Restoring just one file from a tape backup system takes an inordinately long time. About the third time that I needed to restore one particular file, I decided to get rid of my tape backup system. Now, I back up the data on my workstations to system servers through batch files that take advantage of the Net Use and Xcopy commands.

I run these data backups as Scheduled Tasks. (I use Windows 2000's built-in backup software to perform regular backups of the servers' system states and use multiple computers as the target media.) I run the batch files from multiple servers and workstations to back up data all over the network. My data is my professional life, so I copy my data files to multiple machines.

My backup batch file looks like Listing A. (The file isn't as long as it seems at first glance because many of the lines are comments.) This file maps a drive on a server to a drive on a workstation, then copies folders from the workstation back to the server. I chose this approach arbitrarily; alternatively, I could have set different drive letters for each folder being backed up, then referenced the drive letter in each Xcopy command.

Be aware that you need to delete the mapped drive letter at the end of the batch file. If you don't, the next time you run the batch file, the system will display the error message The local device name is already in use.