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Acronis changing "max usage" slider in system restore

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Beginner
Posts: 3
Comments: 13

I am currently running Acronis True Image 2016, Version 6571, on a Win7x64 desktop.

For a long time now I sometimes see a red bar and get warnings about my C drive running low on space. I have discovered that something (not me) has been changing my "max usage" slider in System Restore from 5% to 100%, and then fills it up with System Restore data.

I found this post online about Avast:

While googling around I [they] found this thread on the Avast! forums: https://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=162041.0 According to this thread, this may be caused by the "NG" piece of the new version of Avast!, meaning you just have to go into control panel, programs and features, select Avast!, click CHANGE (not uninstall), and deselect the NG feature, as well as any others you don't use or are premium features like Grimefighter, Remote Assistance, SecureLine, and the gadget.

I don't use Avast, yet I poked around my software anyway. Nothing interesting.

Another post advised to make sure Volume Shadow Copy (VSS?) Service is running and to change it from manual to "automatic." Did that. No change. Another post mentioned something about software that attempts to interface with the Cloud, and I thought of how Acronis True Image 2016 offered me thata upgrade at every turn. I do not have a subscription for cloud backups. Yet, now I started testing to see if Acronis made the changes.

I reset my "max usage" slider for my C drive under System Restore back to 5%. Then, I started Acronis for a regular complete backup of all my drives - about  2 TB. Bingo! My slider was reset to 100%. The mystery source solved. I repeated this test a half dozen times. I let the system rest for a long time. I retested Acronis. The slider is reset by Acronis during the "calculating time" process.

Now we need a solution to stop Acronis from making changes to my "max usage" slider.

What can I do to stop this annoyance?

Thanks in advance,

DrCarl

Under Acronis Notification, I unchecked everything and the repeatable problem remains.

1 Users found this helpful
Legend
Posts: 105
Comments: 25746

DrCarl wrote:

I reset my "max usage" slider for my C drive under System Restore back to 5%. Then, I started Acronis for a regular complete backup of all my drives - about  2 TB. Bingo! My slider was reset to 100%. The mystery source solved. I repeated this test a half dozen times. I let the system rest for a long time. I retested Acronis. The slider is reset by Acronis during the "calculating time" process.

Whilst I understand the rationale for why you believe Acronis to be responsible for this change based on your tests, I have not seen any other users reporting this in these forums, nor have I experienced this myself in using Acronis products for many years across a variety of different versions of Windows OS, including currently Windows 7 & 10.

This behaviour is also contrary to the fact that Acronis excludes Windows System Volume Information by default in its settings, something users have complained about lots of times because it means all System Restore points are lost when recovering from a backup image that uses these defaults.

If you believe that this is truly an Acronis software defect causing this problem, and it is recreatable on your system, then I would recommend contacting Acronis Support as per article: 18623: How to get Technical Support: Tips, Tricks and Useful Information and use their: 

4.    Priority Pay Per Incident Support
- Related to the technical issues with the product
- Priced per incident
- Valid for 1 incident only
- 24x7
- Provided via e-mail, chat, phone
Response time: 
- 1 business day
- immediate via chat
- immediate via phone

This will cost you an initial fee of $20 but this will be refunded by Acronis if they confirm your belief that this is a software bug that causes this problem.

Forum Hero
Posts: 70
Comments: 8349

I will keep this mind to test in the future.  Upon posting in another thread i was looking at the system protection tab this week and mine was set to 100% as well.  I thought it very strange, but have no idea what may have caused it and have no record in the Windows systems logs.  I did, however, upgrade to 2017 beta 3031 and then to beta 3041 recently, but have no way of verifying if either of those was the cause.  I had set the max usage to back to 5% and it is still at 5% now.  But, when 2017 beta 2 is released and I upgrade, I will be sure to check the max usage before and after the upgrade to see if there is any change so we can help validate or verify if this is, or is not the cause behind this change to 100% max usage for system protection.  I also run some other backup products on my main machine which were recently updgraded, so it could just as easily be them, or another application that made this change, but I have no definititive way of verying which it was at this time.  Apparently though, something has tweaked this setting along the way, on both of our systems. 

Forum Hero
Posts: 70
Comments: 8349

Well, I just confirmed the same to be true for me :(

I ran a normal backup to a local device - no change.

I manually kicked off my full OS cloud backup - slider to 100%.  Please submit feedback in the app, I am going to as well.

Forum Hero
Posts: 70
Comments: 8349

More testing shows that the slider does shoot to 100% during calculating on the cloud backup and remains there during the backup.  However, upon completion, it is back to 5% as was previously configured.  Not sure why this is though. Seems to be harmless if it returns to the original size again and no restore points are lost, but if it stayed at 100% that would be concerning.  Not much information on Google, but am still searching more.

Legend
Posts: 105
Comments: 25746

Looking at this behaviour further, I believe that what we are seeing is the effect of Microsoft VSS in action which is using space on the system drive to store its snapshot data.

I setup a simple test using ATIH 2017 Beta to upload a folder to the cloud and this caused by Max Usage setting to change from 10% to 29% on my Windows 7 32-bit laptop.

I suspect that if I change the task script settings to not use MS VSS and revert to the Acronis snapshot function that this change in max usage won't be seen.

Forum Hero
Posts: 70
Comments: 8349

I agree.  When I find time, I may disable VSS in computer management and run the backup again and see what happens. 

Forum Hero
Posts: 55
Comments: 9017

Is anyone here using a third party app like for example CCleaner which has the abillity to remove/manage system restore points?  If so you might have a look at those apps settings to see what they show.

Legend
Posts: 105
Comments: 25746

I use CCleaner and have done so for years (free version only) and System Restore points are only removed when I manually select to remove them, otherwise CCleaner is not running as I have disabled the auto-monitoring function. I don't use any other apps that would touch System Restore.

Forum Hero
Posts: 55
Comments: 9017

I myself have not and do not use CCleaner at present.  At one time I did, had auto-monitoring enabled as I recall, suffered a disk corruption and found that CCleaner had removed all but the last restore point which as luck would have it was corrupt also.  You are wise to use the tool as you do.  Others reading this post would be well advised to follow your example!

Thanks for posting Steve.

Legend
Posts: 105
Comments: 25746

Update: Just tried to reproduce this issue again but was unable to do so.

Tried an incremental backup of my Windows 7 OS partition to local disk - no change to Max usage.

Tried a small files backup to Acronis Cloud - no change to Max usage.

The only real differences between when I saw the Max usage increase are that I shutdown & restarted the laptop in between the last event and the above tests, plus the size of the data selected to backup to the Cloud (approx 650MB when it changed versus about 30MB today), but if VSS is involved, the Win 7 incremental was over 650MB and scanned > 3GB of data, so still a puzzle.

Forum Hero
Posts: 55
Comments: 9017

Steve,

How much is 10% of your total drive space?  I think in your example 650MB would be the disk spaced used by VSS for the shadow copy.  The 3GB total scan I believe occurs mostly if not entirely in RAM.

I think a better test would be for an entire system disk backup so as to guarantee and large amount of data to be utilized as a shadow copy.  If Acronis Cloud is selected as the destination then I suspect VSS shadow copy and Max Size would increase more due to the limitation of upload speed of any given internet connection.

I believe it is normal behavior for Max Size System Protection shadow copy to increase automatically when necessary dependent on the need.  What is troublesome is that if this size does not decrease back to preset levels.  This would indicate to me an issue with a third party application or a corruption in Windows System Registry where such limits are stored.  Possible corruption of the Shadow Copy Service itself is also a distinct possibility.

Forum Hero
Posts: 70
Comments: 8349

I have a full disk backup to the cloud and that's where I can repeat the behavior each time.  But as it is returning to the set size afterwards, seems to be OK.  Since mine is a full disk cloud backup, makes sense that it would use the entire disk temporarily for the snapshot and kind of makes sense why Steve saw a different increase for a folder backup at one time.  Still seems to vary though, so something to keep an eye on.  As long as the size is returning to what I've set it as, I'm not too worried about the behavior though.  If I find it stuck at 100% or higher at some point, I will be doing some more digging. 

Forum Hero
Posts: 55
Comments: 9017

I hear you there Bobbo, I would do the same thing.  I have seen instances and had them happen to me when a system seems to slow down in operation to an unbearable level, you start looking and discover that your system disk is in the Red (almost full).  You dig some more and find that the System Information file is huge, you look at restore points and there are many, you look at allocated space for restore points and the major part of your disk is being taken up by restore points!  You reduce the allocation size limit for restore points to a more respectable level, reboot, and regain your disk space.  All is well for awhile and then it happens again. 

This scenario is almost a sure sign of Windows Shadow Copy Service corruption.  It can be fixed but it also can be hard to diagnose.  You also will surely loose any system restore points that exist in fixing the issue.  Because of this I for one am gald to see Microsoft leaving System Protection disabled in Windows 10.  Windows 10 offers enough other options to repair a system that the System Protection way of Restore Points is no longer needed.  Nothing beats regular backups of course and that of course is where True Image comes into play.  As you might have guessed I do not have System Protection activated on any of my systems and I do not plan on doing so either!

Forum Hero
Posts: 70
Comments: 8349

Agreed.  I really don't have a need for system protection at home either so usually have it disabled since I prefer the smallest OS footprint and backups possible to increase backup speed and minimize recovery time.  

At work though, system protection has come in handy for the "restore previous versions" availability in Windows.  On a few occassiosn, where users accidentally deleted or modified the wrong version of a file, this has been pretty useful.  When we have a departing employee, we take a full disk image of the system for posterity.  In a few cases, we've been able to restore that image, then use "restore previous versions" and fnd an earlier copy of a particular file (or files) because the most recent copy in Windows was not the one that was actually needed.  Probably not a scenario most people will find in their home environment, but could potentially be useful. 

I only see this behavior on he Cloud backup and not with a local drive or NAS connection backup so don't think it's a VSS corruption in this case - also since I can reproduce it on other systems with different Cloud backups and looks like Steve and the OP can too.  I won't rule it out, but since the change is only temporarily during the cloud backup and returns (or me), I'm just going to monitor from time to time and not worry about it very much unless I see my hard drive filling up for some unknown reason.

Forum Hero
Posts: 55
Comments: 9017

Yes sir, agree completely.  I can certainly see your purpose in the work environment and like you say the home user would likely not have use for it.  If you do at any point notice your system behaving oddly, sluggish, you'll have a suspect to go looking for!

Beginner
Posts: 3
Comments: 13

Interesting thought processes. Thanks everyone for chiming-in. Here are a few points to consider.

FWIW - I am a research scientist, a primary care physician, and am older than the internet, well, almost. Online since 1984. The rest I mention to indicate that I am VERY methodical and even have a touch of OCD - lol? I only report what I see and what I can repeat and repeat, again and again, over and over - lol?

As much as I appreciate the opportunity to pay a $20 gamble to see where the problem is, I'll "pass" on that while I pat myself on the back for reporting ALL of this in such detail, and after at least $200 worth or repeated sleuthing and testing. Of course it could always be user error, or something corrupt in Windows. Still, in the spirit of community cooperation, I add this list below, in case it's of any value.

  • Desktop
  • 100% of C: = 80 GB SSD
  • Weekly full and complete backup of about 1.5 TB to external 5TB drive
  • NO Cloud involved (Avast had a 50% max slider reset bug when accessing The Cloud)
  • I use MSE, not Avast or anything else like that (unless I am doing a big clean-up routine)
  • CCleaner is rarely used, and only manually exactly as described in post #8
  • No other apps syncing with The Cloud
  • I use Gmail and Yahoo services
  • I can cause the slider to max-out ON COMMAND, every single time by starting a backup of my system to my external drive
  • Today I switched BIOS settings from IDE to ACHI - probably not relevant, yet I report that as the issue remains
  • "Max usage" is increased to 100% about 30 seconds into my full backup

Although my ~final~ backup that I started an hour ago is the last one before upgrading from Win7x64 SP-1 to Win10, I restarted a fresh full backup to see whether or not the slider being at max was temporary. I suspect not because for a LONG time I kept discovering the C: drive being "in the red" and had to reset it manually. If it was temporary, I'd probably not have even discovered it. As posted above, I could regain a big chunk of my drive by resetting the slider back to 5% after which the excess restore points would go away and no longer clutter my C: drive.

Also, my repeated discovery of the maxed out drive in the red was not during one of my weekly 3AM backups. Makes me think the slider was NOT resetting, which is, of course, the whole issue, right?

That's all I have for you. Now, where is MY $200?

Forum Hero
Posts: 55
Comments: 9017

Lol, we mere users whom are badged as MVP's cannot cough up $200 for you!  If our services here were paid positions True Image price point would probably be 10 fold of what it is currently.  So we MVP's simply volunteer to do the things we do.  We all have our own reasons for being here.  Mostly it is because we like to help other users with the product.

Just so you know, I am older than the net.  In fact I am older than Microsoft and Windows itself.  My computer experience began in the early days of DOS version 2.0 to be exact when IBM 286 PC's were all the rage! lol, those were NOT the days!  Computing as a whole for the user has become quite easy in our modern day.  Of course that ease of use has complicated the underlying programming code and hardware technology to make the user experience what it is today.

Your issue with Win 7 and System Protection I believe is probably caused by a hung VSS Writer.  This can occur and cause the issue you have now.  If you would like to experiment a bit and say raise that bar tab to around $250 you might try and re-register the various VSS writers as that is what is recommended when problems arise with the VSS service.  After you perform the re-registration you can test by running a backup that you know pushes the allocated space to 100% and then check to see if that setting remains after backup completion or if the setting has returned to the preset level.

Below are the steps to re-register the VSS writers:

Re-register the VSS components

Copy the following commands to Notepad and save the file with a ‘.bat’ extension, (example: vssfix.bat).  Run the .bat file by opening an admin command prompt and entering the .bat file name followed by pressing the Enter key.

cd /d %windir%\system32
net stop vss
net stop swprv
regsvr32 /s ole32.dll
regsvr32 /s oleaut32.dll
regsvr32 /s vss_ps.dll
vssvc /register
regsvr32 /s /i swprv.dll
regsvr32 /s /i eventcls.dll
regsvr32 /s es.dll
regsvr32 /s stdprov.dll
regsvr32 /s vssui.dll
regsvr32 /s msxml.dll
regsvr32 /s msxml3.dll
regsvr32 /s msxml4.dll
vssvc /register
net start swprv
net start vss

That's it, if you feel like spending an extra $50 give it a shot.  One things for sure, if it works then the backup you create to test if this fixes the problem will be free of the existing condition so if you need to restore it VSS would work as designed.

Forum Hero
Posts: 70
Comments: 8349

Well, I noticed my full OS cloud backup running the full thing today (not just a regular incremental so must have hit my 20 limit) and decided to take a look at system protection slider.  After it completed, sytsem protection remained at 100%.  Rebooted and remained at 100%.  The behavior is sporadic/inconsistent to say the least.  I don't have any major errors in the windows logs and can't find the specific registry key that shows the set limit so that I can also check it during the cloud backup process.  

I'll give Enchantec's VSS repair a try sometime later this week (not optimistic since I don't see this behavior on local backups and only see it on the cloud backups), but hey, it's worth a shot.  For now, I have a bunch of full backups to burn through as I've migrated a 5 year old 1TB Seagate Barracuda drive out of the picture and starting with fresh backups to the new WD black 3TB drive replacement. 

Forum Hero
Posts: 55
Comments: 9017

Bobbo,

You can find these values in:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\SystemRestore

Below is an old link that discusses the values found here and what can be modified and what cannot.  It is an old document I dug out of the archives so use at your own risk.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/295659

Max percentage for system restore should be 12 percent of disk space, minimum 400MB.  These are not concrete values as they represent the data store size for system restore meaning that once the max size limit is reached oldest restore point(s) are deleted.  I believe that this space is dynamic upon VSS requests for backups and what the total size of such backup would require.  I also believe that if insufficient space is available on the local disk where system restore is active then True Image reverts to snapman.api for use to create the shadow copy.  Developement would need to confirm that however.

Beginner
Posts: 3
Comments: 13

Greetings,

I, too, like to participate in order that others might be helped, and because I just freakin' love computers (hard and software). It's a passion thing. You know how it is. I still have my first computer. The non-backlit LCD Toshiba 1200 with a 20 MB hard drive and a processor that screamed along at 8Hz. I think it needs a new hard drive controller (and probably a battery). It's a bit yellowed now. DOS was our friend. So were BBSs. Medline was $24/hr on top of $6/hr for the ISP. Yup. Those weren't the days. I made a phone jack with alligator clips so that I could attach my 28K modem anywhere. A friend wanted me to sell IMB equipment with numbers like 3033 and 3090. We had flashcards and tried to memorize the features. LOL. Later, we ALL traded a LOT of floppies - which I still have. Floppies and no floppy drive.

Afraid I am not going to run the cool BAT file -- since I've invested enough into this, and am headed for Win10 very soon. I hope that will make the state of my current VSS a moot issue. I'll remember that it's here in case I must revert back to Win7.

RESULTS of today's test: Three hours after completion of the full backup, "max usage" slider remains at 100%.

Whether it's VSS or (awesome) Acronis, it's "case closed" as far as I am concerned.

Hope that helps.

Be well,

DrCarl

Legend
Posts: 105
Comments: 25746

Just my two pennies worth..  I too still have some old floppies around - 8 inch versions plus 5 inch etc, plus punch cards - plus in the attic a working IBM PS2 model 30 with a 286 CPU - 1MB RAM 20MB HDD alongside an Apple II+ that booted off cassette tape.  I started work at IBM in 1977 on machines with valves inside, booting from paper tape or punch cards.

Isn't progress great - I now have an Android phone with 1000 times more power than machines that filled stadiums back then and needed water cooling and three phase power to work with 8KB of memory!

Forum Hero
Posts: 55
Comments: 9017

DrCarl,

I suspected you might see it that way, can't say I don't agree with you.  Hope your experience with Win 10 is as good as mine has been, very satisfied with it I am!

Steve,

You said a mouthful there!  Yeah, when it comes to computing the only thing good about the good ole' days is that they're gone!

Beginner
Posts: 3
Comments: 13

OK, here is my report.

Upgraded from Win764 to Win10 fairly smoothly.

Within 7, I had System Restore (SR) active only for my "C:" drive. Over and over again, on demand, I could reset the "max usage" slider to 100 by starting a full backup to an external drive.

Now in Win10, I see that SR migrated intact with the C drive monitored. With backups turned off, the max usage slider remained where I set it.

Today, anticipating the first anniversary Win10 updates, I performed a full backup and added my "D" drive to the "C" drive since it has some programs installed. Checking SR after beginning the BU revealed that C, D and even the R drives (if I recall correctly) had the max usage slider way up at 100%. I moved them back to 1% (all 1 TB drives) and that's where the sliders remain.

There is ZERO doubt that it's Acronis making this happen. It can be Acronis with Windows as a co-factor, I don't know.

Regardless, it's just not right.

Will Microsoft address this? Not going to hold my breath. Acronis? I know, it's probably "user error", right?

Maybe I'll get someone to make me a macro that can reset the slider to 1%...to save me 4 or 5 clicks.

 

 

 

 

Beginner
Posts: 3
Comments: 13

OK, here is my report.

Upgraded from Win7x64 to Win10x64 fairly smoothly.

Within 7, I had System Restore (SR) enabled only for my "C:" drive. Over and over again, on demand, I could reset the "max usage" slider to 100% simply by starting a full backup to the external 5TB USB drive.

After moving to Win10, I could see that SR migrated intact with the C drive monitored. With backups turned off, the max usage slider remained where I set it....at 1%

Today, anticipating the first anniversary Win10 updates, I performed a full backup. I enabled my "D" drive to the "C" drive since D has some programs installed.

Checking SR ~~after beginning the BU~~ revealed that C, D and even the R drives (if I recall correctly) had the max usage slider way up at 100%. No surprise.

I moved them back to 1% (all 1 TB drives) and, unless I start another backup,  that's where the sliders remain.

There is ZERO doubt that it's Acronis making this happen. It can be Acronis with Windows as a co-factor, I don't know.

Regardless, it's just not right.

Will Microsoft address this? Not going to hold my breath. Acronis? I know, it's probably "user error", right?

Maybe I'll get someone to make me a macro that can reset the slider to 1%...to save me 4 or 5 clicks.

Best,

DrCarl

Forum Member
Posts: 4
Comments: 41

Today, I decided to investigate this issue, as a colleague, who is also running ATI 2016 mentioned recently, that they had an issue with the System Restore Max Usage slider where it keeps setting itself at 100%.

I have just installed ATI 2016 Build 6581, checked the System Restore Max Usage slider (which is at 15%) and then ran my Acronis backup, performed a validation on the backup and checked the Max Usage slider, which is now set at 100%!!

What is going in here? Why is Acronis even touching my system protection settings? How do I stop this behaviour, other than uninstalling ATI 2016?

OS is Windows 10 Pro version 1607 build 14393.447 64-bit.

... my backup job is scheduled to run tomorrow. I will check the Max Usage slider again after the backup completes and report back here.

Beginner
Posts: 3
Comments: 13

As I am still waiting for a solution, I appreciate the validation.

Win 10 is OK, yet I have blocked the"Anniversary Update" to build to 1607 until MS gets the bugs worked out. 

I upgraded to ATI 2017. 

 

Forum Member
Posts: 4
Comments: 41

My scheduled backup job has just completed and the System Restore Max Usage slider is now set at 100%.

This behaviour is just not acceptable, where the Acronis backup job is tweaking my system settings.

Please someone, how do I stop this happening?

Forum Hero
Posts: 70
Comments: 8349

Just wanted to point out, that although this has been reported by others as well (I've experieinced the same only with cloud backups in the past too), it is not limited specifically to Acronis.  Perhaps Acronis is exasperating this behavior on some systems when in use, but the underlying issue is related directly to VSS and is most prominent on Windows 10 (what OS are you using)? 

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-update/syst…

Avast is another application that can be blamed for this behavior:

https://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=162041.0

I would definitely submit feedback through the app and also open a support case with Acronis - you have 1 year of it with your 2017 purchase and this is the best way to document the issue and force Acronis to look into it.  We try to help here in the user forum, but you need to contact Acronis directly when issues like this pop up and and now that 2017 has that technical support included, we all need to start putting it to good use. 

 

Forum Hero
Posts: 55
Comments: 9017

I agree with Rob here and he is correct that this is likely a VSS issue.  Opening a support case is definately a wise move!

Those havign this issue should consider disabling VSS on their systems and then running a backup to see what if any effect that has on the behavior. 

Forum Member
Posts: 4
Comments: 41

Enchantech wrote:

I agree with Rob here and he is correct that this is likely a VSS issue.  Opening a support case is definately a wise move!

Those havign this issue should consider disabling VSS on their systems and then running a backup to see what if any effect that has on the behavior. 

Do you mean disable the Volume Shadow Copy service? This will disable System Protection.

... obviously, with System Protection disabled there will be no problem.

Beginner
Posts: 3
Comments: 13

Good points .

Thanks to those working on this.

Following thread as time allows.

More thanks.

Forum Hero
Posts: 55
Comments: 9017

avant-guvnor,

I do indeed mean disabling Volume Shadow Copy and yes, it will disable System Protection.  My point is that if this behavior is due to True Image I would think that True Image might set the Max usage to 100% so that VSS has the most available space to work with during a backup task.  This might not be the case but it would be interesting to try it and see how the slider acts.

You can limit the maximum size of disk space used by VSS manually using the vssadmin command from an Admin command prompt but i would advise against this as it in turn will limit the function of System Protection.

Forum Member
Posts: 4
Comments: 41

Enchantech wrote:

I do indeed mean disabling Volume Shadow Copy and yes, it will disable System Protection.  My point is that if this behavior is due to True Image I would think that True Image might set the Max usage to 100% so that VSS has the most available space to work with during a backup task.  This might not be the case but it would be interesting to try it and see how the slider acts.

What I mean is, you cannot access the System Protection configuration, if Volume Shadow Copy is disabled. It is not possible to view the Max Usage slider, if Volume Shadow Copy is disabled.

Forum Member
Posts: 4
Comments: 41

I have to correct my earlier post. The System Protection Max Usage slider is not set to 100% on the Acronis backup completion. It is set during the Acronis backup.

I have attached two screenshots that I took before and during the backup.

It is my belief that ATI 2016 is the catalyst here, caused by Acronis software calls to the OS/VSS, but without knowing what Acronis is doing, I have no idea why this is happening. All I do know is that by running the Acronis software, my OS system configuration is changing, when I do not want it to.

I also believe that this issue is more widespread than has been alluded to in this thread. End-users will probably not be aware that this behaviour is happening (who checks the Max Usage setting, once it has been set?) and will only start to experience problems, when their hard drive disk space starts running low (Windows will then alert the user), due to the large number of System Restore points that will have been generated overtime. So, I expect this issue will be reported more and more as time goes on.

BTW, I am running Windows 10 Pro 64-bit Anniversary Update Version 1607 Build 14393 and ATI 2016 Build 6581.

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Legend
Posts: 105
Comments: 25746

If the key effect you are seeing is that the ammount of space allocated for use by System Protection has increased to 100% only whilst Acronis is creating a backup image, then as already stated above, this is a side effect of the use of Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) which uses that space to store the snapshot data being used to create the backup image.

The main concern is that the space allocation is returned to its original value at the end of the backup activity - if this is happening correctly, then I do not see any issue here.

VSS is used by any application creating a snapshot of system files that would otherwise be inaccessible due to locks etc, this includes Windows own utilities.

You can disable VSS on a task by task basic for your Acronis tasks to prove this linkage as documented in post: https://forum.acronis.com/forum/45832#comment-346558

Forum Member
Posts: 4
Comments: 41

Steve Smith wrote:

If the key effect you are seeing is that the ammount of space allocated for use by System Protection has increased to 100% only whilst Acronis is creating a backup image, then as already stated above, this is a side effect of the use of Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) which uses that space to store the snapshot data being used to create the backup image.

The main concern is that the space allocation is returned to its original value at the end of the backup activity - if this is happening correctly, then I do not see any issue here.

VSS is used by any application creating a snapshot of system files that would otherwise be inaccessible due to locks etc, this includes Windows own utilities.

You can disable VSS on a task by task basic for your Acronis tasks to prove this linkage as documented in post: https://forum.acronis.com/forum/45832#comment-346558

The key effect I am seeing is that running the Acronis backup changes my System Protection Disk Space usage from 15% to 100%. This is not a temporary change, the space allocation is not set back to 15%, it remains at 100%, unless I manually change it back to 15%.

I do not want to disable anything (or are you asking me to test disabling VSS on a task by task basis?), I just want Acronis to leave my system settings alone.

This problem is also not consistent. I have so far checked 6 different Windows 10 PCs, 3 exhibit this problem, the other 3 do not.

Legend
Posts: 105
Comments: 25746

Ok, thanks for clarifying your situation that the System Protection usage value is not being reset for some of your systems.  Please do try disabling VSS for the task on one of those systems and see if there is any change in the way the slider shows usage.

Forum Member
Posts: 4
Comments: 41

Steve Smith wrote:

Ok, thanks for clarifying your situation that the System Protection usage value is not being reset for some of your systems.  Please do try disabling VSS for the task on one of those systems and see if there is any change in the way the slider shows usage.

I have tried disabling VSS for the backup task in question.

By editing the backup task script found here C:\ProgramData\Acronis\TrueImageHome\Scripts and replacing use_vss="true" with use_vss="false", which I believe forces the backup task to switch from using Windows VSS to the Acronis Snapapi backup method (the default method used in earlier versions of ATI), resolves the issue. However, I am unclear on the overall effect and integrity of my backups when making this change.

Legend
Posts: 105
Comments: 25746

If disabling the use of VSS for the backup task stops the behaviour with the slider, then you have proven that it is VSS that is causing this problem, not Acronis.

There should be no overall effect on the integrity of your backups - you have just reverted to the previous snapshot method that was used by Acronis in earlier versions of the product before they decided to use VSS.

Beginner
Posts: 3
Comments: 13

Respectfully, I almost hesitate to chime-in here because you guys actually know what you are talking about, and I am betting The Solution will eventually appear here.

Still, here is my two cents worth:

It would seem to me that solving the errant slider behavior by disabling VSS does not prove that VSS is causing the problem, but rather that the interaction between ATI and VSS is causing the problem.

Said more crudly, and in different words, --the Max Slider was just fine until ATI came along.

Perhaps I am lazy, or have developed unrealistic expectations, yet I'll quote AG, abive:

       " I do not want to disable anything ... I just want Acronis to [work, and] leave my system settings alone."

It also seems to me that if Acronis has decided that VSS is somehow better than the previous snapshot method, well, um, always wanting the best, I kind of assume that VSS is somehow better?

I have learned that things are not always as they appear, and sometimes they are.

I am still in profound awe awe that these machines and software(s) ever work, like, at all, ever.

Forum Member
Posts: 4
Comments: 41

Steve Smith wrote:

If disabling the use of VSS for the backup task stops the behaviour with the slider, then you have proven that it is VSS that is causing this problem, not Acronis.

There should be no overall effect on the integrity of your backups - you have just reverted to the previous snapshot method that was used by Acronis in earlier versions of the product before they decided to use VSS.

I don't think it proves anything, it just resolves the issue. Yours is a bold statement to make, one which I could not make without knowing the protocol/api and seeing lines of code/parameters etc. that ATI 2016 is using to talk to Microsoft VSS.

My concern about integrity is that my backup now consists of a mixture of snapshot methods, which may or may not, affect Acronis on Restore/Recover.

Forum Member
Posts: 4
Comments: 41

DrCarl

Can I ask you, the PC that you have with this issue, did you perform a legacy Windows installation or a UEFI Windows installtion i.e. is the PC using a legacy BIOS or UEFI bios?

Legend
Posts: 105
Comments: 25746

There is obviously an issue here that involves VSS, whether it is a fault purely caused by VSS or by the interaction by Acronis in using VSS is beyond the scope of this user forum to determine - none of the MVP's have any access to the development systems, source code, etc that would be needed to make an exact diagnosis, so the only method to prove this once and for all would be to open a support case directly with Acronis.

This problem only appears to affect certain systems which renders it more difficult to identify a precise cause - I personally have never encountered this problem on any of my systems running any recent version of ATIH since VSS became the default snapshot tool used (2015 and later).

With regards to the integrity of backups created by the different snapshot methods, I cannot see any reason why this should affect backup integrity - the snapshot is a temporary collecting area for data which is then written out to the Acronis backup image file container.  The method of disabling VSS for a specific task was advised by Slava, one of the senior Acronis Support engineers as shown by the post referenced above, so I doubt that recommendation would have been made without a caveat if there was any risk involved to backup integrity or even compatibility.

Forum Hero
Posts: 70
Comments: 8349

If you're not running a live SQL or Oracle database at the time of backup, there is no advantage of using VSS vs snapapi.  However, anyone who is running a live SQL or Oracle database at the time of backup will benefity from using VSS - at least technically.  In reality, I wouldn't trust a live backup of any open SQL or Oracle database withotu using their own default backup methods.  Here is the forum post from program manager, Igor about it:  https://forum.acronis.com/forum/104089#comment-312583

As for the slider issue - I have experienced it with Cloud backups only, in 2016 and the behavior was inconsistent so was hard to determine.  I am currently running 2017 and cannot reproduce this issue.  There are numerous threads on the web with others having similar behavior without Acronis even being in the mix - AVAST is another product that has set the slider automatically, and others have found it at 50% or higher for a still unknown reason.

I would temporarily disable system protection (losing your existing snapshots in the process), reboot and enable it again and take a manual restore point right after.  Then run Acronis again and see if the slider stays where it's supposed to or not after the backup has completed.    

I tend to believe that the issue is related to the users system and something with VSS in particular that is causing an issue with Acronis.  i only say this because there are plenty of users that don't have this issue with Acronis, and only a handful that do.  Other backup products or tools that rely on VSS or system protection (Windows backups, other backup products) can leave old/bad VSS writers in place.  

http://www.sevenforums.com/general-discussion/353471-system-protection-…

http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-2434999/win-system-restore-reset…

And these provide some command line options to try and set it straight with VSS:

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/335-system-protection-change-disk-…

http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/4691-system-protection-change-maxi…

 

Forum Hero
Posts: 55
Comments: 9017

For my two cents worth:

VSS is at issue here.  True Image smply uses the VSS service to enable snapshotting a disk image from which to construct a backup file.  The problem with VSS filling a disk to capacity is well documented by many as far back as the early days of Windows 7.  If you Google search for limit VSS usage you will find a large number of hits most of which reference Windows Server OS and the problem of disk saturation.  Not all systems suffer from this condition and to date I have never seen a reason or solution for the issue.  There are fixes/workarounds but they all require changing something.  

By default VSS is set to use 2% of total unused disk space maximum.  For myself I have not experienced this problem or max usage being increased to 100% and not returning to the default level.  Some time ago the Avast anit virus component feature known as NG was found to be causing this setting of the max usage to a 50% level so obviously third party software can be at root fo the issue.  I cannot say of True Image is or not, for me it is not.   

 

Beginner
Posts: 3
Comments: 13

Avant,

I found a few minutes to read and learn.

I have Legacy BIOS mode.

I was remembering that along the way, I changed ICH SATA Control Mode from IDE to ACHI, probably not relevant.

(Now I have to see if switching to UEFI is recommended, or even possible. After some reading, it looks like diving into this UEFI arena could be complicated.)

Thanks for considering...

Forum Member
Posts: 4
Comments: 41

DrCarl wrote:

Avant,

I found a few minutes to read and learn.

I have Legacy BIOS mode.

I was remembering that along the way, I changed ICH SATA Control Mode from IDE to ACHI, probably not relevant.

(Now I have to see if switching to UEFI is recommended, or even possible. After some reading, it looks like diving into this UEFI arena could be complicated.)

Thanks for considering...

First, you need a UEFI PC and not a Legacy BIOS PC to support a Windows 10 UEFI installation.

Secondly, and what is interesting here is that on eight Windows 10 Pro 64-bit PCs that I have checked, 4 PCs exhibit the issue outlined here, whereas 4 PCs do not. The 4 PCs that have the problem are all Legacy BIOS PCs and the 4 PCs that do not have the problem are all UEFI PCs.

As I understand it, the System Disk is partitioned differently, depending on whether the PC is a Legacy BIOS PC or UEFI PC.

Just a hunch, but this may (or may not) affect the issue.

Frequent Poster
Posts: 4
Comments: 566

avant-guvnor, thank you for the tests that you have performed. Please contact Acronis Customer Central for a permanent solution. Recently we have extended the free technical support period for users of Acronis True Image 2016 from 30 days to 2 years after the purchase.

Regards,

Slava

Legend
Posts: 105
Comments: 25746

Slava, this is very welcome news about extending support for ATIH 2016 to 2 years, and great to see that KB document: 6031: List of Support Options for Acronis Products also reflects this change in support duration.

Can you clarify how this is impacted by the documented EOL dates shown in webpage: Acronis Consumer Products Support Lifecycle which shows an Extended Support EOL date of September 2017?  This page is also not updated for the recent new build #6581 for ATIH 2016.

Forum Hero
Posts: 70
Comments: 8349

It would probably make more sense to say that 2016 support is valid for up to 2 years after purchase, or until the end of the extended support eol - whichever comes first.  Alternatively, it should just be 2 years from the release date and not the purchase date.  

Otherwise, if this is based on the purchase date and purchaesd 2016 in August of 2016, that would mean that they would have until August 2018

 

Acronis Consumer Products End Of Life

Products Release Date Mainstream Support EOL Extended Support EOL Latest update
Acronis True Image 2017 August 22, 2016 TBD TBD # 5554 / # 5573, 2016-09-19
Acronis True Image 2016 August 17, 2015 September, 2016 September, 2017 # 6571 / # 6077, June 02, 2016 (needs to be updated to #6581)
Acronis True Image 2015 September 30, 2014 October, 2015 September, 2016 # 6613, July 20, 2015
Acronis True Image 2014 August 28, 2013 September, 2014 September, 2015 # 6688, August 20, 2014
Acronis Disk Director 12 May 27, 2014 June 2015 TBD # 3270, December 29, 2015
Acronis Disk Director 11 Home April 05, 2010 May 2015 May, 2016 # 2343, November 17, 2011