Differential Back Question

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by raybro, Jan 21, 2008.

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  1. raybro

    raybro Registered Member

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    I just recentley learned the advantage of using differential rather than incremental backups and have one question about it. When one is going through the process of creating a new differential backup and get to the screen where one selects the file to be backed up, I currently have the original full backup labled E:\Mybackup.tib and one differential backup labled E:\MyBackup2.tib. Does one select the original full backup or does Acronis do so automatically. When I tried the first one it showed a file E:\MyBackup.tib in the Folder location where the file is to be stored. It then ceated the file E:\MyBackup2.tib. When I tried run another differential today it showed E:\MyBackup(1).tib in the storege Folder. There is no such file as E:\MyBackup(1).tib in my backup file location. As I stated earlier, the original full backup is labled E:\MyBackup.tib and the first Differential I ran is labled E:\MyBackup2.tib. should I change the original full backup file name to E:\MyBackup(1).tib?

    I hope I've explained the problem adequately so it is understood. I'd appreciate some advice in this regard.

    Raybro
     
  2. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello raybro,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Please notice that when creating a differential backup you need to choose a name of the full backup which will be used as a base.

    You can find the detailed instructions on how to use Acronis True Image in the respective User's Guide.

    Thank you.
    --
    Marat Setdikov
     
  3. EADeVoe

    EADeVoe Registered Member

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    I wish the users guide was as clear as you just were. useres guide is very vague as to exact procedure.
     
  4. rraisley

    rraisley Registered Member

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    I've read the manual as suggested. I'm trying to do Differential backups, and I've only done them with True Image 10, although I just upgraded to version 11. I figured I had to do a Full backup first, so added that as a manual task, and ran it. I then added a daily Differential backup. The first time the Differential backup ran, it apparently did a FULL backup, as it took even longer than the Full backup. Okay, but the next day it appeared to do the same thing, taking even longer. And the same the next night.

    In other words, it seems that something has to reset the archive bits so that the Differential backup will only be what was done since the last full one, but I haven't yet been able to make that happen.

    Also, in another post here, a Backup Policy screen is shown which provides for doing a Full backup after every XX Differential backups. I cannot find a screen like that. And while the manual refers to that ability (on page 63), I don't see a screen in the manual with that available either. Oh, and your comment about creating a name for the backup, does that apply to backups to the Acronis Secure Zone? It never asks for a name there.

    Basically, I need to know, step-by-step, what task(s) to create, and how to set them to do a Full backup, then Differential backups, to the Acronis Secure Zone.
     
  5. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello rraisley,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup software

    Could you please clarify if you're using some kind of Disk Defragmentation software or similar utilities working with your hard drive? Please note that if you're running defragmentation software then it's moving data and Acronis True Image 11 Home is creating very large differential/incremental backups because data on your hard drive is changing.

    Please note that in order to manage Backup policy you should create Backup Location first. You can get additional information about Backup Locations in Acronis True Image 11 Home User Guide available for download at our Documentation section.

    Thank you
    --
    Michael Levchenko

    Thank you
    --
    Michael Levchenko
     
  6. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    When defining a task, to get the option to specify how many incs/diffs before a new full backup is done, you have to have first defined a Backup Location and then, when setting up the Task, specify that location under "Backup Locations" as the target for the backups. ATi will then automaticlly uniquely name the backups, offer you the option to specify number of incs/diffs between backups, and ATI will manage the files accdording to the limits set up when you defiend the Backup Location.

    Do a forum search for GroverH, and check out the links at bottom of any of his posts.

     
  7. rraisley

    rraisley Registered Member

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    Thanks for the responses. I was indeed backing up only to the Acronis Secure Zone, and apparently it lacks some of the features available with just setting up backup locations. Guess I'll try a combination of both.

    As to defragging, I'm sure that's a possibility. But it confuses me. I've always defragged automatically, using PerfectDisk or Diskeeper, and never, with other programs, had a problem with differential or incremental backups, because the defragging did not modify the archive bits on the files. Are you saying that Acronis does not use the archive attribute for this purpose?? If so, then this may not work well for me (using Acronis to back up). I certainly want to keep my system defragged, and don't want to be doing full backups all the time just because of that.
     
  8. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    ATI is going to treat as changed any sector that's been moved (which essentially involves reading the sector and writing it's contents in another sector), as a write and, therefore a change. So defragging can greatly add to the number of sectors that get captured in an inc or diff backup. If you have auto-defragging, then any defraggin that occurs between backups is going to rsult in an increased diff or in.

    You might want to switch to scheduled defrags and have them occur less often -- the benefit of defragging is hardly noticable unless a disk is terribly fragmented, so do a defrag once a week or once a month could be just fine. Or switch to just doing scheduled full backups on off hours and forget about the effect of defragging. Or, just ignore the efect and keep doing diffs/incs.
     
  9. rraisley

    rraisley Registered Member

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    Is that the case with FILE backups, rather than drive IMAGE backups? I can see that the image would certainly be changed (and normally only do images for full backups to the ASZ to completely restore the drive), but would doing FILE backups avoid the problem with defragging?
     
  10. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    A SZ has two benefits. One is that it allows you to use part of a drive as the target for its own backup-- this isn't a good thing to do since, if the drive goes bad, you can't access your backups to do a restore--in that sense, it not a very secure way of securing your bits and bytes. However, if you have only one disk, and simply can't get a second, then being able to backup to a SZ is at least something.

    The second benefit of the SZ is that most other progs won't touch it so they are unlikely to muck with a backup file stored in it. Otoh, any disk editor will probably not have a problem mucking about with a SZ, or any other hidden partition, if one tries to muck about, so this "security" is limited, too.

    The advantage of using a Backup Location instead off the SZ is that you don't have any special hidden partition and you can list, copy, delete, move backup files with Explorer and without invoking ATI.

     
  11. rraisley

    rraisley Registered Member

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    Thanks a bunch for all your help! :D

    Okay. Sounds, as you say, like the SZ may not be much better, in this case. I guess I went to it mostly because it would normally not be affected by viruses and all. As to not having another drive, I've been the bullet and now have TWO 500 GB drives, the sole purpose of which is for backup. I had planned on making one a SZ, for images to restore drives, and the other for daily differential backups, as well as other special backups. Sounds like you think both would be better off being used as backup locations, rather than SZ?

    You can do both IMAGE and FILE backups, using both SZ and Backup Locations, right? As I asked, does defragging affect the FILE backups? I guess I figured any file backup would use the archive attribute to determine whether a file needed backed up or not, and not care where it was.
     
  12. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    You can make as many Backup Locations as you want. When you create one, it's jsut a directory on the target disk which contains a configuration file that ATI will put there.

    So you could put all your backups in one location or put diff ones in diff locations. All incs/diffs should be in the same directoy/location as the full backup with which they are associated for the managed backup functions to work.

    You can only have one SZ per drive.

    If you want ot keep virues etc out ofyour backup files, then you want to keep them out of all your other files, too. To do that, rely on good security software (Kaspersky, etc) rather than putting some files in a hidden partition
     
  13. rraisley

    rraisley Registered Member

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    Thanks, and I agree with all that (and use Kaspersky, too). Repeating my last question, though:

    You can do both IMAGE and FILE backups. As I asked, does defragging affect the FILE backups? I guess I figured any file backup would use the archive attribute to determine whether a file needed backed up or not, and not care where it was.
     
  14. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    You can do disk/partiton backups or file backups or both to Backup Locations.

    ATI does not rely on the archive attribute. Back in DOS days, diff progs started using the archive bit for diff things, so it became sort of unreliable for any program to rely on what the archive meant. To paraphrase Yogi, it's so popular no one goes there anymore.

    I believe the defragging issue applies to file backups too but I'm not sure; I haven't tried that.
     
  15. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello all,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup software

    In most cases defragging would not affect file backups. The exception is the file backup of opened files. In this case defragmentation would affect these files in file backups.

    Please note that Acronis True Image 11 Home do not using 'archive' flag for anything.

    Thank you
    --
    Michael Levchenko
     
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