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Backups confused after system restore - Possible solution?

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Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 4

When I restore my OS System from an Acronis system backup. It also naturally restores Acronis 2019 program data and system settings to that backup date aswell. In my case this can be up to a month in the past. What I have discovered it that Acronis continues its incremental backups not from the last actual backup but from an older backup that the system was restored from, this can include a previous version chains.

Here is an example. If acronis is setup to do 1 full backup then 1 incremental, and delete after 2 version chains. Something like this will happen. (note: this is just an example, not how I have it actually setup)

Data Backup_full_b1_s1_v1

Data Backup_inc_b1_s2_v1

Data Backup_full_b2_s1_v1

Data Backup_inc_b2_s2_v1

Data Backup_inc_b1_s2_v1-2

So once I restore my OS to an older version. Instead of Acronis continuing to Data Backup_full_b3_s1_v1 it creates Data Backup_inc_b1_s2_v1-2. Aconris thinks that its still at Version b1 as that was the date I restored my PC to.

This has causes 2 notable problems.

1) When I restart my PC with Acronis 2019 boot Environment and I select the date of the backup I desire. If the backup is a version like this "v1-2" once I select it, it does not appear, as there seems to be a problem with these files, and It only lists backup files that are proper in the version chain. So I must select a backup that is older than I desire. This has caused me to lose alot of work. 

2) This is causing a problem with auto deleting version chains, and I am now running out of hard drive space. I have way to many backup files when they should be deleting after 2 version chains. but because the backup continues from an older chain once i do a restore, this seems to confuse the program and creates way more incrimental files that it should. 

Possible Solution. I believe a possible solution would be to keep the activity history of Acronis 2019 in a separate drive than the operating system itself. That way when the system is restored to an older version Acronis will continue backing up where it actually left off and not when the operating system was last restored. 

Is there a known solution for this problem? If not Is the solution stated above viable, and If so would there be a way to move the Acronis user data to another drive so that the backup process will not be disturbed after a restore. 

Regards

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Legend
Posts: 57
Comments: 16044

Peter, welcome to these public User Forums.

This is a known issue and the answer to how to resolve it is one of the following:

If possible, make a copy of the C:\ProgramData\Acronis folders prior to restoring your system to an older point in time, then copy the folders back once the restore is complete.  This will put the status for the Acronis tasks back to how they were immediately prior to the restore.

The disadvantage of this approach is that any continuation of an existing backup chain will always be significantly larger than it would have been without doing the restore due to the volume of change that has been applied by restoring.

The recommended method of dealing with this situation is to abandon all current backup tasks that involve the restored data, and to use the option to 'Clone settings' for such tasks to create new duplicate tasks.  Rename these to have unique / different names than the originals they were cloned from, then remove the configuration for those original tasks (leaving the files in place).

The advantage of the recommended approach is that you will be starting afresh with new full backups for your tasks, then building on those backups with subsequent incremental backups etc.

There are no options available with ATI to store the program data in any other than the default location already used.

This same issue would arise with any backup application when restoring the system to an earlier point in time but having backup files created after that point in time.

Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 4

This is exactly what I was thinking. Thank you.

I think the side effect of the volume change after the restore would be minor compared to the problems I am having now. 

Can I use symbolic links and store the actual Acronis program data folder on another drive?

Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 4

It seems as though this is a huge "known issue" for a program which it's intended purpose is to restore data, and restoring this old data causes the backup flow to break...

Wouldn't it be beneficial moving forward to implement one of the following permanent solutions?

1) allow the program to store its program data on a separate drive either on install or as a setting in the program itself. 

2) to save a backup history of some sorts in a file in the actual backup folder itself so that acronis can refer to the history file before creating another backup to make sure its on track? 

3) If aconis attempts to do a backup and it finds a file with the same name that it is trying to do the backup on , instead of continuing from there  and breaking the versoin chain flow, maybe it should analyse the current backup folder in relation to the backjobs settings and do a reconcile so that it can continue where it left off.

4) At the very least the user should have the option to choose which is the lesser evil for them which would either be 1) breaking the version chian flow or 2) having a larger than normal incremental backup due to the huge change in volume from a restore.

I don't understand why this issue isn't a priority and hasn't been resolved in previous versions of Acronis True image as it would seem this problem nearly renders this program useless.

I'm just happy I found this issue now when I didn't lose any critical work rather then figure it out when I could have lost some really sensitive data. 

Regards,

Legend
Posts: 57
Comments: 16044

Can I use symbolic links and store the actual Acronis program data folder on another drive?

I would advise against trying to take this approach - the application is not designed to work in this way and may not function correctly.

Wouldn't it be beneficial moving forward to implement one of the following permanent solutions?

Peter, please understand that this is purely a User Forum - we are just users here, not Acronis staff or developers etc.  By all means, use the Feedback tool provided in the ATI GUI to put your suggestions & concerns directly to Acronis.

This 'known issue' is not limited to Acronis True Image but to any mechanism that is used to revert an installed OS system to an earlier point in time.

When you restore your system to that earlier point in time, then everything included in that restore is put back to that same point in time.  You cannot just continue a backup version chain that has included data no longer present on the restored system without the backup being almost equivalent to creating a new full backup.  You may have installed new Windows Updates, new applications plus changed a whole lot of other data in the Windows Registry, appdata folders etc.

This is why you should be starting with whole new backups after doing such a restore, unless you are going to remove (or move) any backup files that were created after the restore point date/time.

I don't understand why this issue isn't a priority and hasn't been resolved in previous versions of Acronis True image as it would seem this problem nearly renders this program useless.

I'm just happy I found this issue now when I didn't lose any critical work rather then figure it out when I could have lost some really sensitive data. 

Sorry, but I do not agree with your statement here.  The program is working correctly and if you have a need to preserve other changed data then you must do this prior to restoring your system to a point where that changed data didn't exist.

Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 4

How is this just a user forum when it is located on the Acronis website itself, wouldn't that make it an official forum?

I also disagree with your statement that the program works correctly as the program created faulty backups once I did a restore, I was given no warning at all during the restore process that the program does not understand how to interpret the files already in the backup folder, even a inexperienced user like me can take a look at the backup folder and correctly determine the best way to proceed. Non of the v1-2 versions of the backup worked when i attempted the restore. 

Again this is a huge problem that should be addressed by Acronis and it seems there are plenty of simple solutions that I suggested above.

Legend
Posts: 57
Comments: 16044

Peter, please open a Support Ticket directly with Acronis Support and take up this issue with them.  This is not an issue other users such as myself can resolve for you other than offering ways to get around the issue.

Frequent Poster
Posts: 111
Comments: 593

peter petruzzi wrote:

How is this just a user forum when it is located on the Acronis website itself, wouldn't that make it an official forum?

This is a forum run by Acronis for use by Acronis users. Occasionally Acronis personnel read and respond to posting here, but that is on an unofficial basis. For official communication with Acronis, open a Support Ticket. You can also use the Acronis Feedback if you don't need a response.

peter petruzzi wrote:

I also disagree with your statement that the program works correctly as the program created faulty backups once I did a restore, I was given no warning at all during the restore process that the program does not understand how to interpret the files already in the backup folder, even a inexperienced user like me can take a look at the backup folder and correctly determine the best way to proceed. Non of the v1-2 versions of the backup worked when i attempted the restore. 

Again this is a huge problem that should be addressed by Acronis and it seems there are plenty of simple solutions that I suggested above.

You have a point that perhaps ATI should give warning - during the next backup, not during the restore - that an ambiguous backup chain is being created. The problem (and as Steve said, this is a problem for all backup and recovery products) is that you have created a forked backup chain. You have a common part of the chain used for your restore and two chains follow that point - one with your "old" backups (taken before your restore) and one with "new" backups taken after your restore. Both are logical continuations of the common part of the backup chain.

Either or both might be wanted for future restores and ATI can't know which is "correct".

I am sort of surprised the -2 backups did not work.  I thought ATI automatically used the highest dash number for a .tib file.  As long as you picked one of the -2 files to restore from, I would have thought this would work.

This is a fairly serious problem that many of use have run into but there really is on automatic action ATI can take to avoid it.  You may know what action works for you but that may not be what works for me.

Your best bet is to follow Steve's advice: either create a new backup tasks, or (in the future) take a copy of the ATI database prior to the restore and copy it back after the restore.  If you do the latter, then you have to make sense of the backup chain.  ATI will go forward making usuable backups but you will have a historically puzzling set of data in your backups. 

 

Forum Moderator
Posts: 109
Comments: 4164

Hello Everyone,

As pointed out by Steve and Patrick, when you restore the system to one of the previous states, the internal product's database is also reverted to an earlier state, which means the product loses information about all backups created after that point in time. Current options are:
1. Re-add backups as described in Adding an existing backup to the list https://www.acronis.com/support/documentation/ATI2019/#3504.html
2. Start a new backup chain (old backups could be either deleted or kept for recovery) 

We're looking for ways on how to make the process more convenient in the future. 

Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 4

Ekaterina wrote:

Hello Everyone,

As pointed out by Steve and Patrick, when you restore the system to one of the previous states, the internal product's database is also reverted to an earlier state, which means the product loses information about all backups created after that point in time. Current options are:
1. Re-add backups as described in Adding an existing backup to the list https://www.acronis.com/support/documentation/ATI2019/#3504.html
2. Start a new backup chain (old backups could be either deleted or kept for recovery) 

We're looking for ways on how to make the process more convenient in the future. 

Hi, I listed several ways Acronis could move forward with a possible solution in a response above. I'm sure there are plenty more solutions available as well. At the very least when Acronis detects that the actual backup files in a folder are not reconciled with its history due to a restore, it should prompt the user that this could pose potential problems. I am lucky I found out about this before any critical data was lost. 

1) allow the program to store its program data on a separate drive either on install or as a setting in the program itself. 

2) to save a backup history of some sorts in a file in the actual backup folder itself so that acronis can refer to the history file before creating another backup to make sure its on track? 

3) If aconis attempts to do a backup and it finds a file with the same name that it is trying to do the backup on , instead of continuing from there  and breaking the versoin chain flow, maybe it should analyse the current backup folder in relation to the backjobs settings and do a reconcile so that it can continue where it left off.

4) At the very least the user should have the option to choose which is the lesser evil for them which would either be a) breaking the version chian flow or b) having a larger than normal incremental backup due to the huge change in volume from a restore.

 

 

Frequent Poster
Posts: 111
Comments: 593

peter petruzzi wrote:

...

1) allow the program to store its program data on a separate drive either on install or as a setting in the program itself. 

2) to save a backup history of some sorts in a file in the actual backup folder itself so that acronis can refer to the history file before creating another backup to make sure its on track? 

3) If aconis attempts to do a backup and it finds a file with the same name that it is trying to do the backup on , instead of continuing from there  and breaking the versoin chain flow, maybe it should analyse the current backup folder in relation to the backjobs settings and do a reconcile so that it can continue where it left off.

4) At the very least the user should have the option to choose which is the lesser evil for them which would either be a) breaking the version chian flow or b) having a larger than normal incremental backup due to the huge change in volume from a restore.

I'm not sure I understand your point. Is the implication of your options 1) and 2) are that ATI would maintain knowledge of the backups taken after after the backups used in the restore? If we are talking about full system backups, that would be a dangerous situation. Those backups are of a system that no longer exists. You might want them in order to recover important (now lost) data, but they should not be part of an active backup chain.

Your option 3) puzzles me.  I don't think ATI breaks a backup chain.  When it wants to create a backup file but finds that file already exists, ATI creates an alternate file name and will use that new name if it needs to do another restore.  The anomalous files are kept, but they will not be used in a restore; they are no longer part of the backup chain. (I suspect you can manually use one in a restore or mount by pointing to it.)

A dangerous exception to what I just said is in the following scenario. 

  1. You had a full and 2 incremental backups in your chain.
  2. You restore using the full backup.
  3. You follow with one incremental backup.

You now have backup suffixes such as
full_b1_s1_v1
inc_b1_s2_v1
inc_b1_s2_v1-1 (Or maybe it's -2.  I don't remember.)
inc_b1_s3_v1

The installed ATI will know it has not yet created the s3 element and will hopefully complain, but I don't think a stand alone recovery media restore can tell that is an invalid chain.

The bottom line is that a system recovery is going to cause inconsistencies between online (recovered) and offline (not recovered) data.  The inconsistencies within ATI may be just the tip of the iceberg.  You should always carefully check for, and deal with, such inconsistencies after a recovery. 

Forum Hero
Posts: 59
Comments: 7341

I gotta agree with Patrick. Your backup is of a specific point in time. If you recover an entire OS to an earlier point in time, you've reset the clock on your system and the settings and information that we're available to it at that time. 

The workaround, really, is to take more frequent backups if you need more current information, so that when a full OS recovery is needed, hopefully you won't have to go back too far to restore.

And yes, you could still get data out of those other files (let's  call them future incrementals since as far as the recovered OS and True Image application is concerned haven't been created yet), so long as the full chain is still there - offline rescue media would be ideal in those cases.