Tutorial For mcBackup 3.0 : Backup & Restore Your MC Lineup and Recordings

M any Windows 7 Media Center users will have a point where they need to backup important information and settings for their Media Center mac...

mcBackup

Many Windows 7 Media Center users will have a point where they need to backup important information and settings for their Media Center machine. Information such as custom TV listings, recording schedules and certain plugin and meta data can take a fair amount of time to setup. Certainly no one enjoys missing a favorite show due to a reformat followed by forgetting to reset the schedule for that show. Ian Dixon, of The Digital Lifestyle and Made for Media Center, may just have the solution. mcBackup 3.0 can not only backup your setup but it can even be scheduled to do so regularly and for free. This handy utility will backup WMC scheduled recordings,channel lineups, and Recoded TV . The current version is currently a Beta and is only designed to work with Windows 7 Media Center and does work with extenders. There are versions for 32 & 64-bit systems so download and install the one which is right for your system (links below). Make sure you’re closed out of WMC and run through the installer as normal accepting the defaults. Join us after the break for complete tutorial.

Getting Started

To get started download mcBackup 3.0 from Made for Media Center and install. You’ll need to sign-up as a member of the site before being able to download the program, there is no confirmation email. Once downloaded and installed, run the program from the start menu under TheDigitalLifestyle.com –> mcBackup 3.0.

Under the Backup and Restore Now tab you can select the type of data to backup: schedule, lineup, recorded TV, extra. To do an immediate backup just check the boxes for the data to backup and hit the Backup Now button. Once a backup has been created you can restore the latest backup using the Restore Now button. However, the restore option should only be used on fresh started Media Center setups. Running the restore on an already setup Media Center will likely mess up your listings and such requiring a clearing of the data and then restoring once more.

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On the next tab, Backup Location, you are able to set the location where backup images should be saved. These are the folders you’ll need to copy to a safe location if doing a full clean install. For listings and recording schedule backups I’d even recommend having the default save location be a USB drive. This keeps your backup separate from the actual Media Center’s system drive should it cease operating properly.

Also available is the option to backup another folder, important plugin data or even just large downloaded caches such as MediaBrowser’s ImagesByName folder make good candidates.

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Coming to the Schedule tab we have one of the more important features of mcBackup. Here we can setup a schedule to regularly backup frequently changing things such as the recording schedule. Being something that typically changes often, it’s an especially good idea to regularly backup the recording schedule.

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Simply enable the scheduler then select the days and the time you’d like backups to be created. Either restart the program or enable the service using the link on the Home tab of the program. This home tab will report the status of the backup service whenever needed as well as the option to start or stop the service.

Now as long as you’ve set the backup to a safe location you should have a recent backup of your scheduling and lineup data whenever you need it.

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Creating A Backup

After you have it installed you can access it from the Start Menu underTheDigitalLifestyle.com folder.

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The first time you launch it you’ll see the backup service is off by default.

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Just click on the link to start it up.

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Under the Backup and Restore Now tab you can select what to backup and start the process right away or if you’ve already created backups you can restore them here as well.

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Under the Backup Location tab you can select where you want to store certain items.

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If you backup Recorded TV it’s a good idea to back it up to a location with plenty of storage since the files can be large.

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Note: tried to backup to Windows Home Server, but it didn’t seem to support network locations.

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However we were able to backup to an external USB drive.

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Under the Schedule tab you can select the days and time you want to backup WMC.

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After you create a schedule make sure to apply your settings and close out of the app UI. It will run quietly in the background and do it’s job.

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When you start a backup, nothing exciting happens, you’ll see that the backup as started in the lower left corner of the app.

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You won’t get a “backup successful” message…however, when you launch mcBackup it displays the date and time of the last successful backup.

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Restoring From A Backup

To restore a backup go to the Backup and Restore Now tab, select what you want to restore, and click the Restore Now button.

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You’ll see a Command Prompt window open while it loads the backups.

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Then a message letting you know the tuner has been restored.

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The project is still in beta, but it looks like there are some new features that will be available soon.

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The program works incredibly well in the background requiring virtually no intervention from the user beyond the initial setup. Simply set it up and forget it, just the way regular backups should be done. Thanks to Ian Dixon for making both the program and Made for Media Center. Stick around Hack7MC for future updates and a review of the Made for Media Center platform for Windows 7 Media Center. Also thanks to Hack 7 MC and How-To Geek for this amazing tutorial.

Download mcBackup 64-bit

Download mcBackup 32-bit

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