Show progress bars when backup task running?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by tuttle, Jun 23, 2008.

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  1. tuttle

    tuttle Registered Member

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    When a scheduled Acronis True Image backup task runs, a small animated icon appears in the Notification Area (formerly (system tray"). If Acronis True Image is launched and a backup is begun using the backup wizard, then ATI displays progress bars during the backup.

    I have users who may not notice the small Notification Area icon, and so might disconnect their laptop before the backup is complete. Is there any way to configure ATI to display the progress bars even when running a scheduled backup task?
     
  2. tuttle

    tuttle Registered Member

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    Any ideas? Even a statement from Acronis Support that this is impossible would be useful. At least then I wouldn't waste time seeking a solution.
     
  3. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    I don't think so. Tasks are designed to run background. If there's a parameter to run a task with Status displayed, it's not noted inthe user guide afaik.

    sh
     
  4. Rogman

    Rogman Registered Member

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    How about modifying the backup job so that a pre-backup command file (.BAT) is called. That could, somehow, fire up a new window.
    Just a thought.
    Rog
     
  5. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    My backup task is scheduled to run when I will not be normally using my computer. So as far as I am concerned a progress bar would be an utter waste as I would never see it.
    As it happens I got back a bit early from lunch and saw that the task bar icon was still active, I opened this group and out the corner of my eye I saw that my task had finished as normal at the usual time.

    Something I have noticed that is a bit off topic is that many users, particularly those with laptops, have far too many icons displayed in the task bar. As a result they cannot see the wood for the trees.
    When I am helping someone with this syndrome I remove all the rubbish items leaving one or two that are actually important.

    Xpilot

    Xpilot
     
  6. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    If they only have one or two that are important, then they don't need a computer, maybe set of index cards and a pencil ;-) Just kidding. While two seems kind of lean for avid users, it's probably more progs than many folks even use on a PC.

    I've seen PCs with so many icons, they even have shortcuts for old versions of progs that are even installed.

    Still, it might be nice to have a way to prevent PC shutdown while a backup is running. Maybe not a progress display but rather a warning that a backup is running if you try to shut down while it's running.

     
  7. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    This doesn't answer your question but it's an alternative suggestion. In your scheduled task, add a second action after your "Start a program" action. Choose "Display a message" for the action and enter whatever text you would like your user to see when the backup task is complete like, for example, "Backup task completed". The user will see this message after the backup job is done. You could also add a third action before the "Start a program" action that would also display a message to the user. Put in something like "System is being backed up. Please do not shut down until notified that the backup is complete."

    The action "Display a message" puts a dialog box on the center of the screen where it can't be missed.
     
  8. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    Mmm. I was referring to the informational area of the task bar ie. the same place where the Acronis activity Icon appears. If this space is allowed to become too crowded an item of importance, such as a running backup task, may be lost in the crowd.

    Xpilot
     
  9. tuttle

    tuttle Registered Member

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    Great minds think alike. In the middle of the night it occurred to me to use either ATI post commands or Task Scheduler actions to display a completion message. Thanks for the detail!

    Hmm, for some reason it's not working. The backup task runs, neither the starting message nor the completion message ever display.

    I created another task as a test with three actions:
    1. Display a message that the program is starting.
    2. Launch a graphics viewer.
    3. Display a message that the program has finished.
    When I run this test task, the first dialog box appears and waits until I click OK. At that point, the graphics viewer launches. After I close the graphics viewer, the final dialog box appears.
     
  10. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    I don't think ATI pre and post commands will work when you run TrueImageService directly; I think they only work when the GUI controls the task but it's worth a try.

    Darn - I had forgotten that when you run a Vista Task as "SYSTEM" that no graphical dialogs or windows are displayed. For example, if you run "Notepad" as a user then the notepad window will open normally. If run as SYSTEM then you won't see anything.

    Things to try:
    1. Edit the backup task to change the user context from SYSTEM to your admin account. When the task runs as a user then perhaps the message will be seen. My backup task has the message action and I can see it on-screen when using my main user account (admin member). I'm not sure what will happen when viewed by another user, however, but you can test this easily.
    2. Cascading scheduled tasks - find an event log entry that is logged at completion of the backup task. Create a new scheduled task using the User context that is triggered by the occurrence of the event in the log. Make the new task display the on-screen message.

    Maybe #1 will work now that you've found how to create tasks that the standard user account can see.
     
  11. tuttle

    tuttle Registered Member

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    Good idea, but it didn't work either. The task and backup ran, but messages did not display.

    I'm hunting around now in Event Viewer, although I'm not really sure what I'm looking for.
     
  12. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    I found out that the message was being sent to the administrator's desktop since that was the user context being run. When I logged out of the standard user's account and into my regular account, there it was.

    I was not successful in getting the message to display on the user's desktop unless the task was run as the user. But that won't work because the backup task won't run without elevated permissions.

    As I found out, the problem here is that TI does not log events into any of the standard Windows logs but rather puts them in its own log. I played around with the advanced tab on Task Scheduler's Event Trigger box but could not find a way to link into the Acronis log.

    I'm not doing to well here; maybe someone else has an idea...
     
  13. tuttle

    tuttle Registered Member

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    Interesting. Too bad the admin account can't send an instant message to the Standard user's account.

    I'm struck out so far. I wonder if it would be possible for the task to trigger some innocuous event that in turn would run an action to display messages. Or perhaps the task could have a new action to run a batch file that includes a command to display a message.
     
  14. tuttle

    tuttle Registered Member

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    Thinking out loud here: Is there any string that can be run from command line or in a batch file that could display a message, a "waiting" cursor (e.g. hourglass) or even pop open a file? (maybe even just a text file with an appropriate message)
     
  15. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    If I were trying to get around this problem, I'd make a program to run at startup (or just prior to the backup task) in the normal user's account. This program would check for the existence of a file. If the file exists, the message is displayed. When the file is deleted, the message would be removed.

    Then you'd just have to setup a batch file in the pre-command to create the file and a post-command to delete it.

    I've used a similar method before to get around the "non-interactive commands" problem with TI tasks. However, I haven't tried it with your particular scenario (I run in the normal administrator mode).
     
  16. tuttle

    tuttle Registered Member

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    Sounds intriguing. MudCrab, could you expand on that a little? By pre-command do you mean ATI pre command? Mark indicates that ATI pre and post commands don't work when you run TrueImageService directly.

    I need a way that will run from Standard user account, even when the main scheduled task running is running as SYSTEM or as the admin user, but any messages or displays must show to Standard user account.
     
  17. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    The pre and post commands can be run from Windows Task Scheduler or from TI's scheduler if you're using it (which you're not).

    Here's an example:

    Create a program that checks for the existence of a file. For example, that program is called CheckForFile and it looks for D:\backupinprogress.txt. Run this program before the backup task runs. It would run in the user's account. It could be run at startup/log-in or by another task (if it works okay that way).

    Before the backup is run, a pre command in the backup task would create the D:\backupinprogress.txt file.

    CheckForFile will detect the D:\backupinprogress.txt file and display the desired message in a window.

    The backup task finishes and the post command deletes the D:\backupinprogress.txt file.

    CheckForFile notices the deletion of the file and closes the message window.

    I think it would work as long as the file being created and checked isn't saved to a "user" folder. It would need to be at a location accessible to all users.
     
  18. tuttle

    tuttle Registered Member

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    Interesting idea MudCrab, thanks. Do you know of a tutorial or reference site that would show me how to write a script that checks for the existence of a file, as you suggested?

    I guess one possible disadvantage of this approach is that it could require the task to CheckForFile to run constantly. I don't know if such a running task consumes much resources or not.
     
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