USB Drives and Slow Server

I know that there are plenty of posts that deal with issues related to external USB drives on servers, such as problems when rebooting the server, or the server acting strange when a USB drive is not removed properly. But until today, I had not encountered any of these scenarios. Situation was that the server was slow to log on, and clicking on ‘My Computer’ took several minutes before it would display the full list of server drives. My first attempt to resolve the issue was to uninstall the A/V, but that did nothing. I then tried rebooting the server, but to no avail. Finally, … Continue reading USB Drives and Slow Server

Free File Sync Utilities

In my never ending quest to find low-cost (OK … free) utilities, I recently needed to find a file-syncing utility for several small clients. Specifically we were looking for a utility to sync one or more folders from a computer to an external USB hard drive. Suprisingly, Microsoft had three of the four utilities I tested. Each utility has there merits and places. Perhaps on a future post I will list the Pros and Cons of each. Robocopy – Microsoft’s long time command line utility since the NT days FolderShare – Microsoft’s very network-friendly utility to sync files & folders SyncToy – Microsoft’s latest … Continue reading Free File Sync Utilities

PST on a Network Folder – Not!

We’ve had some recent posts in one of the SBS listserves asking how to manage Outlook archived PST files for users, and it was asked if the PST files could be stored on the server. Microsoft’s KB 297019 specifically says that .pst, .ost, and .pab files are not designed to be stored on a network server and such a configuration is NOT supported. Additionally the Microsoft Exchange team has a blog post titled “Why Network stored PST files are a bad idea”. Saying all that, some people are doing just that … placing the .pst files on a network shared folder. If … Continue reading PST on a Network Folder – Not!

Modifying SBS Backup

There’s always a fine line between tweaking to make something work, and tweaking just because you can. I’m not sure what camp this post belongs in. BKRunner.exe is the SBS program that wraps around the NTBackup utility. BKRunner generates the email report at the completion of the backup, and is what forces a verify to be performed. Chris Knight has posted on his blog how to tweak the BKRunner.exe in order to gain some performance improvements when  doing backups, as well as how to disable the automatic verify.  

USB Drive on Server May Affect Rebooting

More and more people are hooking up USB hard drives to their servers to do daily or image backups. A word of caution: if you find that your server will not reboot, it may be due to your USB drive getting in the way. Unplug your USB drive and if the server reboots, then you know the cause. How do you fix it? Simple … repartition your USB hard drive as an “Extended Partition”. Chances are your USB drive is formatted as a primary partition, and a primary partition will be scanned as a boot device. Changing it to an Extended Partition will … Continue reading USB Drive on Server May Affect Rebooting

Quicken and Vista

I struggled for quite a bit this evening trying to transfer my Quicken 2007 over to my Vista workstation and get it up and running. I encountered two issues that several other people have also encountered, but the solutions were not always exact or correct. The two main problems I encountered were: 1. After installing Quicken, every time I would start it up it would give me a pop up window with the error message: “Quicken is unable to complete the unlock process”. The popup window kept appearing no matter how many times you closed it, and eventually I had to … Continue reading Quicken and Vista

Thank God for Image Backups!

Two years ago I decided to invest in some USB external hard drives and appropriate software, and then on a routine basis, go around and make a full image backup of each workstation and laptop in the office. [Routine defined as “whenvever I have a chance” which means “maybe twice a year!”] My primary reason for this was for disaster recovery purposes. Here in Florida, if a hurricane is coming, I can grab the USB drives and know I could restore data or complete systems. I’ve been using both Acronis TrueImage and StorageCraft’s ShadowProtect. Both do a good job, and give … Continue reading Thank God for Image Backups!

Ejecting backup tape

One of the common questions we get in the SBS newsgroups is: “I’m using the SBS Tape Backup Wizard. How can I have it eject the tape when it is finished?” The answer is that the SBS Tape Wizard does not provide an option to have the tape eject. You can, however, do this manually, by creating a batch file and scheduling it to run after your tape backup process should have completed. So, on my work server, my tape backup starts at 7:30pm, and iti finished around 11:30pm. I schedule my “eject” script to run at 5am in the morning. … Continue reading Ejecting backup tape

UPS Recommendations

Some folks in the SmallBiz community were asking about recommendations on UPS’s. Here was the original post: Since UPSes were mentioned recently, I was wondering what you all are recommending for your clients with a lower-end server. At the high end we have APC SmartUPS. Are there others that do about the same thing but are cheaper? Other brands? What about using the APC BackUPS BX 1500 VA or similar? What do you lose by not using the SmartUPS? I would like to find a cost-effective solution but I don’t want to skimp where skimping should not be done! I … Continue reading UPS Recommendations

Backup using External Hard Drives

This is a short compilation of responses from SBS consultants on how they are using external hard drives for SBS backups. Please add your thoughts and experiences First, read Susan’s blogs on: (1) Overview: http://msmvps.com/bradley/archive/2004/09/29/14590.aspx and (2) Tweaking NTBackup: http://msmvps.com/bradley/archive/2004/05/12/6318.aspx Various notes, comments, ideas: One thing I have noticed – when you set it to back up to a drive, it sets it to keep 2 backup files and if it does that it will probably result in there not being enough space on the Rev – so be sure to select only one file. It will give you an alert, but you … Continue reading Backup using External Hard Drives