best method for incrementals?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by skiphish, May 1, 2005.

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  1. skiphish

    skiphish Guest

    I've just gotten true image and am trying to figure out the best method to backup my system. After having to completely reinstall my system twice in the past 6 months, I knew there was a better way. After searching through the web I ended up with true image.

    Basically, I can't seem to figure out the most efficient "method" to keep my files backed up.

    I have a 80GB hard drive, but right now I only use about 20. I've just scheduled it to do a complete backup every two weeks, alternating between the secure zone and CDRW's (18 to be exact).

    What I'm wondering is what is the best way to do incremental backups? Ideally I'd like to do it daily to my 750MB ZIP drive (always connected) so that I have it externally in case my hard drive fails. But it appears you can only do incremental backups to the same location as the complete, right? Incrementals to my CDRW would be a pain.

    Or Should I just do it daily to my secure zone? I'm worried about that in case my hard drive fails and it's been a month since my last CDRW backup.

    Or should I somehow rig Windows backup or Genie backup to take care of daily backups?

    I'd appreciate any help for this newbie to the backup world. Thanks.
     
  2. wdormann

    wdormann Registered Member

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    Forget ZIP drives or CD's unless you're masochistic. Buy a second hard drive and image to that.
     
  3. skiphish

    skiphish Guest

    I forgot to mention that I'm a student, have little money, and am looking for the budget plan. CDs are cheap and I have the time to deal with them.
     
  4. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello skiphish,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Though wdormann's approach is really reliable and easy it is not very cheap. You may create images on CDs (CD-Rs or CD-RWs) or ZIP drive without any problems. However, it is impossible to explore images that are split over several CDs and you will need to copy them to a single folder on a hard drive to mount the image. However, there will be no problems when you restore the image - it can be done directly from CDs.

    Thank you.
    --
    Ilya Toytman
     
  5. MiniMax

    MiniMax Registered Member

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    Hi skiphish,

    My suggestion is that you use True Image to create full images every week (or every 2 weeks, or every month). In between this, you can use NTBackup (or that Genie backup you mention) to do incremental backups. NTBackup/Genie will most likely have problems backing up files that are opened/in-use, so reboot into Windows Safe Mode during the backup to minimize the number of files that are not backed up.

    For the incremental backup strategy to work, you will need to reset the Archive bit before you create an True Image backup. Use a command like this to reset the archive-bit on every file and folder on C:
    Code:
    C:> attrib -A C:\ /S /D
    As you create new files and modify existing files, the archive-bit will be set again, so NTBackup/Genie will know which files to backup when you ask for an incremental backup.
     
  6. wdormann

    wdormann Registered Member

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    Rebooting to safe mode, resetting archive bits, swapping media... The things people go through to avoid having to spend $50 on a hard drive! :)
     
  7. skiphish

    skiphish Guest

    thanks, I appreciate the advice.
     
  8. phrab

    phrab Registered Member

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    Hi MiniMax:
    I've just come across your post & have a question about it. I'm confused. I thought that doing a complete backup with TI would 1st create a complete image, & then remove the archive bit from each file. Or is that not correct?
    Thank you,
     
  9. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello phrab,

    Thank you for your interest in Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Please note that Acronis True Image doesn't work with file system. Neither changes it any file attributes. Acronis True Image creates the image of sectors you have. The only reason why it needs to know what file system you are imaging is to find out which sectors contain data and which do not.

    Thank you.
    --
    Ilya Toytman
     
  10. phrab

    phrab Registered Member

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    Thank you, Ilya, for explaining that. I'm still a little confused as to why MiniMax recommended removing the archive bit before doing a complete backup with TI, as it would now seem that it didn't matter if you did it before or after. But maybe it's just too early in the morning for me. :D
     
  11. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hi phrab,

    If you read MiniMax's post carefully you'll see that he is talking about setting the archive bits when carrying out incremental backups using NTbackup (Windows own backup utility) or Genie in between True Image full backups.

    Regards
     
  12. phrab

    phrab Registered Member

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    Hi Menorcaman:
    Thanks for your reply. I know that MinMax was talking about doing a full backup with TI, followed by incrementals with NTbackup. I just can't figure out the difference between removing all the archive bits just before doing the TI backup or just after. Wouldn't the result be the same...or am I missing something? (wouldn't be the first time) :D
     
  13. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hi again phrab,

    Resetting the archive bits before creating a full TI image means that the when that image is restored all the archive bits end up in a reset state again. These will then be set as you add or modify files so that, if your next image is NTbackup/Genie incremental, only the added or modified files will be backed up. This wouldn't be the case if the archive bits contained in the full TI image were all over the place (as they would be if they weren't reset just prior to creating the TI image).

    Regards
     
  14. phrab

    phrab Registered Member

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    Hi Menorcaman,
    Thank you again for your explanation. I guess I was thinking that you could do the following:
    1. Do a full imaging using TI.
    2. Reset the archive bits immediately.
    3. Do the incrementals using NT.

    However, in thinking about it & following your explanation, I guess that if you reset the arhive bits after doing a full image, the system might have made some changes before you reset the archive bits, & those files may not be backed up in the next incremental. Also, it would probably be easier to remember to reset the bits just before you create an image than to do it immediately after.

    Thanks again for helping me understand this. I've been lucky so far...many backups & only 1 restore about 4 years ago. :D
     
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