Quota for backup locations is not honored

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Vanguard, Aug 18, 2007.

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  1. Vanguard

    Vanguard Registered Member

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    Acronis True Image Home 10.0 (build 4942)
    Windows XP Pro SP-2

    I have the following setup:

    Backup location quotas:
    - 50.65 GB max size
    - 15 max backups
    - 90 days max retention

    Image backup using the backup location with:
    - Create differential backups
    -- Create new full backup after 6 differential backups

    After 6 differential backups, a new full backup should get created. Nope, the differentials just keep happening. I end up with the following backup files in the backup location:

    2007_08_03_20_34_28_476D.TIB
    2007_08_03_20_34_28_476D2.TIB
    2007_08_03_20_34_28_476D3.TIB
    2007_08_03_20_34_28_476D4.TIB
    2007_08_03_20_34_28_476D5.TIB
    2007_08_03_20_34_28_476D6.TIB
    2007_08_03_20_34_28_476D7.TIB
    (why wasn't the next backup a full backup?)
    2007_08_03_20_34_28_476D8.TIB
    2007_08_03_20_34_28_476D9.TIB
    2007_08_03_20_34_28_476D10.TIB
    2007_08_03_20_34_28_476D11.TIB
    2007_08_03_20_34_28_476D12.TIB
    2007_08_03_20_34_28_476D13.TIB

    I'm now up to 12 differential backups after the full backup. That's twice what the option should allow.

    Also, the backup files in the backup location folder now comprise 57.4 GB. That is about 7GB over the quota for max size. As a result, the partition containing the backup location now only has 1GB of free space, not enough for the backup.

    The scheduler sucks that is included in TI Home, especially when compared to the Task Scheduler already included in Windows which, for example, lets me pend the event until the computer goes idle for awhile. I am using an event in Task Scheduler to run the backups by using the command:

    "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Acronis\TrueImage\TrueImageService.exe" /script:<tis_file>

    Are the backup location quotas not honored if Acronis' scheduler is not used?

    I had originally disabled the Acronis scheduler service but found that image restores won't run without it. So the Acronis scheduler service is enabled and running at the time these backups are executed (by using Task Scheduler).
     
  2. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello Vanguard,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Please notice that most likely the reason is there were not enough free space to consolidate backups when a new full one was due to be created. Please see this thread for the details on how quotas and consolidation works.

    If that's not the case, please collect some information to let us investigate the issue thoroughly:

    Please create a screenshot of the backup location.

    Please collect acronis_backup_place.cfg file from the folder where Acronis Backup Location is set up.

    Please also collect the application log of operations that violate the quotas/schedule:
    - run the program;
    - select Show log on the toolbar or from the Tools menu;
    - select the log with error messages;
    - click "Save the log entry to file" (the diskette icon).

    Then submit a request for technical support. Attach all the collected files and information to your request along with the step-by-step description of the actions taken before the problem appears and the link to this thread. We will investigate the problem and try to provide you with a solution.

    Thank you.
    --
    Marat Setdikov
     
  3. Vanguard

    Vanguard Registered Member

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    I don't understand why there is any consolidation. The next backup which is supposed to be a full backup would be a new backup. I had expected the older backups to get deleted, not consolidated. I can see why that may be done by taking the last differential and merging it into the full backup and then deleting the differentials in between - but that would end up making the last differential backup as a full backup which is somewhat obviated by the next full backup that was expected.

    The backup location is located in a 60GB partition. The max size quota on the backup location is set to 50GB. That's 10GB less than the available disk space. However, the last backup could extend beyond this quota before trigging that the quota had been exceeded, and the next full backup could be larger than then then available free disk space.

    Because the consolidation or deletions weren't happening and I was accruing more differential backup files in the backup location which was now over the 40GB quota (then at 57GB in the 60GB partition), I deleted all the backup files and started anew with the backup task (which started with a full backup). Right now I have the following backup files in the backup location configured for a 50GB quota in a 60GB partition:

    9,819,829,248 2007_08_03_19_32_23_304D.TIB
    331,258,880 2007_08_03_19_32_23_304D2.TIB
    748,003,840 2007_08_03_19_32_23_304D3.TIB
    1,446,938,112 2007_08_03_19_32_23_304D4.TIB
    1,473,549,824 2007_08_03_19_32_23_304D5.TIB
    1,787,342,336 2007_08_03_19_32_23_304D6.TIB
    2,054,390,784 2007_08_03_19_32_23_304D7.TIB
    2,231,592,448 2007_08_03_19_32_23_304D8.TIB
    2,392,871,936 2007_08_03_19_32_23_304D9.TIB
    2,490,634,240 2007_08_03_19_32_23_304D10.TIB
    1,304,058,368 2007_08_03_19_32_23_304D11.TIB
    1,350,595,584 2007_08_03_19_32_23_304D12.TIB
    1,655,707,648 2007_08_03_19_32_23_304D13.TIB

    In order, the backups were:
    9.8GB for full backup (file = *304D.TIB)
    7.8GB for 6 differentials (files = *304D2 to *304D7)

    At this point, the setting to do a full backup after 6 differentials should have been honored. At this point, the full backup and 6 differentials consumed 17.6GB. That is far cry from the 40GB for the backup location's size quota and also far from the 60GB partition size. There was plenty of free disk space to do any consolidating, if any. The next full backup would've been not too different in size than the first one. So if it had happened then there would've been 17.6GB for the old backups and another ~10GB for the next full backup for a total of ~38GB before any consolidation or deletions. That's 12GB short of the size quota for the backup location and 22GB short of the partition's size.

    Instead of doing a full backup after the 6th differential backup had completed, the differential backups continued. In the backup location, there is now 1 full backup and 13 differential backups consuming 27GB. The differentials will continue until they exceed the size quota for the backup location and will eventually eat up all the disk space in the partition.

    The setting "Create a new full backup after N differential backups" is not being honored. When the N differentials have been performed, there was plenty of free disk space available to do any consolidation.
     
  4. Vanguard

    Vanguard Registered Member

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    Nothing I have tried gets TI Home 10 to obey the "Create a new full backup after ..." setting for the backup policy. I even uninstalled TI Home, did the remnant registry and file cleanup, and installed it fresh just in case it was screwed up (as it was screwing up the backups trying to find script files for backup policies that weren't defined anymore). I specify a backup policy that is supposed to create 6 differential backup after which the next one should be a full backup. Never happens.

    I am saving the backups into a defined backup location. That backup location has quotas set on it. At first, I set a 3 quotas to 50.45GB max disk space, 15 maximum backups, and 90 days holding period. None of those quotas are ever honored. The differential backup with 6 backup count would continue storing more than 15 backup files in the backup location and consuming 57GB whereupon there wasn't enough room for any more backups. The full backup was 14GB and every differential after that was 1GB or 2GB so there was plenty of free space to do any consolidation long before the 6 backup count had been exceeded. The max disk space quota wasn't honored. The max backup file count quota wasn't honored. Absolutely no setting is getting honored.

    I'm wondering if there is a defect or undocumented mutually exclusive combination of settings in TI Home 10. I defined the backup location and set quotas on it but none of them are honored. I'm wondering if they are supposed to get honored if I also enabled the "Create a new full backup after ..." for differential backups. Maybe I am NOT to defined a backup location which would then get the "Create a new full backup after ..." option to be honored (because it would then be the only quota regulating the backup file store).

    I've been trying to figure out a replacement for TI Home 10 because obviously I cannot have it consuming all disk space and then puking because it won't obey its own quotas or backup cycle count. So far, NovaBackup seems the best choice (because it also supports VSS that TI Home does not). But I bought TI Home 10 and would like to get it working as it is advertised to work or, at least, how it is documented to work.
     
  5. CatFan432

    CatFan432 Registered Member

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    I’m just guessing here. Perhaps the problem stems from running your backup from Windows Task Scheduler, rather than from Acronis’s scheduler.

    To test this, you could create a new Backup Location with a small Maximum number of backups, create a new Scheduled Task pointing to the new Backup Location, with a small amount of data, set to create a new full after just a few differentials. Then run the task repeatedly from the Acronis Scheduled Task screen. If your data set is small, 100MB or so, this check should just take a few minutes. If you get the desired results, try running the same task from Windows Scheduler and see what happens.

    Note, as far as I know, if you are working with a backup location with a companion task having either incremental or differential backups selected, the consolidation process is unavoidable.

    Regards, CatFan
     
  6. paracanary

    paracanary Registered Member

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    I finally got the quota working on Vista 32 but it is still unusable in that the consolidation phase takes 8 hours to complete (74 gig full and 7 incrementals- ). After it is done consolidating, it deletes the last backup anyway. The original full backup takes 1:15 min and incrementals take 10 min. It is ludicrous that to delete the last backup takes 8 hours and thus runs into the next day when doing automated nightly backups.
     
  7. Vanguard

    Vanguard Registered Member

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    I had already considered this. I was also getting errors in TI Home's log saying that scripts for backups weren't being found. They didn't exist but might've been for a previously defined backup. I figured TI Home was screwed up, uninstalled, cleaned up, and reinstalled to start over. However, this time I decided to use TI's scheduler figuring that maybe there was something that was being executed or tested in addition when using their scheduler that wouldn't happen when using Windows' scheduler. "Create a new full backup after ..." was 6 but it became apparent that wasn't obeyed when a total of 8 backups were saved (1 full + 7 differential) when using TI's scheduler.

    So even when using TI's scheduler:
    - The quotas for the backup location were not honored.
    - The "Create a new full backup after ..." set to 6 was not being honored.

    Today I will be testing without using a backup location. That is, instead of defining a backup location and using that in the backup policy, I will instead have the backup policy designate a path of where to store the backups. This will be to see if there is a conflict between the "Create a new full backup after ..." option and the backup location quotas. The documentation doesn't mention if there is mutual exclusiveness between this setting and the quotas (but then I didn't see mention in the help if there was a priority between the quotas settings themselves for the backup location).

    - UPDATE -

    Well, I guess I'll have to define and use a backup location; otherwise, I have to define a full backup policy and 6 differential policies simply because TI Home won't take care of naming the files unless a backup location is used. So I'll define the backup location but disable all quotas for the backup location and then check if the differential policy will obey the "Create a new full backup after ..." option.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2007
  8. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    Yes, the backup location has some special features. Unfortunately, as you've discovered the consolidation before creating a new backup is a real problem.

    I think it was chosen for safety. A new backup is created before the old one is deleted (but consolidation is required to make room for the new backup).

    Did you try using a backup location that was so large that there was plenty of room for a new full backup even when the original full backup and all the differentials were still in place?
     
  9. Vanguard

    Vanguard Registered Member

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    As a test, I created a backup location with a 20GB quota. This was in a partition where there would be another 40GB free if all 20GB in the backup location got used up. The option to do a full backup after N differentials was not honored. The 20GB quota was not honored. The max number of backups in the backup location was not honored. There was plenty of free disk space during the test, especially since the full backup was only 2GB in size (for the old and new ones) and the differentials were running at about 100MB.
     
  10. Vanguard

    Vanguard Registered Member

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    I tried another test. I want TI Home to automatically name the backup files so that I don't need to have multiple backup policies for each one. I want to use the "Create a new full backup after ..." option set to 6 so that a full backup would be followed by 6 differentials and then repeat that cycle. The computer may not be powered on so having multiple backup policies where one is for a weekly full backup and the other days have differentials might not work. The computer could be off on the day the full backup was scheduled so it would get missed. I wanted a week's worth of backups (1 full + 6 differential) but where they may not necessarily be on consecutive calendar days but they would be on consecutive powered-up days.

    What I found was that the "Create a new full backup after ..." option and the backup location quotas are mutually exclusive.

    • If "Create a new full backup after ..." is enabled and if the backup location has *no* quotas enabled then the "Create a new full backup after ..." option is obeyed.
    • If "Create a new full backup after ..." is disabled and quotas are enabled for the backup location then the quotas are obeyed (I only tested the max backup count and max disk space quotas, not the max days quota).
    • If "Create a new full backup after ..." is enabled and if quotas are enabled for the backup location then none are obeyed.

    I spent an evening on the above testing. On a subsequent test, it may be that the above is true except "Create a new full backup after ..." may work if only the max backup count quota is enabled for the backup location. That combo worked in my small test.

    So, in general, "Create a new full backup after ..." and backup location quotas are mutually exclusive. They are obeyed if used separately but are not obeyed if used together. I won't know for sure if "Create a new full backup after ..." works with ONLY the max number of backups quota is working together. This sucks because I wanted to also use the max disk space quota to ensure the backups didn't consume all free disk space in the partition.

    I sure wish Acronis had not gone with this goofy quota scheme for expiration and file management. Cataloging would've been so much better, especially for grandfather-father-son rotation and tracking which media is on- or off-site. I've already starting hunting around for a better logical file backup program (and one that supports volume shadow copying, too).
     
  11. CatFan432

    CatFan432 Registered Member

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    Vanguard,

    My opinion is this is the combination that works best. But I don’t understand why none of your setups work; it appears that you are doing things correctly.

    A suggestion: Create a Backup Location with a Max number of backups set to 10, with both Location Size Quota and Storage Limits unchecked. Then create your task to create a new full backup after 6 differentials. Once you’ve reached the 10 limit and consolidation starts, your total space requirements will be based on a maximum of three full and 7 differential backups.

    Based on your post #3 in this thread, your full backups are about 10GB, with the largest differential about 2.5GB. Total space requirements for the above scenario should theoretically max out at approx 47.5GB, keeping you under your 60GB ceiling.

    If this works, you may decide to use it; also, if it works, it will allow you to have some backups whilst you are evaluating other programs. If it doesn’t work, ya got me.

    Regards, CatFan
     
  12. david_h

    david_h Registered Member

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    I can assure you that the backup location quota rule is not honoured in TI 10 under Vista. It seems to work when I set the number of backups limit. But when I set the quota limit the log tells me that it checks the rule and determines no violation - even when it is way over the limit I have set. I have to manually remove old backups. no big deal but that's the sort of task I would expect TI software to do for me.

    Acronis Team - this is a pretty basic function that simply does not work and should be fixed for TI 10 users (not just in TI 11 when it is released)
     
  13. Vanguard

    Vanguard Registered Member

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    Unfortunately a lot of backup programs provide no expiration of old backup files. I've used some that included cataloging so they could easily target which were the old and unwanted backups so when they expired from the catalog then they deleted the backup files but only if they were on locally accessible storage (hard drives, NAS) but obviously couldn't do anything to delete them from removable media (USB drives, CD/DVD, Zip) because the media wouldn't be available at the time for automatic expiration and deletion.

    I had to write up a somewhat length batch file, delfiles.bat, to handle deleting old files. It has to walk back through the specified number of days to determine the expiration date and then compares it to the datestamp of the files. If their date is older than the calculated expiration date then they get deleted along with updating a logfile of the deletes. While this is usable, it cannot delete old backups by a set of files where incrementals or differentials get deleted along with the base full backup on which they are dependent. So I will end up first deleting the full backup file before deleting the incremental or differential backup files, but it is better than filling up my hard drive because backup location quotas are not honored.
     
  14. rmartink15

    rmartink15 Registered Member

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    Create a new full backup after ..." I cannot find this option, where is it? have Acronis® True Image Home® version 10.0 (build 4,942)
     
  15. VanguardLH

    VanguardLH Registered Member

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    The option appears when you select the backup policy type (as a suboption to choosing incremental or differential backup types). You need to define a backup location (whether or enable some, all, or none of the quotas on that backup location). Then when you chose where to save the backup file, select the backup location. If you select the backup location then the "Create a full backup after ..." option becomes available (displayed) when you choose the backup policy type (incremental or differential).

    I gave up on using Acronis True Image Home 10 for logical file backups. Too many problems. Volume shadow copying is not supported to allow backing up open (inuse) files. The quotas are not obeyed for the backup location(s) for me although it appears that maybe the "Create a full backup after" option might work if the ONLY quota enabled for the backup location is the number of backups. I schedule a backup and return in the morning to find it hung on an "error reading file" error rather than skipping it and finishing the rest of the backup (so scheduling is unreliable). I scheduled the backup during the night because there is no time during to the day to run it. At low backup priority, the host is usable but highly busy (although CPU usage is not high). At normal backup priority, I find it excruitiating to use my host. At high backup priority, my host is unusable. Other backup programs complete in about the same amount of time by my host remains usable (not for gaming but for other apps). You cannot force TI Home to save physical partition/disk images as you can with PartitionImage (unless TI Home cannot recognize the file system or it is corrupt). It won't reboot to run its imaging on startup before Windows gets loaded, as does PartitionImage, to ensure the OS and/or partition remain static during the entire imaging process (you'll have to use their bootable CD or rescue CD). And I'm sure there are other problems that I've run into with this product.

    TI Home has been denegrated to only saving partition images and only by using the bootable rescue CD to ensure that it doesn't get file read errors and that the volume is static during the entire imaging since VSS is not supported. However, since their program won't clear a CD/DVD-RW disc before writing to it, I have to wipe the RW media before I can use it by TI Home.

    For now, I'm back to using NT Backup although I have PC Backup from Migo/Stompsoft on order (which is a rebadged version of Novastor's NovaBackup) to do the logical file backups.
     
  16. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    Well, I don't think most folks have any of those problems.

    For example, I've never had a problem with ATI not backing up any open files, or any system files, for that matter. I've restored images to system disk many times and the restored images run just fine, containing everything they're supposed to.

    This is not to say that ATI doesn't have probs on some hardware platforms. Your rather sweeping statements are, I think, overstatements to say the least.

     
  17. VanguardLH

    VanguardLH Registered Member

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    My hardware platform is hardly bleeding edge. No duo of video cards connected in an SLI config. No SATA or SCSI raid drive setup. No duo-cores or multiple processors. AMD Athlon XP 3200+, 4GB RAM, 2 hard drives (160GB SATA for OS+apps and 120GB IDE for backups only), Abit NF7-S v2 mobo (6 years old), ATI Radeon 850 AGP video card and running 32-bit Windows XP Pro SP-2. There is nothing "new" about my hardware. In fact, today it would be considered legacy stuff.

    TI Home does not support volume shadow copying (to *accurately* and *reliably* save a snapshot which includes open files). What's so "sweeping" about that? It's a FACT. Even Acronis acknowledges that TI Home does not support VSS. They suggest spending more money to go to the workstation version (and alluded that it will be in some future version of the Home version but that doesn't help now). How many years has Windows XP been out now and all that time supported VSS? If you don't understand the need for VSS then go read up on it on Microsoft's knowledgebase (http://preview.tinyurl.com/ysco4l and http://preview.tinyurl.com/2f83hh as starter articles). If I had known beforehand that TI Home did not include VSS then I would have never bothered buying it (and why I am dumping it for logical file backup). Yes, there are cheapie backup utilities, like Comodo's backup, Nero's backup, and others which are nothing more than copy programs with a GUI. NT Backup included in Windows XP supported VSS from day one. NT Backup should've been considered the minimal base set of features on which Acronis should've developed a similar "home" version. Unlike fluff garbage added to Windows XP, like Movie Maker, VSS has a real purpose to increase reliability of file management (and not just for backup utilities).

    Are you running databases? Didn't think so. Come on back when you do and after trying to back them up while they are still running.

    File read errors. Well, do your own forum search. It is not a rare event. What's so "sweeping" about reporting the same problem that others have reported?

    That TI Home hangs the backup when it has a file read problem which pends the backup rather than skipping the file. Again, search the forum. It happens. It always happens when TI Home displays the file read error. The result is that the scheduled backup will not complete. What's so "sweeping" about noting a defect in TI Home's behavior in not skipping files that it cannot read.

    TI Home does not obey the quotas on the backup location. Others have reported the same problem. What's so "sweeping" about a reproducible defect by more than one user?

    TI Home doesn't obey the "Create a full backup after" option *if* quotas are enabled on the backup location. Again reproducible. Nothing "sweeping" about reporting the defect.

    That "priority" has nothing to do with CPU usage or task priority is "sweeping" how? That normal or high "priority" in TI Home floods the data bus to make use of the host unresponsive or unusable is "sweeping" how?

    That TI Home refuses to save *physical* (sector-by-sector) images instead of logical images (by reading through the file system) is "sweeping" how? The only way you will get back EXACTLY the same state for an image restore is if the volume was static during the image backup and that won't happen when saving an image while the OS is still running and the user is also running applications (foreground or background). TI Home offers no option to reboot to do an image backup *outside* of the OS (i.e., it runs without starting the OS). Logical images can be successful in returning a host to a workable state. It is not the EXACT same state as before. TI Home will only perform a physical image backup if it doesn't recognize the file system or the file system is corrupt. That is established fact in the limitation of TI Home. I prefer a *physical* image backup which also requires the volume to be static (but also like how PartitionImage would still read through a recognized file system to determine which sectors were not inuse and skip those other than noting to update the file system on a restore). Unfortunately, it looks like Symantec farked over PartitionImage after they acquired it (I haven't fully tested the trial of it, though, to know that there is not some physical imaging override). So how is stating a fact regarding a deficiency considered a "sweeping" comment? Because TI Home doesn't support VSS, the only way to get a reliable and accurate image is to do the backup without the OS running. That can be done with TI Home by using the bootable rescue CD but this shouldn't be required as TI Home could instead reboot the host and run its program from the hard drive before Windows loads. PartitionImage and PartitionMagic can do it. So could TI Home.

    If by "sweeping" you meant "true" then, yes, my statements are sweeping. TI Home can be made to nearly emulate a physical image backup by booting using its [rescue] CD but it is still a logical image, not a sector-by-sector physical image (with skipping the backup of unused sectors). This has been the only scenario under which TI Home will reliably save an image without file read errors and without hanging the backup indefinitely. Of course, that means having to down the system manually to start the image and then manually restarting the system. There are too many defects with TI Home for me to use it as a logical file backup program (some could be circumvented by writing up some robust scripts to handle what TI Home does not).

    As a *logical* imaging program, yes, TI Home is very capable but only when booted to it outside the OS. A *physical* imaging program TI Home is not. A reliable logical file backup program TI Home has proven not to be [for me].
     
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