New to Macruim 6 - Retention and schedule

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by 5teve, May 12, 2015.

  1. 5teve

    5teve Registered Member

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    Hi Guys

    Apologies for the newbieness of the post.. but I am just evaluating some software options for backing up my new workstation on windows 8.1

    I am a long time user of Acronis TI 2012 - Its always ran without much hassle (except corrupt definition files) but will no longer run on windows 8.1 - I have the option of upgrading to TI2015 but i'm not sure if i want to go down this route.. yet having read the forums etc..

    I have downloaded and setup a trial of macrium workstation (as its being used for business) and it seems fairly straightforward (although not as intuitive to me as TI) however the retention rules make no sense to me at all.

    A typical backup schedule for a system image, or file back up for that matter, for me would be (F=Full I-Inc)

    F-I-I-I-I-I-I-F-I-I-I-I-I-I-F-I-I-I-I-I-I-F etc

    In TI i can set to create a full after 6 inc - Macrium I just set which day the full happens and which days the inc happens - thats easy kinda...

    But in TI i have the option to specify 'store no more than' 3 recent version chains so in the above example as soon as the 4th week is complete, the first week will be cleaned up

    Macruim is not so obvious. In my mind i'm thinking i just untick the incremental retention rule and stick with keep 3 full backups and that way everytime a full back up chain becomes available for deletion, the incrementals will be deleted too.. Is this right? or would I need to specify 3 full and 18 incremental?

    Also a final question - when Scheduling to create the above schedule - I create a full on Mon 2am using the weekly - mon - every 1 week then have incremental use daily - every day 2am - will macrium attempt to carry out the incremental at the same time as a full on monday or is it clever enough to know to prioritise the full and not do an incremental on this day?

    For the set it and forget it type user ( I dont want to use it beyond initial set up and disaster recovery)- TI is pretty simple to set up (2012 version anyway!) - Any other suggestions for software to try?

    Thanks

    Steve
     
  2. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

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    5teve,

    First you need to select the "incremental backup set" template from the drop down list.

    Then you will need to "add schedule". Create two schedules, one for a full backup, in your case choose weekly and check Mondays only and 2:00 am. The second one for an incremental backup, choose weekly, check all days except Mondays and 2:00 am.

    Now come to the retention rules. Choose to apply the rule to all backup sets in the target folder or just the backup sets created under this backup plan (matching).

    If you want to keep three full chains (Full+increments), just check the Full box and type 3 in the box. You can leave the differential and incremental boxes unchecked as when a full image is deleted all associated incrementals and differentials linked to that image are also deleted.

    Then you need to decide if you want to run the image purge before a new backup image is made. V6 of Macrium counts this yet unmade image in the count so, if you check this box make sure you do the math correctly. In your case, if you want to keep three full sets, put 4 after the Full image to keep count.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. USAAlone

    USAAlone Registered Member

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    Do you ever test your backups by doing a restore to a extra hard drive?
    If you can afford it buy a good used hard drive the same size or larger.
    Do a restore of the boot drive image. Hook it up by unplugging the current boot drive. Plug the restored boot drive. Shut down and restart enter the bios or boot menu. Press the keys listed before the hard drives boots. Select boot menu if there is one. Or eneter the bios by selecting setup menu which is also called the bios. Select boot menu or whatever your computer calls it. Go down to hard drives. Figure out which drive is the restored drive if both drives are connected. If the restored drive is the only drive connected, select it and press F10. Press escape and select save and restart. If the restored drive boots succcessfully your backup image is good and ready to use until you delete it.
    As soon as you can reinstall windows to the extra hard drive. Do this if you have your own purchased copy of Windows. Reboot to see if Windows boots successfully. If it did Activate Windows and install a antivirus. If you have a laptop the process is the same. Some laptops you may have to open the case to put in the extra hard drive. Image it with Macrium and call it a fresh install of Windows 7 or what ever version you are using. When done imaging the fresh installed Windows. Do a test restore again. If successful put it on A DVD if it will fit on the DVD. Put it away and you will always have a quick way of restoring a freshly installed Windows on your boot drive.

    You can install the software you use and drivers etc. When done adding programs and your data. Try to keep your documents on a external drive. Do another image backup of the boot drive. Restore the image to test it. If it boots you will have a backup of a fresh install of Windows or whatever operating system you used. Will also have a backup of your ready to use boot drive with software.


    This will be more than you get from Dell, Gateway and HP. The image these companies put in the backup image, has no fresh install of Windows. The image a computer company has a bloated backup with demo software and spyware toolbars installed.

    Always test your boot drive image by restoring it to an extra drive. Create a a partition large enough to hold your data files. Test your files backups by restoring to this partition. Not testing a image boot drive backup, a cloned boot drive is a bad practice. When the time to do a restore arrives. The backup may not have completed successfully. All the image backups are useless if they are a corrupt image file. All it did was take up space and your time.

    If you test all your backups it will save you from disaster when you need to do a restore. If the restore worked you know it will save you from disaster. Unless the image is damaged later on while waiting to be used. Keep a extra drive available to restore to. Do not put recent files on it. Buy another when you can afford it to use it to do a file copy backup of folders or to cloneto.



    Daniel


    Keep the freshly installed windows image backup forever. You will never have to install windows again, just restore the modified image. The image with software installations, drivers and windows updates. From there you just do a incremental, differential image backup or file backup. If the backups you make after the fresh install slows your system down. When your boot drive restore the drive. Restore with the fresh windows backup or modified with software image backup. I f you don't mind installing sofware again. Do a fresh windows install with the fresh insatll image. The boot drive will be as good new with either the fresh or modifiied image backup. Better than a restore from the recovery partition of a purchased HP, Dell, Acer, or other store bought system.

    I had some image backups but no drive to restore to without using the current boot drive. If the image is bad a restore to the original drive, will leave you with a bad image restore and no boot drive at all to use. A bad backup restored to your only drive you have, will leave you with lost data and installed software you use everyday. A working image backup with extra drive to restore to is a must to be safe. Buy as many as you can. One restored drive to put away to hookup when the current one breaks down. Have extra to restore a image backup of your boot drive to. Have one to clone a data drive to. It is also important to have a drive for all your data, software, videos and music.
     
  4. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Phew, that to me is doing it the hard way. I just restore the drive on the machine with out going thru all the extra drive stuff. I test restore at least 50% of my images. Not had any problems.

    Pete
     
  5. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I'm at the other end of the spectrum as I don't test restore any images.
     
  6. taotoo

    taotoo Registered Member

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    I believe it's the latter. I think it prioritises Full over Differential over Incremental.
     
  7. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    Steve... Taotoo is correct.
     
  8. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    You are absolutely correct, sir (as others have already specified)... and will also delete any DIFFs you may have generated as part of the FULL being RETENTION managed.
    It is very smart :rolleyes:

    All you need is the weekly 2am FULL and a daily (incl. weekends) INC... Macrium will do the right thing early Monday morning (FULL over DIFF and/or INC) at the appointed time.
    It's a shame all you have is your basic disaster recovery requirements. With Macriums new RDR (Rapid Data Restore) feature, restores to recent incrementals are so fast it makes Macrium an EXCELLENT snapshot tool.
     
  9. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Amen to that.
     
  10. HAN

    HAN Registered Member

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    I assume that a Full/Incremental setup only works if you image back to the same target drive all the time. I rotate target drives for both off site storage rotation and keeping multiple images in case a target drive fails . I have assumed that I must always do full images. Thoughts??
     
  11. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    I'm not sure what your TARGET rotation schedule is, but if you FULL to both of them, then any subsequent DIFF/INC will be made to the FULL that exists on the selected TARGET... which I think would be fine in your case (unless you need duplicate DIFFs/INCs on each target).
     
  12. Baldrick

    Baldrick Registered Member

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    And seconded...as an ex-Go Back, ex-Rb Rx & ex-AXTM jockey...Macrium v6 does it all in one excellent package IMHO.
     
  13. 5teve

    5teve Registered Member

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    Thanks Guys.. I'll digest the info and test some schedules. Its just that it works differently to TI and I need to get this system live...

    As a background - TI is being used on a server / workstation with 8x 500gb hitachi drives connected in Raid 5 on a perc5i

    The new system (and macrium) is a replacement for this and has an Asrock C226 and Xeon e3 1280v3, 32gb ram and 12x 2tb Hitachi Ultrastars in Raid 6 all hooked up to a hp P822 with 2gb FBWC - Boot drive is 2x 256gb Sandisk Extreme Pro SSD's in Raid 0 via the on-board Intel Raid. Shortly I will have 2x pliant SAS 800gb ssd's acting as scratch and cache.

    All backups go to a HP microserver running Freenas 9.3 with 5x 3tb Toshiba (hitachi) 7200rpm drives in ZRAID1. - Space isnt a major issue.

    My main concerns are not images but file backups, for my photography (in the 100,000's of images) and for my business as well as personal stuff. System images would be useful to me should the system crap itself, especially as i'm running raid 0 currently. But its not a long process to reinstall everything should I need to. I am imaging the new system daily currently as I dont have the time to spend rebuilding the system should the worst happen, and i'm unsure about raid 0 on SSD's

    Re testing the images, I have created the winpe 5 boot usb stick and booted it. I have managed to get onto the freenas server and can see the images etc. I am yet to try the restore process as I don't have the luxury of time to rebuild should it go wrong, nor and spare ssd's. I could if required use some spare 2tb drives I have around tho.. so may consider it when I get a free moment.

    Now to read the rest of your comments... :)

    Steve
     
  14. 5teve

    5teve Registered Member

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    Thanks Raza, You have confirmed that MR6 does in fact work the way I suspect, and some useful info re the backup chains cleanup including the yet to be created one..

    Steve
     
  15. 5teve

    5teve Registered Member

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    Thanks Daniel

    I fortunately have never needed to use any kind of system restore (to this point) but take your points on board. I have spare drives, just not spare ssds, so could prove the restore I guess. I have mentioned in a previous post tho... system restore is a convenience for me, but not my priority, thats my files. I have never used recovery partitions or manufacturers images.. due to the bloat - so have always done fresh installs. Restoring from image is something I may want to have a play with..

    Steve
     
  16. 5teve

    5teve Registered Member

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    Thanks for your posts too Frog.. Its a shame that MR doesnt have more instructions for the new user or the 'simpler' user.. you guys have summed up how it works in very few words, but looking at the help available on MR website I couldnt work it out.

    As this is a business workstation I cannot see what benefit the restore to recent incremental may have to me (but am willing to be educated) as the system is used for 12-14 hours daily, runs 24/7 and generally doesnt get messed around with once built.. I can see if I was installing, uninstalling and generally messing with the system, it would be great.

    To the rest of you also.. thanks for your info..

    Now I just need to find it at the right price as its not cheap compared to TI upgrade (or new for that matter) or easus, or most of them to be fair!

    Steve
     
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