Copy method: When Roadkil.net's Unstoppable Copier exists in your 3rd Party Tools directory, this is used as the default copy method (strongly recommended). Otherwise, the Windows shell api is used and you will have the standard Windows copy progress dialogs. This method is not recommended as Windows may often fail to copy certain files for various reasons, and this will cancel the copy on the entire directory that is being backed up if you should run into copy errors.
- Target Partition - Select the partition you wish to backup. This can be your current OS partition, or the OS partition of an attached/slaved HDD.
- User Profile Location - Allows for manual selection of the user profile location on the target partition.
- Under this option you may select the specific user profiles you wish to backup, by ticking the check boxes beside the user name.
- All check boxes for users will be ticked automatically, unless D7/DataGrab detects that it does not have the appropriate permissions to access that directory or backup it's data.
- In this event you will be alerted by a popup that you have no read/write access to that profile. From there, you should either take ownership and assign yourself permissions to that user profile, (a potentially very slow process!) or you should relaunch D7 with SYSTEM ACCESS in order to bypass file system permissions entirely! (Do this by clicking D7 menu > Get System Access)
- Note running D7/DataGrab with system access may prevent it from properly accessing networking resources, such as a networked backup location.
- Search Entire Partition - This feature obviously searches the entire partition for the specified file types, and an entire partition search will add significant time to the backup process.
- The feature is very useful for that client who has stored their documents in WHO KNOWS WHAT LOCATION but not the standard My Documents!
- Utilizing this function will backup DUPLICATES of items that already exist in a location that is automatically backed up; for example if you have MS Word documents in a user profile you have ticked for backup, and you also select to search the entire partition for MS Word files, you will end up with two copies of the MS Word files in the backup.
- This function will put all MS Word files in the backup location under a root folder called "Word Files" (or similar, honestly I forget atm!) and the same idea goes for the other file types.
- You may manually add other filespec searches to this function using standard * and ? wildcards. For example you may add *.DAT manually, and in the backup you'll have a DAT Files folder created to store all of the found DAT files.
- The Quickbooks files option will automatically be checked if the Quickbooks software was detected on the target partition.
- Additional Folders to Backup - This one should go without saying. Sometimes I see customers have created data backups or other special folders in the root of the partition, or perhaps a special legacy app has done this, so this feature comes in handy in this event.
- Also worthy of note, a \Scans or \Images directory found in the root of the target partition will be added automatically to this list; I do this because a lot of my business clients have been setup with a directory there for their networked scanner to dump images to.
- Backup Location - Also obvious, this is where you want your data to go.
- Select a predefined location from the drop down list or type in your own.
- Accepts UNC paths.
- Use the Add Date button to automatically date the backup folder.
- Add a user profile name to the backup location by right clicking the user profile name in the user list above, and clicking Add Highlighted Name to Backup Location. This is useful when the client has actually named their Windows user profile with their real name. I notice this does happen enough to make it a useful feature.
- For my usage, I typically have a backup location of \\NAS\ClientData\Client Name _ Current Date so I know instantly when browsing who the backup is for and when it was created.
- Get Minidumps - Retrieves all minidump files from the Windows directory on the target partition. Rarely useful, it's still nice if you may need to analyze them for some reason or another at a later time.
- Get \Support Dir - Retrieves a "Support" directory in the root of the target partition, if it exists. I have this feature because I personally tend to create that directory on a client's machine where I will store items such as drivers and info such as product keys. Saves time on a format/reload if I have those items in there for future use.
- Put DataRestore - DataRestore is a companion app I have experimented with to put the data back where it belongs on a fresh format/reload of a system. Checking this option does not automatically run DataRestore at any time, it merely puts a copy of the app in the backup location along with other backed up data.
- The idea is, DataRestore creates all the appropriate user accounts, automatically logs them in so their profile directory structure is created, then moves all the data back to where it is supposed to be.
- DataRestore is an UNFINISHED work and can cause DATA LOSS if something goes wrong. The app is still in the very early ALPHA phase of development, so USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Granted, it should work perfectly in Windows XP environments, it is still largely untested; also functionality in Vista/7 environments is not completely finished.
- DataRestore has not been developed in quite a while due to lack of time, and lack of testing environments when the time does exist. Also there have been more pressing items on my list. I plan to revisit the project and continue development, but have no projected date in mind; but I will mass alert D7 users somehow when the project is actually ready for use.
- Copy button - This of course starts the backup!
So, WHAT exactly is backed up in the user profiles?!?!
The idea behind DataGrab is to backup only what you WANT (user data), and none of the crap you DON'T (temp files/application data, for example) from the various user profiles you have ticked.
This list may not be comprehensive, but I'll try to get it all.
- Every stray MS Office / PDF document in the user profile directory itself (not in My Documents, for some reason.
- The Documents, Pictures, Videos, Music, Desktop, Favorites, also Contacts, Downloads, and Saved Games (on Vista/7)
- The Shared or Incomplete directories in the user profiles that some file sharing clients create.
- Windows Address Book.
- Outlook, Outlook Express, old Earthlink mail client, and Windows Mail / Windows Live Mail mail stores.
- Outlook/OE signatures, the NK2 file, and templates directories.
- Mozilla browser based (incl. FireFox) user profiles/settings
- IBM Client access profiles
- Intuit/Quickbooks app data directories in case templates or some other important data exists.
- Microsoft Money related directories.
Additionally, these items that are NOT part of the user profile directories are backed up automatically:
- Every stray MS Office / PDF document in the root of the drive.
- Microsoft Office Activation data/files.
But wait, there's MORE! Here is a bit of the INFORMATION that DataGrab automatically retrieves:
- If the backup is made from an offline OS, DataGrab retrieves:
- The software registry hive - just incase you may need it to dig out a product key in the future.
- If the backup is made from an online OS, DataGrab retrieves:
- The current user's IE Settings, IE Typed URL History, and Outlook Express/Windows Mail/WLM account settings in the form of exported .reg files which can easily be re-imported if needed.
- IP Configuration Settings
- RDP Port just in case this is non-standard.
- Mapped Drives list
- Shared Folders list
- Installed Printers list
- For either online or offline OSes:
- OS info (such as a prodspec.ini in Windows XP, which will help identify the specific version of Windows.)
- A list of installed applications on that particular OS.
- When ProduKey from Nirsoft.net exists in your 3rd Party Tools directory, it is silently ran on the target partition's SYSTEM registry hive to produce it's product key list which is also placed in the backup location.