Using Onguard Remote Backup

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Welcome To Onguard Backup


Onguard Overview

Vanguard’s OnGuard™ services provide secure disaster recovery and peace of mind in the event of a server or computer failure.

It does not take a dramatic natural disaster to lose your data! Hard drives can fail, windows updates can cause errors, and virus infections are on the rise.

OnGuard Remote Backup puts you in control of your data. Our service automatically backs up your data to our secure encrypted data vault. Quickly search for and recover files and directories should you ever experience a disaster.

While Vanguard is not responsible for the integrity of your data, we are happy to assist you with initially setting up your backup and performing your initial backup. It is then your responsibility to check and verify the operation of the backup service and viability of the backed up data.

Next Step: Installation


Step by Step Instructions for Installing Onguard Remote Backup (Video)

Installing OnGuard Backup client is as simple as downloading and running the installer.

  1. When you launch the installer you maybe greeted with a Windows UAC (User Account Control) window as follows
  2. When the installer window opens, click Next to begin the installation
  3. In order to install the software, you must accept the licensing agreement. Review the licensing agreement and then select “I accept the agreement” in order to continue. Click Next to continue.
  4. Leave the default install directory selected and then click Next to continue.
  5. Leave the “Create Desktop Icon” option checked and then click Next to continue.
  6. Finally, click the install button to begin the installation.
  7. After a few moments, click Finish to exit the installer.

Registering Your Account

Step by Step Instructions for Registering and Performing A Backup (Video)

  1. From your desktop, double click the “Onguard Backup” icon to launch the software.
  2. Enter your information. You will be asked to provide your First Name, Last Name, Organization (Company if applicable), Phone Number, and E-Mail Address. These fields are all mandatory in order to continue.
  3. Your account name will be generated from your E-Mail Address. It is typically not necessary to change your username for any reason.
  4. Choose a password and enter it twice in the spaces provided.
  5. In most cases, the check box for “allow backup service provider to recover your password” can be left checked off. We recommend this in case you forget your password, as it allows us to reset it for you. Should you be required to adhere to specific security requirements, such as HIPAA or other confidentiality standards, you should uncheck the box.Please note if you forget your password and you uncheck this box, your backups will not be recoverable by us or yourself. It is your sole responsibility to record the password and keep it in a safe place.
    When finished click Next to continue.
  6. A popup will open letting you know your account was successfully created. Click Ok. install2_registered
  7. The next screen allows you to set your backup options. If you have an external hard drive you can create an additional local backup  copy of your data by specifying the location. You are also asked to set up a backup schedule. We typically recommend setting backups to run after 9:00 PM to ensure your data is sent when data utilization is lowest allowing for the quickest transfer possible. When finished click Next. install3_selections
  8. You are then prompted to choose your backup selections. This allows you to specify what files and folders you would like backed up. We recommend selecting “No Selections” for now, as we will walk you through selecting your data folders in greater detail in the next section. Select Done to finish.install3_settings

Next Step: Adding Files & Your First Backup

Adding Files & Your First Backup

Note: Your first backup may take anywhere from several hours to several days to complete based on the speed of your internet as well as the size of the files selected.

In order to perform a backup, you need to set the backup selections. The Backup Selections tab is where you specify which files and folders to backup and which to exclude as shown below:


It is recommended that you select the default option to backup every day.

The left pane of the Selections tab is used to select Volumes (disks), Network shares, and as will be shown below plugins for VSS System Components (such as Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft SQL Server).

The right window pane has three areas, the top shows the current path of what is shown in the center left table, and one can use either the up-arrow or pull-down menu to navigate up as shown below.

The center right pane contains a table showing the contents (files and folders) of the selected folder. In the example below there are several folders (directories) shown, these are shown with Type ‘(dir)’ and have a trailing backslash ‘\’ after their name. For files, their Size is indicated and their Type corresponds to then ‘.’ ending of the file.


In the above screen capture you can see that the file ‘pagefile.sys’ is excluded (as indicated by the red X) and in fact its entire entry is in grey meaning it’s been excluded using a filter so you can’t change its selection/exclusion state. The folder named ‘share\’ has a grey tick mark meaning that some file(s) or folder(s) within it are selected, but the folder ‘share\’ is not itself selected to backup. Similarly the folder named ‘test#123\’ is selected with a green check which means the folder itself is selected.

One can select, exclude or deselect (remove any selection) a file or folder by clicking on the square tick box to the left of file/folder. If you prefer, you can select a row in the table and use the radio buttons at the bottom right of the window to do the same:


In the above screen capture you’ll see a tick box called “Apply to subfolders” so that, when you are selecting or excluding a folder, you can specify whether this applies to subfolders within the folder. Also please note the pull-down menu in the screen capture above. Since it is possible for there to be multiple selections which apply to a file or folder, this pull-down menu has been created so that you can visualize which selections apply to the selected row in the table.


The selection state of multiple files and folders can be changed by multi-selecting them and then right-clicking to bring up a menu as shown below.

If you are running the scheduling service as “LocalSystem” you will see a popup message like the following when you try to browse the Network tree (you can read more about service users and permissions by clicking here).

If the scheduling service is running as a user with network privileges, the you may browse the Network for shares as follows:


You will also see “VSS System Components” underneath “Computer”. This is the area where you can view and select system components such as Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SQL Server, and System State.

Double-clicking on a VSS System Component will display the files associated with that component. For example, the “SqlServerWriter” backups up the following files.
Next Step: Restoring Files from Backup

Restoring Files from Backup

Restore tab

Restoring data is straightforward and you have many options for how you would like to select data to be restored, for example you can restore

  • Every version of every file retained
  • Versions of files by specifying either their backup date or file modify date
  • A specific folder or folders

You can specify whether you want the contents of sub-folders to be restored or not. When you restore files you can have overwrite existing files or skip restoring those files already on your computer. These settings are specified via the check boxes and pull-down menus on the Restore tab.


Restoration Steps:

    1. Specify the restore options. You can restore the latest version of every file inside a specific folder (including all sub-folders)
    2. Click on the button on bottom left called “Save and Restore to ->”.
    3. If a local backup vault has been enabled (on the Backup->Settings tab) then the client will try to restore from the local backup folder first, and if it can’t find a file, it will then pull it down from a remote server.
    4. If multiple computers are backing up to the same backup account, then hitting the “Refresh” button at top right of window will pull down backup histories for every computer, and then the “Computer:” pull down-menu will allow you to specify from which computer’s backup you would like to restore from as shown below:
    5. Anywhere in the user interface where you see a button with “…”, you can use that button to interactively specify a folder or file.
    6. As with backups, the Monitor->Overview and Monitor->History tabs will give you status and details of currently running and historical restores.

Next Step: Best Practices

Back Up Check List

  • On your local computer or server: locate the ONGUARD remote backup icon – this can be found in Start-Programs, on your desktop or on the bottom right of your start bar next to where the clock is.
  • Open the software and check for errors. This can be found on the overview tab.
  • Verify you have selected your data file & folders, including any new folders you created since the backup job was first created.
  • Before existing the program verify the backup is scheduled to run.
  • Make test restores of files to ensure their integrity – we recommend this on a monthly basis. Choose 2 or 3 random files and restore to a different folder and open the files with the application. While this does not guarantee all files will be operational, it allows you to understand the process of restoring your files and verifies with some confidence that your files are indeed functional.
  • If you replaced/upgraded your computer or server – verify the Vanguard OnGuard Backup software is loaded and configured.

If you have any questions or need help, please contact us.

Do’s and Dont’s

  • Do select your critical DATA files, which can include, excel files, word documents, Quickbooks Backup data files, Database backup files, photos etc..
  • Do run virus scans frequently. Files that contain viruses, are damaged or compromised in any way will not be backed up and immediately and automatically removed from the backup system.
  • Do create a logical folder structure on your server/PC so you know where ALL your critical files are located, relying on the applications default storage area will NOT guarantee your files are backed up and make it difficult for you to find files.
  • Do enforce employees/users of your systems to verify files are stored in the proper locations.
  • Do shut down all applications on your computer before backing up.
  • Do make local daily backups of your databases and Quickbooks files and select these for backups not the open working files.
  • Do create monthly test restores.
  • Do understand the backup software and how it works – think of it as changing the tire on your car, you may never to do it, BUT its critical to know WHEN you need it.
  • Don’t select every folder and file on your computer/server – this will not realistically backup as tmp files, zip files and operating system files will not backup and cause errors.
  • Don’t rely on Vanguard to restore your data files and bring your system back to operational status in the event you need file recovery. Vanguard can offer assistance should you need it but is not responsible for the files.
  • Don’t assume the backup is running and your data is protected – you should check it monthly. Vanguard does not monitor your data on our servers or has passwords to your data, or verifies the completeness/usability of your backups.

Note: If you delete or damage a file at 10am, please don’t expect to restore a working copy at 10:05 that has your current data – the backup runs daily, weekly or how you set it up and only keeps current changed files – meaning, if you delete a file today, you can only restore the file from the LAST known backup which can be much older than your current file version.

Depending on how you set the backup to perform, you can ONLY retrieve files from the last known good backup. If you want an archival process to keep files longer, contact us to discuss.