Sunday, April 10, 2011

Robocopy on Windows 7

I have never claimed to be an expert on, well, anything. However, I do like to try to learn something new every day and I usually stick to the "nerdy" stuff. I recently decided that I wanted to improve the way I backed up important data at home. At work, we script it and tar it and set the archive bits and get the emails...that always seemed like overkill to me. That is until I accidently ruined two, (YES, 2) removable HDD's in one night, including a one week old 1TB Seagate drive that I had bought on sale...bummer!

I am not at an endstate yet in my search for the best backup solution for the home network. One thing I have been playing with is Robocopy...and oh what fun it has been.

My setup:
- A new (non-dropped on the floor and ruined) 1TB GoFlex network storage drive.
- Many computers...but testing from the one with Windows 7 Professional.

Source:
c:\users\myusername\Desktop\CIS577

Destination:
\\GOFLEX_HOME\GoFlex Home Personal\Dave_School\CIS577

Goal:
To back up school, family, and other documents on an automatic and easy basis...not to mention reliable. I should mention here that the Seagate software for the GoFlex comes with a backup solution that is fairly easy to use and customize. (Secretly, I just wanted an excuse to again play with Robocopy...remind myself of its functions and limitations).

Command (From ELEVATED Command Prompt):
$>robocopy c:\users\myusername\Desktop\CIS577 \\GOFLEX_HOME\GoFlex Home Personal\Dave_School\CIS577 /LOG:BackUpLogs\PicsBUlog /SAVE:BackUpJobs\PicsJob /B /V /E

- The /E is probably redundant with the /B, but I wanted to add it to ensure the directory recursion.

- The /LOG option points to a folder in the current working directory and the name of a command file for this particular backup job

- The /SAVE option points to a folder in the current working directory and the name of the logfile for this particular backup job

- The /V, like almost any other command line program....Verbosity...YEAH! :-)

If I want to run this job as a service or just in the background, I can add the /MON option (/MON:#) with a number representing the number of changes made to the source that will automatically trigger the backup job again. Careful though...if you add this from a normal command prompt...you may be waiting AWHILE for anything to happen if you are not actively changing the source location.

So Robocopy has been fun to play with today. I created jobs to backup all of our pictures from our recent trip to Gatlinburg and it is running better than copying through the GUI....yeah!