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Instead of backing up, Acronis 16 substituted my files for old versions!

Beginner
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I attempted to back up my computer with Acronis 16, just days ago.  I discover that the backup and its files are dated as of last June or earlier, and that apparently no current files have been backed up.  WHAT'S MUCH WORSE, it seems the original files on the computer have been replaced with the same old files as in the backup!!    I say "seems" because the computer needed repair (thet's why I attempted a backup) and I was only able to check a few files, but they were all versions several months old or more, as in the backup.  I'm thinking that this must have been some sort of weird reverse sync, from files that my Acronis account had from previous backups. 

I bought Acronis to back up my files, and instead it has vanished them. The computer I attempted to backup was a PC on its last legs and I was expecting to just buy a new one, a Mac.  But since 1) the Acronis backup is mysteriously months old, 2) the files on the computer itself have been reverted to old versions, and 3) since the only other backup I have is Windows Backup, which can only be restored to a Mac one file at a time (since they are ordered by date, and only the Windows Backup software can arrange them by directory loction), it seems that I will have to get the PC fixed just so I can make my files current again by restoring them from the Windows backup.  Unless there is some other solution . . .? 

 

 

 

 

Forum Hero
Posts: 36
Comments: 6209

Hi Albert,

Are you using a synch process or only backups?  I have never heard (or seen) Acronis reverse anything - definitely not possible with backing up so am curious if you are using a synch task, which depending on how synch is setup can move files in either direction.  I suspect you're not actually using synch though..  Acronis does not change any of your personal data.  It simply makes a replica of the data on the machine and saves it to proprietary .TIB (true image backup) format.  This is similar to taking files and .zipping thiem (.zip or 7zip).  At no time does Acronis restore files/folders out of these backup files and can only be initiatied by the user through the Windows application, or using recovery media.  Both of those processes require manual user interaction though as there is no automated recovery functionality.  

There's really no informaiton to help you identify what may (or may not have happened).  I would definitely look for specific files that you know you saved recently in your profile (desktop, documents, etc) that should show a creation date of sometime closer to the actual date.  I suspect that what you saw in your backu is the creation/modify date of that file and that would be accurate.  If I backup a picture from 1 year ago and never modify that picture, it will have that same date in the backup.

If you are actually seeing that All of your files, even those that you know were created more recently are from months ago, when you did your Windows repair, did you happen to pick the option to recover Windows to an earlier restore point as well?  If Windows fails to repair itself, you would be prompted to see if you want to try a restore point and/or to recover from a Windows backup as well.  

Finally, what are the dates of your last backup files as shown in Windows file explorer?  Have you been checking ot make sure backups have been running and that your last backup isnt' from several months ago?  If you attempted an Acronis recovery and you only have an old backup and restored that old backup, then that's the data you would have restored.  

Any other details you can confirm with authenticity of some type (windows logs, Acronis logs, etc) would help prove or disprove that something may have gone haywire with a reverse Acronis product.  You would be the very first person that I've ever heard of this happenig to though and would be extremely suprsised if that was the case, based on how the product works.

Beginner
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No, what I've described is what has happened, though I can believe you've never heard of such a thing before.  I was myself extremely surprised when I downloaded from the Acronis cloud an Excel spreadsheet in which I make dated entries almost every day, and which I backed up on December 16-17, and found that there were no entries since June.  And other files which I update almost daily showed up as old versions, never more recent than June  '16.  Of course I realize that the date of a file will be from when last modified, and not from when it was backed up. It would be bizarre if I had forgotten that I had actually not created or modified any files since last June! Again, the files that show the problem are ones that I know very well I created or modified more recently than June.  This was the first time I was using the 2016 upgrade of Acronis and I did not ask for a sync or anything other than a back-up.  I have not tried Windows System Restore because it always assures you that your personal files are never altered in a restore process, but I might try that just in case. I have just been chatting online with an Acronis tech support person and he said, after more than an hour of probing, that something must have gone wrong with the Acronis server--but that the true backup is probably stored somewhere in my PC or in the cloud, and it should be possible to recover it.   Finally, I don't believe that I need to "prove" that what I'm saying has happened.  I'm not a crank making up weird malfunctions to post.  Computers can come up with weird malfunctions all by themselves.

 

Legend
Posts: 45
Comments: 14484

Albert, sorry to read of this issue and that this is compounded by your PC starting to fail too.

Do you have any local Acronis backups that you can restore from?

I know that this advice is coming after the event, but it is recommended to make both local and Cloud backups, if only because of having access to more than one source of recovery data, but also because of the difference in speed of access between local and cloud backup data.

I agree that Windows System Restore is unlikely to include your user data, Excel data files, but your Windows Backup should do so is this includes a System Image.

I would continue to pursue this issue with Acronis Support as there is no reason why your online backup should be showing backups only from June 2016 when you have updated them a lot more recently than this.  They should have their own backups of your Cloud server data that could be restored if this has been caused by a server issue.

If you don't make progress via the normal support chat service, then consider sending a PM to Gaidar, General Manager Acronis True Image and ask him to get some more experienced to take a look at this issue.

Forum Hero
Posts: 36
Comments: 6209

Albert,

If this is a Cloud Server issue - either it didn't backup correctly, or what was restored was a server error,  I do hope that Acronis is able to make this right and get you your data back.  However, I also hope that they can validate that the server is, or is not, the culprit.  If it is, that does leave some doubt to the Cloud's reliability, but I don't want to jump to any conclusions either.

There was no ill will in my original reply to your original post and none here either, but try to look at it from the forums perspective.  You came to the USER forum for assistance, with several assumptions and no validation of what you had actually done, or how it was done.  The information you have provided since then, explains a lot more of the issue.  Perhaps "prove" was not the best choice of words, but if you are expecting other forum users to provide assistance, you should also expect that we will need as much informaiton as possible to help you or we can only speculate.  Your new information sheds some more light.  

Albert B Fernandez wrote:

WHAT'S MUCH WORSE, it seems the original files on the computer have been replaced with the same old files as in the backup!!    I say "seems" because the computer needed repair (thet's why I attempted a backup)... 

I'm thinking that this must have been some sort of weird reverse sync, from files that my Acronis account had from previous backups. 

1) it seems the original files on the computer have been replaced with the same old files as in the backup!!.   

You did not previously mention that you had done a restore at all.  Nor did you mention it was from the Cloud.  Yes, if you restore files - either to a new locaiton or over the original locatoin, they will be replaced by whatever is in the backup - new or old.  Technically, it will always be older since the backup would have occured before in the past.

2) I say "seems" because the computer needed repair (thet's why I attempted a backup)... 

You only mentioned you had attempted a backup.  Based on your new post, it's clear that you also did a RESTORE, which is a key item that was not originally divulged.  

3) I'm thinking that this must have been some sort of weird reverse sync,

In your 2nd post (to my reply) you stated  that you restored these files, so there is indeed no weird reverse sync.  You actually preformed a restore and restored files from the Cloud.  I'm back to have hearing about 0 people with a weird reverse sync issue again.  

You have now "proved" (validated, confirmed, given more than an accusation or assumption) that this was not a reverse sync of some kind by the new admission that a restore was completed.  

4) I'm sure you're knowledgable of your files and know how to check dates.  However, there was no mention of the file types and how you determined the dates were bad in your initial post either so we could only speculate at that time.  My information was to show that if they are indeed files like pictures, which do not change, then they would retain the older date throughout all backups - this is valid information, and not knowing the type of files you recovered, or that there was a recovery, it was additional information  This has come up several other times in the forum with users expecting to see the current date on certain files in their backup.  

Now to the issue at hand...

We now know that you did a recovery from the cloud and it was successful (in function).  We also now know that the recovered data was old data.  We also now know that after your support case, it looks like the server may be the culprit as your "current" data appears to be in the Cloud, but not on the server that was used for the recovery - I look forward to hearing the outcome of that to see if Acronis can remedy this and make this right. If you've been backing up to the Cloud and the data in the backup is all old, but backups have been successful, that is an issue indeed.  

Question:  Are ALL of your more recent Excel and Word documents from several months ago when recovered (you don't actually have to recover all of them, but perhaps some that were edited more recently, but defintely not open when the Cloud backup ran).  If it is/was a server issue, then I would expect yes.  However, if it is only some of the files, I wonder if it could be that they were excluded from the backup because they were open at the time.  It doesn't sound like it if you regularly work on these files, but if it was an older file that was recently changed and open during the backup, it may have only been committed to memory and not back to the hard disk yet.  It's a possiblilty - just throwing it out there as again, I can only speculate without the additional information. 

 

Legend
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Quick question / comment, when you did the Cloud restore, were you offered a choice of restore points by date to choose from, and if so, did you choose the most recent of these?

Beginner
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Quick reply:   I appreciate your efforts to help. But, no, I did NOT do a restore, and I don't recall writing anything indicating I did. If I had done a restore then I would not be so baffled, and would think that I must have simply picked the wrong back-up to restore. But I only clicked for a backup, not a restore or a sync or anything else. For whatever reason, the original files in the PC were replaced with older versions.  There are however, more details, which I will provide in a few hours (I thought I was overdoing the detail), but have to go now--partly to get me a terabyte hard disk where I can back up everything I still have.

Legend
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Albert, if you have not done a restore then I do not see how Acronis could have caused your files to be changed or reverted to an older version.

Please could you post an Acronis System Report zip file which will show us all the log files from the Acronis application and my help to show what actions have occurred?

 

Forum Hero
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OK, so you didn't do a full restore, but you did restore files from the cloud

"I downloaded from the Acronis cloud an Excel spreadsheet in which I make dated entries almost every day, and which I backed up on December 16-17, and found that there were no entries since June.  And other files which I update almost daily showed up as old versions, never more recent than June  '16." 

- Are you saying that other files on your system, those you did not download from the Cloud have somehow also been reverted an old version?

- Or, that  all of the files in the cloud that you have backed up recently are only going back to June 16 or some other old date?  

- Or, that only certan files like some of these Office Excel and/or Word files are only going back to June 16 or some other old date? 

- When was the last time this particular Excel file was accessed prior to your recovery of it from the cloud?  

- When your backup ran, was this excel file "open" at the time?  MS Office files get saved to MEMORY and not the hard drive when they are open.  

In the future, you may want to consider using Excel's auto backup feature as well:  http://www.laptopmag.com/articles/automatic-backups-excel

And making sure that your Excel spread sheet is autosaving regularly so that it commits to the hard drive before your backups run:  https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Help-protect-your-files-in-case-of-a-crash-551c29b1-6a4b-4415-a3ff-a80415b92f99

If you did work on your excel spreedsheet recently and need to get a backup that was not committed to the hard drive prior to a Cloud backup, you might be able to get it from Windows "restore previous versions":  https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/17119/windows-7-recover-lost-deleted-files

Or, you might be able to get it from MS Office's temp history folder:  %userprofile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\UnsavedFiles      http://office-recovery.com/excel.asp

It is a limitation of Office files (Word, Excel, etc) that while they are open, they will not be backed up because they are committed to MEMORY and not the hard drive while in use.  

By default, AutoRecover information is saved every 10 minutes. In addition to the interval, Excel has to be idle for 30 seconds before the data will be saved. Also, the autosaved information is saved in the AutoRecover file location listed here.

http://www.online-tech-tips.com/ms-office-tips/excel-autorecover-and-automatic-backup/

Forum Star
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A bit late to this discussion. I had the same problem (the dates of last update are also in June). I beleive the problem was that I did an installed an update to ATI 2017 and the settings were lost for the backup (climed the task had not been run). I went in and told it to backup now, not realising that the backup task had revered to partitions on HDD 0 only and no longer incuded a partition on another HDD. I suspect this may have happend in your case as well.

Ian

Beginner
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Thanks to all of you for your replies.  Believe me, I'm as baffled as you are, and I also cannot "see how Acronis could have caused your files to be changed or reverted to an older version."   Let me clarify some points:

1) No, I most definitely did not give True Image any restore or sync command, at least not intentionally.  I wrote that "it seems the original files on the computer have been replaced," not that I did any restoring. It seems Acronis did the replacing all by itself. I did download an excel file from the cloud, was surprised that it did not have any entries since June, then opened the copy on my computer, and found that somehow it was also without entries since June. I then opened several other files, from the pc, not the cloud, and they were all populated only to last June or earlier. So, Bobbo, I am saying that both the backed-up files I downloaded fromm the cloud and the original files I opened from the computer were old versions.  The files I opened were either Excel or OneNote.

2)  I was only able to check a few files because my computer had a worsening power connection problem and it forced shut down before I could do more investigating.  This computer is now at the shop (am using my wife's Mac), where the techie told me that Acronis might possibly have moved the up-to-date files to a back-up folder.  I certainly hope that at least some current-version files are still there. I do use Microsoft Office auto-backups.  Currently, I have access to my Acronis in the cloud, and although the root backup folders are dated from when I did the backup (12/16-17, 2016) all of the other folders I can see are dated June 2016, and contain files no later than that date. Files that I know I've created since June are just not there.

3) I've used Acronis for big backups (root folders, partitions, or larger--usually including my docs) and have been using Windows Backup for my documents, locally.  Fortunately,  the Windows backups are up-to-date, but it's very laborious to find and open the backed-up files on a Mac, without the Windows Backup application.  

4) Acronis tech support has requested several computer-generated documents, such as an Acronis system report, and so have some of you on this forum.  But I can't generate any of these until I get my computer back

5) Ian L-S, what you write is very interesting, since I too had this problem after upgrading, to ATI 2016 in my case.  It seems possible that True Image could not find or read the back-up instructions and followed an older set of commands. But how did you solve the problem?

  It seems that I'll have to wait till I get the computer I tried to backup back from the shop.  Once again, I appreciate everybody trying to help.  I'll post updates even if the problem gets resolved.  I hope that at least I have provided you all with an unusually interesting case to think about.

 

Forum Star
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Unfortunately I was unable to reslove the problem. I spent some days trying to do so. Fortunately I had a local backup (less than a week old) which had all but two files in there current condition.

Ian

My need to recovery was caused by my copying files the wrong way when doing a non-Acronis backup. 

 

Beginner
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I said last Christmas that I would post updates even if the problem gets resolved. It has been resolved, and it has taken so long because, if you'll remember from my postings, my laptop itself broke down at the time that Acronis True Image began to malfunction.  Since then, hardware has been repaired or replaced, but after the repairs ATI 16 continued to have a variety of problems, though not as spectacular as the ones I first posted.

For those interested, here's an account of  the issues, taken from a message I sent to Acronis tech support in February:

"I have been using Acronis True Image since 2011 with practically no problems, but since I upgraded to True Image 16 my experience has been very disappointing and annoying.

  1. I attempted a whole-PC backup (~100 gigs of data) to my trial Cloud space but the backup stopped without completing and then I discovered that the backed-up files were all old versions, dating back several months before the backup! (I knew this because, in addition to having old "modified" dates, recent data that I knew I had entered was not found in the backup files). 
  2. Amazingly, at least some of the original files which I had backed up were replaced--in the laptop--with the same out-of-date versions as the backups. I could not discover more than a few of these "revenant" files because by then my laptop was shutting down repeatedly and I was not able to properly recharge it or power it back up.
  3. After the repair of the laptop and recovery of data,  I attempted a small backup of desktop items to a hard disk and it was successful.  But then I attempted a backup of about 12 gigs of data and the program seemed to stop after about half day, indicating that it still had more than 1 day to go (though it had indicated much less time left earlier)--similar to what I describe in #1 above.  The size of the backup on the disk seems right, but ATI indicates the back-up was “never performed,” so I can’t open the backup and see what was actually backed up"

Finally, with the help of Acronis tech support, I fully and thoroughly uninstalled ATI and then reinstalled from a fresh download.  This action seems to have resolved everything except for a minor issue.  So it appears that at least one cause of the problems was a bad download of the product.

Thanks again to all those of you who tried to help.

Legend
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Albert, thank you for the feedback and update on the solution to your problem.  Glad to hear that all is resolved (other than the minor issue).

Beginner
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This also happened to me.  I have many backups with "TV 2018" during 2018 and now when I click restore I'm getting backups from 2016 to 2013 when I first started using TV.  A bigger problem is when I backed up my computer today (Mon, Nov 12 th 2018), the restore still gives me the 2016 files.  The 2018 tib file is there, but does not register when I try to restore it.

Beginner
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Sorry,  I sent this had to send this a second time to get the posted comments.

This also happened to me.  I have many backups with "TV 2018" during 2018 and now when I click restore I'm getting backups from 2016 to 2013 when I first started using TV.  A bigger problem is when I backed up my computer today (Mon, Nov 12 th 2018), the restore still gives me the 2016 files.  The 2018 tib file is there, but does not register when I try to restore it.

Forum Star
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This could be a problem with the Arconis data base. Does the same thing happen when you use the recovery media to the recovery?

Ian

Beginner
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Problem solved.  I used the recovery media to do a full backup from a backup I did a few days before the problem.  Just finished a full backup and everything is working well.

Forum Star
Posts: 104
Comments: 2212

Good news Al! This does suggest a corruption in the data base. Not sure how to fix it, although if you are restoring your system drive the restored version may not be corrupted.

Ian