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Windows 7: Program to schedule unmounting and remounting of hard drives?

07 Dec 2016   #1
Bunny G

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit
 
 
Program to schedule unmounting and remounting of hard drives?

Because my data is important and part of my work, I'm nervous of loss.

Consequently, I have two backup drives which I set my backup schedule (via Cobian software) to backup to each on an alternative basis (with Sunday off).

I also daily backup my most crucial data to the Cloud.

Thing is, decent Ransomware scripts will infect not just the drive it's invoked on but will seek out other drives, including those on a network and infect those, also.

So, forgetting about the Cloud backup (which Ransomware can also infect) I was thinking that maybe I could somehow make whatever physical drive has just been backed up to by Cobian be unmounted until it is required again (after the alternative drive has been backed up to and unmounted), whereupon it would be remounted, prior to the backup taking place.

That way, I'd never have more than one day's backup infected, should an infection manage to bypass my security.

Any ideas, anyone, please?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 Dec 2016   #2
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

First, you are to be commended for wanting to make sure your data is safe.

I'm gathering from your post that your backup drives are installed inside your computer or are otherwise connected to the computer at all times. If so, that is a bad idea. First, as you are already concerned about, malware can invade a drive that is permanently connected to a computer. Also, a drive that is connected to a power source is subject to damage from voltage and current spikes that blow through any surge protection you have (you are using surge arrestors, right?) or a failing power supply could fry everything inside a computer, also taking out your backups. If your backup drives are installed inside the computer, if a thief makes off with your computer, the backups will also go with the thief. The same goes for other disasters that can happen: physical damage from dropping, fire, flood, earthquake, etc. Even unmounted drives can be subject to damage.

Backups need to be kept on drives that are kept disconnected from the computer except when updating a backup. There is no practical, safe way to automate backups.

You are on the right track about having multiple backups. I've already discussed what is needed for backups in another thread that you commented in.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Dec 2016   #3
Bunny G

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit
 
 

Thanks for such a quick response.

I agree with all you say here, so shall take a closer look at the other thread you alluded to and read your posts, there.

Out of interest though (call me stubborn) IS there a program, or perhaps even a script, which would do what I was querying, to your knowledge? Such would prove useful where backup drives simply HAD to be permanently attached to a host PC system.

Thanks again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 Dec 2016   #4
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

There may be but I never needed or wanted one so I never looked for one. There are hardware solutions that will allow you to shut the power off of drives in a computer but, again, I very STRONGLY recommend against it; the risks are just too high.

to give you an idea how seriously I take my backups, I have a set of four backup drives for every drive (three right now but I'm adding a fourth one soon) installed in my computer. Two of each set are kept at home in a drawer and the other two of each set are kept in my safe deposit box at my credit union. I swap out the onsite and offsite backups at least one a month to keep the offsite backups as up to date as possible. Since any files I add or change after I put the offsite backups in my safe deposit box will not be included in the offsite backup for as long as a month, I also have a Carbonite.com account to fill that gap. The cloud backup will also backup new and changed data until I get around to running the onsite backups.

Do I recommend that extreme of a backup scheme for everyone. Heck no! I have data that would be expensive or impossible to replace. Pretty much my whole life is digitized. Most people would do just fine with an onsite and an offsite backup for each drive in their computer (also two or more smaller drives can be backed up on one onsite and one offsite backup drive as long as the backup drives are large enough to hold all the data on the smaller drives).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Dec 2016   #5
Alejandro85

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I will also suggest another, simpler, alternative to secure the backup drives while not in use.
First of all, mounting and unmounting drives in explorer is pure eye-candy, it changes absolutely nothing with respect of accessible drives (anyone can still access with \\server\share), so a virus just need to enumerate network shares to bypass your protection. A prime case of "security though obscurity", hence, no security at all.

Instead, make use of the security and permissions built-in into Windows. Make the backup drives read-only, with the backup program being the only able to write to it. To do this, change the Cobian Backup service to run under an exclusive user account of its own (I recommend using an NT Service account, but a regular one with a random password will do). Give that account read access to everything in need of backup. In the backup drives, give the users group read only access to the backups themselves, but give administrators group and the backup account read-write access.
That way only Cobian can modify the backups, but not you (or a virus). A nice side effect is that UAC will ask for elevation when doing a change to the backups, making accidental changes more difficult. Of course, make sure you're not running as administrator every time.

A second, stronger alternative is to migrate to a pull model for backups. Since you mentioned a network drive, I assume you have a server of some sort. So, delete Cobian from your system and forget about backups on it. Instead, install it on the server. Make the server backup from the network though shares on the main computer, reading all needed data (which must be read-only from shares) and store the backups in a non-shared location on the server. This way, should your computer be infected, the backups won't be even there and the virus will be unaware of their existence.

Cycling backup drives offsite is also a good option, as Lady Fitzgerald mentioned, as nothing of what I've said protects against power failures, hardware damage, theft or accidents.

And BTW, to achieve what you've asked, just use the pre-backup and post-backup events of Cobian Backup, issuing a "net use" command to mount before the backup and another to dismount afterwards.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Dec 2016   #6
RolandJS

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

I recommend an UPS [with or without using the built-in shutdown software] on this very good computer system
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Dec 2016   #7
Bunny G

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Alejandro85 View Post
I will also suggest another, simpler, alternative to secure the backup drives while not in use...............

Cycling backup drives offsite is also a good option, as Lady Fitzgerald mentioned, as nothing of what I've said protects against power failures, hardware damage, theft or accidents.

And BTW, to achieve what you've asked, just use the pre-backup and post-backup events of Cobian Backup, issuing a "net use" command to mount before the backup and another to dismount afterwards.
Excellent help and advice, so thank you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Program to schedule unmounting and remounting of hard drives?




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