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Comet Backup usage 

Log in 

Enter the client's username and password, and click the button to log in.

Custom server address 

The server address will be automatically filled, pointing to the Comet Server that generated the client software.

You can connect the Comet Backup application to a different Comet Server:

  • Check the "Advanced Settings" option, to display the Server field
  • Enter the server address.
    • The address should include the protocol (http/https); any non-default port; and a trailing forward-slash (/) character.

Device registration 

If this is the first time logging in to your Comet Backup account from this device, you will be prompted to register the device into your account.

Importing data 

Comet Backup will scan your local device for certain online backup products from other software vendors. If a supported product is found, you may be prompted to import settings from the detected product.

For more details about supported products, please see the "Importing backup settings from other products" section in the Appendix.

Configure pre-logon service 

This feature is no longer required as of Comet 18.6.0.

By default, Comet will only run when there is a logged-in Windows session. This behavior is appropriate for desktop and laptop users, however for servers and workstations, it is often preferable for backups to run even when there is no logged-in Windows session. For instance, if a server is accessible over RDP and all users have logged out, there is no logged-in Windows session but it is expected that scheduled backups should still run.

You can enable this for Comet by opening the Account popup, clicking the "Startup Mode: Change" button, and choosing "Install pre-logon service". You will be prompted for Windows authentication details. Once configured, Comet Backup will run automatically on boot even without a logged-in Windows session. Running the Comet Backup app will connect to the pre-logon service instead of opening a new connection to the Comet Backup server.

The pre-logon service requires your Windows password to operate correctly. When changing your Windows password, you should also change the password for the generated service. This can be accomplished either via services.msc, or by uninstalling and reinstalling the pre-logon service via the Account popup inside Comet Backup.

The pre-logon service logs on to Windows with an independent LSA session and may therefore have a private set of mapped network drives. Please take care when using this feature in conjunction with mapped network drives.

The pre-logon service feature is available in Comet Backup for Windows 17.6.1 and later, prior to Comet Backup 18.6.0.

Troubleshooting 

Error "The service did not start due to a logon failure" 

This error message can occur if the password was entered incorrectly. Please double-check the password.

If this is not sufficient to resolve the issue, please check in Windows Event Viewer for more detail about the error message. There may be an error report in the "System" log category, from the "Service Control Manager" source.

Another reason this can occur is if the right to log on as a service is denied for this user account. If the machine is domain-joined, please check the Active Directory policy.

If the machine is not domain-joined, you can check this policy inside gpedit.msc; on the left-hand tree, expand "Computer Configuration" > "Windows Settings" > "Security Settings" > "Local Policies" > "User Rights Assignment"; then open the "Log on as a service" item. The target user should appear in this list, or, the target user should be a member of a Windows group that appears in this list.

Add a new Protected Item 

To add a new Protected Item, mouse over the "Protected Items" text and click the "Add" button.

For more information about configuring a Protected Item, see the "User configuration" section. No changes are applied until the Save button is pressed.

Edit an existing Protected Item 

To edit an existing Storage Vault, either double-click the row, or right-click the row and choose Edit.

For more information about configuring a Protected Item, see the "User configuration" section. No changes are applied until the Save button is pressed.

Add a new Storage Vault 

To add a new Storage Vault, mouse over the "Storage Vaults" text and click the "Add" button.

For more information about configuring a Storage Vault, see the "User configuration" section. No changes are applied until the Save button is pressed.

Edit an existing Storage Vault 

To edit an existing Storage Vault, right-click the row and choose Edit from the context menu.

Operations on Storage Vaults 

Further operations are available under the "Advanced" sub-menu when you right-click a Storage Vault.

Run retention pass now 

Comet will automatically perform a retention pass after each backup job. You can immediately run a retention pass by choosing the "Run retention pass now" menu item.

Rebuild indexes 

This is a technical feature to repair a specific type of potential issue. It is safe to use at any time, but should generally only be used if your support agent recommends it.

Clean up lock files 

Please see the Appendix > "Storage Vault Locks" section for more information about this feature.

Back up data 

Data should be backed up automatically on schedule as per the schedule setting options above.

At times, you may wish to immediately start a backup job, or back up to a different Storage Vault than usual. You can back up any Protected Item to any Storage Vault as follows:

  1. Hover the mouse over a Protected Item, and click the Backup Now button
  2. Step through the wizard to select a destination Storage Vault
  3. The backup job starts within the main window interface.

Restore data 

You can restore data from any Storage Vault as follows:

  1. Click the Restore button in the left-hand menu bar
  2. Select the Storage Vault containing the backed-up data, and click Next
  3. Select the Protected Item that you want to restore, and click Next
    • (Optional) Unfold the Protected Item to pick a snapshot other than the most recent
  4. Select which files to restore, and click Next
    • (Optional) By default, all files are restored. You can use the "Choose files" radio option to select individual files or folders to restore.
  5. Select the destination path to restore to, and click Next

The restore job starts within the main window interface.

If you are restoring from a Protected Item that is known to your current device, the progress operation will appear on the Backup tab under the Protected Item in question. If you are restoring from a Protected Item that is unknown to your current device, the progress operation will appear on the Account tab under the Storage Vault in question.

Remove a single backup snapshot 

You can remove a single snapshot from within a Storage Vault as follows:

  1. Click the Restore button in the left-hand menu bar
  2. Select the Storage Vault containing the backed-up data, and click Next
  3. Identify the Protected Item snapshot that you want to remove from the Storage Vault, unfolding if necessary
  4. Right click the Protected Item snapshot and choose "Delete this snapshot"

Comet will remove the snapshot from the Storage Vault, and then immediately clean up unused data within the Storage Vault to save on disk space.

Seed Load 

For customers with slow internet connections, or with large data volumes, it is possible to perform the initial backup to a local USB device and then courier it to the backup server administrator. Comet Backup supports this technique under the name "Seed Load".

To perform a Seed Load, follow these steps:

  • Set the Storage Vault's location to be an external hard drive, then perform a backup.
  • Transmit the files to the server (any Comet Server in Storage role)
  • Change the Storage Vault's type to be a Comet destination.

It is essential that the existing destination is kept, rather than creating a new destination. If not, then the encryption key differs and the data cannot be used.

All on-disk paths are identical between "Local Copy" and "Comet" vault types. The Comet Server will use the files immediately and does not need to be restarted.

For more information, please see the Migrating user data section.

Browse job history 

Click the "history" button at the top of the Comet Backup window to browse through job history.

Filter 

Click the filter icon to toggle displaying the Filter pane. The Filter pane allows you to filter the displayed jobs by status, classification, Protected Item, Storage Vault, and device.

When the filter bar is closed, the data area shows all jobs from the current device. You can use the filter bar to show historic jobs from other devices in the account.