Incremental vs Differential

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by dueceswild, Sep 3, 2008.

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  1. dueceswild

    dueceswild Registered Member

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    I apologize if this has been answered, but I can't find enough information to answer my particular question: What is the difference in uses of these two methods of backup. The Acronis user guide recommends differential, but the knowledge base recommends incremental for the average user. I simply want to backup the full image of my hard drive once a month (I don't use it that much) with smaller backups (incremental or differential-whichever would be best) more frequently throughout the month. I also don't know about the folder creation on my external HDD- how do I structure the folders to do this? Do I need an image folder, then a folder for the backups, or is everything saved to the one image folder by default.
    Sorry for the "newbieness" but imaging is a new concept for me.
     
  2. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Both the incremental and differential are based on the Full archive you create first.

    Every time you create a new differential it includes all the changes since the Full each time. So if you need to restore to your latest backup point you restore the full and the last differential. The size of the differentials tends to grow because every change is captured each time.

    The first incremental you do is also based on the Full archive but then each incremental is based on the state of the system in the last incremental (in simple terms). So the incrementals tend to be smaller since you are just adding (and deleting) the files created since the last incremental rather than all the way back to the Full like you do with a differential. When restoring to the last backup point with incrementals it needs to restore the Full plus every incremental.

    Basic rule is differentials are longer to do and faster to restore where incrementals are quicker to do and slower to restore. Note that you don't have to manually select the Full then the differential or incremental, just select the last backup and TI finds all the pieces.

    A weakness of the incremental is that all incrementals must be good or the restore will stop with the last good one and all subsequent incrementals are useless. Shouldn't be a problem normally but that's what can happen.

    If you store your archive files in a regular location then a quirk of TI is that all intermediate differentials have to be present to validate the archive. Bit silly since you only need the Full and the last one to do a restore. IIRC, if you use TI's Backup Locations this isn't a problem but I'm not sure.

    You can store your archives in any partition other than the one being restored since TI deletes the partition before restoring an image of the partition. I never use them, but a Files and Folders backup probably doesn't have this limitation. The archive files can be placed in the partition's root, a folder or any sub-folder. However, the whole archive, Full plus any incrementals or differentials, must exist in the same (sub)folder. Once you name the Full do not change the name of any incrementals or differentials since TI relies on the filenames to find the pieces.

    TI also has a feature called Backup Locations which allows some automatic control over archive size etc. I personally would sooner manage my own but you might read up on it to see if it would help you.

    Have a look at these guides done by Groverh, they likely will be a big help:
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=168165
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2008
  3. dueceswild

    dueceswild Registered Member

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    Okay, I think I have those down. I am still a little confused about how to set up the file structure on my external hdd. Can I just create one folder, say for September, on the external and then save my full image to that? For example, I create the September folder and do a full image. If I schedule incremental backups to go along with the scheduled full image, will they all be saved in the September folder, or do I need to create a sub-folder within that September folder for the scheduled incremental or differential backups?
     
  4. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    Any DIFF or INC backups must be stored in the same folder as the FULL they are based on.
     
  5. dueceswild

    dueceswild Registered Member

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    Does Acronis do this automatically or do I have to do it? I did look at Grover's instructions, and they were fine for what appeared to be a single backup. My question has to do with what I need to do when scheduling the automatic backups. I also didn't find the manual very clear regarding this.
     
  6. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    From Version 10:

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  7. dueceswild

    dueceswild Registered Member

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    THANKS! That's what I was looking for. I haven't seen the software yet; just screenshots. I am assuming v11 is similar. I am also under the impression that after you select the backup location, Acronis automatically names everything from that point.

    I appreciate the responses, and sorry for all the basic questions.
     
  8. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello dueceswild,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    We are sorry for delayed response.

    We recommend you to download and install the free trial version of Acronis True Image 11 Home to see how the software works on your computer. With the trial version of the product you will be able to fully use the Windows version for 15 days. The bootable rescue media will be limited to restore function.

    You can find the detailed instructions on how to use Acronis True Image 11 Home in the respective User's Guide.

    Please visit Acronis online store to purchase the full version of the product.

    Thank you.
    --
    Marat Setdikov
     
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