domenica 3 maggio 2009

NT Backup and .bks file (reloaded)

The Windows program NT Backup can use a file with the extension .bks that contains the list of files or group of files to be saved.
As a matter of fact you can also use this file to exclude some files you don't want to be included into the backup set.

The syntax of the .bks file is as follows

This entire drive will be backed up.
Files in this folder will be backed up.
X:\Folder_name\ /exclude
Files in this folder will be excluded.
This file will be backed up.
X:\File_name.ext /exclude
This file will be excluded.
The System State will be backed up.
These network files will be backed up.

This file is normally created and managed by the program itself and it seems to be the only way to obtain a properly formatted .bks.

In fact, the .bks file is a "special" UNICODE file without the Unicode header (0xFFFE).
If you manually edit this file i.e. with NOTEPAD, the standard text editor included since the first version of Windows, and save it as a Unicode you are ruined. The scheduled backup job stop working.
It is very handy indeed to be able to manage that file as you like with your favourite text editor.
As long as you do that you need to strip the first two bytes (0xFFFE) off the .bks.

A simple way is to use a hexadecimal file editor.

Below you'll find some links to a few Hex Editor programs

Hex Editor XVI32

Mac OS X

Midnight Commander

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