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GRBackPro Server Backup Software - Frequently Asked Questions

1) Where are my GRBackPro backup software options saved?

2) How can I include or exclude some files from my GRBackPro backup software settings?

3) Is it possible to store folders and path information in Zip files?

4) Why must the destination directory start with "Bak_sd"?

5) After I install a program update do I need to install the license again?

6) When I install a Site license do I have to install it on every PC of my company?

7) Should I have a main hard drive failure, what would need to be loaded on the new drive  to accomplish a complete Restore?

8) Why, with compression level set to zero, does GRBackPro continue to create ZIP archive files ? Is it still zipping the files?

9) Can GRBackPro back up a file that is opened by another application?

10) Does GRBackPro ask me another removable media if the first one becomes full?

11) Can I synchronize my source files with the stored backup archive with GRBackPro?

12) Why, while backing up big files, does GRBackPro takes so long to compress?

13) I have lost my Job list. How can I restore my backup archives with GRBackPro?

14) I want to start my GRBackPro server backup overnight. How can I disable any error dialog box that stops the backup procedure if errors occur?

15) I want my server backup run even if no user is logged on. How can I accomplish this with GRBackPro?

16) I experience read and write errors backing up to a USB hard drive connected to my computer through a USB hub. What can I do to solve this problem?

17) Will GRBackPro back up to my CD/DVD drive?

18) What if GRBackPro can't back up to my CD/DVD directly?

19) Why does my backup just dump everything into one folder?

20) I keep getting the following error message from GRBackPro: missing end zip signature. What does this mean and how do I fix it?

21) Why does the program executes a full backup when my system change to or from daylight saving time?

22) Why does GRBackPro doesn't execute a real source file compare against the destination ones?

23) Why does GRBackPro seem slow when compressing files onto a networked drive?

24) Can I move from Version 7 back to Version 6?

25) What is the difference between "Backup" (on the bottom bar), "Restart" in the Scheduler Tab, and "Run" in the Scheduler Tab?

1) Where are my GRBackPro backup software options saved?

GRBackPro automatically stores the entire program options into a text file that, by default, is named GRBakPro.grb if nothing was specified in the command line.
This configuration file is very similar to a Windows .ini file and is constantly updated by the program itself without your intervention (i.e., you don't have to remember to save it). Any time you want to start the program, all you have to do is double click over the file GRBakPro.grb. When the program opens, you can quickly run your backup by clicking the Backup button. There's no need to choose a session first in this case because the program remembers the last one you have used.

2) How can I include or exclude some files from my GRBackPro backup software settings?

When you add or edit a backup Job you can define in the Skip folders: edit box the names of the folders you want to skip. You cannot place here full path names but only folder names (as for example Windows or System). To specify the folder names you can employ the well-known MS-DOS wild characters ('*' and '?') to represent more matching files. In particular the * character means all letters or sequence of letters, while the '?' character means one letter.

3) Is it possible to store folders and path information in Zip files?

GRBackPro fully supports and effectively re-creates directory structure outline many levels deep in Zip files if you enable the Build a single Zip archive with stored path names (see the Adv. Backup tab) feature. This feature, however, will make your backup run more slowly because there is a single big zip file to manage and, moreover, some Zip file viewers may not display folders inside the Zip files correctly. Windows, starting from XP, support folders in Zip files and shows them just fine. This option lets you have a single compressed file or a single destination folder where to copy all your source files. We suggest you to experiment with the destination layout option of the Backup tab to see how many other possibilities you have.

4) Why must the destination directory start with "Bak_sd"?

This root folder (that you can create or not depending on the Destination path layout options of the Backup tab) is needed by the restore procedure in order to know from which source drive a backup archive is coming. The other purpose of this folder is to have a well-defined means to identify the root folder of any backup archive (if you do not use any additional path name in your destination path layout). For example, if you back up one drive into another and vice versa when the second backup starts it will backup also the directory created by the first backup run if there is no way to distinguish it. If you do the backup of the previous backup you will waste useful destination disk space. GRBackPro can automatically skip all the directories that start with the string "Bak". If you enable the option Skip standard folder names: Bak*;Tmp;Temp;Recycle*;System Vol* in the Options tab the program will skip these commonly used directory names that do not contain useful data. The folder skip match can be case insensitive if you disable the option: Make skip folders options case sensitive. By naming your backup root folder with a starting Bak string you will not back up any folder that contains backup archives.

5) After I install a program update do I need to install the license again?

If you install a new version over an existing one then your settings and license will be preserved. In any case, for safety, we suggest that you store somewhere both the latest version installation package along with your license information so that in case you lose the program you can quickly install it again. If you want to save the program settings you can also put in the same destination the file GRBakPro.grb. If you have definitely lost your license information you can email your user name and email or a copy of your order to our support team so that we can locate your record in our database and send you the license again.

6) When I install a Site license do I have to install it on every PC of my company?

Yes, the license needs to be installed on every PC where you have installed the program. If you order our surface mailed latest version CD-ROM both the latest version and your Site license will be installed in a single step.

7) Should I have a main hard drive failure, what would need to be loaded on the new drive to accomplish a complete Restore?

The safest way to restore your drive is to install Windows. After your Windows setup is complete you can install GRBakPro and then run your restore. Another solution is to employ the WinPE DVD (Windows Pre-installation Environment). This is a bootable system DVD that lets you see your current NTFS and FAT hard disk drives content and run some system check utilities on them. This can be a solution if your system is only corrupted (i.e., you do not have an hardware failure) or if you simply want to restore all your files to your new hard disk drive or if you want to restore an older version of your registry.

8) Why, with compression level set to zero, does GRBackPro continue to create ZIP archive files ? Is it still zipping the files?

GRBackPro always creates a ZIP archive if compression is enabled. If the compression level is 0 it will store the files in the ZIP archive (i.e., no compression of the data will take place). In this way the source files are always packaged together. If you want a simple copy of your files, you must completely disable the compression.

9) Can GRBackPro back up a file that is opened by another application?

Yes. GRBackPro starting from version 7 supports Windows Volume Shadow Service (VSS) and if this service is active on your system then any locked or system file can be backed up without problem. If the Windows Shadow Copy service is not active then only files not locked and opened for not-exclusive write can be backed up. An example of a file opened in exclusive mode is the Outlook database file .pst. You must skip these files or schedule your backup when these files are closed (over night for example). The virtual memory or swap files are automatically skipped by GRBackPro. 

10) Does GRBackPro ask me for another removable media if the first one becomes full?

Yes. You will have the option to insert another disk media when the previous one becomes full. There are, however, a few notes about this process. If compression is disabled, the program is not able to put on the destination disk a file that is bigger that the destination disk itself (i.e., it cannot split that file in smaller pieces). This limitation is not present if you enable the zip compression. The program can create independent destination disks that together form your backup archive. This means that if you lose a single disk of your backup set you will not lose the complete backup (as normally happens when you spilt your files over multiple disks) but you only lose that single disk and you will be able to restore all other files. Another note is about the backup mode. If your backup is on multiple disks you cannot safely run a backup update because it can be that your destination disk is already almost full and cannot store any updated file whose new size is now bigger then before. In other words, if your backup requires many destination disks you need to run FULL backups only.

11) Can I synchronize my source files with the stored backup archive with GRBackPro?

Yes. There is a special option both in the Backup and in the Restore tabs that lets you delete any source or destination file that no longer exists. In case of Restore, every time a source file is found that does not exist in the backup archive, a delete confirmation dialog box will appear allowing you to decide if the deletion is correct or not. This is a safe procedure.

12) Why, while backing up big files, does GRBackPro takes so long to compress?

When you handle big files (normally over 100MB), the best strategy to use is to disable the compression. Normally big files are already compressed (say for example video files) and thus spending time to compress them further will give you no saving on space and only loses time. You can disable the compression on a single Job by checking the Disable Compression (force copy only) option in your Job from the Add Job dialog box.

13) I have lost my Job list. How can I restore my backup archives with GRBackPro?

If you do not disable the Save the backup definition file option in the Options tab then your backup settings included the Job list will be copied to the destination disk. You can manually restore this file into the current user Application Data / GRSoftware / GRBakPro folder and then run GRBackPro. If you no longer have the backup configuration file then, from the Restore tab, you can select from the Source group the Folder option and press the Browse button to specify the path name where your backup archives reside. In this case you must also specify the Destination of the Restore operation to a specified Folder because the program is no longer able to automatically rebuild the original source path.

14) I want to start my GRBackPro server backup overnight. How can I disable any error dialog box that stop the backup procedure in case of errors?

In order to avoid any dialog box message that stops the backup process you must uncheck the Attended backup (Stop & Prompt for errors and confirmations) option in the Options tab. In this way any error message will be only stored into the log file and the backup will not stop.

15) I want my server backup run even if no user is logged on. How can I accomplish this?

In order to automatically run your backup when no user is logged on, then you need to install the program "as a service" and add an event in the Schedule tab in order to have your backup start automatically. If the program is already installed you need to install it again as a service. When the program is running as a service you will get the Service Options enabled in the Adv. Backup tab. With these options you will be able to define the backup user credentials. This is a required step in order to allow the program to reach your network resources when no user is logged on. If, instead, there is a logged on user then GRBackPro will use the current user credentials to run any backup.

16) I experience read and write errors backing up to a USB hard drive connected to my computer through a USB hub. What can I do to solve this problem?

The symptoms will vary, and may often appear as numerous "read" and/or "write" errors. Windows may easily read and write a few files with no problem, so the problem doesn't normally appear. But in some cases, especially when the hub uses a small switching power supply, the reserve capacity of the supply is drained by the heavy load and the supply voltage is no longer regulated properly. This has been observed on one hub whose supply could not maintain regulated power under sustained disk access. The solution was to replace the hub with one powered by a much larger power supply with regard to power capacity. It was noticeably larger and heavier too, since it was a traditional transformer powered unit. Users who are considering using USB hard disks for backups should make sure their USB ports are adequately powered to support the disk drive. It may even be necessary to use a well-powered USB hub instead of the computer's internal USB ports if the computer's ports are not able to drive the disk directly. 

17) Will GRBackPro back up to my CD / DVD drive?

Yes. Writing to CD and DVD discs is supported as long as you have some packet writing software installed on your computer. It usually comes bundled as a part of larger CD/DVD recording software packages and makes your CD or DVD drive act as a standard, transparently write-enabled drive. Packet writing software uses UDF-formatted CD and DVD discs, and allows GRBackPro to write to your CD/DVD drive by treating it like a hard disk or a big floppy, using the regular drive letter. Most CD/DVD writable devices come packaged with software of this type, so you may already have some packet writing software even if you're not aware of it. Here are some of the tested and approved products we know of, undoubtedly there are more:

  • InCD. Part of Nero Burning ROM by Ahead Software.

  • DirectCD / Drag To Disk. Part of Easy Media Creator by Roxio.

  • Drive Letter Access DLA. by Sonic.

Sometime there is no need for packet-writing software at all. Many new CD and DVD writing devices are being made using Mount Rainier (Mt. Rainier) technology. Mount Rainier is a new standard being supported by Compaq, Microsoft, Philips and Sony that provides background formatting and defect management for storage on CD and DVD. EasyWrite is the marketing logo for Mount Rainier compliant drives. Mount Rainier and EasyWrite make rewritable discs far easier to use. With EasyWrite, CD and DVD drives work in the same transparent way as a hard disk or a floppy drive. The goal for Mount Rainier is to change the manner in which future CD and DVD recording is done. Mount Rainier native operating system software (like Windows Vista) is expected to format and manage CD and DVD media, just as operating systems currently manage other storage devices like hard disks.

18) What if GRBackPro can't back up to my CD / DVD directly?

You can back up to your computer's hard drive or if your computer is part of the network, you can back up to a networked drive on another computer. But what if you want external backups and don't have a working packet writing driver installed, or you don't have a CD/DVD drive with integral EasyWrite support?
There are three possible workarounds for this case:

  1. Simply cease to use CD / DVD as a direct target for your backup operations. Set up GRBackPro to run your scheduled events and let it create backups to your hard drive automatically. Every week or month you can copy the backup copies created with GRBackPro to your CD / DVD device manually, with your favorite CD / DVD recording software or Windows XP built-in CD / DVD recording feature.

  2. If it's really necessary to run automatic CD / DVD backups, consider buying a good packet-writing tool. For example, Ahead company sells its Nero Burning ROM suite for only $50. This package includes many useful components, including the InCD packet writing software. We have tested Nero InCD thoroughly, and are happy to recommend it!

  3. Apart from the conservative CD and DVD writing devices, there are a lot of alternative backup storage devices now available, which are often better, faster, more reliable and more affordable! If you need automatic external backups, consider good alternatives to CD / DVD devices. There are a lot of cheap USB flash memory sticks available on the market today. They are fast, easy, portable and compact and can readily handle up to 2 GB and more of data on chip. For larger quantities of data, consider external USB hard drives as they have much greater capacity than a single CD or DVD. After all, CD and DVD are great for maintaining a collection of discs, but not for regular backups. For regular backups of critical, important data, USB flash memory sticks (or keys) as above works the best.

19) Why does my backup just dump everything into one folder?

Have you created a job that just copies an entire folder and sub-folders to another hard drive and found that your backup just dumped everything into one folder? This is because GRBackPro has an option into the Backup tab that allows you to insert the source folder name into the destination disk path . This option is named JobSrc. If this option is enabled (you see the JobSrc string in the Destination path layout forth combo box) then the source folder name will be placed into the destination path, but if this option is OFF (blank) then no source folder name will be added resulting in all the source files being copied into the same destination folder.

20) I keep getting the following error message from GRBackPro: missing end zip signature. What does this mean and how do I fix it?

This message normally appears when there is an error in one of your zip archives. The error has corrupted your archive and the GRBackPro compressor is trying to fix it. If this error message repeats, then GRBackPro was not able to fix the problem. The remedy is to manually delete the zip file that shows the error and then run another backup to let GRBackPro re-create it. An alternative is to run a full backup so that all zip archives are re-created. 

21) Why does the program executes a full backup when my system change to or from daylight saving time?

The problem can be easily solved using the option Ignore 1 hour time delay on file compare (NTFS daylight fix) in the Options tab.
At time changes, GRBackPro can get fooled when the source and destination file time change is made. With this option set, GRBackPro will realize that the 1 hour difference does not mean the file needs to be backed up again.

22) Why does GRBackPro doesn't execute a real source file compare against the destination ones?

The function is named Verify because it doesn't really compare files. Anyway, even if you do not zip GRBackPro will do a complete read back of the backed up files. This means that the file is verified as completely readable and consistent. This, of course, will not warrant you that a bit were changed since the write (due to a defective destination media) and in this optics you have less protection. You must know that when the media are broken, often (more than 90% of the times) they are no more able to read back the file and don't simply change a bit. This is due to the hardware and firmware of the devices that for any disk sectors add some redundancy bits in order to correct the whole sector in case of 1-2 bit failures. The firmware also is aware of the problem and normally signals this to the system (for hard disk using S.M.A.R.T.) that some sectors are degrading. Optionally the hard disk is able to mark a whole zone as BAD and relocate it on some free tracks on the disk reserved for this scope.

If you compress your files then a CRC (Cyclic Redundancy Check) is added and you will be warranted that no changes happened to the compressed files. This add more safety in case of bit changes.

Speaking shortly today hard disk is a very reliable device and a real compare function is less necessary then before. I'm not saying that the compare function it is useless! The problem is that you are accustomed with it and it seems to you that you cannot live without it.

23) Why does GRBackPro seem slow when compressing files onto a networked drive?

In general, considerable benefits in speed will be seen by compressing your backup onto a local drive and then copying the archives onto a network drive rather than compressing directly to the network. Your network speed and the speed of the networked drive and CPU will have a big impact on this issue, and we recommend you try for yourself to see which is the fastest and most reliable method.

Under Backup
Enable Zip compressor, Level = nnn.
 
This option lets you compress your source files and store them in the destination archive $backup.zip (you can change this file name using the destination path layout option) instead of simply copying all files to the destination path. If you enable the Zip compression, you can define a compression Level from 0 to 9. A compression level of 0 means that the file is not compressed but is still stored in the compressed archive. A compression level of 9 creates the highest amount of compression at the expense of the execution time.
Our tests suggest that the gain from increasing the compression level is both variable and miniscule! On average, our test data at Level 3 compressed 47% while Level 9 compresses 49% -- but the time to get that extra 5% increased by 40%. The default value of 3 has been chosen because it appears to be a reasonable balance between speed and size. Your figures may vary.

24) Can I move from Version 7 back to Version 6?

Yes, this can be done on Windows XP or below. With Windows Vista and Windows 7 the location of the files is quite different between v 7 and v 6 and therefore it is not possible to make it an automatic process. You will need to run v 7, make note of the log and grb file locations (Report, View debug logs, view log files paths), then install v 6 and manually copy saved ANSI settings file named GRBakPro.grba to C:\program Files\GRBakPro\GRBakPro.grb. This is not a recommended procedure, however, as V7 works with Vista and Windows 7 much better than V 6 does.

25) What is the difference between "Backup" (on the bottom bar), "Restart" in the Scheduler Tab, and "Run" in the Scheduler Tab?

The "Backup" button across the bottom bar will start a backup of whichever Session is showing in the Jobs' tab. Clicking this button has no effect on the scheduling. The "Restart" button will change the status of the highlighted event(s) to "Never", so that each event will start calculating it's next run time from this moment.  The "Run" button will start a backup using the highlighted event(s) and will set the "Last Run Time" to now. This can cause some seemingly strange scheduling. For example, if an event is set to weekly on Monday, and on a Tuesday you click "Run", the scheduler will set the Last Run Time to Tuesday and the next Monday will then be skipped because the backup has been executed this week. The best way to learn what is happening to set up a small job and test it.

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 Last modified: Friday, February 01, 2013