What are your BA Top Tips?

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What are your BA Top Tips?

Postby corblimey » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:32 pm

Even though BA has lots of nice features I have found they don't always suit my needs so over time I've developed a few tricks. Thought it might be interesting to see how others work with BA and also share useful config tips.

Here's a few I use:

1) Guaranteeing external backup drives are always mounted on the same drive letter. - Although BA has functionality to deal with mounting and managing drives, I've found it doesn't always get it right. I use USBDLM (http://www.uwe-sieber.de/usbdlm_e.html) with a USBDLM.ini file similar to the following so I always know where my drive is going to be:

;-------------------------- the drive letters ---------------------------------

;Map backup drive Backup_1 to V:

;Map backup drive Backup_2 to V:

;Map backup drive Backup_3 to V:

You have one section for each drive in your set. The volumeserial number (xxxx-xxxx) is obtained by simply running the dir in fa cmd shell whilst the drive is plugged it.

2) Mounting a drive that has been ejected - I like the fact that if you are using external USB hard drives and the backup operator forgets to rotate a daily drive you can just backup to it again (assuming you have enough free space). I usually make the last job of the day eject the drive so it's ready to be unplugged, trouble is if the operator doesn't change the drive the os can't see it any more and some types of subsequent backup jobs fail. I have found that if you first perform a simple file mirror backup to the mount drive letter it will magically make the drive visible again to the os and other backup jobs will work. So, I usually perform a "mount job" first, this just needs to copy a single file to the plugged in drive (but not visible) and it will reappear. Instead of copying over any old file I actually copy over the TrueCrypt folder from the BA folder to achieve this, it also means the drive also contains TC binaries if I need it.

3) Encrypted Backups - It's good practice to have encrypted backups but I find if you have multiple jobs in your daily backup routine using the BA facilities it can get difficult to manage the TC volume. With different jobs trying to manage the container it can quickly get messy. I use a single container that is mounted via a script in the first backup job and unmounted by a script in the last job. The other issue this deals with is it allows you to decide what letter your TC container is mounted on. I have one client system where z: is mapped to a users home directory via logon script. Z: also happens to be the mount letter for TC containers if you let BA handle it so it breaks the backup. Using the method described I can choose the letter and avoid such conflicts.

What tips have you got?
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