Backing up to two swappable drives

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by knowhow3, Aug 22, 2006.

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  1. knowhow3

    knowhow3 Registered Member

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    I have a Windows 2003 server using Acronis. I have two USB 2.0 external 300 GB hard drives that I'm backing up to. I alternate them every night--only one drive is connected at any one time, and the other gets carried offsite for safekeeping.

    I have a problem in that the backup job fails every other night. What appears to be happening is that Windows assigns different drive letters to each drive as I disconnect one and connect the other, which throws the backup path out of whack, causing the backup to fail on one drive.

    I cannot assign the same drive letter to both drives in the Disk Management console, as the drive letter I want to use (associated with the first USB drive) isn't available when I switch to the other drive.

    What is the best approach to take here? I need to be able to have the backup job run on both drives, regardless of drive letter issues. Should I just make two backup jobs, each reflecting the drive letter Windows assigns each drive, and just let one job fail and the other complete every night?
     
  2. nusrat

    nusrat Registered Member

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    You need to figure out why this is. When this happens, is there any other device online which is using the letter?

    If not, I can tell you how to fix your problem, but it requires either (a) editing the registry, or (b) editing a sector on the disk, or (c) accomplishing (b) by using Restore to temporarily make one USB drive to be an exact sector-by-sector mirror image of the other.
     
  3. nusrat

    nusrat Registered Member

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    btw, I don't understand why your backup job can't be modified to account for the change in letters, as long as it always alternates between the same two letters...

    The advantage of doing this is that my solution makes it potentially awkward or impossible to have both USBs simultaneously online, if you ever need that.
     
  4. UR_User

    UR_User Registered Member

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    This problem has bugged me too but I swap weekly and run full on Monday and incrementals Tuesday thru Sunday which automatically overwrites the existing *.tib's made 2 weeks ago.

    On WIN2K Server the problem is resolved by doing a shutdown, swap USB drives and restart. The USB then always picks up the next free drive letter which happens to be the same all the time.

    The alternative is to backup to the fully qualified URL e.g. \\server\arcronis\... ,or, \\192.168.*.*\acronis etc., but, that means the drive is a share and after each swap you have to set up the share. Again the reboot gets around having to reshare the same name to the second drive after a swap.

    The advantage is that the server gets rebooted once a week :)

    The idea of backing up to X: on Monday, Y: on Tuesday etc doesn't work unless you only backup and swap an even number of days per week. If you do it 5 or 7 times a week then Monday to X: this week becomes Monday to Y: the next week.

    My USB drive on the server is shared because a bunch of workstations back up to it every night on a sequentual basis. Mapped, Shared, A/D... whatever it is all the same.

    For me this is easier to shutdown, swap and restart than writing and testing scripts and running TI from the command line on the workstations with some logic such as "IF Exits X:, then run TrueImageCmd.exe yada, yada, yada to X:, else run TrueImageCmd.exe yada, yada, yada to Y:". See chapter 15 here http://us2.download.acronis.com/pdf/TrueImageWorkstation9.1_ug.en.pdf

    Or, use TrueImageTerminal.exe ( also chapter 15 above ) to run saved TI XML scripts *.TIS on a conditional basis using Windows scheduler or a 3rd party scheduler.

    Hope this helps.

    If you go the route of the command line please share your scripts with the group.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2006
  5. UR_User

    UR_User Registered Member

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    Okay, revisting this issue has got me thinking and we need an opinion from Acronis Support when they drop by.

    Here it is:

    TI creates its XML scripts for your scheduled Tasks and saves them with obscure names in places ( depending how you installed it ) such as C:\documents and settings\all users\application data\acronis\trueimage\scripts\long.weird.cryptic.file.name.tis

    So can I launch these XML TIS scripts using TrueImageTerminal.exe?

    If so, it would make script writing a breeze. Create Full and/or Incremental Tasks for two different drive letters e.g. X: and Y: from within TI.

    Then manually write the easy part as a VB Script or batch file to do the conditional IF Exists X:, then...., else Y: routine using the TIS you created, ran and tested within TI. Run it from Windows schedulers. Hmmm....

    If I have time I'll copy and rename one of those TIS and see what TrueImageTerminal.exe can do with it.
     
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