8985: Prevent Hibernate/Sleep During Backup

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Robin Davis
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Like the others in http://forum.acronis.com/forum/4188, I also want AB&R 2010 (my current version is 10.0.11345) to prevent Windows 7 (I run 64-bit) from going into Sleep/Hibernate while performing a backup (but to go into Sleep/Hibernate whenever finished or backup failed).

I know the above post has a Windows Task Scheduler scripting workaround but, as others specified, this is not the point, especially for non-techies for whom it is probably beyond them to setup easily and correctly.

I know Windows 7 has clamped down on its Hibernate/Sleep algorithms but overcoming such functionality in valid cases like backups (and maybe even differentiating whether it is happening on a desktop or laptop on charge for this to happen safely as opposed to a laptop under battery when it is not) is rather one of the most basic requirements for a backup solution like Acronis.

So I'm totally surprised that this isn't under the Acronis "hood" and, instead, relies on the user being a techie.

Btw in my other searches, I have found a scripting solution (prob the same as in the forum post above) to turn on/off the power mgmt which can be placed in Acronis Before/After scripts. It can be found here (http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7performance/thread/45...) and I would apparently assume that AB&R doesn't request System Resources (which I can't believe) making Power Mgmt think that nothing is happening and so can go to Sleep/Hibernate.

FYI I have been writing this post while I have had to wait for my Documents backup to finish when I came back this morning and resumed from hibernation, expecting it to have finished, and finding that it hadn't and resuming itself.

So please, please, Acronis Devs, please overcome this aversion by providing us with this little bit of Must-Have functionality. I do not want to muck around with Windows Task Scheduler and batch files and all sorts; nor do I want to manually change my Power Mgmt configs each day (or night ideally) before a scheduled backup is to start/after it finishes; nor do I want to rush back to my PC every 10-15 mins to wiggle my mouse to stop my PC going to sleep/hibernate.

In summary, can we please have the following integrated into AB&R 2010:
- An option to prevent Windows 7 (or Vista) going to Sleep/Hibernate while a backup is in progress?
- The above to be clever and discern whether the PC in question is a desktop or laptop (or certainly under mains power rather than battery power) so that this can do it safely?
- Be able to wake up a PC from sleep/hibernate to start a backup (and go back again afterwards, ideally straight afterwards rather than waiting for the Power Mgmt timeout)? [FYI not sure if it already does this - I would like to be able to schedule my backups during my sleep hours but don't currently as I don't believe it would and I need my backups].
- Manage all the above even if the backup fails for some reason?

I do love my AB&R 2010. Far better than ATI etc but it is rather lacking this Must-Have functionality.

Thanks in advance.

Oleg
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Hello Robin,

Thank you very much for the feedback.

I will submit the requests to the appropriate department. The persons that are responsible for product management the will take into consideration your opinion. 

Thank you.

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milt2010
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Robin Davis wrote:[...] In summary, can we please have the following integrated into AB&R 2010:
- An option to prevent Windows 7 (or Vista) going to Sleep/Hibernate while a backup is in progress?

Hello. I know, it's a bit late to reply and, maybe, you have already find a solution. But maybe not or someone else will find my answer useful. So, as for all the the problems you report, I agree at all with you and of course hope that Acronis, soon, will do some options about it. But, in the meantime, to prevent sleep/hibernate, I use a "trick": as you maybe know, in windows 7 (I'm not sure but I think in XP too) there is an option to prevent sleep/hibernate when you share media! So i open a program like uTorrent or emule for example, and start sharing a file. It is good to choose a file like movie or something else a little big 600 or more MB, that not finish very soon, of course. So, as the program is working (downloading-seeding) with the share the machine doesn't go to... Sleep! Hope this help. See you.

To enable the option in Win. 7:
1) Control Panel\Hardware and Sound\Power Options
2) Click "Change Plan Settings" option (one of the three it's no matter)
3) click to "Change advanced power settings"
4) go to the end of options and click "Multimedia settings" -> "When sharing media" -> "Setting: Prevent idling to sleep"
5) click OK.
You are ready.

Vernon Chatman III
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I'm posting this because Acronis has not (as of this date) implemented a 'full' solution to this problem. It is relatively straightforward and does not require deep technical skills.

I'm using build 10.0.13544 with Windows 7 Ultimate.

Create a .bat file named  PowerCFG containing the following lines (you can use Notepad, and save with .bat extension):

powercfg -h on
powercfg -x -hibernate-timeout-ac 60

replace "60" with the number of minutes before hibernation (it should be whatever is set in your Power Plan).

I suggest you save the file in the Acronis directory (e.g., C:\Program Files\Acronis\PowerCFG.bat)

Set the following default backup options (see Options menu).

Under Pre/post commands check Execute before the backup, select Edit and:

Under Command insert

 powercfg

Under Arguments enter:

-h off

this turns off hibernation (Sleep should already be set to Never in your Power Plan). Test the command and click Ok.

Next, check Execute after the backup, select Edit and enter:

{your path}\PowerCFG.bat

This will turn hibernation back on and set the time before hibernation. Test the command and click Ok.

Click OK to  finish and save Default Backup and Recovery Options.

These changes will only be effective for new Backup Plans.  However, you can edit the Backup options in existing plans and change the pre/post commands as above.

I hope this helps someone, it took me awhile to discover this solution. Perhaps it is available elsewhere and I just missed it--I do not want to take undue credit.

RandySea
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Very clever, Vernon. It should work for anyone using hibernate. But I wonder how this would integrate with the "shutdown after backup finishes" option. Would the hibernate reset command run at all? If not, then the system would be left with hibernate turned off. This might also happen if the system crashed during backup. Hibernate would be turned off but you wouldn't know unless you checked.

Personally, I have never liked the hibernate feature. I use Standby/Sleep during the hours I may use my laptop, then turn the laptop off for the night. I do this whether on AC or battery, but mostly I use AC. I also lock the keyboard while any backup program is running if I leave the computer unattended.

Unfortunately, there is no equivalent, simple command line function to put in a batch file for Standby/Sleep. I think I could figure one out, but it would require a much more complicated file since I would have to identify and enter those very long profile names.

I think the ball is still in Acronis's court to fix this problem. In other threads, users have pointed out that some competing programs do this, so apparently it is not prevented by Windows itself.

RandySea
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I did try another backup program, downloaded for a "trial period." Set my on-AC sleep timer to 15 minutes and the backup schedule to start in 45 minutes. The laptop went to sleep. When I woke it manually an hour later, the backup had not run. That is, it did not wake up the laptop. It did begin running immediately after coming awake.

I left the machine and came back a while later. It was again in sleep. I woke it. The backup had continued to run for 40 minutes. That is, Windows did not go into sleep while the backup ran to completion.

My point is that I verified myself that it is possible for a non-MS backup program to keep running and delay the machine from going to sleep. I hope Acronis can figure out how to do this.

Vernon Chatman III
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I switched from Norton to Acronis B&R because it had BOTH UR and W7 support--at a reasonable price. I would like B&R to wakeup system from hiberation--something True Image Home has!, but have resorted to a standalone program for wakeup to run A&R time scheduled backups, but I need B&R to run to completion--hence the above.

BTW. In the event of a shutdown or crash, a reboot should re-establish your 'normal' power plan and not leave you with hibernation off.

I won't use backup software that does not have Universal Restore or equivalent.

RandySea
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I just have Acronis Home. It was comparable in price after rebates to Ghost 15, i.e., $25.

I guess each of us has a different feature set that we want. Universal Restore is not something I care about. If I'm switching machines for any reason, I want the new one to be clean on its own.

Mostly I worry about (1) crashing my boot partition and (2) losing my data and photo files. Both Ghost and Acronis Home deal with this. But I also care about how easy and fast. So far in tests of incremental changes on my data partition, in three tries Acronis has created a new, full, 50+ GB backup after only a few files changed. This takes 90 minutes or so with a USB 2.0 drive. Ghost took a couple of minutes with the same changes and created a 5 MB incremental backup. This issue has been raised elsewhere in the forum.

I really like the Acronis feature to back up EFS encrypted files in an unencrypted state. They would still be protected by Acronis's own encryption and could be restored without needing the EFS key. Unfortunately, according to other threads and my own test, this feature has never worked. Ghost doesn't even try this.

Meanwhile, I guess I've gotten off topic. To get back to it, having to create batch files, change parameters, etc., so the backup won't be stopped by Sleep or Hibernate, is neither easy nor fast.

Anton
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Hello all,

Thank you very much for your comments and your feedback.

I wanted to let you know that our Development team is working on fixing this issue and I have also requested a Knowledge Base article with Vernon's workaround.

Vernon, thank you very much for your valuable contribution.

I will keep you posted and if you need additional help please let me know.

Thank you.

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Vernon Chatman III
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Anton. When the KB article is posted, please let me know--I would like to take a look at it. Thanks.

Michael Welch
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It's true that there is no sleep/standby equivalent to the "-h off" to start and "-h on" to finish. But are those actually necessary?

Can't you just pass "-x hibernate-timeout-ac 0" to shut it off in the pre command and "-x hibernate-timeout-ac [whatever value you had]" to turn it back on in the post command? If so, then you wouldn't need to create any batch file and it would also work fine for users who prefer sleep (stand by) to hibernate (just use "standby-timeout-ac" rather than "hibernate-timeout-ac" in the arguments).

Vernon Chatman III
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Test it and let us know.

Michael Welch
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Will do. I'm not at my home machine right now, but I'll try it when I get home from work tonight.

Michael Welch
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I just ran a couple of small backups to test. It seemed to work fine with just passing 0 value to turn it off and then the desired minute value to turn it back on. Worked both for hibernate and for sleep.

The catch (which I guess would apply to any attempt to address this problem through the pre and post commands) is that if you choose the option to automatically validate the back up once it's complete (which I do), the post command still runs at the end of the *back up* step, i.e. before the validation step begins. So that turns the sleep/hibernate back on at that point and leaves the machine subject to going to sleep during the validation step.

Vernon Chatman III
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I'm out of town, but will try to remember to check it out after my return. I do full on 1st and incremental on all other days of the month. I backup my entire system [multiple drives] including the OS. Validation in that context, based on prior experience, takes multiple days as the month goes on--i gave up!! I only do it for the full. However, this is just one more reason for Acronis to address this problem and not leave us to 'home remedies.'

Vernon Chatman III
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Based on the effect I can observe on power settings without running actual backups, I agree a batch file is not necessary {0 sets condition to Never, therefore no need to turn condition ON, can just set to desired value after backup}. I will be making the change.

NOTE: one could use batch files (one before and one after) to deal with both Sleep and Hibernate, but that is a different discussion.

Vernon Chatman III
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It is important to note that "timeout" approach is power mode specific (ac or dc). One would need a batch file if need to set conditions for ac and dc. I only do backups in ac mode, others may not.