Sunday, November 30, 2008

ssc #84 Abakt backup

If you've ever lost valuable documents due to a computer crash or virus infection then today's article is for you.  If you've ever been told by friends that you need to back up your files, but never found the time, then today's article is for you.  If you've never had a problem and never saw a need to back up important data, then today's article is DEFINITELY for you.

Crashes happen.  Files get lost every hour of every day due to viral infections, hardware failure, power fluctuations and just plain stupidity.  If you've never lost any important files then either you're really lucky, or you just don't have any files that you consider important.

Today I'd like to share with you a very useful little program I found called Abakt.

Abakt is an open source backup utility.  Essentially, you set up Abakt to copy your important files and folders to a specific location and then you can use the Windows Scheduler to make it back everything up on a regular basis.

Abakt has the ability to compress your files when it backs them up, and also can delete backups when they've become too old, making sure that your storage space isn't filled up with zip archives of out-dated data.

Another thing that Abakt can do is group a bunch of backup profiles into a group and then you can run them all by starting up the group.

Whats even better for those of the geek persuasion is that Abakt can be called by DOS commands.  Essentially you can use a batch file (.bat) with all of your Abakt arguements and then use a command line email utility called Blat ( to email you after the process is complete to let you know if everything went ok.  If you use gmail you will need to use a program called "stunnel" ( which provides a secure ssl tunnel for blat to talk to Gmail.

You can get Abakt at:

Below is an example of a batch file designed to run Abakt and then email me the results of the process.
set BLAT="C:\Program Files\blat\blat.exe"
set ABAKT="C:\Program Files\Abakt\Abakt.exe"
set PROFILE=<the profile name you wish to use>
set GROUP=<the group name you wish to use>
set BODY="<put in the full path to a .txt message you'd like included in your email>"
set HOME=C:\Documents and Settings\<your user name>
set LOGFILE1="%HOME%\Application Data\Abakt\Log\%GROUP%.log"
set LOGFILE2="%HOME%\Application Data\Abakt\Log\%PROFILE%.log"

@rem == This next line prepares Blat with your email server
%BLAT% -install %EMAIL%

@rem == This line actually starts up Abakt
@rem== If you want to use a profile it should be "%PROFILE%".abp
%ABAKT% -b -x -l -m "%GROUP%".abg

goto result%ERRORLEVEL%
     @rem OK (0x00)
    set BACKUPA=FilesCopied_OK
        @goto end

    @rem OK+WARNING (0x02)
    set BACKUPA=Files_Copied_With_errors
    @goto end

    @rem ERROR (0x01)

    @rem ERROR+WARNING (0x03)
    set BACKUPA=File_Copy_FAILED
    @goto end

@rem==this line actually sends the email
%BLAT% %BODY% -s "%BACKUPA%" -to %TOEMAIL% -f %FROMEMAIL% -server -port 25 -u <email_username> -pw <email_password>

I hope thats helpful to some of you.  I've sure found it to be a great program.

If you have a question or comment, feel free to email me at

If you'd like to read my past articles, browse to

If you live in Russell County or the surrounding areas and you need help fixing your computer, give me a call at (606) 219-4088 to set up an appointment.

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