acronis ti 11 backups

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by joeshannon, Nov 14, 2007.

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  1. joeshannon

    joeshannon Registered Member

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    I have been trying to do an incremental backup but keep getting an error that says disk is full. I have a 500 gb hard drive which I allocated 100gb for the Acronis secure zone.
    I am only using about 30 gb of my C drive. I just increased the size of my secure zone to 120 gb and the backup worked fine. Am I going to have to keep increasing the secure zone?
    System specs
    vista home premium, 500gb hard drive, amdx2 5200, 2gb ram. Acronis True Image Home build 8053
    Each backup seems to be about 30 gb even though I choose incremental backup. I add very little to my hard drive, no movies etc. so I don't understand the backups being so large.
    Also, if I try using Try annd decide feature, I get a message that the try and decide drivers are missing. I have redownloaded and reinstalled numerous times to no avail.
    Any ideas where I'm going wrong would be appreciated.
     
  2. joeshannon

    joeshannon Registered Member

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    I just did another incremental backup, using all the same settings and it took about 5 minutes.
    The previous ones were about half an hour.
    I don't get it. The 5 minutes seems right.
     
  3. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello joeshannon,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup software

    Could you please check if you're using any defragmentation software? If so then size of the incremental/differential backup can be very large (up to the size of the full backup).

    Regarding the issue with Try&Decide feature - could you please submit a request for technical support. Attach all the information to your request along with the step-by-step description of the actions taken before the problem appears and the link to this thread. We will investigate the problem and try to provide you with a solution.

    Thank you.

    --
    Michael Levchenko
     
  4. Maccara

    Maccara Registered Member

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    Actually, how it is working/designed now, yes, you need to keep increasing the size of the secure zone.

    I just posted a bug report (as a support request) for this. I have no idea what they (Acronis) were thinking while implementing this...

    As it stands, continuous incremental backups to secure zone are useless in the long run (it will eventually fill up the secure zone and refuse to do further backups forcing you to either keep increasing the secure zone size or re-creating it once in a while).
     
  5. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    If it has room to make another backup, then it should do it and then delete the oldest so that you don't have to keep increasing the size of the sz.
     
  6. Maccara

    Maccara Registered Member

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    Sure, but that is exactly the problem: it WILL eventually run out of room, resulting in a situation where 1. not enough room to do backup 2. therefore refusing to delete old backups 3. ultimately, you have to either increase size of secure zone OR re-create the secure zone

    Also, when you increase the size, it will happily do the backup, but since it DIDN'T run out of space this time, it will NOT delete the old backups. See the circle already? ;)

    No way around that in ATI 11. Haven't tried how it is done in ATI 10 (I only started using secure zone to test try&decide anyway -> now I have reverted back to "backup location" usage, where I can define quotas).

    IF I could define quotas for secure zone in ATI11, there wouldn't be a problem. Or if there was any intelligence behind the logic of backup consolidation/deletion, there wouldn't be a problem. (I'll leave it as an exercise for the developers - this really is trivial stuff and has multiple solutions)

    Edit: This for _incremental_ backups, which is recommended when you create a backup task destined to _secure_zone_. It doesn't even give you any options as to when to create new full backups or anything (even that MIGHT resolve the situation).
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2007
  7. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    The way out of this bind is to create another full image not another incremental.
    Without a second full image the zone will fill up with your series of incrementals however big you make the zone. The FIFO management will only kick in when you have a second full image.
    That is how it has worked up to version 10 and although there are problems with version 11 I don't think this feature has been broken.

    Xpilot
     
  8. Maccara

    Maccara Registered Member

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    Are you sure? There's not enough room to create full image, and since ATI refuses to delete old backups PRIOR to new image creation, it should fail. (Edit: I'm basing this on direct info from these boards, where ATI representative had included of diagram of the the logic behind old backup deletion -> according to that information this does not work, and this is by design)

    Still, it is even easier to just remove the secure zone & create again. That is faster and as safe.

    Admittedly, I didn't even test this option (force full backup instead of incremental), because this is stupid any way you look at it. This should work (like any decent backup software) pretty much "set and forget", and it doesn't.

    Besides, if this is how it indeed should work (you have to manually make full image), why isn't it documented? Even better yet, why doesn't ATI make the full image automatically then (instead of just failing the daily tasks until user notices this situation)??

    Really amateurish software design / documentation any way you look at it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2007
  9. FrenchGuy

    FrenchGuy Registered Member

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    Hi Xpilot,

    You are right, that is the way it works and it works correctly in version 11 as well.
     
  10. Maccara

    Maccara Registered Member

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    ...if "correctly" can be considered as a certain failure of scheduled backups after a time without user intervention...

    Edit: Somehow, I do not see how a failure to backup in a backup software could be considered "working correctly"... (especially, since this COULD be easily prevented)
     
  11. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    If you want to start off the zone afresh that is your choice.
    Why not give a new full image a try then, if version 11 works like version 10, Fifo will start.
    I have always used the secure zone for all my backup images and once you have got to grips with it's strange ways it really is a fit and forget feature.

    To use the zone sucessfully long term is essential to have periodic full images created otherwise it will jam up. This is quite easy to schedule. You need two schedules one for full images and one for increments.
    I made it even more simple by having a large internal backup drive which holds enough full images for my security requirements.

    You could always go for the Backup Locations Feature to manage your backups. I took one look at it and decided to stick with the secure zone.

    Xpilot
     
  12. Maccara

    Maccara Registered Member

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    Ok, I trust based on your and FrenchGuy's assertion, FiFo will work. That then again means, ATI doesn't know themselves how it works. :) (refer to my earlier post where ATI representative has explained on these forums the logic)

    It would be even better, if ATI would just FIX the logic or at least DOCUMENT it properly, as any decent software company should do, instead of the users having to figure out workarounds for these oddities.

    This shouldn't be necessary at all. This is a clear design flaw - especially, since this is not documented and no warning is presented about this. (incremental backup is the ATI _recommended_ scheduling method)

    This is also a problem as there is no deterministic way to know the absolute requirements (apart from reserving enough space for enough full backups) for zone size requirements & frequency of the full backup schedule. Space is going to be wasted (which I'm trying to avoid with incremental backups).

    I reverted back to the backup location feature for automated backups due to the secure zone failure to operate correctly. Instead, I periodically refresh the secure zone to have at least partial fallback with srm.

    Maybe I'll design better approach to this when I have time to fiddle with sub-par functionality software again.
     
  13. FrenchGuy

    FrenchGuy Registered Member

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    Hi Maccara,

    The same thing will happen on an external HDD : if you make a full backup followed by incrementals, soon or late the HDD will be full and you won't be able to add another incremential or anything else. Almost every software in this situation will send you the message : Disk Is Full. ;)

    Would you prefer that the software decides in your place to delete all the previous backups to be able to create a new full backup ?
     
  14. Maccara

    Maccara Registered Member

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    Except if you configure it as a "backup location" with quotas (+ define the schedule to do new full backups after some time). Why can't we do the same with secure zone (without hassle)?? There is absolutely no reason why these functionalities should differ so fundamentally.

    Of course not. But it shouldn't just fail either. And this could be solved easily, as it is done for backup locations, for example. (and there are better ways to this too, but that would be expecting way too much from ATI - better they just focus on fixing the basic functionality first ;))

    Edit: XPilot and FrenchGuy, I appreciate you're trying to offer me alternative workarounds here, and I know this functionality is not by your design. Somehow I just get the feeling you're defending bad design here (and that's why my responses may seem a little harsh, especially since I've been working on some software for 16h straight for similar design flaws which were not made by me ;)). You shouldn't need to - ATI should amend it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2007
  15. FrenchGuy

    FrenchGuy Registered Member

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    Hi Maccara,

    Well, this is a package software : not everyone will be completely satisfied with every feature. Some like it hot, some like it cold ;)

    I have worked many years in software business and if you want a software that works exactly the way you would like it to work, that is possible, but there will be a bill at the end :D

    Of course if you make valuable suggestions, no doubt Acronis will take it into account.
     
  16. Maccara

    Maccara Registered Member

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    That's true. But still, it would be nice if some basic functionality would have proper logic & documentation behind it. ;)

    So true! That's why I'm not going to implement my own backup software to fulfill my every whim, as I would be loosing on the money I can make from my customers, who are willing to pay me to fulfill their silly whims. :D
    Well, this is kind of obvious, since ATI has managed to make this work for backup locations, so they should be able to amend secure zones too.

    Here's couple suggestions regarding secure zones (would partially fix this situation and make it more user intuitive): 1. allow quotas to be set (would be especially nice, since for example try&decide uses the same space, so it would be nice to be able to reserve some for that) 2. allow similar schedule management as for backup locations, i.e. allow user to define for incremental backups, that full backup should be created every n backups

    If ATI needs help designing really intelligent location management & consolidation functions, I can help, for a fee... :-*
     
  17. FrenchGuy

    FrenchGuy Registered Member

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    You are such a funny guy I'm sure they will accept your offer :-*
     
  18. Maccara

    Maccara Registered Member

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    Yes, I feel very confident about this too; every self-respecting software company should accept anonymous offers for 5 times the price of their in-house developers. :D (I might add, that I got bored of work for the moment and have had a couple of drinks to go already, so I'm in a good design-mode now ;))
     
  19. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    Hi Maccara,

    Your desire to have one full followed by many increments has a flaw. Should any harm befall the original image you will no longer have any images at all on that media.
    The risk is less in a secure zone but the drive could still fail.
    Be aware also that validating and restoring from an image with many increments can lose more productive time than was saved by making increments in the first place.

    I am not clear if you have actually set up and used the Backup Locations feature yet. Once that fills up there can still be out of space errors and there is,to my mind, the absurd consolidation feature which one cannot turn off or otherwise control. There it needs a whole new tranche of space to perform the consolidation.

    Sure TI has a lot of areas where things could be improved. I have thumped the tub many times in the past but Acronis management are Hell bent on adding features rather than polishing up and improving what they already have.
    My solution is to use the good parts and discard the rest. Over time I have arrived at my way of working which means that on a daily basis backups are prepared automatically when the computer would otherwise be idle.
    The only manual operation is when I run a restore to a swappable hard drive. 10 to 15 minutes tops.

    Xpilot
     
  20. Maccara

    Maccara Registered Member

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    I'm fully aware of these limitations. It is somewhat alleviated by the fact that full backup is made every 5th time (I wouldn't want only 1 full backup and all rest incremental). Using incremental in that case is still an enormous space saver when we're talking about multiple desktops. Full backups are also made on disconnected media once in a while, and any critical data (which can't be easily re-created from other sources) is backed up daily to off-site location.

    This still doesn't change the fact that some basic functionality of ATI is not working as expected (or documented). Nothing to do with how I make or do not make backups. (if ATI recommends incremental backups for a schedule, you wouldn't expect it to suddenly stop working on its own - it doesn't even have any options or documentation how this situation can be fixed)

    Yes, but with backup locations you can at-least configure reasonable rules to handle this mostly automatically (yes, I agree, the consolidation functionality as such is not very good, and space is wasted). With secure zones, as it currently stands, you have to resort to workarounds to get even on-par functionality to backup locations. I would prefer secure zones reasonably automated, as I would like to "shield" the users from even seeing the backups in normal use and have them not meddle with the setups.
    Yes, unfortunately, it just seems I find more and more in ATI which is not working reasonably in day-to-day use (especially for inexperienced users) and needs me to find workarounds to get everything setup so that the users wont be bothered too much - seems every day there are fewer usable good parts as I learn more of the internals...
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2007
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