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I've got a computer running Vista x64 with a standard user account, but I can elevate to administrator to install a service or RSync software. I want to backup by data drive (d:) to a server running Ubuntu. How can I do this reliably with RSync?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Yes, but you want Volume Shadow Copy to deal with changed files. Take a look at this and this. If you have databases, best back those up separately using the database backup software.

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You should be able to just run rsync with options specified by the man page (there's a good examples section) with no issues. The only thing is, you'll need to be sure that none of the files you're trying to back up are otherwise in use by the system; I think windows will prevent access to them if that's the case.

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If I'm not wrong, rsync has problems following symlinks and directory junctions on NTFS drives, so you might want to be careful about those.

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