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Desktop Reminder message to attach storage disk before scheduled backup.

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Guide to "Desktop Reminder to attach storage disk before Backup"

(Note: All instructions and comments, same as below, are included in this pdf link.)

                                         Prepared & Illustrated by GroverH

If you want or need to be reminded to attach an external disk prior to its scheduled backup time, it is easy to do and here are a sample set of instructions which can be invoked from the TrueImage Pre/post Pre COMMAND option or invoked via the Windows Task Scheduler. The reminder would be in the form of desktop screen message reminder (attach disk) plus would confirm that the storage disk was attached and recognized. The reminder message and disk check would originate from the supplied "attach-reminder.txt" file discussed in subsequent instructions. Date-time of reminder message display would be user controlled. (Briefly) What the program script does is to check the target disk for the existence of the reminder.txt file. If designated file is found, target disk is known to be attached. If designated file not found, user is frequently reminded to attach the missing target disk until disk is either attached or script autocloses after 60 minutes of unsuccessful checking.

when disk not found:

When disk is found to be attached:

Additionally or optionally, if you want to be also reminded several minutes or hours before the backup, this could be accomplished via a Windows scheduler popup running "attach-reminder.cmd" without involving the TrueImage task. Or, if your preference is just to be reminded as part of the backup, this "attach-reminder.cmd" message alert could be included as part of the Acronis Disk Backup option Pre/post commands. The pre command could point to the "attach-reminder.cmd" file and would execute the reminder message/disk confirmation check just prior to the actual start of the backup. Refer page 5 for a discussion of any resulting program changes from normal. The implementation of this Windows Scheduler suggestion could be a supplement to the use of MudCrab's more sophisticated Drive Notify disk notification program. Several non-alike copies of this completed scheduler task could also be scheduled to run reminders/diskcheck on several different storage disks. For those who want to run multiple instances of Scheduler checking for different storage drives, this paragraph is for you. Change the X in file names and inside contents to a different digit or letter. Change the referenceX.txt file to a reference1.txt plus change the attach-referenceX.txt/cmd to attach-reference1.txt/cmd files. Also change the internal reference inside the attach-reference1.txt/cmd from IF EXIST X:\REFERENCEX.TXT to a new setting of IF EXIST X:\REFERENCE1.TXT plus change the 4 references to attach-reminderX-results.txt to attach-reminder1.-results.txt. In other words, all instances of the file name "referenceX" should be modified to a different but matching name for each different scheduled task.    Of course, we continue to recommend that a specific drive  letter(such as X)  be assigned to the storage disk and implemented into the TI backup task.  A letter near the near the end of the alphabet helps to prevent a drive letter change when other USB devices might be connected.   Whichever computer is used to assign the drive letter will recognize the disk and connect with the new drive letter assigned.



Important: There are several instances of using the SAVE AS command. Before you click the save button, do take the time to confirm the open save window to make sure the file is being saved as a Text document and with ANSI coding (where indicated).

1.    Attach the intended storage disk to your computer.
       Confirm correct drive letter assigned.

2.     The goal of instruction 2 is to save the reminderX.txt file (as a ANSI-TEST FILE) into the root directory of the storage disk. The file has no content but its location is location specific.
        Click on this link to begin download of reminderx.txt

       (After a delay, File will open into a new browser window)

        ♦ From menu, Click File, Click Save page as
        ♦ Press Home Key-to preserve the file name & place cursor at start of file name.
        ♦ Type 3 characters (drive letter, colon symbol, backslash symbol)  which comprise
           your storage disk path.   If storage disk drive letter is “U”,  type
            Path will appear as   U:\reminderx.txt
           Verify "Save as Type" is TEXT document.          ♦  Click Save
            File will be saved into your storage disk root path as
            Press the browser back arrow (upper left corner) to clear the browser display window.


3. The goal of instruction 3 is to save the prepared attach-reminderx.txt file into any known location (File type=Text or ANSI) so file can be edited using Notepad.

       Click on this link to begin download of attach-reminderx.txt
       (After a delay, File will open into a browser window)

         ♦  From menu, Click File, Click Save page as
         ♦  Press Home Key-to preserve the file name & place cursor at start of file name.
            Add C:\   to beginning of file name.
         ♦  Click Save   (File will attempt to save as c:\attach-reminderx.txt)
             Windows will reject and suggest  you save in your document folder
         ♦  Click Yes to save in your documents folder
         ♦  Click  Save        (Any Location ok but you need to know where file so file can be edited.)
           Verify "Save as Type" is TEXT document.              File is expected to be saved as a (save as type=text document);
               c:\users\your user name\documents\attach-reminderx.txt

            Press the browser back arrow (upper left corner) to clear the browser screen.

4. The goal of instruction 4 is to change the drive letter on line 13 (if correction needed) and to save the file with a CMD file extension, such as  c:\users\your user name\documents\attach-reminderx.CMD

          ♦   Open Windows Explorer and browse to the folder where the attach-reminderx.txt file was just saved. Perhaps its location is:
                c:\users\your user name\documents\attach-reminderx.txt
         ♦  Right  click on the attach-reminderx.txt file name and click the EDIT option."
             Notepad should open the attach-reminderx.txt  file for editing..
         ♦  Edit line 13 and change the drive letter from X to match your storage disk drive letter.
             Important: do not make any other changes on line 13.

         ♦  Line 13 --before change (drive letter may or maynot need changing)
             Line 13 --after change should point to your storage disk drive letter & root directory.

(Note: If user has multiple storage disks, it would also be possible to edit Line 21 “ECHO Attach disk reminder screen.” And add the specific disk name of the external disk which needs to be attached.)          ♦  From Menu, click  File.   Click Save As
         ♦  Press the End key to place cursor at end of file name.
         ♦  Press the Backspace key 3 times to delete  txt
         ♦  Add the letters CMD
            The file name should now read (CONFIRM that file name is exact)
         ♦  Press Save.        Close Notepad without any further changes.

5.    Now would be a good time to test whether the just saved CMD file  works.

    Open Explorer. Browse to where attach-reminderx.cmd was saved, perhaps
        c:\users\your user name\documents\attach-reminderx.CMD

..5A.    Disconnect the USB cable attached to your storage disk
                       so storage disk is not connected.
         ♦  Double click on the attach-reminderx.cmd  file name.
             Your desktop reminderx program should appear and indicate
                            "drive NOT connected."

..5B.    Re-attach USB cable.     Systray info popup may  or may not to appear to indicate successful connection
         After a 60 second delay, a disk recheck should find the newly attached disk.

         Screen should respond "no action needed. Disk is attached".
            Close the screen reminderx display. Test is successful and finished.

6.    If familiar with the Windows task scheduler and scheduler instructions not needed, simply create a Windows Task which schedules the attach-reminderx.cmd file to run at a reminder time convenient to you prior to the date/time of scheduled TrueImage Backups.  During scheduler creation,  review and select any special scheduler options  needed by the Windows Scheduler, such as
        Run whether logged in or not
        Run with highest privileges.

        Otherwise, if instructions needed, instruction on how to prepare the Windows task scheduler continue next via the attached pdf...


There are several ways of saving the download text files depending upon the situation. You can also try RIGHT click on the link above and use the "Save Link As" option.

7. Or, if you want to alternately or additionally display the reminder message using the TrueImage pre/post PRE command option, perform 1-6 above and then complete the instructions as illustrated in this screen capture. inside this link

In screen capture  step 4, use the Edit option and browse to your folder where the “attach-reminder.CMD” files is stored and load the correct file using the “open” option. 

DO NOT TYPE THE PATH into the Pre Command. Allow the program to load its own file path and working directory. Except for path difference, your screen should match this if using TrueImage to run the reminder program.

This is intended to be just a plain and simple reminder message to help in remembering to attach that all important storage disk. I am not a programmer. Do let me know how you like the program.

0 Users found this helpful
Posts: 3
Comments: 16


For some reason, I cannot PM you, so posting as comment:

First, thanks for this reminder method. I certainly am one needing it since I haul my laptop home and back each workday!

I am running Windows 7 and had a problem running the file after downloading and modifying it. It just blinked when I ran it. I changed it to .BAT and same result. I made a simple bat file from scratch and ran it just fine. Comparing the two files, I found that the one I had created was ANSI, where attach-reminder.txt was UNICODE.

I edited attach-reminderX.txt using TextPad and did File SaveAs changing it to ANSI - and over wrote the UNICODE version. It worked after that - both as .BAT and .CMD. Thought I would call it to your attention.


- Carey

Posts: 172
Comments: 11125


Thank you CareyS. Your discovery and fix required keen observation. I will add your check to my instructions. Ansi with text files is just something you take for granted.