Full or Incremental Backups

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by ueler, Nov 19, 2005.

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  1. ueler

    ueler Registered Member

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    How to you all do your backups. Do you do a couple “Full” backups or 1 full back up and several incremental backups?

    Thanks!
    :eek:
     
  2. beckygb

    beckygb Registered Member

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    I do a full backup weekly, and then daily incrementals, all to an external usb drive. Also I do a weekly DVD RW full backup. I have DVD RW sets for each week of the month. The next month I re-use the DVD RW disks. At the end of the month I do a DVD-R and store it away.

    All this may seem to be over kill to some, but I have been through enough head crashes, bad floppies/CD/DVD disks and computer crashes to be cautious. I am an old timer, started with a TRS-80.

    One of sneaky things that can happen is an old seldom used file going bad. It maybe days, weeks, or even months before you discover the bad file. Meanwhile the backup program is happily quietly backing up the bad file. Or a month after deleting a file you want it back

    I am using TI8. I tried TI9 a few builds ago and gave up on it for now. My computer has about 15gb of system/applications/data so it only takes 3 DVDs to do a full backup.
     
  3. plover

    plover Guest

    Correct me if I am wrong folks.

    Beware of the consequences of taking incrementals if you defrag your partitions on a regular basis.

    Since disk imaging is done at the sector level and not the file level defraging will move sectors around even if the files they contain are not modified one iota. TI will see that the sectors are now different and back them up. So you can have incrementals that are nearly as large as the full backup.

    Don't know if folder/file backups work this way.
     
  4. Chutsman

    Chutsman Registered Member

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    I prefer to do a full backup once a week, keeping no more than three backups in all. Sometime I forget and do a backup once every two weeks - it all depends on if I make a lot of additions or changes. Hard drives are pretty reliable nowadays. (Hope I didn't jinx myself!)
     
  5. beckygb

    beckygb Registered Member

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    I defrag just before I do a full backup. But i have defraged before an incremental backup. You are right it does make a larger image file. In my case defrag/incremental creates a file about 1/3 as large as the full backup. I tried defraging the partition I have my images on and with TI8 I have gotten away with it. Tho I have read many dont.

    After reading some of the posts on defraging the image partition, I dont do that anymore.
     
  6. thebigdintx

    thebigdintx Registered Member

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    I have a 40GB hard drive with only about 5GB used on it. I back up to an external USB hard drive. I run T.I. from within windows, and the image creation only takes about 3-4 minutes, so I always do full back ups of the entire disk, and I don't bother with incrementals, (or diffrentials with version 9 althought I am back to using version 8 for now). I don't have it set as a task, I just go in and manually do it once in a while, every couple of weeks or more if anything important changed on my computer.
     
  7. D Killeen

    D Killeen Registered Member

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    But incrementals still work just fine. I run Diskeeper in "Set it an Forget it" mode. I create one full backup, and 3 incrementals. I'm sure if I didn't defrag as I do, the incrementals will be smaller but they're still less than 25% the size of the full backup. That works for me. I back up to a portable HD and have plenty of room.

    David
     
  8. Tsu

    Tsu Registered Member

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    Bahahahahaha... me too on both counts! Olde Tymer - CP/M Osbornes, Trash 80 etc.. yada,yada,yada...

    Staying with 8.0b937 TI and TI Server

    Network clients and servers do full backup 5 days a week to external USB drive. USB drives are swapped out weekly for off-site storage.

    Standalone PC's nightly FULL backup to external USB.

    External USB or Firewire are muchos cheap these days compared to cost of lost data, cost of downtime, agrevated customers while trying to rebuild a system from scratch, install apps and restore current data files - typically a full day's work. Baremetal restore is less than an hour via imaging software. No comparison in $$$ and souris.
     
  9. Shraddhan

    Shraddhan Registered Member

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    How often you backup, and how, depends very much on the kind of data you are considering.

    I do an incremental backup every day with a full backup once a fortnight, keeping the old backup just in case.

    As a programmer, I also have a comparatively small set of files which may change very frequently, and which I need to keep a long history of. Some years ago, I came across a problem in a bit of code that I was sure used to be OK. It was written in assembler, and one part of it just didn't make any sense. I guessed that I might have accidentally deleted a line or two.

    Fortunately, with a large collection of backups stretching back over quite some time, I was able to find a version of the file in question which had the missing lines.

    So for such files, I back them up every time the computer boots, which can be several times a day. They are only a few MB.

    Then there are other files which change rarely, for example my music files. I copy these on to DVD when I get round to it, which is not often, because if some of these music files were to be lost, I wouldn't be too concerned.

    When I have a collection of text files on a particular subject, especially if I don't expect ot be adding any more, I pack them into a ZIP file and write the ZIP to CD. I leave the ZIP file on the computer too. Such files compress down nicely.

    In my experience over the last few years, hard drives are more reliable than CDs or DVDs. I've known CDs that were good at the time of making the backup being faulty when I needed to use them. So having duplicates of these is a good idea. And if you need to read them from a different computer, be doubly wary.

    Shraddhan
     
  10. gue_st

    gue_st Guest

    Incremental images are good for several backups during installation phase. Like, full image for clean install, then incremental with different soft installed.

    Imaging every day is a bit strange thing, which could be really useful only if you are installing software every day. Simply, other backup methods are more effective.

    Generally, you want only your *important files backed up, and, if you need to restore, you want as clean system as possible, which is best achievable with one as early as possible image and current file backup.
     
  11. Tsu

    Tsu Registered Member

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    Hi... not strange at all. We are not doing backups with TI although individual files can be restored from a mounted drive image. We are doing disaster recovery. We are not backing up files; we are creating a drive image. In our case an incrimental image is almost as big as a full backup, why?, because all systems run Diskeeper including the Raid5 server.

    In the event of a total failure I don't buy into the idea of restoring an old clean image, doning 30-40 critical updates, updating virus signatures, trying to determine which applications have been upgraded and then trying to put back a ton of data files. Time is money.

    What ever works for you is key. Vive la difference.
     
  12. gue_st

    gue_st Guest

    Exactly. So what is the point in incremental image?

    All that image thing would work ideally if disaster is, for example, immediate HDD crash. But that is unlikely,especially if we use raid5, correct?
    More likely, disaster will be slowly corrupted system, undetected virus activity or something. So which image shall we use then?

    Correct also time being money.
    But we should specify what time. If IT staff time is the biggest expense, I was not talking about that case :D.
    Important files need to be backed up immediately after created, or even more often - imaging will not help.

    So, turn it whatever way you want, the most reasonable backup strategy is full image as often as practicable and proper continuous file backup.
     
  13. Chadmi

    Chadmi Registered Member

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  14. gue_st

    gue_st Guest

    Chadmi, your example is far from being good.

    First, is not clear why one would want to use imaging of data drive. That way you are keeping some useless information, and file backup is more appropriate.

    Second, like that you are keeping 7(!) copies of the same files that didn't change! Isn't that a waste of HD space?
     
  15. Chadmi

    Chadmi Registered Member

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    Gue_st,

    Don't be critical. Offer a different or better way to backup routines. Then everyone can benefit.

    Email me directly and I'll be happy to explain my reasoning for using a drive just for data.

    The link below will take you to another very good approach to the backup routine. It was posted by KennethS.

    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showpost.php?p=613139&postcount=4
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2005
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