Are differential or incremental restores faster than restoring a full image?

Discussion in 'Paragon Drive Backup Product Line' started by ratchet, Nov 22, 2013.

  1. ratchet

    ratchet Registered Member

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    I rarely ever, ever need to restore just a file, so I've never used the differential or incremental feature. I do, however, occasionally get in trouble testing software, so all of my restores have been full restores except once when I did want to replace a file.
    I would use Comodo's Time Machine on the old XP machine for restores if I wanted to remove software and have been using AX64 now on a W7 PC I built. But what If I wanted to use my Paragon?
    I image my SSD to another SSD using P Backup and Recovery 12 Home. An image takes around four minutes and recovery about five and one half to six minutes.
    However, if I merely wanted to back up prior to an installation, would I do a differential or an incremental? Would the backup and recovery be faster than my normal image restore? Thank you!
     
  2. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    In general terms based on how the methods work:

    Creating an image:
    If you have an existing image then making an incremental or differential should be faster than making a full. If the existing full image already has incrementals then making another incremental should be faster than making a differential. If the base full has no incrementals then creating an incremental or differential is the same thing.

    Restoring an image:
    Restoring a full should be faster. If incrementals or a differential exists, the base full has to be restored then all the incrementals or the last differential to get it to the most recent state.

    The program cannot just dump the last incremental or differential onto the existing disk to put it back to that state. It has to start with the base full image and work from there.

    When comparing incrementals vs differentials the rule for speed after the first incremental or differential is:
    incremental - faster to create
    differential - faster to restore because it doesn't have to restore the complete chain of incrementals to get to the latest state.

    The differential can be considered a bit safer than the incremental because the base full and it are all that is necessary to restore to the latest date. If you have a long chain of incrementals and something goes wrong with one of them, then you cannot restore past that point. OTOH, if the differential goes bad you are stuck at the state of the base full. For this reason, don't make huge long chains of incrementals and don't have only one archive. Keep as many old ones as your backup device will hold and even put some on a different device. Being able to restore to an earlier point in time is often a lot better than no restore at all.
     
  3. ratchet

    ratchet Registered Member

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    Nice job and thank you for this!
     
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