How to delete an incr or diff backup to Secure Zone?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Vanguard, Sep 9, 2007.

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  1. Vanguard

    Vanguard Registered Member

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    TI Home 10

    I create a Secure Zone that is 100GB in size on my 2nd hard disk. The first backup save there was a full backup of my C: drive (1st hard disk). I then decided to repartition the 1st hard disk because there were some very large files in the C: drive that I did not want to include in my backups. I split the 1st hard disk into 2 partitions which were drive C: and E: (drive D: was a small partition that I left on the 2nd hard disk for some other backups; the 2nd hard disk is my backup disk). When I ran an incremental backup, the result was not just drive C: getting backed up but also drive E:. The reason is that the disk was selected when the task was defined when I select drive C:. After I created the 2nd partition on the 1st hard disk, TI Home still had the whole 1st disk selected so both C: and E: were selected during the incremental backup.

    I deliberately put large files on E: that I did not want to include in backups of C:. However, because I didn't know to re-review the settings for the incremental backup task, it included all partitions on the 1st hard disk so C: and E: got included. This made the incremental backup very huge. I don't want the files on E: to be included in the backups stored in the Secure Zone.

    When I used backup locations, I could navigate to those paths and deliberate any .tib backup files that I no longer wanted (in reverse order). For example, maybe the host was infected after a full backup but by the time an incremental or differential backup was performed. I certainly don't want to keep the infected backup in the Secure Zone waiting until it eventually gets rolled out and in the meantime leave the possibility that the infected files in the backup get restored. In my case, the backup included a partition that I did not intend to get included in an incremental backup.

    So how do I delete backups from the Secure Zone? In fact, if I so choose, how do I wipe the Secure Zone of all backups? I have not found any options that let me properly manage the Secure Zone. Yes, I can load an image but that doesn't let me delete that image backup from the Secure Zone. Am I supposed to mount the image and delete all files within it to zero it out so the backup in the Secure Zone gets squashed to nothing?

    Having the Secure Zone protected from accidental or intentional corruption by applications running on my host, like for malware, is nice but it shouldn't prevent *me* from managing my own backups. If Acronis is not going to provide reasonable management of the Secure Zone, I don't see any point in using it. Instead I'll just delete it, delete that partition and enlarge drive D: on that 2nd hard disk, and use a backup location defined in Acronis (although I've found that quotas are not being honored for backup locations as mentioned in another post of mine).
     
  2. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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  3. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    Hi Vanguard,

    There is no facility to delete individual .tib files from the secure zone. If you cannot wait for the automatic FIFO management to get rid of the unwanted .tib you would have to remove the entire secure zone using the Manage Secure Zone Wizard.
    The effect of this would be to delete all the backups in the zone. As part of the removal process you could allocate the released space to another partition/s . Other choices would be to re-create the secure zone or use the vacated space to make a new partition. In fact the secure zone management tool can be used as free partition management tool!

    I am in a minority of the users who post here in that I use the Secure Zone, on a second internal drive, to keep all my backup images.
    What others see as disadvantages I see as advantages. I love the scheduling and automatic management of backups. It really is a case of fit and forget. The chosen size of the zone is never exceed, unlike the new backup Locations feature. There is also none of the quite dreadful consolidation process included in backup Locations feature.
    A secure zone is designed to be virus proof unlike most other media such as an external drive which could become infected even though it may only be connected for a short time.
    Before I devised my present method of working, which uses swappable main drives, I used to keep a second level of backup images on a USB drive and they got there not by copying but by running a second backup process.

    Xpilot
     
  4. Vanguard

    Vanguard Registered Member

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    While the Secure Zone is handy to keep it somewhat out of reach of viruses (well, those that don't reformat partitions, putz with the partition table, or use raw instructions or kernel-mode file intercepting hooks rather than go through the sysem API), it doesn't prevent the user from backing up an infected host. That means the backup has the infection, too, so if it were ever used in a restore then the user gets nailed with the infection again. The susceptibility to get reinfected from a restore lasts as long as the backup file remains in the Secure Zone. Within incremental backups and a large partition for the Secure Zone, that infested backup could remain in the Secure Zone for a l-o-n-g time.

    In my case, a backup included more partitions than I had originally intended. But there are other reasons for wanting to eliminate backups, like after finding out you were infected and knowing when it happened (or restoring from backups in reverse chronological order to a different location and rescanning for the pest to determine at what point it no longer exists and then wanting to get rid of all backups from that point forward to eliminate the infected backups). Could be the user simply defined the backup policy incorrectly and doesn't want to keep the backup which is eating up lots of gigs of disk space in the Secure Zone.

    I've analyzed too many infected hosts (family and work) to know that a partition is not hidden from viruses or rootkits. Creating a partition and simply not assigning a drive letter to it does not prevent accessing it through physical allocation. I didn't go to the Secure Zone because it would be protected from intelligent pests but instead because maybe its management of expiring backups would work whereas the backup location has proven not to work for me on my home computer (under 2 separate clean installs of TI Home).

    One reason why I don't use NT Backup included in Windows XP is that it does not support software compression. If a tape drive supports hardware compresion then NT Backup will enable it on the tape drive but NT Backup itself does no compression. That means the backup files are as big as the files it backed up. Another reason that I do not use NT Backup is that it will not save to CD/DVD media. I'm doing the logical file backups to a second hard disk and the monthly images (or after some major change) are saved onto removable media (DVD-RW). However, there is also no expiration of backup files when using NT Backup so they would eventually eat up all free drive space. So I wrote a delfiles.bat batch script that can figure out what is the latest timestamp for a file based on a specified retention interval in days to delete old files. I could use it with TI Home, too, but I was hoping the quotas on the backup locations would get obeyed. That didn't work so I thought that I'd use the Secure Zone. I don't need standard user APIs to perform file management within the Secure Zone, but I see no reason why file management wasn't included in TI Home itself since obviously it can read and write files in the hidden partition.
     
  5. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    Bad luck about your infection record. Touch wood over the last few years I have managed to keep infection free.
    I sized my zone to keep 7 to 10 full daily backups. System scans are scheduled to run before each backup image. In any case once run and restored to one of my swap drives I only very rarely have to go back to read or copy from an earlier image.

    I have heard from a reliable source that there will be several "enhancements" to the secure zone when Version 11 is released. It remains to be seen if these will be of any real use or not.

    Xpilot
     
  6. Vanguard

    Vanguard Registered Member

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    I haven't been infected yet. Well, there was a zombie found on my home computer that I had about 14 years ago. There wasn't sophisticated anti-malware back then. I noticed the network traffic, found the culprit process and its executable, found the string in the executable zombie of where it connected back to a private chat room to get instructions from its master, fixed my host, and reported the problem. But it didn't do anything but consume some bandwidth for about 2 days. All the hosts that I work on to get rid of malware is on family hosts, friend's hosts, or some low-tech employees at work. If you know much about computers then you're elected as the wizard that the low-tech users come crying to.
     
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