missing from Paragon and Macrium. Easeus freeware version unfortunately shoves a separate popup ad window in your face. You aren't using their program, no backup is running, but they interrupt use of your computer with their adware popup. Adware that puts its ads in the config GUI of the program are okay because they don't interrupt your work. Adware that interrupts your work with popup windows is not something that I will tolerate. So despite Easeus having the cyclic backup and pre-/post-command features that I was used to from Acronis, it is rude adware.

    Macrium's full backups are far faster than either Easeus or Paragon. It's nice to know that a backup job scheduled to run off-hours will be done before returning to the computer. In case I need to run a manual backup, it's nice to have a priority setting (without having to use 3rd party tools, like SysInternals' psexec) so the computer remains responsive so I can use it rather than have to decide to wait until the backup finishes or to abort it. Macrium has a priority setting. As I recall, so did Easeus. Paragon doesn't.

    So I'm looking at several backup solutions not just for myself but to recommend to others. What I may be willing to tolerate or take the time to figure out a workaround isn't something I would expect of other users to whom I would recommend the software. With Easeus, I get cyclic backups and pre-/post-commands (only needed to make up for them not hiding the backup location). With Macrium, I get much faster completed backups but the backup location isn't hidden and they don't support pre-/post-commands (unless I do a workaround) for me to do it for them. I was looking at Paragon, too, and was trying to see if I could figure a workaround to its removal of cyclic backups but haven't come up with a solution yet (the differential schedule steps atop old backups although I configured it to use its own generated filenames which might be due to having the full backup NOT use program-generated names since I do want those to step atop of themselves for weekly backup schedules).

    So I had Acronis True Image Home but it had errors during the verification step solely based on my IDE & SATA setup. I moved Easeus ToDo Backup which I used for several months but became disgusted when it started shoving adware popups in my face. When I had to do a restore of the OS partition and found out that Easeus couldn't access the backup location if it didn't have a drive letter assigned (which only has meaning *inside* of Windows but I'm trying to restore that OS) then I started looking around for other backup solutions. So I'm shopping around. I'm not loyal to any particular backup program. I'm not just looking for something that works but that works well and is easy to use (and not just for manually initiated backups but also for scheduled backups along with recovery since backing up is fruitless and wasteful if recovery isn't just as well designed).
  13. fireworker
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    fireworker Registered Member

    In Backup & Recovery 2012 Free pre-and post-commands are executed :) (just as in the paid version)
    But just set them to manually edit the layout.ini file in Notepad.
    somehow so:
    Code:
    Execute on backup done = "C:\Program Path\run.exe"
    Execute on snapshot taken = ""
    Execute on backup started = ".\..\probe.cmd"
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