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Windows 7: Suggestions for an Incremental backup program that doesn't duplicate?

21 Nov 2013   #11

 
 

I get the feeling this has gone way off topic.


I am asking about a backup program (like Acronis, Ghost, Macrinum) that can do incremental backups and doesn't duplicate video files because I opened them once, or duplicate entire folders because I change a letter in its file name.


Nothing else concerns me with regards to this subject.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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21 Nov 2013   #12
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

The problem is that the type program that you are asking for does not exist. If you change a file (1 letter or more), it will be regarded as modified.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Nov 2013   #13

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Again, it should concern you because the two are very closely related. Incremental images can be iffy because if just one in a set gets corrupted, the entire set is rendered worthless. Also, you don't want to risk losing your data just because the system files went pear shaped. And it's the system files that are most likely to have problems. A full backup image of the system files only takes a few minutes to make and restore and is much safer than dealing with incremental images whereas having to restore an image (or image set) of the entire drive can take forever. Plus, if just one of the incremental images is missing or corrupted, the entire set from that point on is worthless.

Where incremental or differential images can be handy (differentials are safer) is if you frequently add data to your data partition and the amount of data you already have is large but only if you still make frequent full images. An example of such a backup scheme would be to make a full image once a week and an incremental image between full images only when you add critical data (data that can't be easily reproduced or isn't all that important to you, such as the latest joke picture). An average of one incremental image a day would be reasonable as long as the full images weren't more than a week apart.

Before you reject the advice that you keep your system and data files separated, consider the sources of that advice. I've been around on this board for a while, long enough to have learned something and helped numerous people. If I was consistently giving out bad advise and/or was a total idiot, I would have been given the bum's rush quite some time ago. AddRam is more qualified than I am to give out advice. Then there is whse; that man worked IT for a career and has received the Microsoft Community Contributor Award; they don't give that out to just anyone. He has probably forgotten more about computers than the rest of us, combined, in this thread will ever know.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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21 Nov 2013   #14

 
 

I figure so with regards to renaming files, but the big problem I had with Windows Backup is that it would backup files that had already been backed up, even if they hadn't changed at all. Further investigating led me to realize it was re-backing up video, music, and Word files that I had opened up but not modified.


So I just wonder if there is some solution to this in other backup programs or if it's just how these file types operate?


Also, I'm pretty sure my OS is already partitioned on a different partition. At least I'm hoping that's what it is---it's reported in Disk Management as only 100 MB total, with only about 33 MB used, as "System Reserved", with "System, Active, Primary Partition" beneath it, along with my normal C Drive, listed as "Boot, Page File, Crash Dump, Primary Partition"



EDIT: Also, I misreported my hard drive as being 1.36 TB total. It's actually 1.81 TB total (2 TB drive)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Nov 2013   #15
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

The 100MB partition is the boot partition, not the OS partition. That is C.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Nov 2013   #16

 
 

Does this mean it's too late to separate my OS into a new partition?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Nov 2013   #17
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

It can be done in a couple of ways:

1. You move all your user files to another disk (temporarily) until you have only the OS left in C. Then you shrink C and make a new partition for the data. There you define the data folders to which you move the files that were backed up. That will take some time because of the amount of your user data but it is safe.

2. If you have the Windows installation disc, you could define a new OS partition to which you install the OS. Then you delete the OS in the current C partition and are left with the data only. That is a bit finagle and you really have to know what you are doing. You also have to then reinstall all your programs.

In both cases I suggest we discuss the steps in detail before you start.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Nov 2013   #18

 
 

Both those options sound like they would take several days given the size of my drive and used space, and there is no real emergency for me to do so to begin with. As well, I've never had a problem that would (potentially) lead to total data loss in over ten years---I tend to shift my programs and files onto new harddrives every four years, as well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Nov 2013   #19

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

HDD failure can strike unexpectedly at any time, even on new HDDs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Nov 2013   #20

 
 

I'm well aware of that, much like any disaster can strike unexpectedly at any time on any device. I live with a certain degree of questionably "healthy" paranoia regarding my computer and its components, so I take note of every odd action or unusual error that my hard drives or any other components, plus I still have everything backed up as of yesterday.

I don't mind having to reinstall my OS and reinstall all my programs, so long as my personal files are saved, so this doesn't really concern me. But still, you've made me concerned enough to want to partition my OS again---this OS is a fresh install as of last May, done by others after unrelated computer issues had to have it reinstalled.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Suggestions for an Incremental backup program that doesn't duplicate?




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