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PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 8:35 am 
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I find it frustrating (as many of you do) that I have to manually start the Backup process of to my Servers Backup drive, and decided to see how easy it would be to automate this task.
What I now have is a working, automated Server Backup using a free, open-source utility called AutoHotKey.

If you download, and then install this on your server in an RDP session, you can then either record your own macro using the built in Macro Recorder or use the one below (save it as a text file with a .ahk extension). This should be good for most EX4xx users.

Before you record, or use the macro, first configure your backup settings if you haven't already (choose which folders you want to backup) and make sure the "Remember these settings for future backups" setting is ticked.

I've saved the script below into c:\admin and then run it as a scheduled task at 2200 every day.

Code:
Run, C:\Program Files\Windows Home Server\HomeServerConsole.exe
WinWait, Windows Home Server Console,
IfWinNotActive, Windows Home Server Console, , WinActivate, Windows Home Server Console,
WinWaitActive, Windows Home Server Console,
MouseClick, left,  182,  68
Sleep, 100
MouseClick, left,  114,  160
Sleep, 100
MouseClick, right,  114,  160
Sleep, 100
MouseClick, left,  162,  195
Sleep, 100
WinWait, Backup Now,
IfWinNotActive, Backup Now, , WinActivate, Backup Now,
WinWaitActive, Backup Now,
MouseClick, left,  200,  365
Sleep, 100
MouseClick, left,  200,  365
Sleep, 100


I'm going to write this up some detailed instructions to the Wiki today, but if anyone fancies diving in please give me some feedback on your experience.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 12:31 pm 
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Initial Wiki entry is now posted.

http://www.mediasmartserver.net/wiki/in ... der_Backup

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 8:25 pm 
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I haven't tried this yet but will. This is very valuable and continues to make my investment in the EX470 a sound one. As WHS/Mediasmart continues to evolve and mature, I'm sure they'll be a lot more creativity coming out in the form of add-ins, automation, etc.

Thanks Cougar for this.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 9:36 pm 
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I just finished following your wiki instructions and everything worked.

I wasn't sure of the correct syntax to automate the Backup_Server.ahk file since .ahk is not an executable file. Amazingly, this utility also includes a tool to convert an .ahk file to a .exe file. I did that and in seconds, I had my .exe file that I could better automate using the Task Scheduler within Windows.

Admittedly, initially I had closed the Windows Home Server Console after clicking on "Hide" and my script didn't work as intended. When I followed the instructions, I didn't close the WHS Console and had no issues.

However, this implies to me that the script leaves the WHS Console open after the backup. I wonder how the script will behave when the WHS Console is left opened until the next scheduled backup?

I'll try this out and get back.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 7:56 am 
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I've been able to get my scheduled task to work. :( It shows as having started but nothing takes place. I tried with both the original .ahk file and created .exe file without success.

Cougar, what's the command line syntax you used for scheduling the task with Task Scheduler?

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:12 am 
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I did the same as you had suggested and compiled it to a .exe

So my command line is a simple c:\Admin\Backup_server.exe

Try adding a folder or file to one of your backup shares and set the scheduled start time to something imminent. If where you think it hasn't run based on the last backup job details, that's only updated if a file has been backed up.... sorry if I'm teaching you to suck eggs.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:10 pm 
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Thanks Cougar for your feedback. At least we are both doing the same thing. I'm sure it's something small (it always is).

I'll try it again at my next opportunity and see how it goes.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 7:54 pm 
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Re-did my script. Everything works fine now as a scheduled task.

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PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 12:35 am 
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how did you manage to schedule the ahk exe? I am having the same problem with the windows scheduler.

I created the ahk macro according to the wiki instructions. I converted it to exe. I tested the exe and it works. I created a scheduled task then logged of the RDP session. The job get triggered at the scheduled time but it hangs there forever.

Am I missing something here?


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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 3:04 pm 
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Hello Cougar,

thank you very much for this great solution. After hours of searching for an addin or some command line call to trigger the server backup, I found your idea. It works for me. Because I have a german WHS system I had to change some things like the window titles and I ended up recording and writing my own script.

When I started to modify the script, I had problems with the timing. 100ms sleep time is very quick and may not work on slower systems.

Edit: Hmm, it seems there are still some problems. I was not aware of the behaviour of the windows home server-console. When starting the whs-console on the remote desktop, any console started from a remote tray is killed. Vice versa when starting a console via remote tray, the whs-console on the remote desktop is killed.
If a console is killed, any pending server-backup will stop! The data is already copied to the backup storage to that point. But you can only restore, if a backup is finished successfully.

From my perspective this means
a) This backup automation attempt will work, if you use the whs-console in the remote desktop session only (never with tray) and you never logoff (only disconnect).
b) The scheduler entry is created with "only if logged in" setting checked.
c) The console must run as long as the server backup takes (what I have posted earlier was completely wrong concerning this).


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 3:43 pm 
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is there a way to automate deletion of older files? say if i want to delete backup files that are older than 10 days?


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