Full backup every Friday, differential all other days?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by wenglish98027, Jul 21, 2007.

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  1. wenglish98027

    wenglish98027 Registered Member

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    Firstly, the links here were very helpful in helping me understand that I needed to select the backup location from near the top of the tree pane (rather than selecting the same folder lower in the tree pane) in order to use backup policies. Thanks.

    Now for what I am really trying to do :D

    I want to have a full backup run every Friday morning, and then a differential on all other days. However, some days I may not turn the computer on, so if I tell True Image to do 6 differentials before the next full, that won't guarantee the full will always be on Friday (I think).

    The reason I want the full backup to be always on the same day is that Thursday is the night I leave my PC on for it to do its virus checks and other tune-ups, so I may as well do time-consuming full backups the same night. Also, part of the Thursday night tune-up is a defrag, which I think would cause the next differential to be just as big as a full backup anyway(?).

    Is there a way to do this with a single task using backup policies? Or should I just schedule two tasks, one which is a full backup on Fridays, and the other which is a differential on other days (perhaps at shut-down). And if two tasks is the way to go, is there any way to 'link' the two tasks so that changes made to the file selection in one task propagate to the other, or alternatively a way to clone a task so I don't have to go through the file selection for each task?

    BTW this is a file backup, not a whole disk image. I just pick the important stuff (Documents and Settings, Desktop, and a couple of other folders of data). Does it sound reasonable to do it this way, or would I be better off just backing up the whole disk as an image (if so, can I still restore individual files from the image?)

    Thanks ... Mike
     
  2. babac

    babac Registered Member

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    Hi Mike,
    Keep it simple.
    If you backup the whole disk as an image, you'll be able to restore a single file from it, if needed.
     
  3. GottaRegisterDang

    GottaRegisterDang Registered Member

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    Mike

    The best way I've found to do full and incremental backups with Acronis, is to create an incremental backup only (no full) which will run on the days you specify

    If a Full backup doesn't exist, then Acronis will create a full backup automaticly

    To handle the generation of a new full backup each Friday, the best bet is to write and external cmd script which is run from within the incremental backup job (pre-command I believe its called) which checks to see if the day is friday, then move the current weekly backup set to a subdirectory (which means when the next backup runs, it'll be a full by default).

    I've gone a little futher, as I move the current full and incrementals to a subfolder called PREVIOUS and prefex the weeks backups with the current date and time.

    Since I've prefexed each weeks backups with a date (which keeps the backups with the same name unique between weeks), I'm able (through another command script I wrote), keep 1 weeks of backups, with olders being erased.

    Here's something from the log I generate:

    Archive recent backup to Previous (D Drive)
    @@ Moving D:\Shared-BackupWorkstation\BU-AF\*-C-*#*.* to D:\Shared-BackupWorkstation\BU-AF\previous
    Moved(EL=0): D:\Shared-BackupWorkstation\BU-AF\AF-C-Image#1.tib to D:\Shared-BackupWorkstation\BU-AF\previous\2007-07-21~6-00-00-AF-C-Image#1.tib

    Keep X copies on Main Drive (D drive)
    Inside D:\batch\RemoveOldBackups#.cmd - D:\Shared-BackupWorkstation\BU-AF\previous "o_O?-??-??~*-c-*#*.*" 1
    KEEP (1 // 1)
    07/16/2007 08:34 PM 456,130,560 2007-07-21~6-00-00-AF-C-Image#1.tib

    Followin Records Will be DELETED (2 // 1)
    deleteing: "D:\Shared-BackupWorkstation\BU-AF\previous\2007-07-14~6-00-00-AF-C-Image#1.tib" (456130560)

    On the whole it handles one of the Acronis Limitations quiet well

    Paul

    Update:

    One thing that I do to help parse the backup file names, is use a # at the end of each backup file name. When Accronis creates the backup file names *#.tib is used for the first name (*#1.tib is used if you go over the image split size on the original backup), and then each incremental backup uses the next number in sequence (*#2.tib, *#3.tib, etc...). To get a list of the 1st backup name in each backup set, all I need to do is do a Directory listing of *#.tib and *#1.tib (it would of been nice if Acronis could of started with 1 all the time). I'm then able to delete older groups of backups

    here is a sample of the cmd script for statement I used to get get rid of older backups. Changing IntKeepCopies to a bigger number will allow the cmd script to keep more copies. Note: Use at your own risk (anything can be dangerous if not used correctly ;-) NOTE2: I've changed "IF %StartDelete%.==YES. DEL %1#*.TIB" to "IF %StartDelete%.==YES. ECHO DEL %1#*.TIB" so that nothing is actually deleted. I recommend that you create a temp directory, and create some fake *.TIB files and play to see how it works before trying anything on live backups

    @ECHO OFF
    REM KeepXAcronisPrevious.cmd
    SET intCntAt=0
    SET StartDelete=NO
    SET intKeepCopies=1

    for /F "delims=# tokens=1,2" %%a in ('dir *#.tib *#1.tib /b /o-d') do call :WACKIT %%a %%b
    GOTO END

    :WACKIT
    IF %intCntAt%.==%intKeepCopies%. SET StartDelete=YES
    IF NOT %StartDelete%.==YES. ECHO Keeping: %1#*.TIB (%1#%2)
    IF %StartDelete%.==YES. ECHO DELETING %1#*.TIB (%1#%2)
    IF %StartDelete%.==YES. ECHO DEL %1#*.TIB
    SET /A intCntAt=%intCntAt% + 1
    :END
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2007
  4. wenglish98027

    wenglish98027 Registered Member

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    Thanks Babac & Paul.

    Paul I'm not sure if I'm going to use your suggestion or not, I'll have to ponder it some more. I was really hoping to avoid scripting just because it's one more thing to maintain (I get enough of that in my day job).

    Mike
     
  5. RTShaw

    RTShaw Registered Member

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    Thats great, exactally what i was looking 4, i can apply this on my entire netwrork..
    i 4 one thank u..
     
  6. GottaRegisterDang

    GottaRegisterDang Registered Member

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    RTShaw: Glad I could help.. I'm using it with a clients small network using True image 9.0 SOHO.

    My overall configuration is as followed:

    Backup jobs scheduled on 8 computers each to run one after another (since there's no feature to automate this, each computer is given a 45 minute time slot)

    Each computer runs a small VB application that catches shutdown/restart requests, and prompts the user about backups (Basiclly, if this is the last shutdown of the night, then push (not force) the user to a restart.. Acronis seems to do a better backup from a fresh start without anyone logging in)

    The backup catches (incremental with full if not present). Chkdisk, and machine audits done, and email sent to administrator (me) and user whos machine is backed up. If no user is logged in, the machine shutdowns (so the machines are up long enough to do the backup each night)

    On the server, At 6 am the next day, backups are copied onto a external usb drive (using 3 USB drives rotated weekly on friday, with other 2 stored in a fireproof safe).. Basicly a robocopy which updates the current backup directory (of each user) on the USB drive with the current live copy on the server. This is done as we have had issues with USB drives (lack of space, wrong drive letter, corrupted, not switched on, etc), so having the user backup to a internal drive in the server insures that the backup is taken (I can then fix any issues with the USB drive during the day and then just re-run the scripts to Mirror the backups once everything is ok)

    On Sat, Current backups are moved to previous subfolder on shared network folder used for backups (keeping 1 copy). On the Backup USB drive, the same thing occurs (as the current folder is a mirror on whats on the server internal drive), but 2 weeks are kept (this = 6 weeks of workstation backups)

    There is a little more going on such as User workstations have C for OS/Progs, D for Data, E for Temp). The OS/Progs partition backups are kept for 1 weeks, the Data for 2, and only 1 monthly image of E is taken (A monthly of E is used to recover back the general structure of E as the data is non critical since E is temp non critial files, with all temp related files from the OS, IE, Netscape, Firefox, downloads, etc being stored)

    On the whole it works quite well, with the only real issues being


    Alot of what is being done by my scripts and vp apps is something that Acronis should of included from day one.. True image is a great product.. Just soo many little things missing or not correctly done which drive me insane.. I guess I should be thanking acronis, as it garrentees me work.. lol

    Paul
     
  7. GottaRegisterDang

    GottaRegisterDang Registered Member

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    RTShaw:

    One more thing with that script, you need to store each users backup in their own directory. My stucture on the server is something like this

    D:\Shared-WSBACKUP
    - USER1
    - PREVIOUS
    - USER2
    - PREVIOUS
    - USER3
    - PREVIOUS


    D:\SHARED-WSBACKUP is stored on a mirror set, and is shared, with acl's being set so each user's backup account only has rights to their base user folder. Each user's normal user account has read only rights

    So every morning at 6 am, I basiclly parse the directory names and change to the directory and then call the previous provided script

    Additionally, I run all of this from a main starting command script and capture stdout and stderr ( "1>Filename 2>&1") and then email this daily to myself.. I check each command issued error code, and set a global error code to true. THis global flag is embedded in the subject line of the email, so I can tell by checking the subject if everything worked (at least from the movement of files, and keeping x copies).
     
  8. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello wenglish98027,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    You can also obtain the desired result the following way:
    Schedule a full backup to Acronis Backup Location on Friday (or another day of your choice);
    Schedule differential backup weekly->on all other days.
    Please see chapter 8 "Scheduling tasks" of the respective User's Guide for more details. Currently, Acronis True Image doesn't have a function to clone or synchronize tasks.

    As it was noted by babac, you can restore single files/folders from disk/partition images as well.

    Thank you.
    --
    Marat Setdikov
     
  9. wenglish98027

    wenglish98027 Registered Member

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    Thanks Marat. After some experimentation I found that image backups are faster than file backups, so I have switched to image backups and am doing a Full on Fridays, then a Differential on each shutdown. Slightly different from what you are suggesting, but equivalent I think.

    Mike
     
  10. davidg1

    davidg1 Registered Member

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