Scheduling backup & cleanup/deleting & validating automatically

Discussion in 'Paragon Drive Backup Product Line' started by SS24, Oct 26, 2011.

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  1. SS24

    SS24 Registered Member

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    Hi, I have just purchased Hard Disk Manager 2011 Suite.
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    I used to use Acronis and want to set up a version chain similarly.
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    Task: I want to create an image backup of my laptop and back it up over wireless LAN *to an internal hard drive on my desktop PC.
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    Question: How do I set up an automatic chain that will do the following so I never have to touch it until I need to restore?
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    I want to create a schedule that makes a full image backup of my laptop disk once per week, and then create a differential backup for the following six days.
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    Next create a second new full backup and create new differential backups for next six days.
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    After this time I want the program to start to delete the oldest backup from two weeks prior one day at a time as the schedule from above is repeated.
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    Also the program should be scheduled to carry out regular validations of the backups integrity.
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    Can anyone please provide set by step instruction on how to automate this?
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    All I can find is just how to schedule a single backup to occur daily, weekly, monthly. No scheduled cleanup or validations etc etc.
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    I will also set other backup routines for the desk top PC and other local file backups etc but if I know how to get the above working I can work the rest out.
     
  2. SS24

    SS24 Registered Member

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    So paragon can't do this?
     
  3. ManyDrives

    ManyDrives Registered Member

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    Hi SS24, I'm tackling the same issue (and others...) Maybe with two voices we'll get some attention...
     
  4. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    I never bother with scheduling so I can't be of much help. Look at what is called cyclical backup and see if that is of any use. I'm a relatively new Paragon user but it seems that anything clever gets done in the Paragon Scripting Language and at this stage of my life is more than I want to get involved with.

    Since the user community on this forum doesn't seem to be much of a help I suggest you put in a support request to Paragon and see what they say.
     
  5. SS24

    SS24 Registered Member

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    I had a look at the manual for Pro version has cyclic backup. It says it won't work for full disk backups, only partition backups. I assume this means it also wouldn't work for a full disk with a single partition (ie with MBR)?

    If that's the case then not much good as I want Paragon for full disk image backups.

    Regarding validation, it seems there is an option to do this during backup but I'm also interested in scheduling regular valuations to make sure old backups are still ok?

    I used to use Acronis which had all of these features plus a lot more. It was great from a bells and whistles point of view. Leave it to run by itself. Unfortunately with the latest release it wouldnt activate on my laptop (was fine on the desktop). After spending 2 weeks on it with it support I gave up and got my money back. Hence I am now here, no point having all the bells and whistles if the basics don't work!

    Unfortunately I have also sent a support request to Paragon (they are supposed to answer in 3 days if a new user who is still within 30 day money back period) but it is now 6 days with no response... Not filling me with confidence...don't know why I opted for a paid version...if I can't get help I will ask for my money back and just get free version. Especially if I have to run and cleanup all the backups anyway!

    The only way I see it working is set up a bunch of scripts and/or batch files. But as mentioned previous by others I also have a family and don't want to spend hours researching how to do this.

    Seems to be solid software for manual image backups but doesn't offer enough support and additional capability to warrant a paid version. Especially when they offer a free version and windows 7 now also does image backups might have to look at that instead.

    Has anyone tried Norton Ghost? I'm not a big fan at all of norton software and it also has a big price tag, guessing it would be a resource hog like all their other stuff but I might also have to look at it.

    Anyone got any other suggestions for me?

    I already use sync back for files backup.
     
  6. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    I agree that a paid program should be able to do what you wish in a relatively easy manner.

    FWIW, I'll make a couple of points as I see things which may not be how you see things.

    If you have a drive with only a C partition and MBR the cyclic backup should work fine if you only select the C partition. Selecting one partition is not the same as selecting the whole physical since the whole disk would also contain the MBR and causes what Paragon calls a complex archive. The fact that it fills the whole drive is not the issue. You don't need numerous backups of the MBR since they never really change unless you install some software that alters it or set up a dual-boot system. Unless the MBR gets damaged (rare) or is missing such as in a new drive, you don't need to restore it if you restore the C partition.

    I am confused with the Paragon verification when the archive is created. I can't really tell if it is being done because in other places the documentation for B&R says it is only writing the data that will allow it to be checked.

    I don't think you will like the Win7 backup. It is very inflexible and I never found a way to verify an archive. There are happy Ghost users but I won't have anything to do with Symantec offerings anymore.

    I was a long-time Acronis user but I didn't need the features and the 2011 user interface really annoyed me and my friends who used it. So we went to Paragon free but I since bought the paid version of B&R since it was offered at an attractive price one weekend.

    I'll now give you my boring approach to backups that you can certainly take or leave:
    I also use SyncBack for files and folders. That is the only way I want them backed up, I don't want them stuffed into proprietary container files that may need a program to read them and I certainly don't want a corrupted container file mean I can't get at any file inside it. This is not an unheard of experience.

    Your personally created files are the most important ones. As a last resort you can always buy another program copy but your photos, spreadsheets, etc are available nowhere else at any price. These are the ones that must be secure.

    Reinstalling Windows and applications, typically the C drive stuff, can always be done. Yes, it might take some time but it can be done. In fact the silver lining is that you probably wouldn't reinstall a lot of the rarely used programs you have on your system right now. You do need to keep your installation CDs, copies of downloaded programs you bought and serial numbers so you can easily retrieve them.

    The above means to me that a C drive backup isn't something that you really need to worry about as long as your personal files and folders are backed up (SyncBack or Karens Replicator or whatever). Do you really change Windows and apps so frequently that a daily or even a weekly backup is necessary?

    I backup my C drives manually when I think I should which usually means after a significant Windows update or a new app or app updates. If I have to fall back to a backup that is a week or two old it really doesn't matter much.

    To make the above even easier, I don't keep any important data files on C. A second partition on the drive for data files is great (in my case they actually are stored on a second computer). This way you can blow away C for any reason and not worry about data files. Also it keeps C smaller and you can make an image relatively quickly since you aren't backing up data which in some cases can be 100s of MB.

    I always make my desktop backups to a second internal HD since it is fast and fairly secure. I will copy some selected ones to an external HD for off-line storage which is even more secure. The SyncBack file backups are handled the same way. I just let the backups fill the HDs although I will delete some real old ones. Keeping more than one or two backups is a good idea just in case something goes wrong with the latest. Having more than one external HD and rotating them for the off-line archive storage is also a good idea. I tend to manually validate the images after copying them to the external drives to ensure the copy was good and the sectors are good.

    This is long-winded dissertation is how I do it and why I don't consider frequent C drive images to be essential but backing up the personal data files is.

    I notice on the Acronis forum that Easus ToDo Free is getting some recommendations so you may have a look at it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2011
  7. SS24

    SS24 Registered Member

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    Thanks for the reply, always nice when someone who knows what they are talking about takes the time to post.

    My backup plan is pretty much as you have said for similar reasons. Only difference is I would still like c drive image backups to be automated and up to date.

    I only have software etc on c but even though I could re-install all of them in a crash I would rather not have to go through the hassel if I can plan ahead. It would take me at least a couple of nights to reinstall everything where as if I can get a good automated image backup system in place that I can "set and forget" I won't have to spend any time running manual backups, cleanups etc and if I want to restore the image it will be all backup and running in an hour.

    For me it is worth having this extra benefit, and I'm happy to pay for if I know it will work!

    Good comments though and I will keep looking, thanks for you help.
     
  8. JosephB

    JosephB Registered Member

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    SS24,

    Paragon, Backup software, does *not* directly do what you want to do. However, a Paragon employee created this attached document which describes an indirect/workaround procedure, for accomplishing what you want to with scheduling cyclic full and differentail backups.

    This attachment discussing cyclic full and differential scheduling, may be what your looking for ........

    P.S Rename attachment file extension from .txt to .pdf and then you can open it (needed since you can't attach a file with a .pdf extension).
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 20, 2011
  9. JosephB

    JosephB Registered Member

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    SS24,

    1. See my previous post to you.

    2. Also, In terms of "scheduling regular validations of the backups integrity, just modify the Script that Paragon Backup generates to include the "Validation" following the completion of the Backup, by adding to your babkup script the lines that I added in my attached Backup Script (lines that I added to do the Validation is bracketed by comments with my initials "JB".

    My backup script runs weekly and performs 2 Full Image Backups (an Entire Hard Disk Backup, and a First Track Backup - not needed each week, unless you install software that often changes your first track. You could just backup first track separately, one time).

    In my backup script, following the completion of each backup, I execute a "Validation", just to feel warm and cozy.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. JosephB

    JosephB Registered Member

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