NT Backup is a basic backup and restore utility included with NT Server and NT Workstation. It is adequate for many tasks, but has obvious limitations such as no scheduling of automatic backups or the ability to backup open database files.

To start NT Backup click on ‘Start’, ‘Programs’, ‘Administrative Tools (Common)’, and ‘Backup’. This will open the main Backup window, with two further windows minimised as icons for ‘Drives’ and ‘Tapes’. The drives window shows drives containing files which are available for backing up. The tapes window shows the tape drives available for backing up to and restoring from.

How do I back up files?



Once Backup is running, double click on the ‘Drives’ icon in the bottom left of the main window — this will show you the drives which are visible to the backup program. There is no facility to browse the network here, so if you need to back up files that are not stored locally, i.e. on the PC you are using, first ensure a drive is mapped to their location before running Backup.If you double click on a drive icon, a second window will open showing all the folders and fileson that drive.

Each drive, folder or file appears with a check box next to it on left. If this box has an ‘x’ in it then that file is selected to be backed up. In the case of drives or folders an ‘x’ with a greyed out background means that some of the files it contains are selected but not all.


Use this window to select all the files and folders that you wish to back up. As mentioned above, open files should not be included as access to themwill be denied during the backup process. A way round this is to make a copy of such files, and then select the copy for backing up. This will enable backups of database file which are in constant use, such as FOPS or PMS.

Once you have selected the files for backing up click once on the ‘Backup’ button near the top left of the main program window.


The backup information window will then open where options can be set for the backup operation. This starts by displaying information on the tape which is currently in the tape drive, and gives a dialogue box where a new name for the tape can be typed in (i.e. instead of ‘Tape created on 01/07/2000’ as in the example,

call it ‘FOPS Weds 14/06/00’ or ‘PMS w/e 23/06/00’ which will mean something to you at a later date).

Below this box are several tick boxes for various options, the only one of which we need be concerned with is the ‘Verify after Backup’ option. This should be ticked to verify the integrity of the backup once it has been written to the tape—the other options should be left to experienced users or system administrators.

To the right of this is the ‘Operation’ option selector which can be set to append or replace. This means either add the files to be backed up to the end of the tape (which means the tape will gradually fill up andrun out of space) or replace, which will overwrite old files with the new backup job. Each has its merits depending on what you plan to do with the tape afterwards. Append should be used to keep sequential historical records in situations where you will keep your tapes once full and start a new one, allowing you to step through the data as changes have occurred. Replace is useful if using a pool of tapes which are recycled, such as one per day of the week.

At the bottom of the window are settings for the backup log file, which for most users can be ignored, since it is only referred to when troubleshooting backup errors and failures.


pg2 - Using NT Backup (Continued)
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