ShadowProtect: Continuous Incrementals Not Available

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by RobertB, Nov 14, 2009.

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  1. RobertB

    RobertB Registered Member

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    I'm trying to create a backup job in ShadowProtect that uses the Continous Incrementals schedule. However, I can't because on the 'Specify the backup schedule' page of the wizard, the 'Continuous Incrementals' option is grayed out.

    I've tried everything I could think of to try to get it to appear: I've installed the ImageManager software and created a policy (though it doesn't get saved between sessions; could this be related?). I've also disabled the Full backup (weekly) with daily incrementals that I've been running successfully (because the Help says you can only have one scheduled job using incrementals).

    Any suggestions on why the 'Continuous Incrementals' option is not available, or how I could get it to be?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Don't just disable all the other jobs, delete them. And yes the image manager policies should be there all the time.

    You might uninstall and reinstall imagemanager, and then set up a new policy.

    Pete
     
  3. RobertB

    RobertB Registered Member

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    Pete,

    Thanks; deleting the other job got the option displayed!

    Update regarding ImageManager: The job is still there; for some reason I was expecting it would appear in the list when I opened ImageManager. After I connected to the server, it appears.

    Robert
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2009
  4. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Good Robert.

    One thing about the continuous incrementals, which are great by the way. Leave them alone. By this I mean, you may do something like install, or reboot during the time you've set them to run. Then when the machine comes up SP might see the need to a bigger then usual incremental, and you might not want it to at that time. Let it do it's thing. Messing with it might mess up the chain.

    Pete
     
  5. RobertB

    RobertB Registered Member

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    Pete,

    I bought SP with the intent to use Continuous Incrementals if EF/RB didn't work out (which it hasn't), after your strong recommendation in an exchange of messages about a year ago.

    At this point I'm a bit confused about a couple things. Last night I set up the Continuous Incrementals Backup Job with one "VSS Incremental Backups" on Sunday at 8:00am, and "Additional Incremental Backups (with 'Use VSS' checked) every day starting at 8:15am and stopping at 11:45pm, with 15 minutes between backups.

    - After it ran the initial full backup (9.47GB) at 8:15pm last night, I looked at my backup image files folder at 8:30 and found the first CI spi file -- 12.5MB, which seemed reasonable. When 8:45pm approached, I displayed the Windows Task Manager, so that I could see the CPU usage during the run. When it was done, the resulting spi file was 605MB -- but all I had done was display the Task Manager! Is it not unusual for the CI's to be relatively huge even though very little has been done in the computer since the last CI?

    - Today I booted around 12:10pm, and (since I normally either go to Stand By or Shut Down at the end of the day, rather than leaving my computer on all night) my first backup today was a 12:11PM CI that created a cd.spi file of 617MB -- the size not completely surprising like yesterday's, since it was on the other side of reboot and on a new day -- or would the size be because (as the SP manual says) the 'cd.spi' indicates that the file was an automatically-collapsed-daily by ImageManager, and so this cd.spi file (created at 12:11PM, right after I booted) is the daily-collapsed file for yesterday (since in ImageManager, 'Time of day to begin collapse/verify of image files' is set to 12:00:00 AM, and so IM missed its opportunity to do its daily collapse then)?

    - Immediately after creating the cd.spi file (i.e., still with a timestamp of 12:11PM) it created an spi file of 18.4MB, and then 4 minutes later at 12:15pm (the scheduled interval) it created another spi file of 12.9MB. I was initially surprised to see two spi files created less than 15 minutes apart. Am I correct in presuming that this is simply because the the 12:11PM spi file was a holdover of the scheduled 8:00AM Sunday backup?

    By the way, if you have a different schedule/regimen for Continuous Incrementals, what would you recommend?

    My reason for using them with SP is to be able to do I used to do with GoBack (reliably, until it was acquired by Symantec and/or used in WinXP [I used in in Win2K]): 1) to be able to get earlier copies of files, and 2) to be able to revert the system to an earlier state.

    (I had thought I could use EF/RB to do both of these, and bought EF. But after doing a revert to the previous day's snapshot after not having used this computer for several months, it had lost all of the snapshots I had kept since installing it. I did upgrade from WinXP SP2 to SP3 before doing the revert; perhaps I should have uninstalled EF before I did the upgrade, but I didn't want to wait to get an answer to whether I needed to do that -- and because before doing the EF revert I had taken a SP backup from the Recovery CD including free space, I figured if I did have a problem with the EF revert, I could revert using SP. But when I reverted using the SP recovery CD (specifying restoring the backed-up MBR and hidden track), the result was that not only had I lost all EF snapshots; EF did not even appear when booting or show its tray icon after booting. So I uninstalled it.)

    Thanks,

    Robert
     
  6. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Hi Robert

    Before I answer give me a bit more info.

    What are you doing you want to be able to "Rollback"

    How often, and what times of day.

    Pete
     
  7. wat0114

    wat0114 Guest

    Maybe this is happening because of scheduled/automatic disk defragmentation?

    From ShadowProtect Guide:

    Underline is mine.
     
  8. RobertB

    RobertB Registered Member

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    Pete,

    (Thanks for enduring my longish email.)

    If by "Rollback" you means specifically just reverting the system and not getting earlier copies of files: I did this most often when I'm trying new software and decide I don't want to keep it, or I make a mistake when installing software (e.g., choosing the wrong options, or responding incorrectly to ZoneAlarms prompts), and I decide I want to revert to before I installed it -- rather than uninstalling it, which it's clear does not give the same result since most software vendors are not conscientious about removing all their residue.

    I also did this when I thought perhaps I might have exposed myself to unprotected access to the Internet by an incorrect ZoneAlarm setting, or a VPN that I don't trust; something like that.

    I did this maybe 2-5 times per month (all during the daytime, not at night).

    Getting earlier copies of files: A bit less -- like 1-4 times per month (again, daytime).

    BTW, although I'm now evaluating whether I can rely on SP to do the above rather than using EF/RB, there's another task that I did when I used GoBack and that I could do if I used EF/RB (if it were reliable): to check some software settings that I couldn't determine just by getting an earlier copy of a configuration file. For example, just last night when you advised me to delete my earlier non-CI backup job, when I got to creating a new CI backup job I would have liked to be able to see the schedule I had been using. As a new SP user, I didn't know whether SP keeps these settings in a file and didn't see any when I looked.

    With GoBack, I could have done a revert, printed a screenshot of my settings, revert back, and then refer to the former settings while entering my new settings. (Doing this with SP may not be the best example in the world, but I actually thought about doing it and realized I couldn't; but I have done this many times with other software (most often, probably, ZoneAlarm). (This is maybe 1-2 times per month; daytime.)

    Robert
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2009
  9. RobertB

    RobertB Registered Member

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    Thanks for your reply.

    But no, I don't have any defragger installed other than what comes with Windows; and I've not set it to defrag automatically, nor did I use it manually yesterday or today.

    Robert
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2009
  10. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Hi Robert

    Let me get back to you tomorrow. Tired tonight.

    Pete
     
  11. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    There are other things besides auto defrag that could account for this sort of thing,,,,such as auto updates. This could be MS updates or perhaps anti-virus program updates, etc.
     
  12. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Robert, one more quick question, before I write a detailed answer.

    Have you done restores with SP and are you comfortable with it.

    Pete
     
  13. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Hi Robert

    Since the main part of my thoughts might require a test, hence the question about restore, let me address the simpler part.

    Can I retrieve a file or something I need from an earlier time. The answer assuming we aren't talking installed software is yes.

    An example. Some how I lost my music lists in Rhapsody. Not the end of the world, but still a loss. First thing I did was establish that the list was in a file on my computer. I did this with the help of Process Explorer, looking to see what files were open, and also where they were hiding. I then was able to confirm that the file I wanted was there, but some how and been compromised.

    Solution, I went back to before I thought it had happened, and mounted the image chain from that incremental. Mounting it makes it look like another drive. When to the location on the mounted image drive, found the file, and it was fully intact. Simple copy from there to it's location on my c: drive. Dismounted the image and back in business.

    Probably as easy as some solutions and easier then others.

    I will await your response and then next installment.

    Pete
     
  14. RobertB

    RobertB Registered Member

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    Yes, and yes.
     
  15. RobertB

    RobertB Registered Member

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    Am I correct in presuming you're referring to my response to your preceding post? If not, and there's a question in your current post, please clarify.

    Thanks,

    Robert
     
  16. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Hi Robert

    One, I was giving you an answer to how you can recover a file, doing a rollback type of thing.

    Second I was saying I'd wait your response. However it turns out it doesn't matter although I am glad you are comfy with restores.

    Okay, now to answer the 2nd part of can I use SP in a rollback type manner. Answer is yes. Got it from "da man" I'd say fairly easy if....

    Lets say you are taking continuous Incrementals every 15 minutes through out the day, and you want to try installing a program, that you may want to leave on your system overnight, and possibly remove it the next day.

    You need to do two things. One is easy and straight forward, the other is easy, but slightly less straight forward.

    1) Open Shadowprotect and go to the jobs tab, and pause the job. This will stop the taking of additional incrementals. But won't stop imagemanager from doing the daily collapse, which we don't want to do. So...

    2)Hit the start>run and run Services.msc. Scroll down to the S's and you will see a couple of Storagecraft services. One is for imagemanger. Need to do two things here.

    a) Stop the service.
    b) right click on it and under properties>startup select disable. This will prevent it from starting on reboot.

    Then install your program, reboot if you need to and play until your ready to make a decision. If the decision is to remove it, then restore to the last incremental taken. All the SP settings will be restored and you are good to go.

    But if you want to keep he program, then you need to reverse what you did above.

    Go to Start>run and run services.msc. and select the Storagecraft imagemanger service.

    a) right click for properties, and select start up type automatic.
    b) Start the service.

    Then go to SP job tab, and resume job, and the let SP figure out what it needs to do.

    Make sense. Sounds complicated, but once you see it and do it, it's about a 1 minute task.

    Pete
     
  17. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    Excellent, thanks for this.
     
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