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Suggest a backup philosophy?

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Beginner
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Comments: 2

Hello,

I have been doing monthly full backups plus daily differential backups with Brand X software, which simply copies files (no compression or imaging, directly accessible to Windows).  Each full backup contains dozens of GB of duplicated data from the previous month (photos, videos, etc, which don't change), so then I use a "find duplicate files" routine in my Windows Explorer replacement to delete all the duplicates between this month's and the previous month's full backups.  Then the previous month only contains files which differ from the current month.  This makes finding a version of a changed file a challenge, but backup storage space is minimal.  I also use another program to do weekly bootable image backups of my system partitions.

Can someone suggest a way to get Acronis to do something like this, but better?  I want to avoid the duplicate file proliferation between full backups, but I don't care whether the daily & monthly backups are plain files or only accessible through an Acronis interface (as long as that's reasonably quick).

Thanks for any help!

Gerrit

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Legend
Posts: 81
Comments: 18530

#1

Gerrit, welcome to these public User Forums.

Acronis True Image is capable of doing much more than just copying files using different backup schemes, and it would eliminate the duplication of files which are already present in the initial full backup of any differential or incremental backup scheme, as only changed data is included.

With ATI you can create 2 different types of backup version chains:

Disks & Partitions backups where you are capturing an image of the whole disk / partition structure such that you can recover from a failed disk drive without needing to reinstall your Windows OS.

Files & Folders backups, where you are capturing your selected user folders and files.

All ATI backup schemes start with an initial Full backup image, after which you have the choice between creating incremental backup files (capturing only the changes since the previous backup action) or creating differential backup files (capturing all changes since the initial full backup each time).
Note: It is recommended not to make very long chains of either incremental or differential backup files, but to start a new backup chain with a new Full backup at regular intervals.

The ATI backup files (.tib or .tibx [ATI 2020 Disk backups]) can be opened in Windows Explorer on the computer where ATI is installed - this is enabled by the Windows Shell Integration with ATI.  The files cannot be opened or browsed in Explorer on systems that don't have ATI installed unless you use the bootable Acronis Rescue Media to open them outside of Windows.

In terms of performance of accessing your ATI backup files, that will really depend on a number of factors including your CPU, memory, disk speed but importantly, where the files are stored, i.e. whether they are on a local internal or external drive, a network drive or in the Acronis Cloud.

Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 2

#2

Thanks for the helpful reply, Steve.  I knew Acronis would do full and differential backups, and I know that differential backups are vastly smaller than the full.  It's the file duplication between full backups that seems wasteful to me.  If I do full backups monthly, upwards of 90% of the backups are duplicated files.

Does ATI have a way of directly dealing with the file duplication between full backups?

One way to mitigate the problem is by doing full backups less often.  What is the penalty if I do, say, annual full backups and incremental or differential between?  My CPU is generally near the high end, and my backups are kept on local external USB hard drives.

Legend
Posts: 81
Comments: 18530

#3

ATI does not provide any direct way of dealing with file duplication in the context of the full backup contents.

The answer here is really about your approach to storing backups and keeping up to three generations of the backup chains, i.e. adopting a Grandfather, Father, Son approach, where these are stored in different / separate locations or media types.

A further suggestion would be to consider separating the older, unchanging data if this is an option, so that you could have separate backup tasks with different schedules for the unchanging data and the more frequently changing data.

See the following Acronis article about Computer Backups which may give you further ideas.

Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 2

#4

Thanks a million, Steve, that should do it.  I like the idea of backing up the more permanent stuff differently than the rest.  I'll think about that some and I'm sure I can come up with a reasonable scheme.