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I need to use VERITAS Software's Backup Exec for Windows Servers with Windows Server 2003 and Windows 2000 Server. The problem is that I'm not particularly familiar with either OS, and I'm much more comfortable performing work from the command line. Can I use the command line or a script to operate Backup Exec?

Given the ease of using Backup Exec's GUI and scheduler, I suggest giving them a try rather than resorting to the command line. With that said, you can use the bemcmd.exe backup applet as a standalone application or with scripts. (VERITAS supplies documentation that discusses the use of this tool, but that documentation is 150 pages and, frankly, gruesome to read.) Listing 1 shows a sample batch script, backup.txt, that works with bemcmd.exe. The script must be located in the same directory as bemcmd.exe and must be saved as a .txt file. The syntax for running the script is

bemcmd -o90 -fbackup.txt

In place of the -o90 switch, which runs the specified .txt file, you can use the -o1 switch, which runs a job that you've created under the GUI. (This switch is perhaps the most useful command-line option.) Use the syntax

bemcmd -o1 -j"job name"

where job name is the name of the job you want to run.

Listing 1 includes comment lines, which begin with a double slash (//); remove these lines before using the script. Also, edit the script to enter information that's appropriate to your environment (e.g., to replace "computername"). You can use Notepad to edit the script, but I prefer to use the command-line text editor because it doesn't add any superfluous characters. Be sure that you maintain the script's organization.

If you use the script to overwrite data on your backup media, make certain you first erase the media or configure Backup Exec's Tools, Option, Media Management setting to ignore overwrite notification; otherwise, the system might wait for you to confirm the overwrite. Likewise, if you want to append the backup to an existing one, make certain that your chosen media supports that action and has room to append.