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Backup utilities

Learn about the backup tools available in Windows 2000.

Backup utilities
Barry Shilmover and Stu Sjouwerman

This tip, excerpted from InformIT, discusses backup tools available in Windows 2000. It is from a chapter of the book Windows 2000 Power Toolkit. You probably have tips that bear on this topic. Why not send them to us? We'll publish them on our Website, and enter you in our tips contest for some nifty prizes.

Windows 2000 now includes an advanced built-in backup tool. Instead of developing the backup program, Microsoft opted to license software from Veritas Software (formerly Seagate Software). Compared to the Windows NT backup utility, this tool is a big step forward. Although some of the inherent problems with the Windows NT version of the program have been fixed with Windows 2000, the Backup utility still has some problems:
  • Remote Registry backup is not supported.
  • Remote files are accessible only if a drive is mapped to a local drive letter.

Scheduling backups with the native backup utility requires the use of the Task Scheduler service. This service is enabled through the Services tool in the Administrative Tools menu. You'll need to set its startup parameters to Automatic. You no longer need to use the AT.EXE and WINAT.EXE utilities to schedule the backup. Instead, you simply click on the Schedule Jobs tab and configure the backup.

Aside from its ability to back up and restore files (including the Registry), back up and restore from non-tape devices such as floppy disks, Zip disks, Jaz disks, or a file on a hard drive, and schedule these tasks, it also creates the Emergency Repair Disk (ERD). In previous versions of Windows, the ERD was created using the RDISK.EXE utility.

We provide pointers to a number of excellent third-party backup utilities at the end of the chapter in the "For More Information" section.

When selecting a third-party backup solution, make sure it exhibits the following features:

  • Backs up to tape, disk, floppy, and other media types
  • Backs up and restores local and network resources
  • Backs up and restores local and remote Registries
  • Includes internal automation and scheduling of backups
  • Fully supports Windows 2000 security including Active Directory
  • Supports backup tape locking, encryption, or other media security features

With these requirements, you are sure to find a backup product that meets your needs and can keep up with an expanding network. Note that many backup programs are rated as enterprise solutions. This is often a term used to indicate that the product can support a large network. You also might notice that these products have a price tag of over $1,000. This doesn't mean that you'll have to shell out that much money to obtain good backup software. You should take the time to shop around. For example, Backup Exec from Veritas has a desktop version available online for under $100.

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To learn more about Windows 2000 Power Toolkit, or to buy the book, click here.

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