I want to use more then one backup server. What do I have to consider?
For security reasons the UrBackup Client only allows the backup server it first sees to download files. This is even the case if you update the Client. To select a different backup server you have to edit 'server_idents.txt' in the directory where you installed UrBackup Client. To authenticate an additional backup server you have to ask the server administrator for the server key (It is between '#I' and '#' in server_ident.key) and add this key as an additional row to the 'server_idents.txt'. Another option is to use the same key for all backup servers.
Server says 'Server rejected' for a client and does not backup that client
Because of security reasons the UrBackup client only allows the first UrBackup server it sees to back up. For this reasons every server has a random server identity. This identity changes if you uninstall and then install the server or if you use another server. The best option is to prevent this by saving the 'server_ident.key' on the server and to restore it if it has changed. If you did not do this your options are:
- Delete the 'server_idents.txt', stop the UrBackup client backend service, wait 5min, and start the service again.
- Uninstall the UrBackup client, wait 5min and then install it again. You use your settings if you do this.
- Get the server identity from the server (It is between '#I' and '#' in server_ident.key) and add it to the client's 'server_idents.txt'.
The Client says the backup is done, but the server still works?
The modified files are copied as fast as possible from the client. Only afterwards the server examines the files and puts them into the right directory. This can take a long time and the client is not necessary for this anymore. Because of this the Client already says the backup is done.
How are the backups saved?
The backups are saved in the path you set during installation or in the webinterface. In this path there is one directory per client. Directly in this directory there are the image backups. They have the pattern 'Image_<Drive>_<YYMMDD-HHMM>.vhd'. <Drive> is the imaged partition. DD the date. MM the month. YY the year. HH the hour and MM the minute.
The file backups are in subdirectories with the pattern YYMMDD-HHMM (see above for explanation). 'current' is a symbolic link to the most current finished file backup. The backups are ordered chronological if you sort by file or directory name. In the directory 'clients' there are links to the most current file backup of each client.
I want to extract a file from the image backups. How do I do that?
The image backups are saved as VHD-files. Those are nothing else as virtual container files for hard disks. Microsoft Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode use the same file format. If you use one of these products you can simply add the image as an hard disk to the virtual maschine.
Windows 7 allows you to directly add this container file as a hard disk in system settings->Manage->Computer management->Disk management->Other Actions -> Add Virtual Hard Disk. The image will appear as another drive in the explorer. You can then extract the file. This seems to only work if the image is on a local hard drive - you have to copy the image from the server on one of your hard disks. If you do not want to do this there is the (free) Gizmo Central
. It can add VHD images as drives as well, even from network shares. (Virtual PC mount from network shares too btw).
Always mount the images read only!
How to define a backup window?
In the settings you can set a backup window. The server will only start backing up clients within this window. The clients can always start backups on their own, even outside the backup windows. If a backup is started it runs till it is finished and does not stop if the backup process does not complete within the backup window. A few examples for the backup window:
1-7/0-24: Allow backups on every day of the week on every hour.
Mon-Sun/0-24: An equivalent notation of the above
Mon-Fri/8:00-9:00, 19:30-20:30;Sat,Sun/0-24: On weekdays backup between 8 and 9 and between 19:30 and 20:30. On Saturday and Sunday the whole time.
As one can see a number can denote a day of the week (1-Monday, 2-Thuesday, 3-Wednesday, 4-Thursday, 5-Friday, 6-Saturday, 7-Sunday). You can also use the abbreviations of the days (Mon, Thues, Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun). The times can either consist of only full hours or of hours with minutes. The hours are on the 24 hour clock. You can set multiple days and times per window definition, seperated per ",". You can also set multiple window definitions. Seperate them with ";".
How to exlude files?
You can exlude files with wildcard matching. For example if you want to exlude all MP3s and movie files enter something like this:
If you want to exclude a directory e.g. Temp you can do it like this:
*/Temp/* (or *\Temp\*)
This would exclude all files in directories named Temp.
You can also give the full local name
or the name you gave the location e.g.
Rules are separated by a semicolon (";").
Use a backslash for Windows clients ("\") and a forward slash for Linux clients ("/") to separate folders.
How to include files?
If you do not define an include pattern all files in the backups paths except the excluded ones are backed up. As soon as you define an include pattern only files which match this pattern are backed up. Similar to the exclude pattern you can include files by their extension:
Would only backup Word documents.
Would only backup files in document folders.
Additionally to the standard wildcard("*") which matches every character you can use ":" which matches every character except the path separator (/ or \).
If you backup e.g. the C:\Users path and want to backup all document directories you can use the pattern
That way e.g. Users\Foo\Other\Documents would not be backed up.
The pattern is used for all paths you specify. So if you use the above rule for the Users folder and want to backup all files in another folder be sure to add that folder to the pattern e.g. by specifying
How to define a cleanup window?
UrBackup will do its cleanup during this time. This is when old backups and clients are deleted. You can specifiy the weekday and the hour as intervals. The syntax is the same as for the backup window. Thus please see the FAQ entry of the backup window
for details on how to specifiy such time windows.
The default value is 1-7/3-4 which means that the cleanup will be started on each day (1-Monday - 7-Sunday) between 3 am and 4 am.
How to define default backup locations?
Just enter the different locations separated by a semicolon (";") e.g.
If you want to give the backup locations a different name you can add one with the pipe symbol e.g:
C:\Users|User files;C:\Program Files|Programs
gives the "Users" directory the name "User files" and the "Program files" directory the name "Programs".
Those locations are only the default locations. Even if you check "Seperate settings for this client" and disable "Allow client to change settings", once the client modified the paths changes in this field are not used by the client.
How to specify the volumes to backup?
UrBackup backs up all the volumes you specify in the "Volumes to backup" field. You should specify volume letters (C,D,E,...) separated by ";" or "," there.
Microsoft Outlook .ost files aren't backed up!
Microsoft somehow hacked the Windows Shadow Copy service in a way that they do not include .ost files. Several Backup tools (UrBackup included) thus do not backup them. Here is what seems like an official statement from Microsoft:"Maintaining changes to .ost files within shadow copies is expensive in terms of space and I/O activity. The performance impact doesn't occur during the image backup itself--the only extra work at backup time is backing up the .ost file as part of the image. Instead, the performance impact occurs during the ongoing, everyday I/O to the .ost file when Outlook is running. If the .ost changes were kept in shadow copies, then every time Outlook writes to the .ost file, the result is a copy-on-write I/O hit (2 writes, 1 read). Although we have worked to reduce the impact of copy-on-writes on shadow copies, a heavily churned file like an .ost file could still cause problems. For these reasons, and the fact that .ost files can be regenerated, we chose to delete .ost files from the shadow copy before the image is created.
Even if the performance issues didn't exist, there are situations where Exchange will, after an .ost is restored, detect a "future" version of the .ost file and force you to delete and then regenerate the local .ost file. Therefore, it's still preferable to regenerate an .ost file instead of restoring it."
Basically it says: Just backup the Exchange server (which you can do with UrBackup, too) and you are good.
What does the "Archived" column show?
If the box in that column is checked the backup is archived. As long as a backup is archived UrBackup won't delete it in any case. If there is a stop watch next to the box it means the backup will stop being archived after some time. This time is shown if you hover over the stop watch.
How to use the archive window?
The archival window allows you to archive backups at very specific times. The format is
very similar to crontab
. The fields are the same except that there are no minutes:
|Day of month||1-31|| |
|Month||1-12||No names allowed|
|Day of week||0-7||0 and 7 are Sunday|
To archive a file backup on the first Friday of every month we would
then set "Archive every" to something like 27 days. After entering the time we
want the backups archived for we would then add
as window (hour;day of month;month;day of week).
To archive a backup every Friday we would set "Archive every" to a value
greater than one day but less than 7 days. This works because both conditions have to
apply: The time since the last backup archival must be greater than "Archive every" and
the server must be currently in the archive window.
Other examples are easier. To archive a backup on the first of every month the window
and "Archive every" something like 2-27 days.
One can add several values for every field by separating them via a comma such that
and "Archive every" one day would archive a backup on Wednesday and Friday. Other
advanced features found in crontab
are not present.
What is the global soft filesystem quota?
During cleanups UrBackup will look at the used space of the filesystem the backup folder is on. If the used space is higher than the global soft filesystem quota UrBackup will delete old backups, if possible, till the used space is below the quota. Be aware that not only UrBackup's files count against the quota, but other files as well. A quota that only takes into account UrBackup's files is plannned.
You can sepecify the quota via a percentage of total space, or by a size. For example let the size of the Backup device be 1 Tera-byte:
If you set the global filesystem quota to "90%", UrBackup will delete old backups as soon as more than about 900 Giga-bytes of the available space is used. You could also directly set the quota to 900 Giga-bytes by setting it to "900G". Other units are possible, e.g. "900000M" or "1T".
Open files in TrueCrypt volumes are not backed up!
This is a TrueCrypt limitation. See http://www.truecrypt.org/docs/?s=issues-and-limitations
.The Windows Volume Shadow Copy Service is currently supported only for partitions within the key scope of active system encryption (e.g. a system partition encrypted by TrueCrypt, or a non-system partition located on a system drive encrypted by TrueCrypt, mounted when the encrypted operating system is running). Note: For other types of volumes, the Volume Shadow Copy Service is not supported because the documentation for the necessary API is not available.