Incremental backup when disk full

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by pilchris, Jul 8, 2004.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. pilchris

    pilchris Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2004
    Posts:
    4
    Hi,

    I use incremental backup to backup my server everyday to another hard disk. But today I found the backup disk is full. I don't know how to free some space. Give me some suggestions please

    Thanks

    chris
     
  2. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    Posts:
    25,885
    Hello Chris --

    I suggest to create a new full back-up and then delete all previous images.

    Thank you.

    Anton.
     
  3. pilchris

    pilchris Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2004
    Posts:
    4
    any way to combine the previous files?
     
  4. pilchris

    pilchris Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2004
    Posts:
    4
    Hi, Anton

    In incremental backup mode, the hard disk sooner or later will be used up. I don't know what is Acronis's plan for this problem. Deleting all the previous image means I will lose all the previous backup, which implies this backup software is not suitable for this type of server backup. That will be serious. In that case, I should think about the new backup solution for our system.

    Thanks

    Chris
     
  5. Limerick

    Limerick Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2003
    Posts:
    92
    As I previously said somewhere a while ago, it's untruth to call this function "Incremental".
    It's not Incremental.

    It's not a problem... as far as you know it before being in front of this growing-up image :doubt: ;)
     
  6. wdormann

    wdormann Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2004
    Posts:
    480
    It's possible to fully automate a scheduled incremental backup.
    Let's say you have an incremental backup scheduled to run every Sunday at Noon that backs up to your "D:" drive. Eventually that backup drive is going to fill up. The trick I used to fully automate the backup process is to create a "housekeeping" script that is scheduled to run a minute or two before the Acronis scheduled job. This example VBScript will delete the contents of the backup drive if there is less than 1GB left. The example system this script runs on has an average incremental file size of under 500MB, so this value is reasonable. Here's how this scheme works. If the backup drive is empty, the scheduled Incremental backup that is performed is actually a full backup. After that, incremental backups are performed until the drive's free space drops below the specified level. Once that occurs, the backup drive is cleared, and the cycle repeats.

    Here is the VBS: note: It's a script that I googled and then bastardized to fit my needs. It's not quite elegant, but it works. The whole "for each" part bugged me, but I didn't feel like looking up the proper way to do it. :)


    set oFs = WScript.CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
    set oDrives = oFs.Drives

    for each oDrive in oDrives
    Select case oDrive.DriveLetter
    Case "D"
    'msgbox oDrive.FreeSpace & vbcrlf
    if oDrive.FreeSpace < 1000000000 then ' Less than 1 GB free...
    'msgbox "Cleanup Time!"
    oFs.DeleteFile("D:\*.tib"),DeleteReadOnly
    else
    'msgbox "You've got enough space"
    end if
    End Select
    next


    This routine is not without its flaws. If something happens at the point where the backup drive is cleared, but the next backup fails to run, you will be at a point where you have no backups. But if you properly archive your image files, this isn't all too terrible. The other scenario is if the incremental backup takes up more space than your script is checking for. (1GB in the above example). If this is the case, your scheduled incremental backup will fail due to lack of disk space. But the next time the scheduled job runs it will clear off the backup drive and then start fresh again. The end result is that you miss a single scheduled backup.
     
  7. pilchris

    pilchris Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2004
    Posts:
    4
    Thanks, wdormann

    So does that means there is no way to keep some previous backup? For example, I want to keep 2 months backup on the hard disk. The data two month ago can be safely deleted when it found disk full. I am sure it is not a big problem for Acronis because they know the data format. But probably they never thought about it when the program was developed.
     
  8. wdormann

    wdormann Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2004
    Posts:
    480
    I do not think that is possible with Incremental backups. An Incremental backup that is orphaned from a previous full or incremental backup would be useless, since the backup set would be incomplete.

    On the other hand, if you are creating full backups, I'm sure you could modify the housekeeping VBS that I have posted to appropriately delete the images based on age. (since each full backup is self-contained and not dependant on any others)
     
  9. Neil Maxwell

    Neil Maxwell Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Posts:
    4
    I use a technique to keep multiple backups and avoid filling up the hard drive that works well for me, but I don't keep 2 months worth. Should be extendable, though.

    For weekly full/incremental backups that won't grow infinitely:

    Schedule 2 backups - one weekly full, one daily incremental (but not on the full day) based on the full. This gives you a total of 7 files and won't fill up your HD with incrementals. Each week, the full overwrites the previous full backup, and the incrementals overwrite the previous incrementals one day at a time. The orphaned incrementals are left in place but ignored until they are overwritten. If the full ever gets missed for some reason, you'll get 6 extra incrementals which you can then delete once they get stale.

    I also schedule a weekly alternative backup - a single full midweek backup (no incrementals) in case something goes wrong with the full/incremental set. This is the one I dump to DVD now and again for an offline archive.

    To keep multiple weeks worth (8, for instance), you could take one of a few approaches:

    - Make the alternative backups on a rotating 8 week basis. Schedule a full backup for every 8th week called something like "week1full.tib". Schedule one the next week called "week2full.tib", and so on. Once you've got it set up, you'd have 8 weeks worth, with each overwriting the 8 week old version of itself when it executes. It would take 8 weeks to set it up, it appears. Note I haven't tried this, but it looks like it should work.

    - Another variation, and easier to schedule, would be 4 weeks worth in 4 monthly full backups, on the 1st, 8th, 15th, and 22nd (for instance). Again, each would overwrite its older version when it executes, and you'd have 4 backup files, not counting your weekly full/incremental set. You could extend this to include incrementals as well, which would keep 31 files on your HD.

    - You could also use Second Copy from http://www.centered.com/ to make backups of your weekly full image. SC is a scheduled file backup program (as opposed to an imaging program like TI7), and has the capability of keeping up to 25 archival copies of a file. You could set it to keep 8 copies (or whatever) of your weekly full tib file. I find it a perfect companion to TI7; between the two of them, you have lots of flexibility in what you backup and when.
     
  10. wdormann

    wdormann Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2004
    Posts:
    480
    Yes, good info, Neil. I've seen your suggestion before, but I have not gotten around to testing it on my PC yet.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.