FileBack PC 4.1
Fast & Flexible Backup Software for Microsoft Windows
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FileBack PC Variable Expansion

FileBack PC supports variable expansion, allowing a single configuration file to be used on multiple computers, or with multiple users, with different backup behavior based on who is logged into a computer at any given time, by date or time, or by other configurable parameters.

FileBack PC variables can be used in folder paths, network paths, outgoing email and other alerts, file specifications, file archive folder paths, folder exclusion lists, text prompts, and other locations.

Inserting Variables

FileBack PC variables always follow the following convention: { (FB$variable name) }.  A backup source path including a variable might look like: C:\My Documents\{FB$username}\, which would be expanded to C:\My Documents\jsmith\ for example.

Variables can either be typed manually, or be inserted by FileBack PC.  To have FileBack PC insert a variable, place the insertion point (cursor) where the variable should be added, click the notepad icon next to the data entry field, and pick the variable from the popup list.

Using Variables in Network and Folder paths

Network / Folder Path Variable Name(s) Variable Value Expanded Name
\\server1\drive\{FB$usershare} {FB$usershare} Jim Smith \\server1\drive\Jim Smith
\\{FB$backupserver}\backups\{FB$username} {FB$backupserver}
{FB$username}
isbackup
jsmith
\\isbackup\backups\jsmith
C:\Backups\{FB$docbackups} {FB$docbackups} jsmithdocs C:\Backups\jsmithdocs
{FB$backupdrive}\Backups {FB$backupdrive} C: C:\Backups
{FB$temp} {FB$temp} C:\Windows\Temp C:\Windows\Temp

Network Paths

Including a variable in a network path is simply a matter of including the variable name, within braces, in the network path, when mapping a network drive from within the Backup Job Editor in FileBack PC.

Folder Paths

Variables can be typed directly into the space provided for editing the source and destination backup paths.  System information variables that reference folders on your computer are automatically appended with a trailing backslash (\) if necessary.

Pre-defined variables

A number of variables have been pre-defined within FileBack PC:

System Information Variables

Variable Name Description
{FB$username} Name of user logged into Windows
{FB$temp} Windows temp folder
{FB$windows} Windows folder
{FB$system} Windows System folder
{FB$SYSTEMDRIVE} Drive letter of Windows folder
{FB$PROGRAMFILES} Location of 'Program Files' folder
{FB$computername} Windows computer name
{FB$fbprogdir} FileBack PC program folder (currently running installation)
{FB$fbinstalldir} Initial FileBack PC installation folder
{FB$fbversion} Current FileBack PC Version
{FB$configfile} Current FileBack PC configuration file
{FB$fblogfile} Filename of current FileBack PC log file (today's)
{FB$env$environmentvar} Value of system environment variable environmentvar
Example: {FB$env$windir}
{FB$file$filename} Contents of file filename
Example: {FB$file$c:\bootlog.txt}
{FB$mydocuments} or {FB$mydocs} Location of the user's My Documents folder
{FB$applicationdata} or {FB$appdata} Location of the user's Application Data folder
{FB$cookies} Location of the user's Internet Explorer Cookies folder
{FB$desktop} Location of the user's desktop folder
{FB$favorites} Location of the user's Internet Explorer favorites folder
{FB$xpcdburning} Location of the user's XP CD burning staging folder
{FB$mymusic} Location of the user's My Music folder
{FB$mypictures} Location of the user's My Pictures folder
{FB$myvideo} Location of the user's My Video folder
{FB$USERPROFILE} Location of the user's profile folder
{FB$HOMEDRIVE} Drive letter of user's home folder
{FB$HOMEPATH} Full path name of user's home folder
{FB$HOMESHARE} Share name of user's home folder
{FB$LOGONSERVER} Name of server user is logged on to
{FB$USERDOMAIN} Name of domain user is logged on to
{FB$shellcommonfolder$(name)} (Advanced users only) Location of a particular common folder
{FB$commondocuments} or {FB$commondocs} Location of the common My Documents folder
{FB$commonapplicationdata} or {FB$commonappdata} Location of the common Application Data folder
{FB$commondesktop} Location of the common Desktop folder
{FB$commonfavorites} Location of the common Internet Explorer favorites folder
{FB$commontemplates} Location of the common Templates folder
{FB$commonpictures} Location of the common My Pictures folder
{FB$commonmusic} Location of the common My Music folder
{FB$commonvideo} Location of the common My VIdeo folder
{FB$ALLUSERSPROFILE} Location of 'All Users' profile folder
{FB$temp} Location of the user's Temporary folder
{FB$fbconfigfile} Current configuration (.FBCfg) file
{FB$fblogfile} Current log file (today's data only)
{FB$fbversion} Current FileBack PC version string
{FB$finddrive$(serial number)} Drive letter with specific serial number (x:\)
{FB$hklm$(key\value)}
{FB$hkcu$(key\value)}
{FB$hkcc$(key\value)}
{FB$hku$(key\value)}
Reads a value from the system registry hive: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, HKEY_CURRENT_USER, HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG, or HKEY_USERS.

Time and Date Variables

Variable Name Description Versions
{FB$date} Current system date (17-Sep-99 format) All 4.0
{FB$time} Time of day (1:23p format) All 4.0
{FB$month} Name of month (Jan, Feb, etc) All 4.0
{FB$month1} Numeric month (1, 2, etc.) All 4.0
{FB$month2} Two-digit numeric month (01, 02, etc.) All 4.0
{FB$day}, {FB$day1} Numeric day of month (1, 2, etc.) All 4.0
{FB$day2} Two-digit numeric day of month (01, 02, etc.) All 4.0
{FB$dayofweek} Day of week (Sunday, Monday, etc.) All 4.0
{FB$dayofweek3} Three-character day of week (Sun, Mon, etc.) All 4.0
{FB$dayofweek2} Two-character day of week (Su, Mo, etc.) All 4.0
{FB$year}, {FB$year4} Four-digit numeric year (1999, 2000, etc.) All 4.0
{FB$year2} Two-digit numeric year (99, 00, etc.) All 4.0
{FB$hour1} Current hour, 24-hour format (1, 2, etc.) All 4.0
{FB$hour2} Two-digit current hour, 24-hour format (01, 02, etc.) All 4.0
{FB$minute}, {FB$minute1} Current minute (1, 2, etc.) All 4.0
{FB$minute2} Two-digit current minute (01, 02, etc.) All 4.0
{FB$second}, {FB$second1} Current second (1, 2, etc.) All 4.0
{FB$second2} Two-digit current second (01, 02, etc.) All 4.0
{FB$dateval} Date serial value, calculated as the number of days (and fractions thereof) since 1/1/1900. All 4.0
{FB$fulldate} Full date, in mm-ddd-yyyy hh:nn:ss format All 4.0

Date and time variables can also have offsets added to or subtracted from them.  For example, {FB$DATE-4} is replaced with the date 4 days ago, or {FB$DATE+0.5} is replaced with the date 1/2 day (12 hours) in the future.

Backup Information Variables

Variable Name Description Versions
{FB$descr} Description text from last operation:
For backup entries, the backup job description. 
For backup groups, the group name. 
For scheduled events, the type of event
All 4.0
{FB$sourcedir} Source folder of last backup job All 4.0
{FB$destdir} Destination folder of last backup job All 4.0
{FB$sourcedrive} Backup source drive letter (D:)  All 4.0
{FB$destdrive} Backup destination drive letter (E:) All 4.0
{FB$sourceshare} Network share name of backup source (computer/share only) 09-Mar-2005+
{FB$destshare} Network share name of backup destination 09-Mar-2005+
{FB$netsourcepath} Source folder of backup job, network share included 09-Mar-2005+
{FB$netdestpath} Destination folder of backup job, network share included 09-Mar-2005+
{FB$backupid} Unique 8-digit hexadecimal backup ID number All 4.0
{FB$group} Current backup group All 4.0
{FB$trigger} Trigger which initiated the current backup operation 09-May-2005+
{FB$elapsedtime} Elapsed time of last backup / scheduled event (h:mm:ss format) All 4.0
{FB$lasterrornum} Error code of last backup error All 4.0
{FB$lasterror} Description of last backup error All 4.0
{FB$copycount} Number of files copied in last backup operation All 4.0
{FB$comparecount} Number of files compared in last backup operation All 4.0
{FB$errorcount} Number of errors in last backup operation All 4.0
{FB$resetcopy} Number of files copied since last access of "resetcopy" variable value.
Each time this variable is accessed its contents are reset to zero.
All 4.0
{FB$resetcompare} Number of files compared since last access of "resetcompare" variable value.
Each time this variable is accessed its contents are reset to zero.
All 4.0
{FB$reseterrors} Number of errors since last access of "reseterrors" variable value.
Each time this variable is accessed its contents are reset to zero.
All 4.0
{FB$log} Include all entries added to the log in the current backup job / group / scheduled event All 4.0
{FB$log${entry types}} Include specific entries added to the log in the current backup job / group / scheduled event.  "Entry types" is a list of letters representing the types of entries to include according to the following list:

B=Start / Completion of Backup
N=Start / Completion of Backup Job
F=New Folder
C=Files Backed Up
Y=Files Synchronized
D=Files Deleted
A=Files Archived
I=General Information
T=Backup Statistics
W=Warnings
E=Errors
V=Start of Scheduled Event

Example: {FB$log$BFCYITWEV}

All 4.0
{FB$copiedfiles} Comma-delimited list of files backed up or synchronized during the last backup operation Jan 20, 2005+
{FB$copiedfiles${fields}} Include specific fields in copied file listing, according to the following list:

T = Date and time of file copy
S = Source folder file was copied from
D = Destination folder where file was copied to
f = Filename only (no path) of file that was copied
F = Filename (with path) of file that was copied
Z = Size of copied file
R = Reason file was copied

Example: {FB$copiedfiles$TFZ}

Jan 20, 2005+
{FB$deletedfiles} Comma-delimited list of files deleted or archived during the last backup operation May 9, 2005+
{FB$deletedfiles${fields}} Include specific fields in deleted file listing, according to the following list:

T = Date and time of file delete
S = Folder file was deleted from
f = Filename only (no path) of file that was deleted
F = Filename (with path) of file that was deleted
Z = Size of deleted file
R = Reason file was deleted

Example: {FB$deletedfiles$TFZ}

May 9, 2005+
 

User Variables - System Registry

FileBack PC user variables are stored as string values in the system registry. The following keys are used:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Maximum Output Software\FileBack PC\4.0\Variables

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Maximum Output Software\FileBack PC\4.0\Variables

When expanding variables, FileBack first searches HKEY_CURRENT_USER. If it finds a value for the requested variable, that value is substituted and the backup process continues. If no entry is found in HKEY_CURRENT_USER, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE is searched as well.

All variables should be stored using the REG_SZ data type.

Note: Variable names in the registry SHOULD include the FB$ prefix.  The prefix is NOT added automatically by FileBack PC.

User Variables - Lookup in .VAR files

Any text file with a .VAR extension in the FileBack PC program folder are automatically loaded and searched for variable contents.  The format of the data within these files is NAME=CONTENTS on individual lines within the file.  Variables found in .VAR files override all other variables, including those built into FileBack PC.

Note: Variable names in .VAR files should NOT include the FB$ prefix.  The prefix is added automatically by FileBack PC.

Undefined Variables

If a variable is not found, the user is alerted that the variable could not be found, and is prompted to enter a value for the variable. He/she is then prompted whether to save the contents of the variable for all users, for just him/herself, or to not save the contents for future recall.  If you do not wish for the user to be prompted for a value, either use the {FB$DEFAULT$name,value} or {FB$NOPROMPT$name} format.

Default Values

There are two additional options for the way FileBack PC handles unknown variables.  Placing a NOPROMPT$ in front of the variable name ({FB$NOPROMPT$USERFOLDER} for example) prevents the 'variable does not exist' prompt from appearing and uses an empty value as the default.  Placing DEFAULT$ in front of the variable allows a default value to be specified: {FB$DEFAULT$USERFOLDER,C:\UserDocs} will return C:\UserDocs if the USERFOLDER variable does not exist.

Nested Variables

FileBack PC also supports nested variables, meaning that you can include the name of one variable within another.  For example, you could include the contents of a file (FB$file$xxx) whose name is stored in another variable (FB$fblogfile): {FB$file${FB$fblogfile}}

Variables in Restoration/Cleanup Procedures

FileBack PC 4.0 keeps a list of folders that have been used for storing backups and automatically scans all of these folders which are available when the restoration or cleanup is performed.  Including a variable in a backup folder path will make the restoration and cleanup procedures take longer if variables are used in the destination folder path and the contents of the variable change with time.

Special Variables

FileBack PC uses certain variables internally, and its behavior can be changed by modifying the values of these variables:

Variable Name Use Example Contents
{FB$globalexclude} Add entries to folder exclusion list of all backup entries C:\Windows\Temp
{FB$userexclude} Add entries to folder exclusion list of all backup entries C:\Windows\Temp
{FB$prefilespec} File specification to add to the beginning of all backup job file specifications !*.tmp
{FB$postfilespec} File specification to add to the end of all backup job file specifications !*.tmp

You will not see these variables or their contents in the edit fields for the folder exclusion list or the file specification list.  They are added at the time a backup job is run instead.  These variables can be used to globally exclude a folder or files from all backup entries, or even include files in all backup jobs.

Both the PREFILESPEC and POSTFILESPEC variables are provided because the file specification line is processed from left to right, with specifications further to the right taking precedence over those on the left.  The PREFILESPEC specification can be overridden by either the backup job file specification or the POSTFILESPEC variable, while the POSTFILESPEC variable cannot be overridden at all.

 

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