Friday, June 26, 2009

Windows Home Server Backup

Now that our MediaSmart Windows Home server supports backing up our Mac OS X computers with Time Machine, I freed up the 1.5 TB USB drive that had been connected to our Mac mini.

I am pretty happy with our current backup situation.  All of our computers are backed up to the Windows Home Server.  I use HP Online Backup, to backup some of this data to Amazon S3 for offsite storage.  But there is still a chance that I can loose data.  Since, I don't have all of our data stored offsite, if the computers and the server are damaged, then I will lose data.  I could have all of the content on the server sent to Amazon  S3, but this would take too much time and cost too much money.

I figured that I could use this now-available 1.5 TB drive to backup the backups from the other computers.  Then I could take this drive to a safe deposit box for safe keeping.

Windows Home Server supports using a drive as a backup for the server, instead of increasing storage space.  When you do this, you can specify which shares you want to back up.   You can't schedule unattended backups, but you can do manual backups (I assume this is because Microsoft assumed that these drives would be stored offsite, and would need to be physically connected to perform the backup.)

Unfortunately, this doesn't work exactly as I would like for two reasons.

  1. Since the place where Windows Home Server stores the backups of the other computers is not considered a "share", the backups of the computers are not available to be saved in a backup.

  2. The Time Machine backup from the Mac OS X machines are stored on a share, so they can be added to the backup.  But, the Windows Home Server has a problem backing up the file if the Time Machine disk image is open.  So, if one of the Mac OS X computers are turned on, the backup of that file will fail.

  3. The backup has a problem "finding part of the path" in the share that contains our music.  This is causing none of our music to be backed up.


I am sure that I can find out where Windows Home Server stores the Windows computer backup files, and could manually copy them to the hard drive.  And I will just shut down the Mac OS X computers before starting the backup.

I need to find the file that is causing the problem within the music share.