Backup a Specific Path or Folder and Subfolders

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by jblaty, May 2, 2005.

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  1. jblaty

    jblaty Registered Member

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    Acronis TrueImage 8: Is there a way to rather than backup an entire partition, to only back up a specific directory tree (folder and its subfolders)? I'm trying to save as much image space on my backup target as possible, and some of the information on the drive is extraneous and unnecessary.

    In advance, thank you.
     
  2. MiniMax

    MiniMax Registered Member

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    No.

    If you are short on space, you can try to create a mini-partition, move the folders/files to the partition, and (with Windows NT/2K/XP) NFTS junction points to make the mini-partition show up at the right place in the original file structure.
     
  3. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello jblaty,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Acronis True Image creates disk image it can only backup an entire drive or partition. Note that you can still restore individual files or folders from a backup image.

    Thank you.
    --
    Irina Shirokova
     
  4. jblaty

    jblaty Registered Member

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    I'm surprised about this.

    I would like to echo a feature request to either:

    1. Provide specific paths to include with a backup set (both full and incrementals). - OR -
    2. Provide specific paths to exclude with a backup set (both full and incrementals).

    I feel that this should be a minimum requirement for a backup and recovery utility.

    There are some data drives that don't need the entire drive backed up, but rather, just specific paths. The user should be able to select only those paths or exclude the ones that don't.
     
  5. jimmytop

    jimmytop Registered Member

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    That would actually be a downgrade....
    True Image is not a file based back-up utility. It's sector based. As such, it really doesn't care what files and folders you have. If you just want a run of the mill file based back-up solution, why spend money on a professional level sector based imaging software? Just use the back-up software that comes with Windows. It's free.
     
  6. jblaty

    jblaty Registered Member

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    I respectfully disagree that is a downgrade. I paid for a professional backup utility. That should include every way to backup. If I know that I don't want to include certain folders on a backup of a drive, then I would like to be able to specify that, in the same tool that I bought. I would like to take advantage of the compression and other features that tool offers.
     
  7. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello jblaty,

    We are really sorry for the inconveniences.

    Acronis True Image is a disk imaging backup software. During backup, the software creates an image from the sectors that contain data, creating an exact duplicate image of the hard disk. Because the product creates a backup in this way, it can backup everything on the drive, including both user accessible data as well as open Windows files - system files, the master boot record (MBR), partition tables and any partition-based boot records - that traditional file based backup methods overlook.

    Current version of Acronis program cannot backup a single folders, but it has an option to restore an individual file instead of restoring the full hard drive or partition content: you can mount an Acronis backup image as a logical disk to browse it and restore individual files.

    Thank you.
    --
    Irina Shirokova
     
  8. jblaty

    jblaty Registered Member

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    Irina,

    Thanks for the reply. This approach is indeed wonderful for online backups of root partitions with operating systems installed. I will use TI8 for the C: partitions on some of my systems. I use Norton Ghost 9 on another.

    Now, as far as the data partitions, I only need to backup specific paths on those drives. What you're telling me is that TI8 will only back up the entire partition, which for me, is overkill. What do you recommend using for regular backups of specific subfolders, including data partitions? I would like these backup sets to remain compressed, such that I don't waste a lot of space on the target drive.

    Regards,
    Joe
     
  9. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello Joe,

    We regret to inform you that currently Acronis doesn't offer any file-based backup software. If you back up only data you may find convinient just to archive the data with some archiver like WinZIP. Another way could be to create a partition with the data that you back up regularly and back up this partition with Acronis True Image.

    Thank you.
    --
    Ilya Toytman
     
  10. rickeb1

    rickeb1 Registered Member

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    Hello,

    I just purchased this product today, so I am definitely a new user and new to these forums. I guess I might have jumped the gun a bit in purchasing this product. I was looking for a solid backup utility, did some research, found all of the great reviews of True Image, and bought the product without even doing the trial version. I guess I didn't do quite enough research, though, because I expected, as jblaty did, that I would be able to select what files/directories got backed-up and which ones I didn't need to bother with. I'm a bit disappointed that the product can not do this, as it seems a rather basic requirement. So for what it's worth, I'd like to add my vote to the "wish list" of having the ability to select what gets backed-up.

    In any case, I plan to begin making backups tomorrow, once I go and buy enough CDs to hold all of the data ;-)

    ~ Rick
     
  11. mareke

    mareke Registered Member

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    I use a program called Handy Backup (http://www.handybackup.com/) for this purpose. Along with Platinum Backup, sold by its sister company, which is identical to Handy Backup except that it also allows backing up to DVDs, it is the best backup program I've seen for backing up specific files right up to entire partitions. You can completely automate the backup process and decide the frequency with which the backups occur and you can even store different versions of the backup files. The backups can be compressed to save space and password protected and encrypted if you like. You can also save your current configuration of Handy Backup so that if you format and start again you can install Handy Backup and then the configuration you saved and you don't have to laboriously configure Handy Backup again to backup the files all over again.

    Acronis True Image is designed to get you out of trouble when the operating system becomes faulty rather than backing up specific files. The problem with going back to an Acronis image made some time earlier is that you lose changes you have made to folders such as My Documents, Outlook Express, My Favorites etc and you can use a program like Handy Backup to back these up so you can restore them to their most recent state after an Acronis Image of an earlier state has been restored. I find that Acronis and Handy Backup compliment each other. You can of course use the free Windows utility for backing up files but it isn’t as sophisticated as Handy Backup. I have no affiliation with the company that makes Handy Backup by the way I just like the way the program works just as I like the way Acronis works.
     
  12. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    A bit more research would have shown you that there are two types of backup software:

    1. File backup where you can select individual files and folders. These are fine for data backup, but they usually do a poor job of restoring the operating system and installed applications. In most cases, the hard drive partition must be repartitoned and reformatted before the restore to eliminate viruses or spyware that may have infected the system. In some cases, Windows must be reinstalled after the formatting in order to restore the backup.

    2. Drive imaging where whole partitions or drives are backed up. This is useful for restoring an entire system in the event of a hard drive failure or major corruption by a virus or spyware. All the data on the partition or drive is backed up, but the backup file may be larger because it includes the operating system and installed programs, etc. as well as just the data if these are on the same partition. The image backup can be restored to a new or previously used hard drive without prior partitoning or formatting which results in the fastest and most complete recovery from catastrophic problems. Viruses and spyware cannot survive the image restoration.

    True Image is a drive imaging program. Images can be stored on hard drives or optical media.

    The Windows Backup is a free file backup utility. It is only useful when writing to internal, external or networked hard drives, but it can be used to supplement True Image for data only backups.

    If recovering your entire system quickly and easily after an unfortunate event is important to you, then you bought the right product in True Image. If you don't mind reinstalling Windows, all your applications and configuring your Internet accounts, e-mail, etc. again after such an unfortunate event then you could live without True Image.

    I hope that clarifies the options.
     
  13. TonioRoffo

    TonioRoffo Registered Member

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    Disagree. Sector based backup is about *imaging* a drive, not about file based backup. You don't even *need* to pay for this if you have Windows Xp Pro or higher (not home though) - use NTbackup

    Sector based backup doesn't *care* about folder structure, it just backups used sectors. If TI would need to exclude files, it would mean that the file structure must be analysed, a list of sectors be created not to be backupped, directory sectors need to be altered so that they don't list the skipped files... you see that in a sectorbased backup, this is nearly impossible, and would compromise a good backup.

    Ntbackup will do all the things you want, file-based incremental backup. Just don't have any open files, it won't take those...

    May I suggest, if you don't want to backup certain things, you start using partitions. Put your MP3 collection on the D drive for example, and only backup C drive.

    Want to organise it all on a single drive anyway? Learn to use junctions, redirect maps on your C drive to your D drive - TI won't backup stuff in the junctions.
     
  14. PaulB2005

    PaulB2005 Registered Member

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    Rubbish. What you paid for (without checking) is an Imaging program and not a Backup program.

    I don't buy a car and then expect it to be able to fly, sail on water or take me into Space because as a "vehicle" it should include every way to travel!!

    True Image has one specific purpose - to IMAGE drives and partitions - the give away is in the name. A bit more research and use of the trial version would have prevented your error.

    I hope Acronis DON'T start including selective file / directory backups because it would dilute their efforts is keeping TI as an excellent Imaging tool.
     
  15. jblaty

    jblaty Registered Member

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    A different way to think about it:

    I want to be able to image a C: drive, with the Windows XP OS. I don't need the Temp directory. I don't need the pagefile (which can be quite large). Recovering an image with no Temp directory and no pagefile would not impact the operation of the OS after the recovery process. However, including those WOULD SIGNIFICANTLY impact the size of the backup.

    That's my point. I would like to exclude specific files and folders to reduce the size of the backup.

    I understand the difference between imaging software and file backup software. What I'm trying to do is reduce my storage requirements for the backup image. I'm not asking the software to be smart enough to know what to exclude. I'm comfortable in making those decisions. However, the software doesn't allow it.

    FYI, I own Powerquest DriveImage and Norton Ghost, and these imaging products also do not have this feature. I'm not picking on Acronis, I just think it would be a great feature to have.
     
  16. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    For what it's worth, you may be interested to hear that TI 8 doesn't backup the Page File or Hybernation File, it merely creates "placeholders" for these in the image file. Hence no wasted use of space for these.

    As for the Temp folder, there are plenty of free utilities out there for cleaning this out, along with your History, Cookies, Temporary Internet Files, etc folders.

    Regards
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2005
  17. jblaty

    jblaty Registered Member

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    I was picking on those 2 as examples, but you get my point. If I want to exclude extraneous files, folders or directory trees from my backup image, I have no way of doing that. I may not want to remove the files before I start the backup process, and I may want the files after I finish the backup process.

    By the way, I bought PowerArchiver to backup and compress specific subtrees and paths. It's a shame that I had to buy a separate product for just a simple request to exclude.

    That, of course, is just my opinion.
     
  18. PaulB2005

    PaulB2005 Registered Member

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    This is NOT advisable.

    Windows may be storing files that are in use at the time you make the image. If you then restored and the temp files where missing then it might have a very big impact on your PC.

    As suggested use a temp file cleaner to remove unneeded files before imaging.

    The Page File isn't stored by the image anyway so that's academic.

    PowerArchiver is a backup utility which is why it does what you want. True Image is an Image utility which is why it doesn't do what you want.
     
  19. TonioRoffo

    TonioRoffo Registered Member

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    ...and if you look further at it...

    If Acronis makes placeholders for TEMP & SWAP files, then couldn't it be implemented to make a "placeholder" for whatever directory you wish to include?

    Maybe it could be done after all...

    :D
     
  20. PaulB2005

    PaulB2005 Registered Member

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    Partially true!

    TI makes placeholders for the Swap File and the Hibernate file as the Swap File is destroyed when you power down anyway and the Hiberate file is only of use whilst in Hibernation.

    Can't say i've seen anything that says
    because you can't risk leaving TEMP files out of the Image. You don't know if any will be required after a reboot.

    What if someone selects a folder to exclude that shouldn't have been. For example someone might decide to exclude the "documents and settings" folder. However this folder contains your registry files, various settings files for software and a temp folder. If you didn't include those in the image then who knows what might happen if you attempt a restore?

    Also how is this feature suppossed to be supported? If someone says "My PC won't boot when i restore from my Image. I excluded folders x, y and z." How can the support team know if leaving those folders out didn't damage the "image" so it was unbootable?

    If you want a backup program buy a backup program. True Image is an Imaging Program and should remain so. The clue is in the name.
     
  21. jblaty

    jblaty Registered Member

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    IMHO, just because "that's the way imaging software has always worked" is a little closed-minded. Think out of the box for a second.

    Of course a user would use this feature at their own risk. However, I would much rather have 0 byte placeholders on my many DVD backup media than whole directory paths that are extraneous.

    For example, I would like to back up one drive that contains a Download subtree. That subtree contains all of my downloaded software. Do I need that for my OS to run? Of course not. Do I need to put that on my backup media? That's MY decision.
     
  22. TonioRoffo

    TonioRoffo Registered Member

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    jblaty,

    If you want this kind of functionality now, take a look at sysinternals Junction. It lets you "mount" subdirectories on other drives to empty subdirs on your C drive.

    If you make a second partition, redirect C:\downloads to D:\down for example, your imaging backup won't include the downloads folder.

    It's kind of a workaround, needing a second partition and all, but it's very interesting. Kinda like Linux, mounting dirs on the root.

    Furthermore, with Windows 2000/XP standard disk manager, you can mount entire partitions on subdirs in your first partition, without resorting to drive letters.
     
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