Hi All,

We currently use Windows XP SP2 as our primary network client. Our
laptop PCs all use a standard image, and applications can be installed
via our client management platform (ZenWorks). Laptop PCs use local
profiles (it's just easier!). I've put together a configuration using
group policy, VBScripts and NTBACKUP.EXE so that when you log off, you
are asked whether a backup should take place of your main data
folders;
- My Documents
- Desktop
- Favourites
- Application Data
If you say yes, it backs these up to your home directory on the
network. User's interaction is limited to giving consent [By
implication, by not giving consent, *they* become liable for not
performing backups!].

If the there is a problem (lost/stolen laptop, failed hdd, etc) the
user can simply take another laptop, image it with the standard image,
and follow instructions to restore these folders. Nice and easy (to
the user, anyway; it took quite a few attempts to get it so simple!)

We're investigating Windows Vista Business as the replacement. The
backup utility in Vista is, to the end user at least, much simpler,
but hugely inflexible. Since there could be multiple users on a
laptop, I don't want to be backing up *everyone's* documents,
pictures, etc because that's a security breach. It's also potentially
impractical. Users have a practically infinite combination of
applications, so I don't know how I would configure backup of this.
Much better to insist you store on your desktop or "my documents",
then just backup the lot.

A bit of research suggests others are coming to similar conclusions,
and the most recommended solutions are
- a third party utility
- Powertoys Synctoy
- Bringing in Windows XP's NTBACKUP utility

Regarding the latter, what has your experience been? How "legal/
proper" is it? I know Windows Vista gives you rights to run Windows
XP instead if you wish, but I'm unclear on carrying forward "bits" of
XP.

Kind regards,

Anwar