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Using Apple OS X Lion Server as a Home Server (Part 15 – Windows PC Backup)

backup

[box type=”tick” style=”rounded” border=”full”]Download the Using Apple OS X Lion Server at Home eBook Now

If you’ve been enjoying our Using Apple OS X Lion Server as a Home Server series, then make sure you pick up a copy of the accompanying eBook. You’ll find additional chapters and information on using OS X Lion Server to power your digital home that won’t be available here on the site, and with all of our walkthroughs available in one convenient document (ePub or PDF), it’s far easier to install and configure your server without having to click backward and forwards to the website.

Buy Using OS X Lion Server at Home – £14.99

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[box type=”info” style=”rounded” border=”full”]Articles in this series…

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OK, I know what you’re going to say – in fact, you’ve probably already said it. It’s all very well and good being able to back up my Macs to OS X Server, but hey, what about my PCs? Right at the start of the book, I mentioned that we’d look after you if you had a mixed PC and Mac home network, so let’s talk about backing up your PCs to Lion Server.

You have probably guessed that Time Machine doesn’t support PC backup. If not, let me drop you the news – Time Machine doesn’t support PC backup. That would be too easy, right? So, the most practical way of backing up your PCs to OS X Server is to run a backup program on Windows that can push the backed up files over to your server across the network.

Now, we have a decision to make, and it all hangs on the version of Windows you’re running. Most versions of Windows ship with an onboard backup application which may be fine for your use. Unfortunately, not all versions of Windows allow you to backup to a network device – if you’re running Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate then we’re fine. Windows 7 Home Premium? Unfortunately not. This is a little different to Windows Vista Home Premium which does let you back-up over the network. But, don’t worry, if your version of Windows won’t let you backup over the network, there are other third-party apps which will do. We’ll run through using Windows own backup application as well as an example of a third-party application to cover off both scenarios.

Using Windows Backup

Microsoft’s built-in Backup application may not offer all of the bells and whistles of specialist backup apps, but it does a job and hey, it’s free! (Well, you’ve already paid for it). But before we configure backup, we need to create a location on the server to store our backup files. So, On your server, create a folder somewhere you can remember called PC Backups. As an example, I created mine in my Documents folder – but you can store the files anywhere that’s accessible over the network on your server.

Back to your Windows PC, and you can find the Windows Backup app in Control Panel > System and Security, listed as Backup and Restore. Click the link, and unless you’ve previously setup a backup schedule, you should see the following:

 

To read the rest of this chapter, check out the Using OS X Server at Home eBook.

[box type=”tick” style=”rounded” border=”full”]Download the Using Apple OS X Lion Server at Home eBook Now

If you’ve been enjoying our Using Apple OS X Lion Server as a Home Server series, then make sure you pick up a copy of the accompanying eBook. You’ll find additional chapters and information on using OS X Lion Server to power your digital home that won’t be available here on the site, and with all of our walkthroughs available in one convenient document (ePub or PDF), it’s far easier to install and configure your server without having to click backward and forwards to the website.

Buy Using OS X Lion Server at Home – £14.99

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Terry Walsh is the founder of We Got Served. He started the community in February 2007 with a mission to help families, tech enthusiasts everywhere figure out the technology needed to run the modern home and small business. He's the author of a number of guides to Windows, Windows Server and OS X Server and runs his own successful publishing business. Born and raised in Liverpool, England, Terry has been awarded Microsoft's prestigious Most Valuable Professional Award each year since 2008 for his work on We Got Served.
  • Marcel

    Very interesting series! How about using your mac (mini) as gateway to control everything what’s going on in your network? 

    • Nice idea, Marcel – what kind of things would you want to control?

      • Marcel

        You could think of bandwith management, intrusion protection / prevention, content filter, etc. Just curious of this is possible on Mac OS. Also network features as VPN, DHCP, etc is this possible.

        I’m now running a Linux box for all this kind of stuff but I’m very interested in Apple Hard /Software. I have a iPone and i love this device. So i regular visit the apple premium reseller (and read your articles) to investigate if i want to go this route.  

        I also find storage a big issue when using a Mac Mini as server. Maybe add a NAS for storage and connect via iscsi… It would be awesome if you could connect your DIY  storage solution via thunderbold. 

        • Peter MacLeod

          I actually do exactly what you are saying. I have a Mac mini setup to act as a router/firewall/all-in-one device. I am using its built-in wireless to create my home wireless network as well as have an external thunderbolt raid connected sharing files and doing time machine backups. It runs my DNS, DHCP, WEB, Email, AFP/SMB, Firewall, content filtering, Wiki, iTunes, UPnP/DLNA, iCal, Address Book and more. Lion server works great in addition to a few other programs to get everything done. 

  • Marcel

    i don’t want to advertise but this is a interesting read: http://www.sonnettech.com/product/rackmacminixserver.html

  • autodrivel

    Terry,
    I’ve purchased the eBook, but I’m not clear on how I get updates to it as you author new chapters.
    My edition currently covers  Chapters 1 -14.
    If I log into the WGS Store and look at downloads, it shows my current edition (i.e. Chp 1 -14).
    However, the Purchase option at the store clearly states that that version is Chp 1 -15.

    Please don’t tell me that I have to repurchase the eBook to get additional chapters.

  • My bad! I’ve only published up to Chapter 14 at this point – will fix the page. 15 will be available between Xmas and New Year, I think. 

    When a new chapter is released, you’ll get an email alert – log in to your account, and you’ll see the download has been refreshed with a new, full document which includes the new chapter. 

    Apols for the confusion!

    • autodrivel

      Terry,
      Thanks, that clears up the confusion.
      Keep up the good work.
      Any thoughts on publishing any other eBooks?

      • Yep, most probably – it’s been fun to do and received well…. what would you like to see?

        • Don

           I enjoy the series and manage to get my Lion Server to do a few things, like integrating with icloud and storing my wife’s Iphone photos. 

          I find myself trying internet based software…accounting, etc. and usually realize that it’s great to look and maybe fun to use, but I am never where the software lives and access ease is always related to the quality of my internet access.  With my Lion Server I am at least sometimes where my software lives.  So at least part of the time my issues are internal to the house. 

          This series approach feels to me akin to a hobbyist’s tinkering and joint discovery rather than a “how to” manual that I can’t seem to read without falling asleep.  I would like you to consider something like…an applied database task on the Lion Server, maybe Filemaker or the included database server.  Where we take a need, say a small business accounting program and we build it.  And actually use it.  

  • Owen

    Hi terry,

    What is in the ebook that is not in the articles? And will the VPN addition be in there?

    Thanks for the great work, and help with lion.

    Owen

    • Hi Owen

      Quite a bit, really – take a look at the list of section above. Anything that has “eBook Exclusive” next to it has full chapters in the eBook, with only an excerpt here on the site.

      VPN is currently being written and should be available over Xmas. We’ll have an excerpt here on the site, but a full chapter in the book.

      Cheers
      Terry

  • Shaunvis

    I’ve been following along in the series and so far I like it a lot. I have become tired of MS in recent years. My WHS 2011 is my last real Windows machine I use. I’ve been considering switching to Lion server & this has been a great read.

    I have a few lingering questions though:1. If I converted to Lion server, I could still run WHS as a VM, point it to my data (now living on Lion server & shared out so WHS can access it) & allow friends & family to continue to share things like I’ve been doing with my WHS, correct?2. How’s the media streaming? I have many types of video that I stream to my DLNA Blu-Ray player from my WHS. Would this still work with Lion Server? Or would I need some “media server” app?

    • Peter MacLeod

      For DLNA I use the PS3 Media Server. Its free and supports many devices and transcodes on the fly.

  • Simon Bell

    Terry, Thanks for a great guide.  If I had one criticism it would be that you kinda breeze over how to create a webpage for verification of ownership for SSL Certificate, but I figured it out.

    I do however have a slight problem.  I came across this guide as I was having problems getting network users to connect on client computers.  I can log in with them locally, but although network accounts appear to be available on the client computer, the users do not appear at the login window and entering the credentials just makes the login box shake.  I’ve followed your instructions to the T.  I’ve also looked elsewhere for advice, and there is a lot of talk about binding problems with Lion, but I’m still not sure what the answer is!  Do you have any advise on this or have you experienced the problem yourself?  I have allowed home folders in share points as you described, but no joy.

    FWIW, I have managed to join the server by the correct domain name (rather than local) by entering the IP address of the DNS in network>prefs on the server itself, but have not tried SSL as I am still waiting for DNS server repointing and therefore the SSL certificate to come through.

    Apologies for the poor terminology – I’m a bit new to all this!

    Many thanks
    Simon

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