Friday, April 3, 2009

Create a reusable selection list for ntbackup

ntbackup is a free Microsoft utility for backing up or restoring files from your Windows server or desktop. You can download it from Microsoft here, but odds are it's already installed on your machine.

One nice feature of ntbackup is that you can save a list of what you'd like to backup, called a backup selection list, and then use that one list for multiple backup jobs. It's really easy to do to. Here's how:

1. Go to Start->All Programs->Accessories->System Tools->Backup. It'll likely start in wizard mode, so if it does, just click on the link for Advanced Mode.
2. Click on the Backup tab
3. You'll see a file selection tool. Use this to select everything you want to backup.
4. Once everything that you want to backup is selected, go to Job->Save Selections As... and save your .bks file wherever you want it
5. Go ahead and close ntbackup

Now you have a selection file that can be used to set up multiple backup jobs. It can help save time if you have to manage multiple jobs, and is useful if you want to use ntbackup from the command line. ntbackup from the command line is talked about in MS KB 814583. If you're looking to add email notification to your ntbackup job, check out this post from just a few minutes earlier.

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