How to reduce disk wear & tear by scheduling backup and sleep cycles

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Joined: Thu May 30, 2019 9:33 am

How to reduce disk wear & tear by scheduling backup and sleep cycles

Post by Oren »

I have an old atom-based machine that I repurposed as a backup machine. I don't use it for any other purpose so I've set it to automatically wake up for scheduled backups, then put to sleep for the rest of the day. My hope is that this would reduce hardware wear and tear to the minimum, by ensuring the disk (and less importantly - the whole machine) are only turned on when backups are performed.

Below is what I do (and I apologize for the lousy formatting, but this forum disabled both BBCode and HTML). Both machines run Windows 10.

On the BACKUP MACHINE (destination) , create two scheduled tasks (Start -> Run -> taskschd.msc):
Create WAKE UP TASK. With the following attributes:
• General tab: select "Run whether user is logged on or not"; check "Run with highest privileges"
• Triggers tab: Trigger: Weekly. Recur every 1 week. check the days you plan to run the backup job (in my case, weekdays while I'm at work, at 9:50 AM)
• Actions tab: New Action of type "Start a program". Under Program/script -> "C:\Windows\System32\PING.EXE" (this isn't intended to do anything meaningful, it's just to avoid the error "You must enter a task name and at least one action.")
Conditions tab: check "Wake the computer to run this task"

(optionally) Create SYNC WITH TIME SERVERS TASK. In my case the system clock of this machine tends to drift after a while, so I had to create this task. If your machine system clock is reliable you can probably skip this.
• General tab: As above
• Triggers tab: As above, but set to runs at 9:55.
• Actions tab: New Action of type "Start a program". Under Program/script -> "c:\Windows\nistime-32bit.exe" with arguments "/quiet /once".

You can download NISTIME-32BIT.EXE from ... ervice-its

Prepare the destination machine to be shut down remotely, by changing the registry as follows:
• Start -> Run -> regedit
• Browse to Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System
• Create a DWORD (32-bit) Value named LocalAccountTokenFilterPolicy and set to 1 under
Note: As always, you should backup the relevant registry branch before modifying it (in this case by right clicking System and choosing Export).

On the CLIENT MACHINE, I created a backup job and then under Advanced configured the following:
• Checked "Run program or action". Added the path "C:\Windows\psshutdown.exe \\targethostname -d -u username -p password". This needs to be in a single line and without quotes.

You can download PSSHUTDOWN.EXE from here: ... psshutdown
Note that psshutdown doesn't work with Windows 10 out of the box. I was getting "Access is denied" and had to tweak the registry of the destination machine as described above.

RESULT: With this configuration, the destination machine wakes up at 9:50, syncs its clock at 9:55, the client then starts backup at 10:00 and once it finishes puts the destination machine to sleep. The cycle repeats every weekday.

Good luck!

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