How does the backup 'increment' task work

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by viperjts10, Apr 27, 2009.

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  1. viperjts10

    viperjts10 Registered Member

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    I'm a little confused on how this backing up works. I did purchase acronis true image home a couple weeks ago, and I have been successfully backing up my main hard drive onto a separate internal hard drive, but I have a few questions..

    Every time a backup takes place, a new backup file is created and named (called "MyBackup1...MyBackup2...MyBackup3... etc..).

    Now I'm pretty sure all these backup files are just backing up CHANGES that had taken place since the last backup. So it did a first backup the very first time I ran the program, and now every time the task runs, it's just backing up any changes there were made.

    How would I view my backups as a whole. For example, let's say I wanted to restore all my files, but I have all these "MyBackup#" each with different files, then is there a place to see all my files in one place?

    Does the backup have to create a new file every time it runs? My secondary hard drive will likely fill up over time, and I don't want to run out of space. I just want a single backup file which overwrites every time I backup my files, and this way I only need to go to a single place to find my files. Am I missing something or how do I do this?
     
  2. oracledba

    oracledba Registered Member

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    Lets assume the full is about 30 gig and each of the daily incrementals are about 1 gig.
    you could tell by date on the ".tib" file when each was created.

    From your perspective, it does NOT matter which of the ".tib" files you open
    the behavior from acronis is always the same and that behavior is:

    You get to see ALL the files that existed on that date, and how they existed on that date.

    What is occuring WHen you open a .tib its ALL the files from full are visible, all deleted files are removed with all updates and new files present.
    So the incr that you open really gives you about 30 gig of stuff not just the 1 gig that you thought was there.

    For example Assume you had ms-word document called "my_resume.doc"
    Day 0 you do a full backup your resume is obviously in this backup.
    Day 1 you update your resume then that night an incr is performed.
    day 2 you accidently delete your resume that night a incr is performed.
    day 3 you manually recreate your resume and incr is performed.
    day 4 you look at your resume and wish you had the a prior version back.

    Depending on which ".tib" file you open, you may or may not see your resume and the resume you see will be the file as it existed at the time of the backup.
     
  3. viperjts10

    viperjts10 Registered Member

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    wow thanks a lot oracledba, that does clear up a lot of what I was wondering.

    However, I just don't understand how the file size of an incremented backup can say 10GB or so, when in actuality, there's about 200GB of files on there.

    Would it still be safe to delete older file backups if I feel I won't need them? So I would keep my main backup which starts at MyBackup.tib and then I would just delete some of the other incremented backups such as MyBackup2.tib... MyBackup3. tib... and so on until I get to my current one.

    At some point I would assume I would need to clean out some of the files since otherwise I'll be left with MyBackup2..to....MyBackup57.. and so on.
     
  4. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    If you delete any Incremental backups in the chain, it will be broken and you won't be able to restore any later images in the set. For example, if you have MyBackup2 through MyBackup57 and you delete MyBackup2, the only image file still valid will be the Full "base" image and that will (possibly) only be valid after you delete MyBackup3 through MyBackup57.

    It's usually better to limit the number of Incremental images to a reasonable amount. Perhaps doing a Full image once a week with Incremental images on all other days.

    The Incremental image only contains the changes from the last Incremental (or Full image if it's the first Incremental). This is why each image in the chain must be intact to work. When you Explore or Mount an Incremental image, TI is accessing data stored in the Full "base" image and all Incremental images up to the one you're using.
     
  5. viperjts10

    viperjts10 Registered Member

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    Ah well that makes sense. Then what happens when my hard drive that is being used to store my backups fills up?

    My hdd is bound to eventually fill up with all these incremental backups, and that's why I was hoping there is some way to backup my files without increasing the amount of space I'm using on my internal hdd to store the backups.

    UNLESS however, maybe the reason these backups are taking up space is because I'm downloading new files and such??

    Here's an easy question to answer... If I don't download or add any new files to my MAIN hdd, then will the backup that takes place at the scheduled task take up hardly any disk space? Since there were no new files added, the only changes that should have been made would be to any files I adjusted, and if those file sizes didn't change at all, then the MyBackup42.tib should not be a large file size due to there not being any major changes done to my hdd.

    Is this correct?

    What if I format my main hdd, and delete a bunch of unneccessary files. Will my secondary hdd that is storing my backups be reduced in size as well?

    I'm just trying to figure out if the hard drive that is storing my backups will eventually max out and become full in a couple months time, or if the size stays similar in size as my main hdd.
     
  6. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    You don't want to create that many linked backups on your drive. You need to create some tasks and set them up with the options desired. Creating one Full image and then a long string of Incrementals is asking for failure.

    You can setup a task and have TI start over with a new Full image after a number of Incrementals or you can have TI consolidate the older images (this can take a long time, though).

    All new files will be included. If you add 10GB of files, the backup image size will increase accordingly.

    To a certain extent. Windows (especially Vista) is always making changes and moving files. You may find that some of your Incremental images will be quite large even if you aren't adding new files.

    If you format the main hard drive, all the files will be erased. If you recreate a new Full image after removing unnecesary files, it should be smaller. If you continue to base new Incremental images on the old Full image, don't expect much of a change.

    If you keep adding Incrementals, the drive will eventually fill up. If you manage your backups so you have one or more image sets that get updated, then the space used will remain fairly constant (assuming you're not adding new files).
     
  7. viperjts10

    viperjts10 Registered Member

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    I appreciate the reponses. I want to get the most out of my backups as I can, and I want to make sure I'm using it correctly. The last thing I need is to have my main hard drive fail and to find out that I incorrectly had been backing up my files, which would mean I wouldn't be able to get my files retrieved.

    Where is there the setting to 'update' my image set, or how would I go about doing that.

    Where in the settings would this be. I need to change the way I'm backing up my files since right now, they're just creating additional images of any changes that were made to my hard drive.

    ^^ Yes this is what I'm trying to do, I'm not sure what some of the settings mean when setting up my task. Like one setting is to backup sector-by-sector and another option says to backup unlocated space. - ? So space that I'm not using?

    I'm just hoping to find a guide that will help me to best setup the backup task to backup my hard drive and to keep my backup image files consistent so that I avoid filling up my backup hard drive. So this means overwriting older backup images/files etc...
     
  8. viperjts10

    viperjts10 Registered Member

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    any ideas?
     
  9. oracledba

    oracledba Registered Member

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    I cant give you the exact mouse clicks as I am on a version behind yours (v11) but it sounds like what you want is to create two jobs.
    One job is a full backup which always over-writes the file(s) that might already be present. you schedule this job to run say once a week.
    you also need to create a 2nd job which is an incremental to run each day. Its output filename will be identical to the output file of the full.
    in v11 the mouse clicks woud be
    "management tools"/"manage tasks"/"create new task"
    then fill in the info asked for by the wizard.

    an incr job will automatically create a new file (next #) which will be the "update". This file and that preceeded it will be needed by the restore get you to the point in time of the incr. If for some odd reason, no full exists, the incr will create it.

    2009 has scheduling options beyond teh above but this will get you started.
     
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