Incremental - backs up too many files

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Rick_G, Dec 23, 2005.

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  1. Rick_G

    Rick_G Registered Member

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    I must be doing something wrong. Ever since I started using TI 9, I have noticed that a 1 day incremental backup takes more than 1 GB at normal compression. Needless to say, I haven't been using incremental backups. :p

    I ran a full backup yesterday (4 GB), and an incremental this morning (1.2 GB). Then I plugged in the image, and looked at the files to see why it was so large. It appears that MANY old files are backed up, which should NOT happen for an incremental backup.

    For example, I downloaded a 160 MB podcast video on 12/16. I haven't touched the file or looked viewed the video for a week, but it was included in the incremental backup.

    I found 8,513 objects underneath the \Program Files folder. This does not make any sense. Many of these are for programs I don't use every day. For example, it backed up the files in \Program Files\PowerQuest\Drive Image 7.0, which I have not used since 11/01/05, when I started using Acronis TI 9.

    Has anyone else seen this behavior? I am running TI 9 build 2323 under Windows XP Pro. This is a Dell 5150, with two SATA drives, 160 GB and 100 GB.
     
  2. Doug_B

    Doug_B Registered Member

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    Are you running a disk defragmentation tool between the full and incremental backups? TI's imaging backup looks at the sector level.

    Doug
     
  3. Rick_G

    Rick_G Registered Member

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    I am running Diskeeper 9, which runs all the time in the background. I guess that means I can't use incremental backups. :mad:
     
  4. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    To be honest Rick, if your full image is only 4GB, the time saved by creating incrementals isn't really that significant so you might as well just create full ones. In any case, you'll probably find that the extra time taken to verify and restore incremental images outweighs the time saved in creating them!!

    Regards
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2005
  5. foghorne

    foghorne Registered Member

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    Assuming you are discussing partition images here, I think it is important to remember that the s/w does not work at the file level. Just because you have not touched a file at the file-system level does not mean that something else has not moved one of its sectors to a different address. You need to be looking at defragmention tools, file compression systems (e.g. as is inbuilt in NTFS) and even restoration programs which can all move data around on the disk.
     
  6. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    Please help me clear this:

    I have a full backup made on Sunday and an incremental made on Monday.

    If I plug in the image from the full backup I get the Sunday's partition contents in the virtual partition. If I plug in the image from the incremental backup I get the Monday's whole partition contents, not only the changes recorded in the incremental backup.

    Is that correct?
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2005
  7. Rick_G

    Rick_G Registered Member

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    That is weird, but you are basically correct. I get slightly different values when I plug the original full backup image versus the differential backup file.

    Differential backup file
    \WIndows, Shift-F10, properties gives 1.94 GB in 11,304 files

    Full backup file
    \WIndows, Shift-F10, properties gives 1.83 GB in 11,146 files

    But \Program Files gives identical results, since I did not install any programs between the full and incremental backup.
     
  8. Rick_G

    Rick_G Registered Member

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    You are correct - I won't be running incremental backups withTI 9. I just set up a schedule of full and incremental backups to test that it actually works. I use other software for file-based backups.
     
  9. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hello bVolk,

    Yes it is.

    When TI creates an incremental it saves the data contained on any in-use sectors that have changed since the previous image, be it a full one or an incremental. However, when you select a particular incremental to "plug" or restore, TI reconstructs the whole of the drive/partition state for that point in time using the initial full image plus all incrementals up to and including the one selected.

    Regard
     
  10. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    Hi Menorcaman,

    That's it then. And if I elaborate this further, there is no simple way to check which sectors the incremental file itself contains except by evaluating its file size.

    I too make full backups only - I set aside the whole second HD for this purpouse.

    But I tried out the incremental procedure and indeed the time it takes for creating and checking the image is longer compared to full backups. But it is a procedure to remember when the amount of data on the source partition grows to the point when the size of the destination drive becomes too small to keep a few full backups on stock. Still faster then burning to DVD (if we neglect the additional safety of having the backups stored outside the computer) and no trouble with USB drives.

    Thanks,

    Boris
     
  11. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    My OS/Program image is 4 GB. I run Diskeeper 9 daily on this partition and do daily incremental images and weekly baseline images. The incremental image size averages 180 MB and takes less than 30 seconds to create and verify (scheduled). I'm always surprised when I read the incremental figures associated with Acronis TI.

    I run TI 8 on my son's computer but I only do full images.
     
  12. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    Brian K,

    It seems that True Image checks all the previous incrementals and the base full image too - the whole chain of images that will be taken into account when you choose to restore from this newly made incremental. Of course this takes time, but it makes you sleep well.

    Boris
     
  13. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hi Brian,

    Hmm, something strange going on here o_O. I've just carried out some tests as follows:

    - Elapsed time to create a full "whole disk" image of 5.66 GB = 4 mins 10 secs
    - Elapsed time to verify the full image = 5 mins
    - Elapsed time to create an incremental "whole disk" image of 11.2 MB = 3 mins 30 secs
    - Elapsed time to verify the incremental image = 5 mins 20 secs.

    As I expected, it takes longer to verify an incremental because it also includes the data in the full image.

    Now, this incremental was created immediately after the full image. However, under normal circumstances, I would expect a daily incremental to be much larger, particularly if the HD had been defragged in between images. Therefore, as I indicated in post #4 above, you wouldn't need to create too many incremental images before the total time saved in their creation is outweighed by the time taken to verify/restore.

    Regards
     
  14. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Hi Menorcaman,

    I hesitated to post the above information because it's not from TI but the information about incrementals and defragmenting in this forum has been quite different from my experience over the last two years. Please don't think this is a "mine is better than yours" post. I'm just providing information.

    To manually verify a 180 MB incremental takes 5 seconds and to manually verify 4 GB takes 2 min 45 sec.

    If I omit defragmenting the partition then the incremental images average 10 MB smaller (170 MB instead of 180 MB).
     
  15. Reggie

    Reggie Guest

    May I suggest another strategy (eliminating any need for incrementals)... Use TI to make a complete image on a weekly basis and rely on a good rollback utility (System Restore doesn't qualify!)* for the great majority of situations that require system/file restoration.

    * Examples: Clean Slate, First Defense ISR, ShadowUser.
     
  16. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hi again Brian,

    Hope you had a great Christmas down under. If nothing else, it'll have been a damn sight warmer than in this hemisphere I bet!! :D.

    I'm even more confused now (easy at my age!!). Are you in fact saying that you used some other backup software to obtain those figures? If not then, out of interest, can you advise which Version/Build of TI you used?

    Regards

    Regards
     
  17. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Menorcaman, your age must be my age. Yes it's hot here. We're sleeping on top of the sheets and the windows are open. But it shouldn't be too bad in your part of the world.

    I was using Ghost 9. I use TI 8 on my son's computer. Sorry if I was vague as I didn't think that a comparison was appropriate. As I said, it's just information. Obviously each app has its advantages and disadvantages.
     
  18. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hi Brian,

    Ahha! All is now clear. I thought we were comparing like with like :p.

    It seems that Ghost 9 only verifies the selected incremental whilst TI verifies the full image plus all incrementals at the same time. I guess the total elapsed time taken by Ghost to separately verify its full image plus any associated incrementals would probably end up similar to TI. Personally, I feel TI's one-step approach allows me sleep better at night :D. Still, as you said, each application has its own avantages and disadvantages.

    Regards
     
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