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Mon, Oct 24, 2022 10:10 pm

Daily Backup Using Robocopy

I wanted to use Robocopy, to backup a directory on a Windows Server 2022 system to an external USB drive attached to the server every weekday. The server is at a company where employees don't usually work on files at the office on weekends and I create a weekly backup archive on weekends using a different backup method. I opted to use Robocopy since it is a free command-line utility for replicating files and directories that is provided by Microsoft with current Windows operating systems. The directory I want to backup is D:\ACCI and I want to create the backup on the external E:\ drive in the existing directory E:\ACI\Backups\ACCI. I want that backup directory to always mirror the source directory, so any files added during the day should be added to the backup directory when the Robocopy command runs and any files that are deleted from the source directory during the day should be deleted from the backup directory when the Robocopy command runs. I.e., the backup directory should mirror the source directory, so I use Robocopy's /MIR option. The source directory is a directory shared over the local area network (LAN) and it is possible that an employee may leave for the day with one or more files in the shared folder on the server still open. I don't want Robocopy to wait and try again to backup an open file since the script will be running at night at a time employees aren't likely to be still working and so any file that is locked because it is still open will likely remain open until at least the the next day when employees resume work. So I use the /W:0 option to tell Robocopy to immediately retry to backup a file if it encounters a problem (by default it will wait 30 seconds and try again) and the /R:1 option to tell Robocopy to only retry backing up a file once rather than try repeatedly (it will try 1 million times by default). I want to record all output of the Robocopy daily backups in E:\ACI\Backups\RoboCopyBackup.log so I place that output path and filename after >> which will append the daily output to that file—if you just use one greater than sign rather than two, the file will be overwritten each time the Robocopy command runs. So I have the following Robocopy command, which I placed in a file I created with Windows Notepad named Robocopy_Daily_Mirror.bat (when you are saving a batch file in notepad change "save as type" from "Text Documents (*.txt)" to "All Files"):

robocopy D:\ACCI E:\ACI\Backups\ACCI /MIR /W:0 /R:1 >> E:\ACI\Backups\RoboCopyBackup.log

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/utilities/backup/robocopy] permanent link

Mon, Feb 20, 2017 10:43 pm

Determining the last system image backup time for a Windows 10 system

I backed up a Windows 10 system to an external USB disk drive using the backup utility that comes with the operating system that can be run by right-clicking on the Windows Start button then choosing Control Panel then Backup and Restore (Windows 7), which is found beneath System and Security, and then choosing Create a system image. If you create a system in that manner and then later wish to know the date and time you backed up the system without reattaching the drive you used, you can do so from a command prompt window with administrator privileges by using the wbadmin get versions command as shown below:

C:\WINDOWS\system32>wbadmin get versions
wbadmin 1.0 - Backup command-line tool
(C) Copyright 2013 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Backup time: 2/19/2017 8:31 PM
Backup target: 1394/USB Disk labeled Seagate Backup Plus Drive(E:)
Version identifier: 02/20/2017-01:31
Can recover: Volume(s), File(s), Application(s), Bare Metal Recovery, System State
Snapshot ID: {d4a62a80-ac6f-4aba-8886-6ba570c1284a}


Once you have the version identifier(s), you can use it to view the details regarding what volumes were backed up on the system to the external USB drive using a command in the form wbadmin get items -version:version_id.

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/utilities/backup] permanent link

Sat, Feb 14, 2015 4:43 pm

Correcting "Windows Installer Service could not be accessed" Problem

When I tried to install Norton Ghost 7.5 on a Windows Small Business Server (SBS) 2003 server, I received the message below:
Windows Installer
The Windows Installer Service could not be accessed.
This can occur if you are running Windows in safe
mode, or if the Windows Installer is not correctly
installed. Contact your support personnel for assistance.

[ OK ]

I downloaded Windows Installer 3.1 Redistributable (v2) From Microsoft's Download Center and installed it, but I got the same results when I tried to reinstall Symantec Ghost 7.5.

Microsoft's article, "Error 1719: The Windows Installer service could not be accessed" error message when you try to add or remove a program states the behavior may occur if the following conditions are true:

I was starting the Symantec Gost 7.5 installation process from a CD with an autorun file, but I noticed there was a file, Symantec Ghost.msi in an Install directory on the CD. The installation process likely uses the .msi file for the installation.

Microsoft's article recommends steps to resolve the problem. You should first determine the location of the file msiexec.exe on your system. The file will be in the Windows system32 directory, which is usually either C:\Windows\system32 or C:\WINNT\system32 for versions of Windows after Windows 98. For Windows 98 the file is usually in C:\Windows\System. You can search for the file or you can determine the Windows directory by obtaining a command prompt and checking the value of the %WINDIR% environment variable with echo %WINDIR%, which will tell you which directory is the Windows directory on a system. You can then verify that msiexec.exe is in that directory.

C:\>dir %WINDIR%\system32\msiexec.exe
 Volume in drive C has no label.
 Volume Serial Number is E88C-7773

 Directory of C:\Windows\system32

03/21/2005  02:00 PM            78,848 msiexec.exe
               1 File(s)         78,848 bytes

You then need to check the registry to make sure that HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\MSIServer\ImagePath has a value that corresponds to the actual location of the msiexec.exe file on the system. You can do so using the regedit command or using a reg query command from a command prompt.

C:\>reg query HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\MSIServer

    Description    REG_SZ    Adds, modifies, and removes applications provided a
s a Windows Installer (*.msi) package. If this service is disabled, any services
 that explicitly depend on it will fail to start.
    Type    REG_DWORD    0x20
    Start    REG_DWORD    0x3
    ErrorControl    REG_DWORD    0x1
    ImagePath    REG_EXPAND_SZ    C:\Windows\system32\msiexec.exe /V
    DisplayName    REG_SZ    Windows Installer
    DependOnService    REG_MULTI_SZ    RpcSs
    DependOnGroup    REG_MULTI_SZ
    ObjectName    REG_SZ    LocalSystem


If the msiexec.exe file is in C:\Windows\System32, you should see C:\Windows\System32\Msiexec.exe /V as the value in the key. In the case of the system I was working on, the file location matched the registry value.

If the values don't match, you will need to enter the correct path in the registry or put the file in the directory listed in the registry. Once the values match, you will need to reregister the msiexec.exe file. To do so, restart the computer in Safe Mode (hit F8 to get the menu of boot options before Windows starts when you reboot).

Once you've logged into an administrator account on the system in Safe Mode, you will need to use the following procedure:

Click Start, click Run, type the following line, and then click OK:

msiexec /regserver

Note: For 64-bit operating systems, you also need to reregister the 64-bit MSI installer. To do this, click Start, click Run, type the following line, and then click OK:

Drive:\Windows\Syswow64\Msiexec /regserver

On 64-bit editions of a Windows operating system, 32-bit binaries are located in %systemroot%\SysWow64 folder. 64-bit binaries are located in the %systemroot%\System32 folder.

Once you have reregistered the msiexec.exe file, you will need to reboot into standard mode. Then try the installation process again that failed previously. If that fails, Microsoft does offer another alternative for dealing with the problem. See "Method 2" at "Error 1719: The Windows Installer service could not be accessed" error message when you try to add or remove a program.

In my case, I was then able to successfully reinstall Symantec Ghost 7.5 on the system, though I did receive another error at the end of the process that was not associated with the previous installer problem. The error I received at the end is shown below.

Symantec Ghost Configuration Server
08001 [Sybase[[ODBC driver][Adaptive Server Anywhere]Unable to connect to
database server: Database server not running

[ OK ]


  1. Windows Installer 3.1 Redistributable (v2)
    Date Published: September 2, 2005
    Microsoft Download Center
  2. "Error 1719: The Windows Installer service could not be accessed" error message when you try to add or remove a program
    Article ID : 315346
    Last Review : March 1, 2007
    Microsoft Help and Support
  3. File Extension Details for .MSI

[/os/windows/utilities/backup/ghost] permanent link

Sat, Dec 08, 2012 11:30 pm

Acronis Bootable Media Image Backup

I was unable to backup a new HP PC with RAID drives using a couple of other backup programs I often use, but was able to do so using Acronis Backup & Recovery 11.5.

[ More ]

[/os/windows/utilities/backup/acronis] permanent link

Mon, May 18, 2009 9:42 pm

Ghost 7.5 Client Unable to Obtain IP Address via DHCP

On Monday, a user called me to report that she was seeing "Unable to obtain IP address via DHCP. Network initialization failed: the DOS-mode client cannot proceed." messages on one of her company's PCs. Rebooting the system did not help. When I booted the system this evening, I saw the following appear on the system's screen during the boot process:
MS-DOS LAN Manager v2.1 Netbind
IBM Netbind Version 2.1
Microsoft (R) Mouse Driver Version 8.20
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corp. 1983-1992.
Copyright (C) IBM Corp. 1992-1993.
Mouse driver installed
Network initialization failed: the DOS-mode client cannot proceed
Unable to obtain IP address via DHCP
Network initialization failed: the DOS-mode client cannot proceed
Unable to obtain IP address via DHCP

The last two lines continued to repeat. I hit Ctrl-C to break out of the loop, which yielded a C:\GHOST> prompt. I realized then that the Ghost backup process that normally runs on the weekend encountered a problem. A Ghost 7.5 server normally starts a backup of the system on the weekend by contacting the Ghost client software on the system and instructing it to reboot into a Ghost virtual partition. When the backup process completes, the system will reboot into Windows. But, in this case, something went wrong.

Apparently, when the system rebooted into the Ghost virtual partition, it couldn't obtain an IP address from the Ghost server via DHCP and then just continually looped as it tried to obtain an IP address via DHCP. When I later checked the DHCP server, I found that it had exhausted its pool of available IP addresses for handing out via DHCP.

At the prompt, I typed ngctdos -hide and hit Enter to "hide" the Ghost virtual boot partition and restart the system normally.


  1. System Stuck in Ghost Virtual Boot Partition
    MoonPoint Support

[/os/windows/utilities/backup/ghost] permanent link

Sun, Aug 17, 2008 11:30 pm

Symantec Backup Exec 12 Installation

I installed Symantec Backup Exec 12 on a server tonight. I didn't have time to try it after I installed it. I had been using Norton Ghost 7.5 for backups of systems in the domain from that server, but the installation of Backup Exec caused Ghost 7.5 to stop working when I first rebooted the system after the Backup Exec installation. However, when I rebooted again, I received a VXValidate.exe error message, but Norton Ghost 7.5 worked.

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/utilities/backup/backup_exec] permanent link

Sun, Aug 17, 2008 5:26 pm

Norton Ghost 7.5 - Realtek RTL8139 NIC

After replacing the motherboard in a Gateway PC, I had to update the template used by Norton Ghost 7.5 to reflect the network controller built into the motherboard of the new system. The built-in controller was a Realtek RTL8139 Family PCI Fast Ethernet NIC. I've included the necessary NDIS2 driver and instructions for configuring Ghost 7.5 to use it at Norton Ghost 7.5 - Realtek RTL8139 NIC

[/os/windows/utilities/backup/ghost] permanent link

Tue, Jul 29, 2008 11:53 am

Ghost 2003 Backup of Laptop SATA Drive

I received another HP Compaq tc4400 laptop while mine, which would no longer power on, was being repaired. I put the 80 GB SATA drive from my laptop in the new laptop. I wanted to backup the drive to an external USB drive using Norton Ghost 2003 prior to using it in the new system, so I attached the laptop's external DVD drive and attempted to boot from a Ghost 2003 boot CD. I received a message that couldn't be found. I tried several Ghost 2003 boot CD's, but none worked. I was able to boot from a Ghost 2003 boot floppy disk, but when I ran Ghost, I received the message below:

Application Error
Read sector failure, result=1, drive=1,sectors 729050177 to
If this problem persists, contact Symantec Technical Support

I put the drive in a desktop system and booted that system from one of the Ghost 2003 CDs I had tried with the laptop. I didn't receive any error messages and was able to back up the drive without any problems, so I'm not sure why I received the error message when attempting the backup with the laptop.

I know that sometimes a CD or DVD drive will have problems with discs from a particular manufacturer, so perhaps the external HP DVD ROM drive (p/n: PA509A#ABA) was having a problem reading the Office Depot CD-R discs I had put Ghost on, but that shouldn't have any bearing on Ghost aborting when I tried to start it to backup the disk drive. I was able to boot the laptop using the external DVD-ROM drive with an Ubuntu Linux LiveCD.

Ghost Backup

Drive	Size (MB)	Type	Cylinders	Heads	Sectors
    1	    76319	Basic	    20023	  255	     63

					Volume	Size	Data Size
Part	Type	ID	Description	Label	in MB	in MB
   1	Primary 07	       NTFS	No name	76316	    41270
					Free	    2
                                        Total	76319	    41270

Speed (MB/min):369
MB copied:38730
Time elapsed:1:44:56

[/os/windows/utilities/backup/ghost] permanent link

Sun, Jul 27, 2008 3:53 pm

Ghost 2003 Boot CD - Abort, Retry, Fail?

I use Symantec's Ghost 2003 to create image backups of disk drives. Since the Ghost 2003 Boot Wizard can't create bootable CD's, only boot floppy disks, I create a boot floppy disk and then use a program like Nero or Roxio Easy Easy CD Creator, which can create boot CDs from floppy diskettes, to create a Ghost 2003 boot CD (see Procedure for Generating Norton Ghost Bootable CD for procedure to use with Roxio's Easy CD and DVD Creator 6). When I booted systems from the boot CD's I created I would see the message below:

Write protect error writing drive A
Abort, Retry, Fail?

I would hit F and the boot process would proceed. If I hit R, I would get the same message again. Hitting A for "Abort" would allow me to proceed to running Ghost, but the mouse driver wouldn't load. If I hit F8 just as I was booting from the Ghost 2003 boot CD, I could walk through the commands in config.sys and autoexec.bat, which allowed me to see that the error occurred just as the mouse driver was being loaded.

I didn't know how to eliminate the error until I found the cause of the problem described by eASYkILL in a posting at Ghost 2003 Multi-Boot CD (Abort,Retry,Fail) error. He posted the following information:

So here is the deal... MOUSE.COM is trying to create a MOUSE.INI file and because you created a bootable CD (read-only) it is unable to write the file and gives the error message (Abort, Retry, Fail). If you fail, you can continue just fine with mouse support.

The solution... add a MOUSE.INI to your floppy that you are creating the image from. If you booted from the floppy at least once, this problem doesn't occur because the file is created. That may be how it went away for you. Just re-create the bootable CD from the floppy with mouse.ini added.

Here is my mouse.ini



Since most of the systems on which I'm performing the Ghost 2003 image backups have a mouse attached by the PS/2 mouse port, I thought that should work fine. So I used Notepad to create a mouse.ini file with the above lines on one of the Ghost 2003 boot floppy disks (be sure to change the "save as type" to "all files", if using the Windows Notepad program). I also found that I was able to boot laptops with a built-in mouse touchpad and use use the mouse with no problems with the mouse type set to PS2 in mouse.ini. I no longer received the "Abort, retry, or fail" message when booting from a Ghost 2003 boot CD that had the mouse.ini file in the root directory.

Note: you can see optons for the program by typing mouse /? at a command prompt. You can use mouse off to remove the mouse driver from memory.

. You can specify the mouse type by using the type option.

mouse type       /Cn (serial), /Z (PS2), /In (inPort), /B (bus)
                  (n specifies a prot and can be either 1 or 2)


  1. Procedure for Generating Norton Ghost Bootable CD
    MoonPoint Support
  2. Ghost 2003 Multi-Boot CD (Abort,Retry,Fail) error
    By: eASYkILL
    Date: April 1, 2005
    Microsoft Software Forum Network (MSFN)

[/os/windows/utilities/backup/ghost] permanent link

Sun, Jul 13, 2008 3:04 pm

Scheduling NTBackup for a Daily Backup

The NTBackup utility comes with Windows NT, 2000, Server 2003, Small Business Server (SBS) 2003, and Windows XP. NTBackup is not installed by default with Windows XP Home Edition, but is available on the Windows XP installation disc. Microsoft has replaced NTBackup in Windows Vista.

NTBackup backs up files to a proprietary BKF format. With Windows XP and later, it can even backup open files using Volume Shadow Copy, aka Volume Snapshot Service (VSS)..

To create a backup process that runs every week on a specific day to backup a folder on a system, you can create a batch file similar to the following:

@echo off

REM NTBackup batch file for ACCI folder

REM Set date variable
For /f "tokens=2-4 delims=/ " %%a in ('date /t') do (set date=%%a-%%b-%%c)
date = %date%

ntbackup backup D:\ACCI /J "ACI" /V:No /M Normal /Snap:on /f "F:\ACI\Backups\Current\ACCI_Weekly_%date%.bkf"

The above batch file, which I've named acci-weekly.bat will backup the D:\backup on the system on which it is run. The files will be backed up to F:\ACI\Backups\Current\ACCI_%date%.bkf. The %date% variable is set by the code below:

For /f "tokens=2-4 delims=/ " %%a in ('date /t') do (set date=%%a-%%b-%%c)
date = %date%

The %a variable holds the month, %b holds the day, and %c holds the year. Files will be created with names in the form ACCI_Weekly_07-12-2008.bkf.

The other parameters used are as described below:

/J {"JobName"}
Specifies the job name to be used in the backup report. The job name usually describes the files and folders you are backing up in the current backup job.

/V:{yes | no}
Verifies the data after the backup is complete.

/M {BackupType}
Specifies the backup type. It must be one of the following: normal, copy, differential, incremental, or daily.

/SNAP:{on | off} Specifies whether or not the backup should use a volume shadow copy.

/F {"FileName"}
Logical disk path and file name. You must not use the following switches with this switch: /P /G /T.

Further information on the options availabe with the ntbackup command can be obtained by running ntbackup /? from a command prompt.

By specifying normal as the backup type, all of the files in the folder will be backed up. If the folder occupies a large amount of disk space and will take a considerable amount of time to backup, you may not want to backup all of the files every day.

In this case I would run a normal backup on Sundays, but an incremental backup every other day. So I have a second batch file, acci.bat.

@echo off

REM NTBackup batch file for ACCI folder

REM Set date variable
For /f "tokens=2-4 delims=/ " %%a in ('date /t') do (set date=%%a-%%b-%%c)
date = %date%

ntbackup backup D:\ACCI /J "ACI" /V:No /M Incremental /Snap:on /f "F:\ACI\

To run the batch file that performs the incremental backup every day, you can use the at command.

C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>at 19:30 /every:m,t,w,th,f,s d:
Added a new job with job ID = 1

The above command schedules the backup to run every night, Monday through Saturday, at 7:30 P.M. The backup is an incremental backup. An incremental backup is a backup that copies only those files created or changed since the last normal or incremental backup. It marks files as being backed up by clearing the archive attribute on files. If you use a combination of normal and incremental backups to restore your files, you will need to have the last normal backup and all incremental backup sets.

You can check scheduled jobs by running the at command with no parameters. You can get help on the command with at /?.

C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator.mayberry>at
Status ID   Day                     Time          Command Line
        1   Each M T W Th F S       7:30 PM       d:\backups\acci.bat

To schedule the job that runs once a week on Sunday, I can use at 19:30 /every:su d:\backups\acci_weekly.bat.

For a full restoral from the backups, I would need to restore first from the weekly normal backup and then restore from each of the incremental backups from that week.

[/os/windows/utilities/backup/ntbackup] permanent link

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