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Acronis 2021 confused about Old Version Cleanup

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Acronis seems to have problems managing old backups.  I have automated backups of my logical drives, and when they get to the maximum allowed size of the backup, instead of deleting the oldest backup, Acronis stalls and waits for a console input.  How do you convince it not to stop and wait for an input?

Note that I don't do ANYTHING to the backup drive other than mount it for the backup runs.  Acronis should be able to manage the space allocation without stopping.  When I get the stop, I select cancel since retry is pointless.  The backup continues and successfully completes.

What's going on?

Typical error I see:

Archive E-Drive task is waiting for user interaction.
Information: Failed to open backup U:\Drive_E_Backup\Archive E-Drive_diff_b2_s3_v1.tib. Make sure the backup location is accessible and contains all versions of the backup.
Details: If you moved or renamed it, return it to the same location or restore the initial file name, respectively, and then click Retry.


Some further information.

Here's the error screen, what's in the backup folder, and the option set for automatic cleanup.  It's obvious from the folder that the automatic cleanup previously removed the old file they're now looking for.  Since these are all full backups, I fail to see why it's an issue, this seems to be simply a flaw in their automatic cleanup.  I don't know, but I'd think after all these years, something this simple could have been perfected!

Attachment Size
___TI Error N1_0.png 12.21 KB
___TI Error N2_0.png 75.26 KB
___TI Error N3_0.png 24.73 KB
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John, the option that you are using for automatic cleanup to 'Keep the size of the backup to no more than 1TB' is one that I have never used so am a little unsure as to whether it works the same as the other options??  See below for how the alternative options work.  I would recommend switching to using 'Store no more than X versions' after calculating how many such full versions can be held on your drive then reducing X by 1.

Note: You may need to use the Cleanup versions tool to remove the oldest files to give sufficient free space on your storage drive.

KB 61844: Acronis True Image 2019, 2020 and 2021: How to delete old backups

Automatic cleanup

There can be lots of confusion around the topic of automatic cleanup which can be better understood if some basic concepts are known!

First:  automatic cleanup only works on complete(d) versions / version chains.  Do not expect individual elements of version chains to be cleaned up, such as incremental or differential files!

Second: automatic cleanup only runs after a new Full backup for the next version / version chain has been created successfully.  This means that there must be sufficient free space available on the storage drive / location to hold a new Full backup image file!

Third: counting of days does not start until after a new Full backup file has been created when using the option to ‘Delete versions / version chains older than X days.’  It does not start for the active backup version / version chain before that point!

Fourth: the simplest & easiest automatic cleanup option to use & understand is to ‘Store no more than X recent versions / version chains.’  The criteria here means that if you set X = 2, then when the X+1 (3rd) version / version chain is created successfully with a new Full backup file, then the oldest version / version chain will be deleted by automatic cleanup.


Incremental backup task, using Full plus 5 Incremental backups before next new Full backup.

Task scheduled to run daily with automatic cleanup set to ‘Store no more than 2 version chains.’

Day 1 – Full backup created.

Days 2 – 6 Incremental backups created.

Day 7 – Next new Full backup created. 

Days 8 – 12 Incremental backups created.

Day 13 – Next new Full backup created.  Automatic cleanup deletes files created on days 1 – 6.

If the same task used ‘Delete version chains older than 7 days’, then those 7 days wouldn’t start counting until day 7 for the first set of files (version chain 1) and not until day 13 for the second set etc.  So automatic cleanup wouldn’t delete the oldest chain until day 14 in the above example.

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Posts: 8
Comments: 43

I suspect you're right, I'll change from the size to the number of backups.  Since I am doing full backups for all these datasets, it shouldn't get confused about incremental or differential parts, there aren't any! :)

I've configured it with the number of backups, I notice my other series of backups were already configured that way, and I've never seen the error.  Obviously, the "size" option is less than perfect! ;)