Newbie Question - backup drive will be full - now what?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Optiker, Oct 9, 2006.

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  1. Optiker

    Optiker Registered Member

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    I'm running TI ver. 9.0 build 3,677 on XP.

    I don't understand the backup process in terms of how it works, so perhaps my question is trivial, or perhaps I've set up incorrectly. My objective is to backup nightly, the folders I've selected that change in my daily work, and that are most critical.

    I am doing an incremental nightly backup of selcted files and folders to an external USB drive. My inital backup was around 20 GB, and nightly backups add about 1 to 2.5 GB. The drive is an 80 GB drive, so at that rate, fills in approximatley a month. The first time this happened, I cleared the drive and started over from scratch. It will again fill in about another 10 days, and I thought it was time to see if there's not a better way.

    Question...is it possible to just delete all but the original backup and let it just do the incremental backup based on differences from the original? Is there a better way to do it?

    Thanks!
    Optiker
     
  2. Christopher_NC

    Christopher_NC Registered Member

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    Hello Optiker,

    Great name, by the way!

    Here's one solution to creating a self-managing backup scenario with TI, posted 9/27 by foghorne:

    Re:TI9 How to rotate out older image backups

    Not to spoil the party, but, a cautionary word to the wise. Depending on how important your data is to you, I would also suggest considering storing additional copies in non-proprietary formats. If anything happens to your ext USB drive, your entire .tib file(s) could become unreadable. So, while they are a time saver, they are also not foolproof. Acronis Support even suggests keeping other copies of non-replaceable important data.

    And keep that external HD cool, as overheating is the number one cause of data corruption in external HDs.

    Regards
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2006
  3. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    The proper way is to have more than one external drive, and alternate amongst them.

    Only you can decide how far back you wish to retain copies of backup archives.
    At some point, you will have to physically delete the archive files. There's no way for a program to do that automatically.

    Bye thee way, always do image, not file based backups.
    Sy, you will use 2 external drives.
    Create a FULL backup on each of your external drivres, then create Differential backups on each drive, until you run out of room, but make sure that you alternate among drives.

    When the drive files up, you could delete as many Differential backs as you wish, then add more.

    But over time those Differentials will get quite large, so, at some point it will be better to start anew with a fresh FULL backup.

    Note that above strategy is OK For large drives, I use it with 160GB and 200GB USB drives.

    For my 80GB drives, I do a FULL backup, with incrementals sometimes. But therte's not so muchroom, so I usuall do a FULL backup on the 80GB drives.
     
  4. Optiker

    Optiker Registered Member

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    Christopher...Thanks for the reply, especially the link. That sounds like a good strategy. Unfortunately, with just an 80 GB external and the size of a full backup of my selected files, that strategy won't work as just the four full backups would fill the drive. I need to think about perhaps adapting it to a two-week format.

    I have much of my older data that is not easily replaced archived on DVDs, so could reduce the size of the selected file saet by eliminating those...justt akes a little more ffort to go in and do a more detailed job of selection, but it's the no-brainer, sledgehammer approach that might get me there.

    And, your comment on keeping the drive cool is noted and I will assure that it is in a place that has good airflow.

    Thanks again!
    Optiker
     
  5. foghorne

    foghorne Registered Member

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    Howard

    Recreation of a an existing full image by schedule effectively frees up all the incrementals beyond it. It is very easy to set up an "automatic" regime which maintains a rolling chronological backup without having to "physically delete" anything. Perhaps I am misunderstanding you but your statement seems incorrect and misleading to me.

    F.
     
  6. Optiker

    Optiker Registered Member

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    Howard...of course...the key word is "proper." I'm afraid there are extenuating circumstances where multiple drives may not be an option, and clearly a full image is also probably not an option.

    Guess I'll have to give this some thought and decide if I can justify an additional drive dedicated to backups.

    Between your reply and Christopher's, I think I can work out a plan that will do what I need.

    Optiker
     
  7. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    You need at least two backup drives. if your lone drive goes belly up, you face an even large tcost of having to pay a data recovery service to recover the files on the drive.

    Not having a full image means you cannot recover the system from the backup.

    you have a lot to think about.
     
  8. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    I NEVER schedule jobs.
    For TI, I have 4 jobs defined, one for each USB drive.
    Two do differentials, the others do incrementals,
    At some point it becomes necessary to delete stuffand start over.
     
  9. foghorne

    foghorne Registered Member

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    Howard

    you are getting confused between what is possible for any user, and what is possible for you working under the constraints you place on yourself. Just because you don't want to schedule does not mean the same is true for anyone else.

    Your general assertions about 'having to physically delete files' are untrue and unhelpful to readers of this forum.

    F.
     
  10. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    Perhaps not now but there is nothing in principle that makes it impossible. Hopefully Version 10's archive management will allow on to do just that, follow some rules for when to delete backup files, including how long to keep them at all.


    And of course, there are ways to use batch files to add dates to files names (e.g., mybackup_7.tib)and overwrite when the date comes around again (e.g. on the 17th, 27, 7th).


    There are posts in this forum that give at least two ways to do this. I'm sure some clever folks with a programmer's imagination can think of more.

    And there there is always the method of using a Secure zone, which will delete files when necessary to make room for a backup.

     
  11. Optiker

    Optiker Registered Member

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    All...I really appreciate this exchange. I'm learning a lot, but as pointed out regarding constraints that one poster puts on himself not necessarily applying to others, that's the case with me. I have some self-imposed constraints driven by my own situation. The main driver is that I currently have one 80 GB external USB drive available. Secondly, my need is relatively short-term - less than 3 months. I do not intend to backup my C-drive (system) as while it's a pain in the neck, I have reinstalled Windows and my apps in the past, and while I don't relish it, wouldn't shy away from doing so again. I have much of the "custom" kinds of things associated with my apps backed up to my data drive, including my Outlook e-mail stores, all of which are a part of my set of selected folders for backup. It's my D-drive (data) that I need to back up, and it's too big for an 80 GB external drive, thus the incremental, selective backup.

    I understand the risks of a single drive backup. About a year ago, my primary HD (C, D, and dual-boot Linux on one physical drive) died. At that time, I was using a subscription service on our intranet for scheduled backups. When the drive died, I found that my trustworthy, company-provided net-based backup process hadn't backed up my drive for about 6 or 7 months. IT admitted that they were having some "issues" with the process. Shame on them for not letting subscribers know of the risk, but shame on me for not checking occasionally. That's when I bought the external drive for backup at the recommendation of the IT gal who installed my new drive, and bought TI at the recommendation of another IT guy who was trying to help me get WinXP's backup utility to do what I needed, and cancelled the company subscription backup service. Suffice it to say that at this point, the risks at the level of my constraints are acceptable. Life's full of gambles, and zero-risk scenarios are not realistic.

    Let me ask a few questions to try to get at a solution, given my constraints.

    I like foghorne's suggestion of a scheduled image backup, and that it rolls over so that previous incrementals are superceded.

    (1) Does this require a full image to work that way, or can I do a selective backup as I am now doing - ie, selected files and folders?

    (2) If the answer to (1) is that I can do a selective backup instead of a full image, is the previous selective backup overwritten so as to conserve HD space?

    (3) If (1) and (2) are OK, are the prior incrementals also overwritten to conserve HD space?

    (4) Finally...would a solution be to simply do a nightly full backup of the complete set of selected files and folders, rather than an incremental backup, perhaps even two schedules alternating between two folders on the external HD so that one is not overwritten until the other is already in place? If I do that, using the same filename without incrementing in each of the two folders, will it overwrite?

    Thank you all for staying with me. If I had a free bay in the computer, at the price of HDs, I'd simply buy another, but given my short term need and budget, another larger external USB drive may be a solution, but not a very attractive one at this time.

    Optiker
     
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