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Windows 7: Question for Acronis Users


27 Jan 2012   #11

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by fireberd View Post
I only do full hard drive backups with Acronis. I also keep, at a minimum, the previous backup on the hard drive I use for backups when I do a backup. This eliminates "Murphy's Law" of something happening during a backup and no longer having a backup because the drive used for backups was erased first.

Where I used to work (I was a LAN/WAN Network Manager) we initially did a full backup of our file servers on Monday and then incremental backups on Tuesday through Friday. However, we found that if we needed to restore a server from the backups it took longer to restore with all the incremental backups. We also had a couple of isolated problems with the incrementals and lost some data. Thus the decision was made to do full backups every night. That eliminated any potential for data loss from the incrementals and rebuilding a file server from a full backup took less time.
It is my understanding fireberd, that the differential system takes longer to backup, but restores much quicker, and the incremental is vice versa.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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27 Jan 2012   #12

Windows 7
 
 

I think I understand your examples and logic, but let me use a simple example wise, and see where my error in thinking is:

I have Acronis scheduled to do a full backup after every 3 version changes.
I also have it programmed to store no more than 3 version changes.
I also have it programmed never to delete the first version change of any full backup.

If my senior citizen mind is understanding correctly, wouldn't it be the following scenario:

Full backup #1
Version change 1a
Version change 1b
Version change 1c
Full backup #2
Version change 2a
(After Version change 2a, since it's programmed to keep no more than 3 version changes, and also programmed not to remove the first version change after each full backup, wouldn't it delete Version change 1b, keeping 1a, 1c, and 2a?)

On the next version change 2b, it would remove 1c, and leave 1a, 2a, and 2b.

On the next version change 2c, it would remove 2b, and leave 1a, 2a, and 2c. etc.

So you would always have a full backup and the first version change?

Believe it or not, I'm not confused, and I guess the best way to see, is to set it up like I have described above, and see what happens!

BOTTOM LINE: My goal is to use as little space as possible, and yet have it programmed to where I can restore it as 'up to date' as I can, regardless of when I would need to do so.

Thanks again to everyone!

Jack

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jack1953 View Post

1. It sounds to me that the differential would be better for me, because I have plenty of external drive space and it would be more beneficial to me to have the quicker restore time, with my business, in exchange for the longer backup time. Agree?
Usually in business case scenarios, the faster restore times are preferred.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jack1953 View Post
Create a full version after every 7 differential versions

Store no more than 7 recent version changes

2. With those settings, am I to assume that after initial full backup, it will back up 7 differential versions, then another full backup, and on the next differential backup, it will delete the previous 7 version changes?
I don't use Differentials or Incrementals with Acronis, however if the program works like almost any other backup application, things won't work like you are describing.

Using my example, if you were to do your first full backup on Sunday, and then differentials on Monday, Tuesday, Wed, Thurs, Fri and Sat...that would mean that on Sunday morning you would have 7 restore points.

On Sunday night, your system would then create a new full backup. So, technically you would be left with 1 full backup from previous Sunday, incrementals all week, and 1 new full backup from this Sunday. Now, this would give you more than 7 restore points....but "if" the system were to delete the first full backup from the 1st sunday...it would render all of the differentials form the 1st week as unusable since they need that first full backup. So, "if" the 1st sunday were deleted, and all subsequent differentials were useless, come Sunday night if you had to restore, you would only have 1 restore point (from that current day).

So, come the 2nd Monday you have
--Full backup from Sunday
--Diff from Monday
--Diff from Tues
--Diff from Wed
--Diff from Thurs
--Diff from Fri
--Diff from Sat
--Full from Sun *
--Diff from monday

So, technically you have 9 files. But the system will most likely not be able to delete anything until you have 7 additional backups after the Full backup on the 2nd Sunday. (which I noted with an * above). Otherwise you wouldn't have 7 restore points to pick from.

Hopefully that makes sense...it can be a little confusing at first. I've tried to explain it best that I could.



Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jack1953 View Post
3. So the most I will ever have on the external is a full backup, and 7 differential versions?
No, see above.

The most I would expect if you kept 7 restore points would be.

--Full backup from Sunday
--Diff from Monday
--Diff from Tues
--Diff from Wed
--Diff from Thurs
--Diff from Fri
--Diff from Sat
--Full from Sun *
--Diff from monday
--Diff from Tues
--Diff from Wed
--Diff from Thurs
--Diff from Fri
--Diff from Sat (first deletion would occur here).

Because you now have 7 since the 2nd full backup. That first week can go. So, I would say the most you would have would be 2 fulls and 11 differentials.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jan 2012   #13

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

I suspect you need to test Acronis to find out exactly what it does on your system with your chosen settings, rather than speculate or rely on opinion.

Not many things worse with a PC than discovering, after you have a disaster, that your carefully thought out backup plan didn't actually do what you thought it was doing. Or did what you thought, but won't restore for whatever reason.

And I'd hate to see you blindly rely on "automatic" anything. Scheduling can fail.

When in doubt, I'd lean toward full backups rather than differentials or incrementals, regardless of speed or restoration times.

And maybe consider more than one application--i.e. Acronis and another product, perhaps alternating, but independent of each other.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


27 Jan 2012   #14

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Jack,

What version of Acronis are you using? I think the options per version are different. I'm on Home 2010, and my option is
Full, Incremental (recommended) and Differential.
Check box to "Create a new full backup after ## of "incremental or differential" backups
check box to "delete previous backup archive.

When I run this, it gives me

--Full
--Differential
--Differential
--Differential

The next run becomes a full, and it wipes out everything previously, giving me only 1 backup restore point.


The key is how the dialog is worded. I assumed it said something like, # of restore points to keep. BUt instead, it simply says run a new full after 3 differentials and then delete previous backups (check is a check box with no option). This is quite different from most enterprise backup applications that I have used at work.

I don't see the option you reference that says;
"I also have it programmed never to delete the first version change of any full backup."
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jan 2012   #15

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Im back on 2010 as well, as 2012 has some issues.

But, 2012 has a lot more clean up options beyond just consolodate.

Never delete 1st Full backUp is one, as well as delete any back up older than XXX days etc.

I think in 2010 we can only consolodate, not actualy delete older backups.
(other than the delete previous option)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jan 2012   #16

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

^ I never upgraded my Acronis 2010 as it hasn't caused me any problems and from a feature perspective, I'm happy with the options that I have in the 2010 software. I mainly just do full image backups and I do use the Try and Decide, but I "always" discard changes...I never commit them. If I really want to do what I tested, I just do it again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jan 2012   #17

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
Jack,

What version of Acronis are you using? I think the options per version are different. I'm on Home 2010, and my option is
Full, Incremental (recommended) and Differential.
Check box to "Create a new full backup after ## of "incremental or differential" backups
check box to "delete previous backup archive.

When I run this, it gives me

--Full
--Differential
--Differential
--Differential

The next run becomes a full, and it wipes out everything previously, giving me only 1 backup restore point.


The key is how the dialog is worded. I assumed it said something like, # of restore points to keep. BUt instead, it simply says run a new full after 3 differentials and then delete previous backups (check is a check box with no option). This is quite different from most enterprise backup applications that I have used at work.

I don't see the option you reference that says;
"I also have it programmed never to delete the first version change of any full backup."
I have 2012 parks. Here are the options:

(Box to check) Create only differential versions after initial full version

Create a full version after every ____ differential versions

Old version cleanup rules:
Delete version chains older than ____ days
Store no more than ___ recent version chains
Keep size of the backup no more than ____ G

(Box to check) Do not delete the first version of the backup
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jan 2012   #18

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Just setup a job and backup a small folder. And then you test and see exactly how it works. I don't have the 2012 product, rather the 2010 product...so I cannot say for sure what the 2012 product will do.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jan 2012   #19

Windows 7, 64 bit Home SP1, Win 8.1.1 Pro 64 bit
 
 

From the 2012 Help File (My screen name could be Jack1937 )

Custom schemes

With Acronis True Image Home 2012 you also can create your own backup schemes. Schemes can be based on the pre-defined backup schemes. You can make changes in a selected pre-defined scheme to suit your needs and then save the changed scheme as a new one.
You cannot overwrite existing pre-defined backup schemes.
In addition, you can create custom schemes from scratch based on full, differential or incremental backup versions.
So first of all select one of the backup methods in the appropriate box.
  • <LI class=listbullet>Full Select this method if you want to create only full backup versions.
    <LI class=listbullet>Differential Select this method if you want to create backup chains containing only full and differential backup versions.
    You can configure the scheme by using one of the following options:
    • <LI class=listbullet2>Create only differential versions after the initial full version - select this item to create only one backup version chain. Automatic cleanup is not available for this option.
    • Create a full version after every [n] differential versions - select this item to create several backup version chains. This is a more reliable but more space-consuming backup scheme.
    <LI class=listbullet>Incremental Select this method if you want to create backup chains containing only full and incremental backup versions.
    You can configure the scheme by using one of the following options:
    • Create only incremental versions after the initial full version - select this item to create only one backup version chain. Automatic cleanup is not available for this option.
    • Create a full version after every [n] incremental versions - select this item to create several backup version chains. This is a more reliable but more space-consuming backup scheme.
Automatic cleanup rules
To delete obsolete backup versions automatically, you can set one of the following cleanup rules:
  • <LI class=listbullet>Delete versions older than [defined period] (available for full method only) - Select this option to limit the age of backup versions. All versions that are older than the specified period will be automatically deleted. <LI class=listbullet>Delete version chains older than [defined period] (available for incremental and differential methods only) - Select this option to limit the age of backup version chains. The oldest version chain will be deleted only if, after deletion, the age of the oldest version exceeds the specified period. <LI class=listbullet>Store no more than [n] recent versions (available for full method only) - Select this option to limit the maximum number of backup versions. When the number of versions exceeds the specified value, the oldest backup version will be automatically deleted. <LI class=listbullet>Store no more than [n] recent version chains (available for incremental and differential methods only) - Select this option to limit the maximum number of backup version chains. When the number of version chains exceeds the specified value, the oldest backup version chain will be automatically deleted.
  • Keep size of the backup no more than [defined size] - Select this option to limit maximum size of the backup. After creating a new backup version, the program checks whether the total backup size exceeds the specified value. If it's true, the oldest backup version will be deleted.
The first backup version option
Often the first version of any backup is one of the most valuable versions. This is true because it stores the initial data state (for example, your system partition with recently installed Windows) or some other stable data state (for example, data after a successful virus check).
Do not delete the first version of the backup - Select this check box to keep the initial data state. The program will create two initial full backup versions. The first version will be excluded from the automatic cleanup, and will be stored until you delete it manually.
If you select incremental or differential method, the first backup chain will start from the second full backup version. And only the third version of the backup will be incremental or differential one.
Note that when the check box is selected, the Store no more than [n] recent versions check box will change to Store no more than 1+[n] recent versions
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jan 2012   #20

Windows 7 Pro with SP1 32bit
 
 

I had only once installed Acronis TrueImage and Acronis Disk Director on my computer. Then after making the boot disks I have deleted both of them. I think the custom schemes described above are unavailable on the boot disk.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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