Strange New Full Backup Plus Seven Others

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by John Liebson, Jun 1, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. John Liebson

    John Liebson Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    Posts:
    40
    Acronis 10 just did its first new scheduled full back up to replace the existing full and differential ones. I would have expected to see only two files now in the backup location, the new full one plus the .cfg file.

    Instead, there are nine new files: One which appears from its size to be a full backup, plus seven more which, from their sizes, appear to be differential backups, and the .cfg file.

    These files are all dated today, starting with a time stamp of 0331. What happened, why did it happen; do I need to change anything in the scheduled backup instructions?
     
  2. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2004
    Posts:
    3,710
    Your expectations following the same basic intuitions most sane folks would have. However, my understanding is that ATI doesn't delete the diffs or incs when it deletes the full backup with which they are associated. They are overwritten by new diffs/incs as those new onces are created. Weird? Yes, but generally not problematic once you see that's how it works. Someone with more diff/inc experience correct me if I'm wrong.

    I've never gotten far into diffs and incs since it's easy enough, and simpler for me to just do full backups.
     
  3. John Liebson

    John Liebson Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    Posts:
    40
    Thanks for the quick reply, although I'm not certain that I appreciate your assumption that I am sane....

    Seriously, even before I posted my original message, I was already wondering what I would see tomorrow morning: That is, would the collection of backup files change in some way to show that Acronis is, in fact, backing up correctly and that, therefore, what I saw today is simply an artefact of how the program handles this.

    That written, your statement about the previous files not being erased still makes me wonder why all of the files are now dated 1June07? Odd, that.
     
  4. CatFan432

    CatFan432 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Posts:
    333
    Location:
    Topeka, KS, US
    John,
    You might read through the text file attached to this post, https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=172470#13, and see if that sheds any light.
     
  5. John Liebson

    John Liebson Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    Posts:
    40
    Thanks.

    However:

    1. I had previously read you fine thread.

    2. I am using Acronis Backup locations, and my files are properly named.

    3. In your thread is this: • If there is only one full backup (with subsequent incremental/differential backups) left and a full backup is in progress, then the old full backup and incremental/differential backups are deleted.

    That was from Marat Setdikov, and it seems to describe what I expected to happen. I had one full backup, plus seven differential backups. My schedule properly started a new full backup at 0300 today, which was complete by 0331.

    Then, finishing every minute or two, I see the seven properly-named and apparently differential backups, all with proper names and all dated today.

    The new full backup is 2007_05_24_09_08_00_671D.TIB (or at least I assume, given that it is nearly 8 GB, that this is a full backup.

    Then, I start seeing 2007_05_24_09_08_00_671D2.TIB and so on. Another curiosity is that this file is 690,887 KB, dated today at 0332. The following files are larger than the 671D2 file, as though they are actually differential files from the past several days.

    Why do I say that they appear to be from previous days, despite their time/date stamps? While I have not looked at each and every backup, I do know that I had been downloading and changing a fair amount of materials over the past week or so. Thus, it would not surprise me were, say, last Wednesday's differential larger than that of the previous day. (I also recall reading some other information about the apparent size discrepancy on the forum, so, again, that does not really concern me.)

    Nonetheless, I still have to ask why I have seven additional files, all dated this morning, and all seemingly created just after the creation of a new full backup file. Again, I may well be misinterpreting what is happening, but, if so, I'd like to know that; otherwise, I would be constrained to conclude that Acronis did not work properly starting at 0300 this date.
     
  6. CatFan432

    CatFan432 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Posts:
    333
    Location:
    Topeka, KS, US
    Well, that would be my conclusion also.

    You might set up a test backup location and task with a small amount of data, and see what happens.

    Deleting the current backup location (you can keep the backup files) and task, then recreating them, might make TI behave. I've solved a quite different problem by doing that.
     
  7. John Liebson

    John Liebson Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    Posts:
    40
    This is ludicrous: I waited until today, to see what would happen at 0300, which is when the scheduled backup process is set to run.

    I now have a new set of eight files, a complete backup, followed by seven partials, to replace yesterday's set!

    I'm going to clear everything out of the backup location, remove/replace the schedule, start over, wait until tomorrow morning to see what transpires.
     
  8. gww528

    gww528 Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2007
    Posts:
    23
    You do not have to wait... you can run your backup manually for testing purposes to see what happens.

    Regards,
    grant
     
  9. John Liebson

    John Liebson Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    Posts:
    40
    Thanks, but I don't know that that will help, given that I started the set of full and differential backups manually. That worked up to the point of the supposed end of the set of backups, when Acronis should have created a new full backup and erased the old set. That is, Acronis did a full backup, and then each day for the next seven days, created a differential backup; it was on day nine that Acronis totally fouled up, and repeated that total foulup on day ten.

    What I am wondering is what would happen were I to create a new schedule, but not run the first backup manually, letting Acronis do that at the scheduled time, then wait several days to see what happens. (Or, I could do that, but with only a few days in the schedule, but there are just too many variables involved: Would it work for, say, three days, but not for eight, and so on.)

    I guess I could start a new set, then do a manual differential several times once I had changed some files; perhaps that would work to show where/what the problem is. I may try that, given that I am quite certain that I need something to do....
     
  10. John Liebson

    John Liebson Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    Posts:
    40
    Well, now I'm even more puzzled.

    I went into Acronis to look at the schedule. I thought that it was set for eight days total, but it is actually set for 10 (1 full, nine differentials.)

    I then, in Acronis, looked at the recovery process, which shows that the files were actually created on their respective dates, despite the dates shown on them in the Windows file manager. The file properties, as shown in the file manager, show that each file was created on a separate day, but that all were modified this morning.

    So, I now wonder if I am quite misunderstanding the Acronis backup procedure. I did scan another thread a short while ago, which spoke about some process of combining and/or updating interim backup files. Perhaps this same thing is happening with my full and differential backups, and it is just the...

    Oh, hold on a moment: I just went back into the Windows file manager, and added "date created" to the display. That shows that each file was created on a separate date, with all of them modified today, and it is that modification date that I had been looking at. So, part of this now-lengthy thread may have been rather useless.

    On the other hand, I don't see any differential files created on either 1 June or 2 June, but I have not had Acronis send me any emails stating that the backu process failed. However, the Acronis log shows all sorts of things happening on both 1 and 2 June, including deletions, all supposedly done successfully.

    So, I continue to be quite puzzled: My original entry in this thread may well have been engendered by my own confusion, but now I am confused by an apparent failure to create files for yesterday and today.
     
  11. CatFan432

    CatFan432 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Posts:
    333
    Location:
    Topeka, KS, US
    John,
    This may be stating something you already know, but can't tell for sure from the above quote:

    Keep in mind that when TI reaches the limit for a full backup and specified number of differentials, and then creates a new full, that TI does not delete the prior full with all the diffs. It will consolidate diffs from an older full, dropping one at a time, as it creates each new diff for a new full backup.

    That being said, what you are seeing with your files still doesn't make sense, does it? You might post the parameters you've set up for your Backup Location and Scheduled Task, and perhaps a screen shot of what is showing in your file manager.
     
  12. John Liebson

    John Liebson Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    Posts:
    40
    CatFan42: First of all, thanks much for continuing to offer assistance.

    As an aside, I should mention that I switched to Acronis recently, when I found that Ghost was truly buggy. I had started using Ghost's predecessor, based on Web user reports, before Symantec bought it. It was okay, until I started using an external USB drive for backups. Ghost was completely unable to remember that G:\ was now assigned as the backup location, and Symantec "tech support" was truly [fill in the blank as you best see misfit.]

    I had hoped to make an effortless change from Ghost to Acronis, even though I knew that the odds of that happening were in the realm of negative numbers.

    As for the way that Acronis handles new full backups, one of the first messages in this thread indicated that the poster believed that to be the case, which somewhat contradicts the information I posted about this (but my info. may apply well apply only to interim use, not differentials.)

    Now, back to the subject: I was just getting ready to take a screen shot of the file manager, when it occurred to me to check some Acronis settings, and I just may have found something that confused matters.

    1. Backup Rules: There is more than enough disk space assigned, but Maximum number of backups is 8, while Storage Period Limits is 10.

    2. Backup Policy: Create a new full backup after 10 differential backups.

    Note the discrepancy in what I have set: Maximum number 8, with a requirement to create a new full backup after 10.

    Is it even close to the realm of reality to believe that, were I to make the Backup Rules and Backup Policy settings agree with one another, things might be better?
     
  13. CatFan432

    CatFan432 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Posts:
    333
    Location:
    Topeka, KS, US
    John,
    Try dropping the Storage Period Limits altogether, and change your Maximum number of Backups to 12 or more. I'm not sure this will correct your problem, but it's worth a try. TI counts full and differentials against the total, so the 12 should give you enough for one full backup with it's 10 diffs, plus one more full backup. -CF
     
  14. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    Posts:
    25,885
    Hello John Liebson,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Please notice that my post you quoted refers to Acronis Secure Zone, not Acronis Backup Locations. As CatFan432 noted, when Acronis Backup Location reaches it's limit (any of set: maximum number of backups, storage period limit, total size limit), it will first look to consolidate the oldest full backup with the first incremental/differential to it. Only if the oldest backup is full one, without any differential/incremental related to it, it will be deleted.
    Therefore, with your schedule your backup location will hold a maximum of 8 backups at any time, 1 or 2 of which being full backups, and the rest being differential ones.

    Thank you.
    --
    Marat Setdikov
     
  15. John Liebson

    John Liebson Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    Posts:
    40
    Quick report: As of 0301 today, Acronis appears to have picked up where it left off, after I made the changes suggested by CatFan432 yesterday.

    That it, True Image made a new differential backup, even though there are none for for either 2 June nor 3 June.

    Progress may be in the making; I am going to wait another day or two to see if things are now working correctly (that is, once the new file limits are reached, will True Image create a new full backup, etc.)
     
  16. John Liebson

    John Liebson Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    Posts:
    40
    Thanks for the clarification.

    Of course, nothing be what it is, the forum failed to send me an email informing me that you had posted a reply to this thread, sigh. so far, all other replies have sent me the requisite notifications.
     
  17. John Liebson

    John Liebson Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    Posts:
    40
    The continuing saga: As of 0309 today, I now have two full backups. Looks to me as though Acronis more or less followed my revised settings for the number of full/differential backups, but failed to remove the full backup that was made on 24 May.

    In addition, I note that none of the differential backups were modified when today's full backup was created. Does this mean that Acronis has started a completely new set of files; if so, should I delete the older ones?

    If I should delete them, do I just use the Windows file manager to do that, or should I access them through Acronis and delete them that way?
     
  18. CatFan432

    CatFan432 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Posts:
    333
    Location:
    Topeka, KS, US
    John,
    TI will keep your prior full backup, gradually consolidating and removing its attendant differentials to keep within your maximum number of backup limit, and will delete the full when all its differentials have been removed. No need to delete anything manually.


    No, it should be automatic if everything is operating the way it should. If you set your maximum backup number to 13, that is what you should have at all times, as new differentials are added to the new full, thus forcing out an old differential from the prior full.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2007
  19. John Liebson

    John Liebson Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    Posts:
    40
    Well, CatFan432, I don't understand why it took you eleven minutes to reply....

    As always, my thanks for sticking with this. Given your latest assistance, I'll just wait until tomorrow morning to see what Acronis is up to.

    (Maybe someday, I'll understand how Acronis works. If that turns out to be true, I'll just have to find something else to confuse me. The good part of that is is that it will be so easy to find the new causative agent.)
     
  20. CatFan432

    CatFan432 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Posts:
    333
    Location:
    Topeka, KS, US
    John,
    Just happened to be here, and hope things are back on track with TI. If they are, it's my guess that just changing the parameters, thereby creating a new .cfg file, may have helped, and not so much the parameters themselves.

    I make no claims to understanding how TI works, I have just been trying to observe what it does.

    Regards, CatFan
     
  21. John Liebson

    John Liebson Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    Posts:
    40
    I am posting a last message in this thread, mainly for anyone who happens to find and read it, and wonders what happened: I waited until my settings for the number of full and differential backups was reached before adding this post.

    During that time, I noticed that Acronis was creating one new differential each day, and deleting an older one. At 0300 today, Acronis created a new full backup and removed the old one.

    Thus, it appears that Acronis works as I was informed that it did. Acronis even worked properly across the gap in differential backups, where two days were missed. It was after that gap that I changed the backup settings; Acronis recognized the changed settings and continued to work correctly.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.