SUMMARY: PC backups onto a central sun server

From: Paul Walters (
Date: Sat Apr 16 1994 - 07:33:48 CDT

Thankyou to everyone who responded to this. I was interested in finding out
how PC backups could be done onto a central Sun server using PC-NFS.

I will list the methods which can be used.

* Use CLOCKER and TAR.

Clocker is a scheduler which will shut down Microsoft Windows, run an
application, and then restart Windows. The disadvantage of this is that many
applications cannot be open in Windows when the backup is scheduled to run, so
the users must exit any DOS windows, etc before they leave at night.

* Use Legato Networker to backup the PCs under PC-NFS

I don't know much about Legato - I guess that it is backup software which
centrally backs up all your Sun and PC systems? Can anyone enlighten me?

* Use IFS-Backup

I'm afraid I know no more about this product - can anyone enlighten me as to
what it will give me over other solutions?

* Directly access the Sun server's tape drive

This ability comes with PC-NFS together with Sun's Lifeline Mail Program (and
backup). I think this is the same thing as SUN SelectMail (?), and the DOS
version has a backup and scheduler utility which allows you to write to a disk
or a tape on a remote UNIX box. Writing tape may involve timing problems -
preferred method perhaps writing to disk and then from there onto tape. Only
the DOS version of SelectMail supports backups.

* Use the backup tool of PC Tools

The backup tool allows you to define a file view of file to be stored,
different backup methods, the location of the backup, and recovery features
too. The backup directory of the SUN is mounted using PC-NFS (or in this case
Pathway NFS).


Mount a backup disk on the PCs, and use a batch file to xcopy the files onto
the backup disk. Create an icon for the batch file within Windows Program
Manager, allowing both incremental and full backups (use archive bit and use
attrib /s on drive when full backup is required). This does not work with
DOS's SHARE program.

* Use freeware SOSS program

This is an NFS server for PCs which runs with a packet driver. Leave the PCs
running SOSS every night, and get the central server to mount the PC disks and
tar the disks to tape.

* Use Beam and Whiteside NFS server

Same solution as above.

* Use PKzip

Back up data only (not programs) onto disks using pkzip, which are then
written to tape overnight.

* Use LHarc

Assume similar to above solution

* Use PKZIP and use cron job to scan backup drive for anything over 14 days
old and delete.

Allows files to go to multiple tapes, and also allows user restoration for
limited period.

* Use Fastback or Central Point Backup.

Fastback has a decent compression routine. Assume this again means copying to
disk, then onto tape and then deleting from disk.

Well those are the methods which you all told me about - excuse if I have got
something wrong or missed something out.

I don't think that there is anything available which suits my requirements
from this list - I don't think there is anything full stop. I will describe
my problem and my solution:-

We want to make sure our PCs running on PC-NFS are all backed up on a day by
day basis.

We do not want to leave our PCs on overnight, and so automatically backing up
the PCs by copying the data to the Suns disks or tape overnight is not

We have software on our central Sun which keeps records of every file backed
up onto tape - therefore it would be nice to do a file by file backup, rather
than creating an archive file of the whole disk on the PC. This makes
restoration much easier when a user asks for a file but doesn't know the
backup date.

A simple solution like xcopy is not too suitable for us, because it does not
copy hidden files, file attributes, and I think that at least under some DOS
versions has real problems when filenames or directory names contain the
reserved ~ character. It obviously has no scheduling capability either.

Therefore for our requirements, I decided to create a program which precisely
does what we require. It can be used in a similar way to xcopy on the command
line, but also allows incremental or full backups to be run when placed in
"automatic backup" mode. It works on a predefined rotation, so for instance
all of our PCs work will work in a 40 day rotation, and within these 40 days
each disk on each PC will be scheduled for a full backup - when a disk on a PC
is not scheduled for a full backup, it will be incrementally backed up. It is
placed in the autoexec.bat, so all backups are done first thing in the
morning. Therefore this causes no problems with SHARE. hidden files are
copied, and all attributes of each file is copied.

The files will be copied to a backup disk on the Sun, backed up overnight, and
deleted from the disk.

If anybody would like to comment on any of the methods above, add further
information, add better ways of backing up PCs, want further information of
any method, and so on, please feel free to email me. If I accumulate enough
information, I can always add another summary.

I am currently finding out whether my program can be used by other sites - I
can give you more info if required.

Many thanks to everyone who replied :- Russ Walsh Lary J. Miller Jerry Weber Claude Marinier John Konc Joel Shandelman Jeff Ripley Uwe Lemgo Robert Ogren Joseph P DeCello III Smirnov Dmitry Ivanovich Richard Johnson Ian Johnson Jason Andrade Gregory Bond John Fierstien Matt Hofener
admin@gilligan.UCSD.EDU Amy Hollander Linda Roy Bret Robinson Dave Fetrow Rabin Ezra Pete Welcher David Burwell David W. Griffith Amy Hollander


Paul Walters, Philips Research Laboratories, Cross Oak Lane, Redhill, Surrey. RH1 5HA. United Kingdom. Tel: +44 293 815062 FAX: +44 293 815500 Internet:

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