Which file to select for incremental backup?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by johncobb49, Mar 16, 2009.

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  1. johncobb49

    johncobb49 Registered Member

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    I have done the initial backup of my whole HD and additional incremental backups (5 incremental).
    In the folder where my backups are saved there is a .tib file without a number, which is the initial backup and there are also .tib2, tib3, tib4, tib5, tib6 files.
    When I choose to perform my next incremental backup Acronis asks me that I have to select a .tib file from the folder where my backups are saved.
    Which file should I select? The initial .tib file or the .tib6 which is the last incremental backup that I have saved? Or does it matter at all?
    I want to make sure that I select the correct .tib file and that I do it the right way so later when I need to restore my HK I will have no surprises and the restore will be successful.

    Second question:

    Sizes of .tib files in my back up folder:
    tib = 9GB
    tib2 = 3GB
    tib3 = 5GB
    tib4 = 11GB
    tib5 = 3GB
    tib6 = 7GB

    Why the initial backup .tib file is smaller than the incremental .tib4?
    And why .tib5 is smaller than .tib4?
    I thought that the initial .tib should be the largest file because it is a backup of my whole HD?
    I did not add much to my HD since the initial backup.
    My HD size is 320GB and used only 21GB.

    Thanks in advance for your explanations.
    Best regards to everyone
    John
     
  2. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello John,

    Thank you for using Acronis True Image

    An incremental backup contains all changes that have been made since the latest incremental or full backup was created. That's why if you want to create a new incremental backup file, you should select the latest incremental backup file in the chain.

    About the incremental backup file that is larger than the full one. I suppose that a defragment program is running in the background. You should disable it, or you can create a new full backup file after every defrag operation.

    Thank you.

    --
    Oleg Lee
     
  3. johncobb49

    johncobb49 Registered Member

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    Thank you for reply and your explanation.
    You have answered my questions and made it clear.
    Regards,
    John K.
     
  4. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Oleg,

    Why is this recommended? As far as I know, all the versions of TI have never cared which image file of a set is selected.

    For example, here is a excerpt from the TI 2009 manual (section 5.3.2):
    That being said, I also tend to select the latest Incremental file when creating a new one.
     
  5. kevinkar

    kevinkar Registered Member

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    This was the subject of one of my recent issues that finally was resolved with some time-wasting experimentation on my part.

    Clearly the software is sophisticated enough to know to increment the next incremental with the next number in the series but is not sophisticated enough to know to capture the changes since the last incremental unless you specifically select the last incremental in the list.

    If you select one of the other incremental archives or even the original full backup, the software may not actually do the changes since the actual last incremental and instead will determine the changes between now and the one on which you clicked! Very different outcomes depending on what you select.

    This needs to be resolved in my opinion. It should determine the changes since the very last incremental automatically and not rely on what you click.

    And, in my experience, you could make a new incremental archive, reboot the computer without entering into Windows, and immediately make another incremental which should be extremely small since there are no changes (remember you just rebooted and did not enter Windows) and find a new incremental archive that is huge.

    So incremental file sizes don't necessarily correlate to the real amount of changes even if you turn off defragmentation programs, virus scanners, etc.

    Based on my experience, mind you.
     
  6. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    kevinkar,

    What version and build of TI did you use for your tests?

    I have not run tests on this, but select the last Incremental because that has always seemed to be the logical choice.

    Also, the information provided by Acronis and the staff that responds here doesn't always agree, which doesn't help things.
     
  7. kevinkar

    kevinkar Registered Member

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    I am not at home at the moment and don't remember the build but it's the last available TI 11 version, whatever build that is.
     
  8. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello MudCrab and kevinkar,

    Thank you for using Acronis True Image

    MudCrab, I think, kevinkar shared my opinion. My note is based on my experience too. Also, I can add that recently we created a special task to our developers, we collected a lot of cases about this abnormal behavior. I hope, this issue will be fixed soon.

    Thank you.

    --
    Oleg Lee
     
  9. degraft

    degraft Registered Member

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    I used Acronis True Image Home to back up a compressed image of my primary HDD on 12/13/08 (right after getting SP1 for Vista). Today, 7/29/09, I made an incremental backup. Now I have two puzzling files on the external HDD I placed the compressed images onto: 1) ‘081213. SP1 new.tib’ [11.5 GB – the size of the original], and 2) ‘081213. SP1 new2.tib’ [19.3 GB]. They both appear to contain the same two ‘compressed folders’ in spite of one being much larger than the other. Here’s a screen capture of part of the folder tree showing what I was left with after making the incremental backup:

    * * * * *
    http://img129.imageshack.us/img129/8870/acronisduplicationinfol.png
    * * * * *

    I don’t know what Acronis Did? I thought it was just going to put ONE incremental backup image on the backup HDD. Do I need both ‘081213. SP1 new.tib’ and ‘081213. SP1 new2.tib’ to recover from a crash or is one of them now obsolete? Do I need to keep both of these files if I wish to have a choice between going back to 12/13/08 [less data corruption] or 7/29/09 [easier overall]?

    * * *

    Having read another [this] post, I believe I know the answers to my questions (but I’m not sure). I should disregard the seemingly identical contents of ‘081213. SP1 new.tib’ and ‘081213. SP1 new2.tib’ and use ‘…new.tib’ first (to take me back to 12/13/0:cool: – and then (if I wish) use ‘…new2.tib’ to take it to 7/29/09.

    Please let me know whether I got it right.

    ~degraft
     
  10. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    With over seven months between the Full and Incremental, I would have just done another Full. By creating an Incremental image, it is attached to the old Full and you'll need to keep both to use the Incremental. Note that a new Full would probably have been the same size (or close to it) as the Incremental. If you had created another Full image it would not be dependent on the first Full.

    If you want to restore either image, just select that image and do the restore. For example, to restore the "...new2.tib" image, just select that file and restore it. There's no need to restore the Full image first.
     
  11. minimustangs

    minimustangs Registered Member

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    Hmmmm.... not trying to hijack or anything but...almost the same question my client is asking: Do we NEED ALL the incremental backups since the first full backkup?

    My question is... Do They?

    If the full backup is 07012008_.tib
    do they need 07012008_2.tib through 07012008_59.tib?

    Do the Incrementals stand on thier own with the original, or are all in sequence requred. They are backup up 4 systems for a planning dept with daily backups and have fileld the 250 NAS drive.

    Is there a better backup strategy to adopt for 4 systems, daily backups?
     
  12. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    The Full and all Incrementals up to the point you wish to use must be kept. If you want to restore the #59 Incremental image, you must have the Full image and all previous Incrementals. If you want to restore the #32 Incremental image, you must have the Full and all Incrementals up to and including #32.

    I would try to avoid long chains of Incrementals. You may want to try doing a new Full every week and then Incrementals until the next week (1 Full + 6 Incrementals per week).
     
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