smbclient can back up WNT system disks?

mathog at mathog at
Fri Sep 18 16:19:31 GMT 1998

Can the "tar" function in SMBCLIENT be used to successfully backup and 
restore a remote WNT 4 sp3 system disk?  I'm guessing no, because: 

1.  active registry files, so restored disk may not be bootable
2.  loss of ACLs and other "extra" file properties in tar format

Anybody tried it?

This is for machines with SCSI adapters, so even if we have to replace the
system disk after a failure, we can plug in an external disk, boot that,
and restore the internal disk while running on the external. 

Alternatively, if "tar" won't do the trick, does anybody know if this would

1.  Boot second WNT copy (another partition or disk)
2.  Mount SAMBA disk
3.  Use WinZIP to make a huge ZIP file containing all of the inactive
    system disk.
4.  Backup that binary on the Unix host to tape (dump, tar, whatever)


1.  Boot second WNT copy
2.  (optional), reformat, repartition internal disk
3.  Mount samba disk
4.  Read huge ZIP file back off of tape to unix disk.
5.  Use WinZIP to unpack huge ZIP back onto desired system disk.
6.  Reboot from internal, restored, drive

This suggests a novel feature that the Samba developers might want to 
consider, it would be a "tape disk", which would simplify backup quite a 
bit.  On the WNT side it would emulate a disk, but would really just
shuffle the bits off to a tape drive on the Unix side.  On the samba
side there would be some sort of mapping like:

  tape_disk_nrns = /dev/tapenrns

and you would set the position on the tape with "mt" (or similar) commands.

Then you could use
smbclient in a script to do something like (pseudocode) 

  net use Q: \\samba\tape_disk_nrns
  regback ??? ! store current version of registry on running disk
  backup C: Q: /a
  ! use I don't know what to pickup io.sys and other files backup
  ! won't touch

Restoring a hosed system disk, after booting from a second disk:

  net use Q: \\samba\tape_disk_nrns
  backup Q: C: /a
  ! use I don't know what to pickup io.sys and other files backup
  ! won't touch
  ! apply magic command to restore registry on restored disk,
  ! backup -> current

(The person who invented the registry should be tarred, feathered, and 
then forced to repair corrupted registries on unbootable machines until
hell freezes over!)


David Mathog
mathog at
Manager, sequence analysis facility, biology division, Caltech 

More information about the samba mailing list