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Support for WoL

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Does Retrospect support wake-on-lan?


Why no WoL support?


It's been requested as a feature request for many years. You might add your name to the pot with this feature request.


That said, elaborate hacks have been scripted by users of the Mac version that send the WoL magic packet at the right time before a backup. I can't seem to find the forum thread for that now that the BBS software changed.



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OK, here is one way to do it. Note this is a design guide and not a step-by-step guide.


Lets assume that your backups start at 1:00am and you simply want to wake ALL the clients at once at that time, and then back them up. Turning all the clients off afterwards is also possible.


The Wake on LAN freeware utility of choice is available from here: http://www.depicus.com/wake-on-lan/wake-on-lan-cmd.aspx

so download that and put it somewhere.


Basically you will be using retrospect's external scripting ability, so read, understand and exercise this feature. See pages 306-->308 of the user guide.


Basically you would write an event handler script to handle the StartScript event. The script would simply use the wolcmd utility downloaded from above to wake up a pre-determined list of clients.

After sending the magic packets, the script would sleep for a suitable amount of time to ensure all the PCs have had time to start properly. 3 minutes should do it. Then the script exits and retrospect then launches the actual backup script.


You could also have another script handler for the EndScript event that uses the shutdown command to shut down a pre-determined list of clients. Note that this script should include some checking code to ensure it only runs at the expected times and exits silently any other times, since this script will be called each time ANY backup (or restore?) script finishes and it would be unfortunate for this to activate during the day. Maybe include a very long (eg 60 minutes) warning so the users can save their work and call you in case something goes wrong and it does run during the day.

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Like I said, there was a very long and thorough post by another user for the Mac version, with full implementation details (that would be easy to recode for Windows scripting) in the old forums before they got the spiffy look. Here's the old link, which is dead now:



Perhaps someone knows how to match this up with the new forum archives.


It's advantage is that it sent the WoL magic packet to each client just before that client's backup because, if you wake everybody up at once, and the preceding clients take a long time in their backup window, clients go back to sleep.


But this is a feature that has been repeatedly requested for at least four or five years now.



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  • 1 month later...

I'm currently trying to figure out how to write a good wake on lan script. By conincidence the way i've figured out is exactly that you describe with depicus WOL utility.

I was wondering if there is a more efficient way of doing it than waking all the machines every half hour or so. Is there a way that retrospect can pass the name of the machine it is polling in proactive backup to an external script? something like %MACHINENAME% (but obviously that won't work itself!).

I could wake the machines on a schedule using depicus WOL, but i find that proactive backup is not very proactive at backing up machines when they become available.

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