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True Image is not excluding files on the exclude list

Asc
Beginner
Posts: 5
Comments: 16

I searched this before I posted this, and I've seen a few others note the same behavior, but I didn't see any solutions or resolutions.

In "Entire PC" mode or in partition select mode, it's backing up everything that's in the exclude list, including the folders I have added, pagefile.sys (set to be excluded by default), and everything else, making the backup set much larger than it should be.

Sector by sector is not selected.

I tried a repair operation from the installer, and it didn't change anything.  It's build #6571, the newest at the moment, on Win 7 x64. 

Does this work for anyone else?

 

 

Legend
Posts: 45
Comments: 15208

Asc, I have never had this problem and would expect it to be reported far more extensively if it were a common problem among users.

I mainly use Disks & Partitions backups and have checked through these and can state that my exclusions are being actioned correctly with none of the excluded items being shown when I explore my backup .TIB files via Windows Explorer.

Please download a copy of the Log File Viewer app and look at the detailed information in the Service logs for your backup task to check that it shows something similar to that shown below from one of my backup logs.

Normal Exclude: Files matching mask Match criterion:
          hiberfil.sys
          pagefile.sys
          $Recycle.Bin
          swapfile.sys
          *.tib
          *.tib.metadata
          *.~
          *.tmp

 

Asc
Beginner
Posts: 5
Comments: 16

Hi Steve,

Thanks for the reply.

I downloaded the log viewer as you asked, and yes, the exclude list is shown.  This is cut and pasted directly from that (more below the cut and paste):

Exclude: Files matching mask Match criterion:
          hiberfil.sys
          pagefile.sys
          $Recycle.Bin
          swapfile.sys
          System Volume Information
          *.tib
          *.tib.metadata
          *.~
          *.tmp
          C:\Users\Ascaris\AppData\Local\Temp
          C:\Users\Test\AppData\Local\Temp
          C:\Users\Administrator\AppData\Local\Temp
          C:\Users\Guest.BlackBird\AppData\Local\Temp
          C:\Users\Ascaris\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files
          C:\Users\Test\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files
          C:\Users\Administrator\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files
          C:\Users\Guest.BlackBird\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files
          C:\Users\Ascaris\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Cache
          C:\Users\Ascaris\AppData\Local\Opera Software
          C:\Users\Ascaris\AppData\Local\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles
          C:\Users\Ascaris\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Cache
          C:\Users\Ascaris\AppData\Local\Opera Software
          C:\Users\Ascaris\AppData\Local\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles
          C:\Users\Ascaris\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Cache
          C:\Users\Ascaris\AppData\Local\Opera Software
          C:\Users\Ascaris\AppData\Local\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles
          C:\Users\Ascaris\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Cache
          C:\Users\Ascaris\AppData\Local\Opera Software
          C:\Users\Ascaris\AppData\Local\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles
          C:\windows\CSC
          C:\Users

 

I added the C:\Users as a test when the backup that was supposed to be about 850 GB before compression kept filling the 1.25 TB of space I have in my "NAS" (really just an ordinary PC functioning as one), which meant that I could not complete the backup and mount the image to find out what was going on.  I guessed it was backing up everything, including the files and folders it is supposed to be skipping, so I had it back up my SSD boot drive with C:\Users skipped (which made the backup process complete really quickly).

Sure enough, when I mounted the backup that had been created (I verified that the filename was the same as the one that is attached to the list I cut and pasted above), it included Users and pagefile.sys.  I tried running the backup with that item entered as c:\users and c:\Users too, in case True Image was incorrectly applying case sensitivity, but the results were the same.

Any ideas?

Forum Hero
Posts: 34
Comments: 6885

Are you by chance selecting Sector by Sector in the Backup Task configuration?  If you are that is the problem.  Selecting that option will override any exclusions you have chosen.

Asc
Beginner
Posts: 5
Comments: 16

No, I have not selected a sector-by-sector backup.  I wonder if it is doing it anyway for some reason... I do have EXT4 volumes on the drive, but that in itself should not cause the NTFS volumes to go sector-by-sector, especially if I only select the Windows volumes for backup.

Legend
Posts: 45
Comments: 15208

Asc,

Have you tried making a completely new task to check if this problem still exists?

The only other suggestion here would be to do a clean install of ATIH 2016 build 6571 in case something just isn't working correctly following your earlier issues and repair install.

Perform a clean install of ATIH 2016

First uninstall the program via the Control Panel (or use an uninstaller such as Revo).

Run the Acronis Cleanup Tool (link in my signature below), then restart the computer.
Note: The KB document for the Cleanup Tool refers to checking for entries in the Windows registry - I have ignored this step on the occasions I have used it with no detriment, though if making changes to the registry, I strongly advise either exporting the registry before the change(s), or create a System Restore point, or image the drive for protection.

Reinstall the ATIH software (download a fresh copy from your Acronis Account if needed or if you don't have the latest build version installer).  Run the install as an Administrator (right-click on the installer to take this option).
It is also recommended to suspend your security programs (antivirus, anti-malware etc) during the install as these programs can cause Access Denied errors for the Acronis installer program.

Note 1: If you have purchased an Upgrade version of ATIH 2016 you will be asked for two serial numbers during the install - one for 2016 and one for the previous version that the upgrade is based on, i.e. 2015.

Note 2: The cleanup tool will remove all your backup tasks and task history.  If you want to protect this information, then open C:\ProgramData\Acronis\TrueImageHome\ in Windows Explorer - this may be hidden on some systems - if so, go to the Folder option in the View pane and enable hidden files & folders).

Save a copy of the Database and Scripts folders to another location to restore back later.  

Please do a quick test of this issue before restoring these folders, just to confirm the issue is resolved, then you will know if it is reintroduced by restoring the folders back again.

Note 3: In order to restore the above folders & contents, you must stop all Acronis Services & Programs else you will encounter locked files in the Database folder.

Beginner
Posts: 2
Comments: 21

I too have the very same problem.  Originally Build 6569 worked without issue.  However, updating to Build 6571 and it no longer excludes.  I've already:

  • Uninstalled / Reinstalled Build 6571  (No Luck)
  • Uninstalled Build 6571 / Reinstalled Build 6569  (No Luck)
  • Deleted the Backup Tasks and created new one (No Luck)
  • Made sure that "Sector-by-Sector" is not selected  (It's not!)

The ONLY thing left to do is an Uninstall and Cleanup Tool.  

Not surprisingly, the level one support crew was a bit clueless as they said that  you can't exclude folders.  Only Files.  They apparently didn't look at their own examples.  

Now to do the uninstall and clean up and try again.  

Hopefully, others will have more ideas.

Thanks for any help.

Louis

Beginner
Posts: 2
Comments: 21

Having uninstalled All Things Acronis, it still does not work in that it does not exclude folders even though they are explicitly stated.

I took these steps:

  1. Used the program install app to Uninstall Acronis True Image 2016
  2. Used the program install app to uninstall Acronis Universal Restore
  3. Used the Acronis Removal Tool (Cleanup tool) to uninstall anything Acronis and then followed the instructions about the registry
  4. Rebooted the Machine
  5. Installed the latest version
  6. Created New Tasks and tested
  7. Got a full backup load even though nearly 70% of the load was selected to be excluded. 

So much for trying everything.  Hopefully more ideas are coming.

Louis

Asc
Beginner
Posts: 5
Comments: 16

Ok, I did the uninstall, ran the clean tool, and reinstalled.  Ran another backup job, and it's still including everything.

I checked one of the backups I made on my laptop, though, and it's excluding pagefile.sys, at least.  It's the same version as on the desktop; both running Windows 7 x64 also.  The desktop is full UEFI/GPT, while the laptop is BIOS/MBR.  Could that be it?

Legend
Posts: 45
Comments: 15208

Asc & Louis,

Given that you both have done a clean install of ATIH 2016, this would suggest that the issue may be coming from something outside of the Acronis software - the only other component involved is the Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) which Acronis use to create a snapshot of the data being saved, and which can have its own list of exclusions for what should or should not be included in the snapshot.

Please see post: https://forum.acronis.com/forum/116164#comment-346710 where fellow MVP Bobbo documents three methods of disabling the MS VSS function so that Acronis uses it own snapshot function for the backups.

Beginner
Posts: 2
Comments: 21

Steve Smith wrote:

Please see post: https://forum.acronis.com/forum/116164#comment-346710 where fellow MVP Bobbo documents three methods of disabling the MS VSS function so that Acronis uses it own snapshot function for the backups.

WOW! WOW! WOW!  Steve, this is fantastic news and it IMMEDIATELY makes sense.  In so much less time, you've provided so much info.  I'm going to try this right now.  I think I'm going to try the first method as that seems the simplest:

"...manually edit the backup task and then it will only use the snapapi backup method: https://forum.acronis.com/forum/45832#comment-346558"

I do have another continuous backup running (with a different program) and I better you a "nickel to a dollar" that uses VSS.  

Thank you Steve for helping.  I will post back results.

Louis

Forum Hero
Posts: 34
Comments: 6885

I cannot say for certain but with previous builds of True Image 2016 there were a good number of complaints about the application following Windows backup exclusion rules which are set in Windows Registy.  Certain User and App data is excluded from backup by default using Windows Backup feature which True Image followed.  This resulted in the loss of Windows System Restore Points because of System Volume Information being in the excule list and Browser history, bookmarks, favorites, etc excluded as well as other data.

Users complained that a true backup application should not excule anything from a backup and that all data on disk should be included in a disk backup. In the case of this Thread we have the opposite, users complaining that data is not excluded resulting in larger backups.

I have no idea if in fact True Image build 6571 addressed the issue by removing or changing something within the applicaiton that rendered the default exclude list from working totally but it does appear that way.  I suppose some users will be happy with this, others will not!

Disabling VSS in this case then would have no effect as if True Image 6571 has rendered exclusions as not working then all disk data will be backed up regardless if VSS Service is disabled.  For those here whom test this then will bear this out and we will see if in fact TI 6571 has in fact disabled the Exclude function of the application.

Beginner
Posts: 2
Comments: 21

Enchantech wrote:

Disabling VSS in this case then would have no effect as if True Image 6571 has rendered exclusions as not working then all disk data will be backed up regardless if VSS Service is disabled.  For those here whom test this then will bear this out and we will see if in fact TI 6571 has in fact disabled the Exclude function of the application.

Enchantech:

To be clear, are you saying that the "Exclude" basically no longer works?  As in, it's there but not really functional?  I was able to enter folders to exclude but in fact, those exclusions are being ignored.  Your statement would seem to bear truth to my experience.  In fact, I disabled VSS and am running a task now and it looks like it is still including the folders (based on the size of the image so far!)

While I understand both sides of the argument (to exclude or not), I would think that should be left to the user.  I don't want data included in the image as that is backed up via other tasks and methods.  But someone might want to backup the whole thing.  Each should have the option they want.

Thank you for the note and look forward to your clarificaiton.

Louis

Forum Hero
Posts: 34
Comments: 6885

Louis,

Yes, I am saying the Exclude no longer works however that is based on the content of this Thread.  If your backup task that you are running now after completion shows that data normally excluded by the VSS Service is in fact backed up then I would take that as confirmation that the Exclude function of the application is no longer functioning. 

I agree that the user should have the ability to exclude or not exclude, I am also certain that Acronis sees it that way as well.  This issue as being discussed here if proven would indicate a bug in the Exclusion feature of the True Image application which I am sure Acronis would want to and gladly fix.

Asc
Beginner
Posts: 5
Comments: 16

It really isn't (IMO) about what a backup application should or should not do in the sense of what features any given person thinks it should have.  Philosophical opinions about what makes a good product (in any category) will naturally vary.  If people were saying that True Image should not have been excluding files according to the rules of Windows backup because a real backup program should back up everything, then they missed the point.

A program (ANY program) should behave in a logical, predictable manner that is consistent with its own UI.  A backup program should not be silently obeying exclusions from other backup programs. If that was intentional behavior, it would be bizarre and counterintuitive.  If it is going to have exclusions, they need to be clearly indicated within the program's own UI.

True Image does have a section where its exclusions are clearly indicated, along with an easily understood means of bypassing all exclusions, so anyone would conclude that anything not listed there would be included. 

As such, the people complaining about True Image excluding files it should not aren't making the opposite argument as compared to mine-- we're really making the same one: True Image should exclude only those files listed under exclusions, no more and no less.

I'm reasonably sure something is broken, as opposed to an intentional change.  Louis said that going back to the previous build that used to process exclusions correctly didn't help, so it's not specific to the newest build, and as I mentioned, my laptop does process the exclusions correctly, running the same build of True Image on the same version of Windows as my desktop.

 

Legend
Posts: 45
Comments: 15208

Folks, just to clarify matters here.  

I am running ATIH 2016 build 6571 on Windows 10 64-bit and Exclusions are working correctly for me using the default MS VSS snapshot service.

One point that I noted in testing this today is that the default Exclusions page did not have the check-box for 'Files matching the following criteria' selected, only that for excluding 'System files'.

I ran two separate tests, one with the normal default settings where only 'System files' was selected, and one where I also selected to exclude 'Files matching the following criteria'.

For the first test, none of the specific default files were excluded and the backup was 4.3GB for my test data source.

For the second test, with an additional file mask of *.ISO now in play, my backup was 423MB for the same test data source, proving that the file matching critera was actioned and the 4GB of ISO files in the source were excluded correctly.

This raises two questions:

  1. Does your Exclusions page have 'Files matching the following criteria' selected?
  2. Has this setting been changed at any time for the problem backup task?

The reason for the second question is that editing existing tasks can cause some unpredictable behaviour - it is advisable to use the Clone settings option when making changes, then delete the original task settings to deploy the changes made. 

Legend
Posts: 45
Comments: 15208

For completeness, here are the relevant lines from the task logs for the tests above:

For test 1.

message=Create Backup Archive 
From: I:\  To file: MyBackup_full_b1_s1_v1.tib 
Compression: Normal 
Exclude: System files  

For test 2.

message=Create Backup Archive 
From: I:\  To file: NonISO_full_b2_s1_v1.tib 
Compression: Normal 
Exclude: System files, Files matching mask Match criterion:
          $Recycle.Bin
          *.tib
          *.tib.metadata
          *.~
          *.tmp
          *.iso

 

 

Forum Hero
Posts: 34
Comments: 6885

Thanks for testing Steve, proves the Exclusion feature does indeed work.  I think you have probably hit the mark with the check box for Exclusions checked.  Funny that my build 6571 install default is that the check mark box IS checked.  So I would agree with your theory that modification of a scheduled task might lead to the Exclusions check mark box being unselected.  Quesiton is how and why?

Beginner
Posts: 2
Comments: 21

I have results and it's not good news.  HOWEVER, I'M STARTING TO THINK THIS IS NOT A VSS ISSUE.  

Here's why:

  1. Using the suggestions by Steve Smith to disable VSS (using MVP Bobbo's steps), the files/folders continued to get copied in the image.
  2. I know VSS was disabled during the task because I went System Properties / System Protection to take a look at the settings.  I got an error message that VSS was not running.  Which would have been correct because I disabled it.  Which also tells me that I followed the instructions by MVP Bobbo correctly.
  3. Prior to backups, I did make sure that the "Files matching the following criteria" was checked. I've attached a screenshot (008d_-_2016-07-04_-_exclusion_results.jpg) showing that it was checked.  Good idea to check it so I wanted to make sure.
  4. I mounted the image to see what results I have and you can see from the image that not only did it NOT EXCLUDE the items I wanted excluded, it even included items that by default should have been excluded (pagefile.sys, swapfile.sys, etc).  (see 008e_-_2016-07-04_-_exclusion_results.jpg)
  5. Changing use_vss="true" to use_vss="false" had no effect.  Still ignored the exclusions list.
  6. Within the script there is a line that in part states:  
              entire_pc="true" exclude_by_mask="true" exclude_hidden="false" exclude_system="false"
    1. The "exclude_by_mask="true" is marked as true.  But I wonder is that statement is incorrect or incomplete.
    2. Also, notice the "exclude_hiddent="false"... There is no place to select that in the GUI interface and it seems to be overriding even though system files are to be excluded.
  7. Checking the Exclusion list in the script proves that the script is being written: See 008f_-_2016-07-04_-_exclusion_list_from_script.jpg

So where to go from here???

Part of me wants to uninstall / clean uninstall and go back to Build 6027.  I know it worked there because I have examples of it.  Then I would create the image and see how it goes.  Once the images are complete, then upgrade to the latest build.  I'm curious to find release notes but I looked and only the latest two release notes are available.

Part of me says wait on Acronis.  They want me to send reports, etc etc etc.  Took me forever to convince them there was an issue.  They didn't even look at this forum.

Steve, I'm curious, on your tests how recently did you do a "clean install?"  I ask because this used to work for me.  In April, 2016, I created an image using 6027 and the exclusions worked.  I restored from that image onto this machine and it restored perfectly.  I then uninstalled / clean installed (as is typically my habit) and here I am with the problem.  To be clear, this used to work.  It was only after I uninstalled / clean reinstalled that I have this problem. By Clean Reinstall, I mean I used the Cleanup Tool.

Will have to ponder my next move.

I do appreciate all the input you've given me.  I have had more input in this thread than dealing with the so-called tech support.  Thanks again.  Looking forward to your additional comments.

Louis

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Forum Hero
Posts: 34
Comments: 6885

Louis,

Your screenshots 008d and 008e appear to be indentical.

In screenshot 008f the "exclude_hidden" is cut off not showing the setting as being "false"

Rather than a complete uninstall why not try a repair install instead?  Running the install file again with the product already installed will give you an option to Repair the install.  Might be worth a try.

Beginner
Posts: 2
Comments: 21

Enchantech wrote:

Louis,

Your screenshots 008d and 008e appear to be indentical.

In screenshot 008f the "exclude_hidden" is cut off not showing the setting as being "false"

Me thinks I fixed the images.  I did check the exclude_hidden and this is part of that line:

exclude_by_mask="true" exclude_hidden="false" exclude_system="false"

Louis

Forum Hero
Posts: 34
Comments: 6885

I could be wrong here but if the backup task script setting are as set to false for hidden and system but yet these files are being included in the backup this would indicate to me a corrupted backup task.  In such cases the task should be deleted and a new task configured for the intended backup.  I am not sure how many tasks you have configured but most users only have a few at best.  It may be wise to use the Acronis Schedule Manager to remove this single troublesome task or if you have other inconsistancies remove all scheduled tasks with the utility.

A link to the Schedule Manager is added below:

https://kb.acronis.com/content/1859

Asc
Beginner
Posts: 5
Comments: 16

When I removed True Image previously as Steve Smith suggested, I didn't save any of my profile data.  Thus, all of the profiles in use since then were created fresh, and it still was not excluding anything.

In my example in reply #2, the log reader only listed True Image as being set to exclude files in the exclusion list, not system files AND files in the exclusion list. When exclusions worked for Steve, the log reader reported that both system files and files in the exclusion list would be excluded.

Perhaps both must be enabled for the exclusion list to be obeyed.  But what Steve saw does not match what I see or what is in Louis' screenshots:

"One point that I noted in testing this today is that the default Exclusions page did not have the check-box for 'Files matching the following criteria' selected, only that for excluding 'System files'. "

I see the same as in the screenshot posted by Louis-- there is only a box for excluding the files by list, and it is prechecked by default.

I will have to go take a look at what my laptop is doing, since it does exclude as it should (same build of True Image, same Windows version as the desktop). 

Edit: Nope, that does not seem to be it.  I just looked at the backup task I had used to create my most recent backup on the laptop, and it too shows the exclusion list looking like Louis' screenshot, with a checkbox only for excluding files according to the list (not system files).  The log viewer shows the same result that I cut and pasted from my desktop PC's log in reply #2 above; no mention of system files being excluded at all, just "Exclude: Files matching mask Match criterion," same as my desktop... but the laptop is excluding files correctly, as there is no pagefile.sys in the backup.  

I tried creating a fresh backup task on the desktop and leaving all of its settings as-is other than source (which I set to back up the partition \windows is on) and the destination, which is my networked PC acting as a NAS.  I didn't add any exclusions or change any of the other settings-- yet pagefile.sys was there in the backup, same as before.

Forum Hero
Posts: 34
Comments: 6885

With an image mounted can you navigate to one of the files that you have marked as excluded such as Recycle.bin click on it to open and see if it contains anything? 

How about doing the same thing with other items in the list, what are the results when you open those locations with the image mounted?

I think it possible that these entries you see are nothing more than place holders and contain no data thus even though you see them in the directory structure there is in reality no data there.

Beginner
Posts: 2
Comments: 21

Enchantech wrote:

With an image mounted can you navigate to one of the files that you have marked as excluded such as Recycle.bin click on it to open and see if it contains anything? 

Enchantech:

In fact, that was one of the first tests I did once I saw the size of the image.  I mounted it, and found all of the folders and the data inside.  So surprised was I that I thought I was looking at the wrong drive.  So I went to the "C" drive and added a folder and file and then went to the mounted image to make sure it didn't duplicate.  It didn't.  Both the local drive (C) and the image (in this case Z) were identical except for the new file that I just added to Drive C.

On another point, you mentioned about a corrupted task.  Originally, after reinstalling, I deleted the tasks (and even on the Cleanup Tool) and I made sure the scripts were gone.  Then I created the "new" task.  What is important about what you say is that it is possible that I didn't delete the task in the Acronis Scheduler.  

Here's why I say this:

According to tech support, making a change in the task (the script) does not affect what is in the Scheduler.  (I know that doesn't make sense but that is what he said).  For example, I said if I change use_vss="true" to use_vss="false", it does NOT change in the Scheduler.  I was a bit stunned at his point.  Since I recreated the task every time with the same name, I WONDER if it is possible that the task in the scheduler NEVER GOT DELETED.  I realize that sounds far-fetched. 

So later today, I'm going to use the link you provided and cleanup the Acronis task scheduler and then create a NEW task with a different name.  Far-Fetched?  Yes! But then again, this hold thing is hovering on the corner of Strange & Unusual.  

Louis

Forum Hero
Posts: 34
Comments: 6885

I do not think it is far fetched myself.  The Script and Scheduler are indiependent of each other but rely on each other to function correctly.  This  is why I had the idea to delete the backup task and start anew.

I will interested to see what your outcome is.  I'm hoping that will solve the issue for you.

Beginner
Posts: 2
Comments: 21

An Update!

Ran the Acronis Scheduler and found three (3) tasks in the scheduler.  They did correspond to the scripts found in the Scripts folder.  That said, I deleted the tasks and then went back and did a "task zap" to make sure that all tasks were a "gone pecan!"  They were.  So all the tasks were gone (looked in the folder) and all the schedules were gone (looked at the scheduler.

I then created a new task with a different name (that really should not matter but hey, we're in fantasy land so it's not strange!)  

I'm running the task right now and the pot is cooking.  If the stew is ready in 2 hours, then were are good.  If it tasks longer, the pot may be spoiled.  The image should be around 200 GB (max).  If it hits 800+ GB like it's been doing, we still have a problem.

See you in about 2 - 3 hours.

Louis

Beginner
Posts: 2
Comments: 21

One More Update!

I'm now sitting on the corner of Stumped & Dumbfounded!  Reverting back to Build 6027 was UNSUCCESSFUL.  And I know it worked back in April, 2016.  I also added registry entries to exclude the folders in VSS (albeit I may have done it incorrectly) and it still gets backed up.  I suspect that Acronis is supposed to write a reg entry to "tell" VSS not to backup certain files/folders.

If I could ask of you kind folks a favor?  Can you go to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\BackupRestore\FilesNotToSnapshot

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\BackupRestore\FilesNotToBackup

And see if there is some sort of entry.  I've added an entry which did not work (See this image) but that didn't work.  That would make sense because it should be an application looking here, not me adding an entry.  Assuming that ATH even looks here, I would have to know what is the name of the key.  I guessed.

So, It seems I have no choice but to send this to Acronis Tech Support.  They already claim it works in their "test bed" environment.  They also want me to turn off VSS.  I don't know if that's wise.  I just don't know.

Your thoughts and ideas are continually appreciated.  Thanks again

Louis

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Posts: 34
Comments: 6885

Louis,

I would suggest that the fact that TI 1026 bld.6027 worked for you at one time and now does not would indicate that something has changed on your machine specific to Windows and not TI 2016 bld.6571. 

I ran a test on my test machine just to see if the exlcusions worked and had a look at Windows Registry as well.  My results for the default items included in the TI exclusions list were in fact not found in the backup file created by the True Image application confiming on that machine at least things are working as designed.

Looking at the Registry values I decided to have a look at the FilesNotToBackup entry on Win 7 and Win 10.  Both of these were almost identicle with only these items in the Win 7 list missing:

FVE2 entries

Storage Tiers Management

As interest but probably not applicable here, I found a reference article on Microsoft about the BITS_metadata entry causing exclusions issues back in Windows XP.  The fix was to add a /f argument to the end of the Data Value string in the Registry.  In my test case that argument is not found in the Registry.  It is not found in my Win 10 Registry either so I think it not relevant but interesting nonetheless.  Having said that it might be worth checking your system for the BITS Service to make sure it is running.  It should be set to Automatic Delayed start by default.  If this service is not running it can also cause Windows Update to not work.  You might wish to run Windows Update and see if it works.

It also appears to me that the BITS service is something that third party Security apps put hooks into.  Apps like Norton and Kapersky do this.  I might suggest that you open an admin comand prompt and run the Windows File Checker (SFC /Scannow).  After that process runs restart your PC.  I am attaching a good link on using the System FIle Checker on your drive whch covers doing so both in online and offline mode.  It may be wise to do both given the nature of this issue.

http://pcsupport.about.com/od/toolsofthetrade/ht/sfc-scannow.htm

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Good Morning!  I HAVE AN UPDATE!

i FINALLY GOT IT TO WORK!  But was it work and I need advise from you kind folks.  Here's what is going on.

Out of frustration, I reloaded a previous Acronis Image I had of this machine created April 26, 2016.  On that image, I had Build 6559 (and of course the folders excluded)

After the image reload, I disconnected the system from the network before starting the system.  Once the system was up, I took the steps:

  1. Disable Windows Update (Remember, this is a W10 system so I had to disable the Windows Update Service)
  2. Disable the Acronis Automatic Update check.

Once that was done, I reconnected to the network, reloaded data, did some system config changes, etc. and got the system ready.

This morning, I created a NEW image with the Folder Exclusions.  Remember, this system has about 800 Gb used (OS/Programs/Data).  The image created turned out to be about 90 GB.  Every folder that I selected to be excluded was excluded.  SHORT VERSION, IT WORKED.

So now I have a decision to make:

  1. Turn on Windows Update, let the system update and then try again with a new image creation  OR
  2. Update Acronis to the latest Build and try it.

If either fail, it means that Acronis has to fix it.  That is, if it's a Windows update conflict, eventually others will experience the problem. If it's a Build failure, again, they will have to address the problem.

When I discussed this with support, their answer was, we'll give you a free copy of Acronis 2017.  (By the way, since I have the cloud subscription, I already get that!).  

I would be grateful for your opinion.  My first blush reaction is to update Windows as that seems more important. Any thoughts would be appreciated.  Hope to hear from you all soonest.

 

Thank you

Louis

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Louis, I would do the Windows Updates first so that you know that there are no changes happening related to the Acronis software and the build 6571 update was to only fix one specific issue for a crash situation as per sticky post: 119382: New build number is 6571

I would recommend making frequent System Restore points along the way too so that you have more options if needed.

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Steve Smith wrote:

Louis, I would do the Windows Updates first ...

Steve:

Agreed!  That was my thought process.  I asked tech support for the release notes for 6571 and (and I kid you not!) his answer was "...it was too technical for him to understand..."  (supposedly he's a manager!).  

This PM, I'll be running Windows updates and try again.  Thanks Steve.

Louis

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I would second Steve's recommendation.  I would get Windows up to date and then just let things be for a few days.  If the issue is related to Windows it should surface that way.

Frequent Poster
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Hello All,

There is a known issue with Acronis True Image 2016 build 6571 and earlier: if backup source disk includes Ext4-formatted partition from Linux OS, sector-by-sector mode is enforced, thereby making all exclusions non-applicable. Sector-by-sector mode cannot be applied selectively just for 1 partition, it is a property of entire backup task and applies to all disks and partitions that are included in the task.

You can tell whether or not sector-by-sector mode has been used with help of Log File Viewer. There must be a message "Forced sector-by-sector mode." among others.

The issue also reproduces in cases when you mark just Windows partition(s) for backup, and uncheck Ext4 partition from the same disk.

When Louis restored from April`s backup, that earlier backup must have not had Ext4 partition yet. Absense of Ext4 must have made exclusions working once again.

There is no ETA on when this will be fixed definitively. I have linked this forum thread to the corresponding ticket in our internal issues tracking system.

Regards,

Slava

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Hi Slava & All:

Well kinda, sorta, maybe.  You skipped over some very important points.  And sorry, but I can't resist because if you're going to present the picture, present the WHOLE picture. (To the rest of you kind folks that are a part of this thread, this is going to get a wee bit ugly here!)

FIRST!

Remember my system is a Windows 10 install, not Linux.  What you left out was that after I restored the April's image and took the following steps:

  1. Turned off Acronis Automatic updates so that the program would stay at Build 6559.  
  2. Turned off Windows Updates (not an easy task in Windows 10)
  3. Ran the Acronis backups to test whether exclusions work.  It did!
  4. Turn on Windows Updates
  5. Ran another setup of Acronis Backups with exclusions to see if it works.  It did thereby proving it was not a Windows update problem.  (You left out how you guys wanted to do everything to prove it was my machine, or me or something I did, or a Windows update that caused the problem.)
  6. Updated to Build 6571 by downloading the latest build and NOT using the build in update feature. (Downloaded the latest version of Build 6571)
  7. Made sure that the Automatic Update is still turned off in Acronis
  8. Tested again and everything works.

So you are correct that it an issue with Build 6571.  Just took you a long time to get to what we folks already knew.  But it's NOT an Ext4 Partition issue (at least not in my case).  See next points.

SECOND!

You mention that it was because the disk was an "Ext4-formatted partition". Forgive my ignorance.  In Windows 10?  Is that possible?  The backup source disk in my case was an Acronis Image on a USB Drive formatted as NTFS in Windows.  I just checked and all my disks (local, network and USB are NTFS). So me is confused.  

THIRD!

The initial "automatic" install of Build 6571 was flawed.  Why do I say that?  Because now that I've gotten the latest version of Build 6571, everything works.  Hence why your automatic updates are a dangerous thing.  Unfortunately, the so-called "Clean-up" tool is also flawed because it never quite completely removes everything Acronis.    

THE LESSON HERE is never let Acronis update itself automatically.  Wait several weeks (or more) and then download the update and apply it.  (Of course, you gotta, just gotta have an image befroe you do an update!)

FOURTH!

And this might be the clincher to all of this.  It was kinda lonely waiting on support from Acronis.  You know Slava because you were involved. I initally reported this problem to you on 06-30-2016.  Through little or no help from you all, I was finally able to resolve it on 07-20-2016.  Resolution was to reimage the drive.  The involvement or lack thereof was amazing.  

THESE KIND FOLKS LIKE:

Steve Smith (https://forum.acronis.com/user/16366)

Enchantech (https://forum.acronis.com/user/98785)

were MORE HELPFUL than Acronis's tech support.  I was able to resolve the problems with their help.  (Again thank you Steve and Enchantech).  

I received an email from "Anton" after I expressed my frustations for the lack of support and complete mishandling of the case.  I could post my email to you and your team if you'd like.  

He is supposedly a Expert Support Engineer/ Acronis Customer Central.  He said that he asked "...my manager Agata and asked her to contact you..."  STILL WAITING FOR THAT CONTACT.  That's since 7/25/2016.  Days must run slower for you guys on the other side of the world.

It's nice that you figured out that it's a problem.  But you've figured out the wrong problem & solution.  It may be in part the Ext4 (which I don't think I have).  But it's more than that.  But then again, had you and your fellow compatriots actually worked with me and NOT ASSUMED I WAS THE PROBLEM, you would have figured that out sooner.  

At least it's working.

Regards:

Louis

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Louis, thank you for your comprehensive response above which I do not want to detract from but there is just one part from Slava's update that still needs to be highlighted:

Slava wrote:

Sector-by-sector mode cannot be applied selectively just for 1 partition, it is a property of entire backup task and applies to all disks and partitions that are included in the task.

I fully accept that you did not have any Linux formatted partitions using EXT2/3/4 that would force ATIH to use sector-by-sector mode, however, this can be forced by encountering any bad sectors on the source drive too.  

For me, I am learning too, so Slava's comment above is new knowledge but also makes sense - if ATIH decides to do a sector-by-sector backup, then everything gets included on the source drive and thus no exclusions can be applied. One point that I was not aware of is that sector-by-sector cannot be used for a single partition where more than one is selected in the source data.

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Hi Steve:

Excellent point and I forgot to address that.  Only in that I did not have Sector-by-Sector selected.  I've typically never used Sector-by-Sector because I don't image the entire drive.  In my mind, it would make sense that if Sector-by-Sector is selected than you can't do exclusions.  (Just as you said!)  

In the past (Years ago), I used to image just one partition and skip the reserved and recovery partitions.  But I found that skipping those typically caused me problems.  Now, I select the "Entire PC" (entire disk) but do not do Sectore-by-Sector.  I think (and this is a big assumption) was that when Build 6571 first came out (and I got it within a day that it came out), it had an issue which made some assumptions.  In short, it was a mistake, a glitch, a boo-boo.  

That's fine.  Those things happen.  What was unfortunate was that the uninstall or the clean-up tool did not work to get me back to the previous build AND the lack of admission on the part of Acronis that they made a mistake. 

I think they need to address that Clean-Up Tool and learn that mistakes are ok.  It's the hiding them that is frustating.  

Thanks again.

Louis

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Hi,

I have the same issue only on one of my two desktops with true image 2017.
I have tried everything on this forum and more.

The PC is a Dell and it has just one disk (1 TB) with the usual 8 partitions found on Dell Hardware. 

My conclusions are as the following:

Exclusion list works for every partition except the "C" one.

For the partitions for which it works it is consistent and you can apply any change to the exclusion list (adding and removing items) and it continues to work perfectly, making correct incremental backups.

it's just the "C" partitions that has everything backed up whatever it is in the exclusion list. Even adding the item *.* doesn't work on "C" (it works on every other partition).

I can delete jobs and create new ones and the result is always the same.

 

I'll make more tests, but please do you have any ideas ?

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Beginner
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Ettore Mazza wrote:

Hi,

I have the same issue only on one of my two desktops with true image 2017.
I have tried everything on this forum and more.

The PC is a Dell and it has just one disk (1 TB) with the usual 8 partitions found on Dell Hardware. 

My conclusions are as the following:

Exclusion list works for every partition except the "C" one.

For the partitions for which it works it is consistent and you can apply any change to the exclusion list (adding and removing items) and it continues to work perfectly, making correct incremental backups.

it's just the "C" partitions that has everything backed up whatever it is in the exclusion list. Even adding the item *.* doesn't work on "C" (it works on every other partition).

I can delete jobs and create new ones and the result is always the same.

 

I'll make more tests, but please do you have any ideas ?

Ettore Mazza:

Unfortunately, the only news I can give you is that in the end, I had to reformat the drive C and reinstall Acronis.  If you look at my post for 2016-07-11 (15:33) (See http://forum.acronis.com/forum/121537#comment-374495) , you will see that I did the following:

  1. Reformatted the drive
  2. Loaded from a previously good image (created with Build 6559)
  3. Disabled Windows Update (W10 System so I had to disable the Windows Update Service)
  4. Disable the Acronis Automatic Update Check
  5. Created a new image with exclusions (this worked!)
  6. Enabled Windows Update
  7. Tested again with exclusions (this worked too)
  8. DO NOT ENABLE THE ACRONIS AUTOMATIC UPDATE CHECK
  9. Downloaded Build 6571 (That was the latest build at the time).  That is I went to Acronis and got that update.
  10. Installed the latest version of Acronis (at the time Build 6571)
  11. DO NOT ENABLE THE ACRONIS AUTOMATIC UPDATE
  12. Tested again with Exclusions and did final setup.  

CONCLUSION:  I think that the auto update from Build 6559 to 6571 crashed Acronis and left Windows in a bad way.  Uninstalling/Clean uninstalling/Reinstalling never worked.  I believe also that the Automatic Update "forces" you to update (even though you should be able to get out of it) and if the Build just came out, you might get "issues" such as what you and I experienced.  HENCE, DO NOT ENABLE THE ACRONIS AUTOMATIC UPDATE!  (There is a theme here!)

NEW RULE OF THUMB:  When a new build or version comes out, create an image (Full) before you do any updates.  Then, download the latest build (Guess What!?!  DO NOT ENABLE THE ACRONIS AUTOMATIC UPDATE!)  and get the update that way.  Before you install the update, create a Restore Point.  I think had I done that, I might not have had to go through the pain described above.  But you live and learn.

I hope this helps although I know it's most discouraging because in the end you will have to reformat and reinstall. But use my experience to avoid future pitfalls.

Sincerely:

Louis James

P.S.:  DO NOT ENABLE THE ACRONIS AUTOMATIC UPDATE!  :)

 

 

Legend
Posts: 45
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Ettore Mazza wrote:

I have the same issue only on one of my two desktops with true image 2017.
I have tried everything on this forum and more.
The PC is a Dell and it has just one disk (1 TB) with the usual 8 partitions found on Dell Hardware. 
My conclusions are as the following:
Exclusion list works for every partition except the "C" one.
For the partitions for which it works it is consistent and you can apply any change to the exclusion list (adding and removing items) and it continues to work perfectly, making correct incremental backups.
it's just the "C" partitions that has everything backed up whatever it is in the exclusion list. Even adding the item *.* doesn't work on "C" (it works on every other partition).
I can delete jobs and create new ones and the result is always the same.
I'll make more tests, but please do you have any ideas ?

Ettore, welcome to these user forums and thank you for your clear description of the issue you are seeing.

One reason why exclusions may be ignored is if there are any bad sectors on the source drive - can you confirm that you have done a CHKDSK C: /F /R for your C: drive partition?  ATIH may use a sector-by-sector backup if bad sectors are found and this then doesn't use the exclusions.

Also, can you provide a Service log file for a backup of your C: partition when the exclusions are ignored so that we can check what is written in the log with you.  The Log File Viewer app from the link in my signature is well worth downloading and using to look at the Acronis logs.

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Here it is the log:

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/7agufmxwec3r5kr/Acronis.rar?dl=0

 

If you have time, please have a look.

Legend
Posts: 45
Comments: 15208

Ettore, thank you for the service log files, these do not show any obvious errors to explain why your exclusions are being ignored.

Did you perform a CHKDSK C: /F /R for your source OS drive C: ?

Also, the logs show that you are still running build 5534 for ATIH 2017 - please upgrade to build 5554 as this has a number of fixes for know issues.

Beginner
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I am doing the chkdsk right now.

Beginner
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I'm happy to say that after the chkdsk the backup works correctly. 

thanks a lot Steve.

for the records I also set as active the destination partitiom for the backup tib file. I did this just because it was this way on the esternal HD for the working PC.

Legend
Posts: 45
Comments: 15208

Ettore, thank you for your feedback, glad to hear this is working for you now.

Beginner
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Comments: 3

Steve,

CHKDSK C: /F /R

Thank you for the disk check suggestion! It worked for me, too. 

Probably all problems reported in this thread were caused by hidden disk errors. It is very WRONG that Acronis silently discovers disk problems and decides to do a sector by sector backup without notifying the user! I spend countless hours fighting this problem. I tried with ATIB 2014 (the version I still use) and 2018 - the result was the same. The GUI Windows disk checkup tool was not finding any errors but when I ran the command prompt command - sure enough there were problems. It took 5-6 hours for CHKDSK to fix the issues at boot time but now everything works fine. 

Thanks again!

Val

 

Forum Star
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May I suggest you provide in APP feedback suggesting that an appropriate error message is displayed when this happens.

Ian

Beginner
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I just wasted hours of my life tracking this down too.

Acronis 2017 in my case... silently switching to sector-by-sector with no user feedback.

Just another annoyance in a long line of annoyances from the Acronis product suite over the years...

Whinge ends.

Forum Moderator
Posts: 105
Comments: 3866

Thank you for sharing your experience with our software, Mark! I'll check with the product team whether the current version of Acronis True Image displays a warning about sector-by-sector mode and if not, create a change request for this.