[SOLVED] Best system to backup 3 computers at once, none connected to internet?

Sep 4, 2019
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I have 3 computers, each of them are attached to a manufacturing laser. I am trying to setup a system in which all 3 computers have their laser programs backed up to external storage, periodically and automatically. My initial idea was to use a NAS with a network switch and network all 3 of the computers to the NAS. Would this be possible? And if so is it even practical? If this is not possible, are there any other solutions I could look into for my problem? I looked into external USB HDDs, however as far as I can tell, they can not be connected to more than 1 computer at a time, so this would not work. I feel it's also important to mention, 2 of the computers are running Windows 7 Professional and the last computer is running Windows 2000 Pro (Manufacturing companies don't always like upgrading lol) There is no chance of connecting any of these PCs to the internet... it would require way too many hoops to jump through at this point. I have never manually setup a LAN so the last part to my question is would it be very difficult to setup? Please let me know if any more information is required, thank you!
 
A NAS is going to be the simplest but you have to remember a NAS is just a cut down computer running a file share so a old pc may do just as well.

It all depends on what you mean by backup and how simple the application is. Most the issues would be if the application has files open you generally can't make copies of them and if you force it you run the risk of corrupted files if you restore it.

In the simplest case you just mount the NAS as a another drive letter and copy and paste the files.
 
A NAS is going to be the simplest but you have to remember a NAS is just a cut down computer running a file share so a old pc may do just as well.

It all depends on what you mean by backup and how simple the application is. Most the issues would be if the application has files open you generally can't make copies of them and if you force it you run the risk of corrupted files if you restore it.

In the simplest case you just mount the NAS as a another drive letter and copy and paste the files.
 
Sep 4, 2019
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Essentially there's a single folder of text-based Gcode programs on each computer that I would like to make a copy of onto the NAS. On the topic of not being able to copy open files, would I be able to schedule the system to backup outside of operating hours? Would you recommend a switch or a router? I've read that a router would make it much easier since it has a built-in DHCP server so I wouldn't have to go through the trouble of assigning static IP addresses to each PC.
 
Yes that is true a router is easier if you do not already have a network. Do not buy anything fancy you just want gigabit ethernet ports.

The backup quickly gets into how fancy you need. For example do you want to keep mulitple revisions of the backup so you could restore to a particular day. Sometimes this is important if something got damaged and you did not detect it for a while. This would be done with some kind of software package. There are many free ones for simple things like making a backup in the middle of the night and how many generation you keep.

There used to be/is a backup system in windows. They changed this around so much between all the releases I can't say for sure what is on what version of windows.

In any case if you can't find free software you like there are many programs under $20 that will do what you want.
 
Sep 4, 2019
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I'm not entirely sure what kind of backups would be required, but it is something I will definitely look into. Could you recommend any backup programs that may be used on Windows 7 and Windows 2000? Purchasing a program is no issue, I just need to make sure it will work on all 3 computers. Thank you!
 
That is what the app store is for :) :(

Your requirements are actually fairly minimal....you don't have things like data bases you want to backup or running email servers. There are so many programs. Maybe start with some of the free ones and see what feature you like and dislike. You can then decide if it is worth spending money.

I have mostly used the really basic ones that come with windows. The problem is they made lots of changes to it as they went though various operating system revisions.

Part of your other question should be do you need a OS level backup. Ie do you need to recover the actual boot disk or just data files from your application.
 
we have 5 computers that run CNC machines at work with g-code files on them. I use Allway Sync that will watch each folder and if somthing changes it will copy the file to the server. I also have it set up that if they delete a file on the computer it does not delete it on the server.
 
Sep 4, 2019
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Awesome, that helps a lot, thanks so much guys! Can I just ask, do you have licenses for all 5 of your CNC machine PCs? Or does the free version of the software work?
 
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