Incremental sizes revisited - TI 11

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by kevinkar, Feb 11, 2009.

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  1. kevinkar

    kevinkar Registered Member

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    All,

    Previously in this thread:

    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=230831

    I asked about incremental sizes as I was generating archives that were much larger than I thought they should be. My conclusion is that, when creating an incremental, you need to be careful to select the previous incremental and not the original full or any other incremental in the chain. I believe the software is calculating the changes based on whichever one you select, not the last one even though it's sophisticated enough to increment the number of the incremental archive it creates!

    Well, the other day I created a new full backup as I have installed most of my software and am happy where everything stands. You really don't want to have too large a string of incremental archives in case one is corrupt so I decided to make a new full archive.

    The full backup, 090131a.tib, ended up being 11GB housing 20GB of on-disk data.

    Two days later, after installing only 190MB of new software (12 new applications) I created the next new incremental. I KNOW I selected incremental and I KNOW the software knows I did as it named the incremental archive 090131a2.tib.

    Any guesses as to how large the new *incremental* archive was?

    It was 11GB.

    200MB of data looks to TI 11 as 11GB worth of changes?!?! I don't think so.

    I now believe that TI 11 is not creating incremental archives when I think it is and instead is creating FULL archives but treating it as an incremental. I can test this by moving the full and trying to restore the incremental but I am sure it will fail as TI believes it's an incremental but there's no way an 11GB *.tib is an incremental change.

    I did not defragment the drive nor did I move data around all over the place. I simply installed the 12 applications and made an incremental.

    Anyone at Acronis want to chime in here?

    Thanks for the help,

    Kevin
     
  2. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello kevinkar,

    Thank you for using Acronis True Image

    I may recommend you to use our Live Chat service here, the issue needs a closer investigation, we are unable to find a reason without additional diagnostic information.

    Thank you.

    --

    Oleg Lee
     
  3. pegr

    pegr Registered Member

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    I can confirm that I have experienced exactly the same issue and that this appears to be a genuine problem with Acronis TI 11. As a result of the fact that incremental image backups don't work as expected, I never bother with them but always do full image backups.

    This behaviour is something that Acronis should be able to reproduce from the information already given without requiring any additional input from users. It suggests that the product may not have been fully tested before being released.
     
  4. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello kevinkar,

    Thank you for your interesting in Acronis True Image

    Every change on the hard drive is counted and influence incremental backup. So it’s hard to say what action influence large incremental backup archive and resulted in 11 Gb, the actual size of full backup. Probably it can be some defragmentation program or something similar. When you perform defragmentation it’s highly recommended to recreate full drive backup.

    Best regards,
    --
    Dmitry Nikolaev
     
  5. kevinkar

    kevinkar Registered Member

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    Dmitry,

    Thanks for the info. I wish it were that simple but I only defragment before full backups; never between incremental backups.

    I'm almost done installing my software and won't need to make incremental archives anymore. I'll just have one working full backup with everything freshly loaded and I'll just replace that when needed.

    Thanks,

    Kevin
     
  6. cant_drive_55

    cant_drive_55 Registered Member

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    I have noticed this phenomenon on Server 2008 and Vista. I believe that both operating systems have some sort of built-in background defragmentation going on all of the time. I have a large number of TI Enterprise deployments and this is happening on ALL Server 2008 instances. My Vista Business desktop is doing the same thing.

    My question is, what can I do to find out what is going on? I think I know WHY, I just don't know HOW.

    Acronis, any ideaso_O

    Randy
     
  7. Wandering2

    Wandering2 Registered Member

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    A number of people here have been reporting large changes in file size even when there are smaller changes in the drive. I don't experience it, and I am not sure of the truth of their notion that it is because Acronis is also imaging the shadow copies, but I do know that if you installed 12 new applications, Windows will try to make 12 restore points - shadow copies of many important files. If you have a terabyte or so, up to 150 GB can be used for shadow copies. This could explain your problem.

    I thought I had never experienced this, and it may only be because I keep the operating system and installed software on a small 160 GB drive. But now that I think about it, my full backup sizes can vary about 12 GB at different times, and 15% of my disk is about 20 GB, so it could be shadow copies at that.

    Maybe I just learned something. You can set the amout of disk that is used for shadow copies if you wish. You can also set Acronis not to image shadow copies. Good luck.
     
  8. cant_drive_55

    cant_drive_55 Registered Member

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    I have asked a Microsoft support rep to assist with this question. I received a response from him on another forum where he described how the new Server 2008 backup works. Here is my reply"

    Tony,

    Thanks for the indepth description of how the backup works with 2008.

    It sound like 2008 looks at the blocks from a file system index point of view, i.e. "Regardless of where the blocks reside, was there a change in the data in any of the blocks? If so, let's back that up as an incremental change."

    I think Acronis approaches it from a disk drive point of view, i.e. "Looking at the drive cluster by cluster, has there been any changes in what is located in that cluster? If so, let's back that cluster up as an incremental change/"

    I cannot swear to this, but the jist of my question is: Is there anything going on with Server 2008 that would cause the contents of clusters on the hard drive to be moved around each day?


    Am I correct in my assumption of how Acronis decides what gets backed up in an incremental backup? If not, how does it make the determination? Also, if not, I need to re-evaluate my troubleshooting of this issue.

    Randy
     
  9. kevinkar

    kevinkar Registered Member

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    For the record, I am using XP Pro SP3, completely updated with all MS patches and all hardware drivers installed fresh. I also have system restore, hibernation, indexing, automatic updates, background defragmenting turned off. All software is configured to NOT check for updates and my swapfile, e-mail, browser caches and other temp files are on the D:\ partition on the second hard drive.

    The software that generally runs continually is WinPatrol, ZoneAlarm, and AVG.

    I have used Systinternals Filemon and Diskmon running to see where any writes are taking place more than usual but generally don't see anything continually modifying the drive.

    So I don't see the activity that's making ATI believe there are 11GB worth of changes.

    It's not important anymore as I have really given up investigating it. I was just making incrementals as I installed all my software in case I had a conflict and had to revert to a previous image. Once it's all installed and working fine, I'll likely make a single full archive and leave it at that until I make another wholesale change. Otherwise, incremental archives, of a drive that really does not change, at 11-15GB each is not worth the effort.
     
  10. cant_drive_55

    cant_drive_55 Registered Member

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    I am using an OEM version of TIE Enterprise Server 9.5 which I think is the latest version and is probably on a code base close to 11.

    I am running this on about 60 Server 2003 boxes and several XP boxes. No problems occuring on those units, but I am definitely having the problem with 2008 and Vista. As we get more and more Server 2008 boxes out there, this will become more of a problem.

    I hope I can find an answer.
     
  11. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello cant_drive_55,

    Thank you for using Acronis Corporate Products

    It appears that you should disable the defragmenter.

    Go to Start -> Search box and type "defrag". Choose "Disk Defragmenter".

    Unmark the box "Run on a schedule". When you open Disk Defragmenter an analysis will start, but if you had disabled the defragmenter it will only analyze the disk.

    Thank you.

    --
    Oleg Lee
     
  12. alexint

    alexint Registered Member

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    I too am experiencing very large incremental backups, on both Windows7 and Windows 2003, I have switched off the defragging of the drives with dfrgui on Windows7 and made sure that there is no defragging on Windows 2003.

    I have excluded C:\System Volume Information\{* (system restore points) and a number of other folders and files including the pagefile.sys and hiberfil.sys.

    what seems to happen is a full backup, then the first incremental of the full backup is very large (can be up to 50% of the full backup size), all the incremental backups after that seem the right sizes.

    I have used filemon and there is nothing hitting the disk hard, and I have also used fsutil to disable disablelastaccess to stop updating the files each time they are read.

    I am going to look at excluding more folders to see if I can pin the problem down a bit further. I will report back with my findings.

    Regards


    Alex
     
  13. herb_tea

    herb_tea Registered Member

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    I'm experiencing similar issue with differential backups being the same size as a full backup. I do have jkdefrag running daily so I will disable that and see if indeed this is the source of my troubles.
    I'm running ATI 2009, Vista x64 SP1, RAID01 for OS and RAID10 for data.
     
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