Swapping hard drives each week - will ATI10 handle that okay?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Brian Kendig, Jan 7, 2007.

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  1. Brian Kendig

    Brian Kendig Registered Member

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    I just ordered Acronis True Image 10, and I'm going to use it to back up a computer with important business information on it. To ensure that my data is safe, I'm going to be backing up to two external USB hard drives - one is a Maxtor OneTouch, the other is a Western Digital. One will be connected to the PC for nightly backups while the other is in a safe. Every week I'll swap the drives.

    Can ATI10 handle this okay? When it makes incremental backups, does it back up anything changed since the previous backup (which might be on the other drive), or anything changed since the most recent backup on this drive?

    If it only backs up changes since the previous backup, then I might lose any changes I made in the previous week, if one of the backup drives dies.
     
  2. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Acronis probably can handle it fine, but you are complicating, to the point, that the odds of something going wrong is high.

    Frankly I always do complete images. I find it quicker, although it does take more space. Also since you say your stuff is important, it is important that you some how protect your data, and then test images, by restoring. No other test is really valid.

    I restore every image I take. That way I know if I need it I will have it.

    Pete
     
  3. Brian Kendig

    Brian Kendig Registered Member

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    How is it quicker to make a full backup than an incremental backup? Won't a full backup keep copying the files that never change?

    One of the other reasons I don't want to do a full backup every time is that either I create a new file every time I do a full backup - which fills up the backup drive quickly - or else I delete the previous full backup before creating a new one, which means if something goes wrong during the backup, then I have no previous backup to fall back on. How do you deal with this?
     
  4. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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  5. Brian Kendig

    Brian Kendig Registered Member

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    That doesn't help me - I *want* my backups to be images of the complete hard drive, so that if the system fails I can restore quickly without having to reinstall the operating system or any apps.
     
  6. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Acronis bases its incremental on the selected backup it should capture all the changes made since that particular backup was created so I agree with Peter2150 that it will work fine.

    Based on your description you seem to be planning on running long chains of incrementals. If so, I disagree with the approach since a bad incremental backup will render any backups later than it useless. I would be looking at a full backup on the first night the drive is put back into service and then incrementals for the rest of the week on that drive. Doing Fulls is even better and external drives are pretty cheap but that is up to you.

    I don't know how important and dynamic these business records are, but if you have the previous week's external drive in the safe and your PC including the attached external drive are stolen on day 6, you will have lost a week's data.

    As with any backup program/procedure you have to test it completely which means a restore before you know it works properly.
     
  7. CatFan432

    CatFan432 Registered Member

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    Brian Kendig,
    Brian K wrote,
    To which you replied:
    You might gives some more thought to what Brian K is recommending, as he is not suggesting you forgo an O/S image to reinstall your O/S and apps.

    If you separate your business documents, letters, invoices, whatever, to distinct folders or better yet a separate partition, the data is better protected. You might also consider a synchronization program such as ViceVersa, which can duplicate your business data “on the fly” if you choose, keeping you backed up as you go, to the same USB drives your TI backups are going to. This helps eliminate a large number of incremental backups.

    You could do both, a TI backup and sync and double up your protection, with the added benefit that your business data isn’t stashed away exclusively in a large backup file. Also I agree with Peter2150 and seekforever that full backups are preferable, fewer things to go wrong.
     
  8. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello Brian Kendig,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Please notice that in order to make incremental backups on both disks you will need to first create a full backup on each of them. After that Acronis True Image 10.0 Home will automatically backup anything changed since the most recent backup on this drive when making incremental backups. Notice that those incremental backups from 2 different drives will be different and therefore not interchangeable.

    Please also note that since both drivers will not be connected to the computer at the same time in could happen that Windows will assign the same drive each time you connect the drive, so you should take it into consideration when creating backup archive or scheduled tasks.

    Thank you.
    --
    Marat Setdikov
     
  9. Ctein

    Ctein Registered Member

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    Dear Marat,

    Will this also work with Acronis True Image Home 9 (which is what I'm still running)? I'm in much the same situation as the original poster-- I'd like to maintain dual daily incremental backups, alternating weeks between them. In other words, Feb 1-7, I'd daily increment Set A, then 8-15, I'd back up to Set B, 16-21 to Set A, again. This will give me full, independent backups with ATI 9, too?

    A related question: Can I take an incremental backup set, delete some of the most recent increments and have ATI 9 properly back up to that set everything that's changed since the last undeleted increment?

    There are several reasons I'd want to do that. One recent example is last month I generated 50-60 GB of temporary work product on a job. Those files have since been moved off system and I no longer need them, but meanwhile my incremental set is hugely bloated. I'd like to just throw away the last couple of weeks of incremental, back to e.g. 1/5/07. Will ATI 9 take that truncated set and in the next incremental pick everything that's changed/new and still resident on the hard drive since 1/5/07?

    Thanks!

    Ctein
     
  10. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello Ctein,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    We are sorry for the delayed response.

    Yes, Acronis True Image 9.0 Home handles incremental backups the same way.
    You can delete any number of last incremental backups, and the remaining ones will be valid to restore. Just make sure to not delete incremental backups from the middle of the sequence, leaving “holes”.
    Please note that the first incremental backup will probably be rather big, as the interval is long and there was much system activity.

    Thank you.
    --
    Marat Setdikov
     
  11. Ctein

    Ctein Registered Member

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    Dear Marat,

    Thank you very much for the reply. This will be extremely useful. I can immediately prune some tempory work product from one of my partition backup sets and free up about 100 GB of backup space (and make the validation process a lot faster).

    pax / Ctein
     
  12. como

    como Registered Member

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    You would probably find that another full image would be quicker than an incremental in this case
     
  13. Ctein

    Ctein Registered Member

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    Yes, often, but that doesn't preserve old work product or history.

    I do full backups-- they go offsite/offsystem for catastrophic recovery. I keep incrementals online as a history archive/wayback machine/'magic undo box.' Maintaining them for as long as possible is useful.

    One's not better than the other-- they serve different purposes.

    Depending upon how much data's on the partition, sometimes a full backup's faster, sometimes an incremental. For example, if I have a partition with 40GB worth of data, of which 2 GB is new, and an incremental set that's up to 90 GB, it's actually slightly faster to run the incremental than the full backup on my machine.

    Everyone's mileage is gonna differ on that, though. My current internal backup is a very fast SATA drive, so data reads are extremely speedy-- substantially faster than writes.

    pax / Ctein
     
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