I'd like to be able to access a Linux partition through cygwin on Windows. My purpose is to backup data from a Linux server to my home computer running Windows 7. Right now it mostly works, except when there's files with invalid characters or if there are multiple files with the same letters but different case.
What I do is use a VirtualBox. This can be done in two ways,
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As I understand it, you want to make a backup by copying a complete directory tree to a different computer, file by file. This is admittedly one way of making a backup, but I would suggest a different approach, especially since it appears to work out badly in your case.
What I do myself (in principle), it to create tarballs of the files I want to back up locally on the Linux server and save them somewhere else through ssh (actually by sshfs, but no matter). This should eliminate problems with filenames as long as the tar implementation on the Linux server handles them.
You could do this by setting up cygwin with an ssh server for the Linux server to connect to, or with a command like
run from cygwin on the computer you want to keep the backup on. You could also save the tarballs on the Linux server and transfer them afterwards.
If you want to reduce the amount of bandwidth and diskspace comsumed, I suggest using star in stead of gnu tar, and it's incremental mode, which lets you only include files modified after the previous backup. It will still not do the delta transfer of rsync, and several versions of files will take up disk space, though. On the other hand, a tarball is far simpler to compress efficiently (with xz or something) than a directory tree.
There's a registry setting determining whether the Windows kernel treats filenames as case-insensitive:
Set that to
Cygwin 1.7 automatically maps characters such as