[OT] - Backing Up Windows XP to Linux

Bart Whiteley bart.plug at whiteley.org
Tue Oct 3 15:24:53 MDT 2006

On 10/3/06, Ryan Simpkins <plug at ryansimpkins.com> wrote:
> 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.

I set up precisely this solution on the home LAN of a family member.  I
three winXP boxen to one linux box.  I use a push method where I have the
Windows task scheduler thingy call a batch file, which calls a bash script
running in cygwin.  The bash scipt runs a prep command on the linux box,
rsyncs over the deltas, then runs a snapshot rotate command on the linux

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.

This sounds similar to a problem I had.  I solved it by a 'set
CYGWIN=nontsec' in my
.bat file prior to calling bash.  Once I did that, it all works wonderfully
(also on XP

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?

I can give you my scripts off-list if you like.

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