[OT] - Backing Up Windows XP to Linux

Ryan Simpkins plug at ryansimpkins.com
Tue Oct 3 15:00:39 MDT 2006


I'm flagging this slightly off topic just because it has Windows XP in the subject
line and I want help - not a bonfire.

My problem:
I have a Windows XP (sp2) box chock full of about 60GB of files I want to backup. I
want to store several days worth of backups on to a 200GB hard drive in a Linux box
(Debian) located in another city. My data doesn't change all that often - maybe
10-50MB/day. I want the backups to be 100% automatic requiring no human interaction
unless something breaks. The ideal would be to keep two weeks worth of backups. I
want to do this securely so it can happen over a public network (the Internet).

The way I want to do it:
Rsync snapshots would be ideal. I do this with all my Linux boxen and it is awesome.
It only transfers what is needed, it is fast, and I don't have to worry about it
much at all. It meets all of the above requirements - just for Linux, not Windows.

What I ran in to:
So, thinking rsync was the perfect solution I loaded up cygwin on XP and got ssh
working and installed rsync. Well, apparently there is an issue with XP SP2 that
makes it so this doesn't work right. What rsync would do would copy down a ton of
directories, but no files. Eventually it would get to a random spot and just hang.
Googling revealed this is essentially a bug in cygwin on XP SP2 that will be fixed
just as soon as there is an experienced enough coder with the time & desire enough
to fix it.

What I want:
Alternative ideas from you. Is there something like rsync that plays better with XP?
I want to do some form of snapshotting so it is very fast. I want it to be
automated. I want the file/backup server to run Linux. I want to use FOSS or
freeware if possible.


Now maybe this is just a knowledge thing. I do this so easily between two Linux
boxen across the Internet. Is there really no easy method to accomplish the same
task in Windows?

-Ryan



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