How to Back Up Your Network, Part 2

By: Walter Metcalf
Date: 08/02/00

Last week we discussed preparing your network for backup using BackAgain/2000 Workstation. 1 This week we will look at the BackAgain/2000 Workstation installation requirements for a network backup; then introduce and construct the required Set files.

Set-Up Procedure (Cont'd.)

B.      Set Up BackAgain/2000

Unless otherwise stated, all procedures hereafter will be carried out on the same workstation.

  1. Installation and Configuration

    1. Install BackAgain/2000 on the workstation you wish to back up from according to the instructions provided on the CD or download file.

    2. Be sure to download and install all the necessary updates. Note that in many cases only the most recent need be installed.

    3. If you are using the Adaptec 2940 SCSI driver, be sure you are using IBM's driver. As of this writing, the Adaptec driver has a critical bug in it that causes numerous problems when BackAgain/2000 is used with it.2

    4. When installed, start the program and click on "Configuration". Most settings can be left as they are (the default) or set to your preference. However, there are a few that require specific values if the unattended network backup is to work properly:

      1. "Drives" Tab

        Select "Automatic Scan" and "Scan neighboring servers". This causes BackAgain/2000 to dynamically scan the network to see which PC's and drives are online each time it runs.

      2. "Messages" Tab

        Deselect "Sound alarm when message is displayed" and "Pause on errors".
        Select: "Log all errors and messages".
        Deselect: "Limit size of log file ...."

        1. This will preserve maximum information while eliminating unnecessary delays and alarms.

      3. "Misc" Tab

        Be sure the correct "Default Device" is displayed. If not, then click on "Change", and select the correct one from the list displayed.
        Selecting "Display directory names only" will significantly speed up the throughput, and is recommended. Filenames will still be recorded in the log.

        The following setting is recommended as good practice, but is not required:

      4. "Backup" Tab

        Set the "Default backUp type" to either Copy or Differential. These are safer than Full or Incremental because they do not change the Archive flag.

  2. Installation on a Maintenance Partition

      Sooner or later you'll need to do this, so you might as well as be prepared. Doing it now also makes your backups more efficient, as I'll discuss below.

    1. Boot your maintenance partition.

    2. Copy the directory, including the subdirectories, containing your BackAgain/2000 files into a backup directory.

    3. Install BackAgain/2000 into the SAME DIRECTORY as the operating directory on your main system. This is very important! The only reason you actually do a reinstall is to create new WorkPlace Shell objects and folders for the maintenance partitions and update the MP's config.sys. Both partitions will use exactly the same files.

    4. Shutdown and restart the maintenance partition.

    5. Copy the files and subdirectories in the backup directory created in step 1 into the original BackAgain/2 directory.

    6. Check the BackAgain/2 objects to make sure the paths and filenames are correct. Change any that are not. You may also have to re-create shadows of some of the folders and .INF files.

  3. Introducing Set Files

    1. To do a complete backup cycle you need three of what most backup programs, including BackAgain/2000, call Set files. Simply put, these are small files that contain a list, or set, of files to be backed up. Why three? Here is a description of each:


        1. FULL backup of local system drive. This is normally done from the maintenance partition. However it is written to the same tape as the others.

        2. This set is not strictly necessary. Its big advantage is that it drastically reduces the number of files that have to backed up by the differential backups and since there are typically a large number of these in a cycle, performing this step can save a great deal of space on the tape, or other backup media.

      2. FULL_LAN.BST

        1. FULL backup of all shared drives on all online PC's EXCEPT the local system drive.

      3. DIFF_LAN.BST

        1. DIFFERENTIAL backup of all shared drives on all online PC's.

    2. Notes on Set Files

      1. Set files are ASCII; however, they require a specific format, and so are generated automatically by BackAgain/2000 as a result of your file selections and other specifications.

      2. The extension ".BST" is required and is generated by BackAgain/2000 at creation time.

      3. The filename portion (the part preceding the ".") is specified by the user; however, since you often accumulate many of these files, it is a good idea to make the names descriptive of the files they contain and the action they specify.

Next page > Creating the Set Files  > Page 1, 2

Walter Metcalf


1 Let me reiterate that BackAgain/2000 Workstation is designed to back up networks while running on Warp 4 from a workstation.

2 For more information see the CDS web site's FAQ page..

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