Very large incremental backups

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by cbird01, Aug 30, 2007.

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  1. cbird01

    cbird01 Registered Member

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    I have created a full backup on Feb 21 with the "My Computer" option for a clone of my disk. I completed an Incremental on May 13th and another on Aug 8th.

    The problem is, my drive I am backing up only has 23.6 GB of data and the backups sizes are 18.8 GB, 15.6 GB, and 12.9 GB. If I continue doing these backups it will fill my external hard drive.

    If incremental backups are supposed to only store changes, why are these files so big? I did not make any huge changes to warrant such sizes.

    The file names end in _215D, _215D2, _215D3. On my first incremental, I chose _215D as the "existing backup file to back up only changes that took place since the backup creation" On the second incremental, I chose _215D2.

    Why does it keep making such big backups?
     
  2. cbird01

    cbird01 Registered Member

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    Well I have just tried again and chose the Aug 8th incremental. My new incremental was 3.34GB. Much smaller, but still seems like more changes than I made and why were the last two so big?
     
  3. tombuhn

    tombuhn Registered Member

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    Well I am new to this forum & software and have the same issue that you have. From my reading in this forum it sounds like if you defrag your HD then run a diff or incremental bu, your back up will be as large as your original :(.

    There doesn't seem to be a fix for this :( I'm crushed. I thought Acronis was the answer to my needs for BU's.

    I wonder if the Server edition works around this issue?

    I hope an Acronis forum member helps us with this!
     
  4. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    cbird01 and Tom:

    It isn't very practical to do incremental backups that are so widely spaced in time. After a few months of Windows updates, log file changes, and normal user file creation/deletion, there are many changes to your disk. Additionally, as Tom noted, each time you defragment your disk, many of the sectors are rearranged. When TrueImage creates a "My Computer" (image) backup of the drive it is looking for changes to the sectors on the disk. After a few months there are so many that the incremental backup image is very large indeed.

    I think that you would do better to create a full backup each time if you are backing up once every 3 months. Personally, I always create full image backups and never bother with incrementals.

    For nearer-term backup requirements consider creating a second partition on your disk so that your OS is on one partition and your user files are on the other. Have Windows move your "My Documents" folder to the second (data) partition. Then you can run incremental backups of your data partition more frequently and the size of the incrementals should be a lot smaller.
     
  5. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    The problem is that you are making an image and incrementals of a boot disk with Windows on it. Windows changes lots of files as it runs. It creates temporary files and deletes them when you shut down. Internet browsing creates lots of temp files as well as cookies. Each application alters some of it's files as it runs as well as creating the data files that you saved.

    All these changes are captured by the incremental backup, so it is much larger than you would expect. Furthermore, a defragmentation will change the location of many, many files, and all off these will be included in the incremental backup. As a result, incremental backup images of a boot drive are not very useful. Many of us only make full images of the boot drive as a result.

    If you create a second partition or install a second hard drive and save only your data files in that location, incremental backups will be much closer to the size you would expect (unless you defragment that data partition).

    So, incrementals are great for data partitions but not very useful for boot partitions.
     
  6. cbird01

    cbird01 Registered Member

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    Am I able to do this with an existing system, without reloading operating system? How?
     
  7. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    There are many partitioning programs available to do this. My personal favorite is Acronis Disk Director.

    The alternative that jmk94903 suggested, to add a second internal hard disk and use it for your data, is also a very good suggestion.
     
  8. tombuhn

    tombuhn Registered Member

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    Hey there Mark, just so you know I run a diff bu every night and still get a file size that is the same as the original :(. I don't wait 3 months or even 1 week before running a diff or inc backup. I also defrag everynight and what is funny about this is that there is almost no defragmentation do the fact that I defrag every night and yet I still get a HUGH diff or inc backup.

    So how I see it is that I am doing what most people don't do by:

    1. Defragging everyday
    2. Run a BU after the defrag
    3. Store the BU on a 2nd drive and put a second copy on the net for safe keeping

    It seems that Acronis will not let me do this because it sees that the sectors have changed and basically re-creates another HUGH diff or inc back up.

    :(

    Sad but True
     
  9. SloPoke

    SloPoke Registered Member

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    Are you sure those huge differentials or incrementals are really incrementals or differentials? Explore the tib file and make sure it says "Volume 2 (or 3, etc.) of multivolume file archive"
     
  10. cbird01

    cbird01 Registered Member

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    Sounds like it does not matter. They will bloat if you do a defrag either way. That is what I determined is goin on with my files. I have an automatic defragmenter (IObit Smartdefrag) that is always doing its job in the background. I am going to switch to full backups only.
     
  11. fredthejerk

    fredthejerk Registered Member

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    Hi
    I have the same problem - i don't leave it months until I make am inc/diff backup. maybe just a few days with a very stable system - no defrag etc. I wonder whether TI is actually deciding to do a full backup for some reason - I know that Ghost 10 does this - some times it decides to make an inc backup , other times start with a new out of series filename full backup. This behaviour is preferred as u dont know whether it is safe with TI to delete one of the pseudo incremental bacckups in TI?
     
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