x86/DOS system backup via rs232?

Jules Richardson jules.richardson99 at gmail.com
Fri Nov 13 19:08:47 CST 2015

On 11/12/2015 05:52 PM, Chuck Guzis wrote:
> On 11/12/2015 01:54 PM, Jules Richardson wrote:
>> As per subject line, does anyone know of any util that will back up
>> an x86 PC running some variant of DOS (MS, Compaq etc.) via rs232 to
>> a remote system? (Linux preferable on the remote, but other options
>> exist)
>> I'm not finding anything via Google, but it seems like the sort of
>> thing that some of the folks here may have done for their systems in
>> the past.
>> I'm thinking something that will do a sector-by-sector transfer from
>> a given partition (maybe only in-use sectors, implying some minor
>> intelligence on the remote end to covert into a raw image, but "send
>>  everything" mentality is better than nothing) - extra points for
>> retrying bad sectors.
> Any particular reason that RS232C has to be the linkup?

Just lowest common denominator and based on what I have sitting around here 
(e.g. I don't have any MCA Ethernet boards, or ISA ones that will work on 
an 8 bit XT-type bus, only 16 bit).

> There are plenty
> of external drives that can use the parallel port with regular software.
> For example, hook up a ZIP drive.

Hmm, I *might* know where there's one of those available - I'm not sure 
about cartridges, though (or if it's actually in working condition). The 
backup operation would certainly be quicker, and I am a bit concerned 
whether some of the old ST506/412 drives that I have will remain running 
for the length of time needed to do a serial transfer.

> Alternatively, you could boot DOS from floppy with INTERLINK/INTERSVR
> installed and use another DOS/WIN machine to do your backup.

My assumption there was that Interlink needs a newer version of DOS, and 
that some of these systems that I have may be incompatible, but maybe it's 
worth me putting that to the test.

> I'm certain that options abound.

Yes, I'm sure - just figured I'd ask here as it seems like the sort of nut 
that will already have been cracked :-)

Vintage PCs are just a pain - new enough to make significant use of hard 
disk technology, but old enough that getting the data off them isn't quite 
as trivial as it likely would be on a much newer machine. I do find them 
*just* interesting enough to make it worthwhile trying to create a snapshot 
of how they were used, though (compared to the Win95-and-newer age where 
it's all so incredibly dull)



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