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I have a Win2003 server that works as a pdc for a number of XP boxes, and a couple related FreeBSD boxes.

I need to back up roaming profiles, non-roaming profiles via network shares, local hard drive data, and files on the FreeBSD boxes via samba shares.

I have tried Genie Backup Manager and Backup4All pro, and both have excellent features, but both also begin to fail disastrously with more than a few days use. Mostly, the errors seem to have been from the backup catalog getting out of synch with itself. Whatever it is, there is no excuse for a backup software that says it backed up files when it really didn't, or the log saying it backed up exactly the same file 10,000 times in a single run, or flat-out crashing, or any of the other myriad problems I've run into with these. Really sad for products that fill such an important need.

Anyway, does anyone know of a backup software that works reliably and can do the following?

  • Scheduled backups for multiple jobs, without a user logged in.
  • Backup from local hard drives or network shares.
  • Incremental backups.


Edit: Selected solution:

I've added my (hopefully final) solution as an answer.

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closed as off-topic by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Tog, Mokubai, Kevin Panko, mpy Jan 6 '14 at 13:35

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions seeking product, service, or learning material recommendations are off-topic because they tend to become obsolete quickly. Instead, describe your situation and the specific problem you're trying to solve. Here are a few suggestions on how to properly ask this type of question." – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Tog, Mokubai, Kevin Panko, mpy
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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Very good solutions presented, thanks!

I've looked into all of them, but finally ended up SyncBackPro (, which is exactly what I'm looking for, and has fixes for all the things that went wrong with the others. Particularly, the ability to rescan the source and destination and rebuild the index based on the actual files quickly and easily.

So far, it's working flawlessly. I had to tweak it a bit to work around some network issues, locked file issues, etc, but once that was done, it is head and shoulders above the others I've used, and seems very stable.

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I've used it too, and it's great! – Fake Name May 20 '10 at 8:33

Backupexec... I hate most Symantec products... and the fact that the release after Symantec bought Veritas, the setup said "works best with Symantec Antivirus" (or something like that)... however, no matter how many backup solutions I try, for a server environment, I haven't really found anything much better.

If this is for an environment such as what you said, you really do not want to cut corners as it can just bite you in the rear at a later date.

Other than that, you may want to look at Microsoft Data Protection Manager

Lastly as you are using Windows 2003, type NTBackup into run, The built in backup software is quite good.

NTBackup supports several operating system features including backing up the computer's System State. On computers that are not domain-controllers, this includes the Windows Registry, boot files, files protected by Windows File Protection, Performance counter configuration information, COM+ class registration database, IIS metabase, replicated data sets, Exchange Server data, Cluster service information, and Certificate Services database. On domain controllers, NTBackup can back up Active Directory, including the SYSVOL directory share.

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I'd recommend that you give Bacula a look. It's a bit testy to get configured and up and running smoothly, but once done it just takes care of itself. This was a scenario in which the backup server was on FreeBSD and it was backing up other FreeBSD machines and Windows clients.

The Windows Bacula client has a mechanism (the name of which escapes me, at the moment) for taking a snapshot of open files, so it can take a backup of things like Outlook PST files that are held open on the clients.

In any case, you should investigate an option that supports a native FreeBSD client (such as Arkeia), so you can take advantage of compression. Backing up over Samba shares seems horribly inefficient.

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