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How do I rotate multiple drives in a backup

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Beginner
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I want to be able to swap between 2 backup drives, a different drive every other week.  When I try that though Acronis will not use the second drive because it cannot find the data for the previous week.

There doesn’t seem to be anything in scheduling that allows me to schedule a backup every other week.

 

How can I make that happen? Suggestions are appreciated.

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Legend
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#1

Gary, welcome to these public User Forums.

ATI does not allow the use of multiple drives for a single backup task as it cannot handle files within a backup version chain that are stored across those different drives.

The recommended method here is to create a separate backup task for each different backup drive then run that task only when the matching drive is connected.

If you keep the backup drives using unique drive letters (rather than having the same letter) this will also make it easy to manage too.

See the following forum topics where this question has been discussed previously in the forums.

Topic: Acronis Backup (BU) Using Rotating USB Drives

Topic: Best way to do Full Backups and Rotate Hard Drives

There are many more topics in the forums too as this is raised regularly.

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#2

There doesn’t seem to be anything in scheduling that allows me to schedule a backup every other week.

You are correct. The scheduling options jump from "weekly" to "Monthly". There are a couple of tricks you might use. One is to use the Windows task scheduler to run a bi-weekly task that kicks off an ATI backup.  (I'm pretty sure Steve has done this.)  Another option is to define 2 weekly ATI backup tasks and use a pre-processing command script to determine if the backup should run this week.  One task's script would say "Yes"; the other would say "No".

And I would recommend submitting a Feedback to Acronis requesting bi-weekly scheduling.

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#3

There's really no need to make any fancy back-end schedules if you do a separate backup job for each disk.  

Let's assume you have 2 disks and you make a backup job (unique name) for each disk.  Backup job starts today with a full and the next 6 days as incrementals.

You then disconnect disk 1 and attach disk 2.  Disk 2 now starts with a full and will run incrementals the next 6 days.  

You disconnect disk 2 and attach disk 1.  Disk 1 picks up where it last left off - perfect.  And disk 2 will do the same when you return it next week.  And what's better... you don't have any missing backup files stored on the disk that is not attached, should you need to do a restore/recovery.  This is is the ideal setup and for me, is superior to trying to rotate 2 disks for one job, since all backups in that one job may not be available if you need to recover from a current weeks backups.  And if you do need to recover from the previous weeks backups, just grab the other disk attach it and there you go.

Beginner
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#4

I'm having a problem with this, the only time it runs is when the drive is initially plugged in, there are no incrementals on following days

Legend
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#5

Gary, have you read through the earlier posts in this topic where there is already a lot of information dealing with the subject of using multiple drives.

If those posts do not help you, then we really need to know a whole lot more than you have give us so far in your post.

Beginner
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#6

I have read the earlier posts, it seemed very straight forward to implement and I did create 2 backup schemes and expected whichever drive is plugged in would execute.  I see from the 2 links that you posted the only to accomplish the rotating drives is by writing a bat file to execute whichever disk is mounted.  I'm a proponent of the KISS and would prefer the scheme Bobbo_3C0X1 would work.

Anyway, I'll go down the road of the bat file and see if that will work

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#7

Gary, with a little more info, we might be able to help.

1) Make sure that both drives have a unique name for the main partition and a unique partition letter.  Preferably, give each a letter a little further down the alphabet so that Windows doesn't change it if another drive is plugged in and already assigns that letter first. Plug both drives in at the same time so that they are both seen by Windows, then launch Acronis True Image.

For disk 1 / backup script one, re-pick the correct destination drive.  Also, I would not pick the main disk in the backup destination options, I always use "Browse" and then browse to the disk and a specific, unique folder for each backup.   Make sure to save and press "run backup now" to commit the change

Now do the same for disk 2 / backup script two.

As long as the drives are plugged in and powered up (may need to check Windows power settings, and advanced settings to ensure USB selective suspend is not enabled and that disk drives are not spinning down to save power), they should run the backups whenever they're scheduled.  And, if they are off the machine (out of rotation for that week), they should just skip that backup.  

Additionally, under the schedule tab >>> Advanced Settings, I would recommend that you not check the box "Back up only when the computer is locked or screensaver is running"

and do check all of the other boxes.  I also set the "run missed operations at the system startup with delay (in minutes) to 1 or 2 minutes, just in case.  

Beginner
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#8

Bobbo_3C0X1, thanks for getting back to this post.

 

I implemented the scripting idea so that the only backup that runs is the one that is associated with the mounted drive.  It worked but also sent an email complaining about the one that failed the bat test, this is not an ideal situation.

I'd like to get yours to work correctly so that the only expected message is a good one and anything else requires immediate attention.

Given your latest description, the only thing not set as you just suggested was the USB power in the advanced power settings.  The question I have is what kicks off the incremental every day, there are no time settings only the one that says "When an external device is plugged in".  How does Acronis know when to kick off the daily incremental?

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#9

Gary, there should also be a schedule on that tab.  If the system is turned on and the drive is available, the schedule should run at that time.  

Beginner
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#10

When you use bubble “upon event” that is not available, only if you go back to the “daily” bubble.  

Im assuming one negates the other

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#11

Yes, it's one or the other. 

Use the daily task so you can schedule it, but then, under advanced, then check the option to backup when a device is connected.  That should give you the ability for the backup to either run on schedule, or if missed, when the drive is connected.

 

Beginner
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#12

If I do it that way I still have to use a script to choose which one should execute on a daily basis, correct?

if true then I still receive a fail message for the drive not attached?

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#13

Not really.  If one of the drives isn't plugged in, it will just not run until it is - it goes to "queued" status, but other scheduled tasks will still continue to run.  You could just leave it like that and keep the schedule going so it just picks up where it left off the next time it's connected.

Otherwise, if you want it to not just queued, but stopped if the drive isn't connected and don't want a fancy external .bat or powershell script to determine each disk, etc., a simple .bat script on each disk as a pre-command for each backup task could also work (or use the more complicated one).  

If the disk is not plugged it, and the script can't run, the backup task will quit completely.  I do this for my NAS backups so that when my laptop is not on my local network, it checks for the file on the NAS, and when it can't find it, the backup fails and stops and it takes hardly any time or effort to setup.  It works the same for USB drives if they are not attached too.

All you need is to save the following in notepad and change .txt to .bat.  Then put it on the root of the backup drive.  Use a pre-command task in your backup task for that drive to call on it.  If it can't find it, it will fail and the backup will completely stop until the next scheduled day (or whatever your error retries is set to - I would make it only 1 retry so it doesn't keep trying).  It will repeat on the schedule (and/or when the disk is attached if a schedule has been missed) and when the disk is connected and it finds the script, then it will run the backup job.  

Save the following in notepad and call it HelloDrive_X.bat  (I like to replace X with the actual drive letter)

@echo off
exit > nul

Then put that in your pre-command for your backup and make sure it points to that file, on that disk.  Repeat and do the same for the other disk.

 

 

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Beginner
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#14

I like that, I'll try it out and get back to you

Thanks

Beginner
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#15

For some reason the bat file is not being kicked off.  I've included a couple of jpg's to show how it is set up as well as the bat file.  I added the msg line to the bat file just to see if it was kicked off.  I did not see any msg sent to the console.

Any thoughts?

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Legend
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Comments: 18024

#16

Gary, you will never get a message issued to the console from a Pre Command batch file.

Try using the following pre command.bat file lines:

set desktop=c:%homepath%\desktop
if exist %desktop%\BackupStarted.txt (
del %desktop%\BackupStarted.txt )
echo %date% %time% Backup Started > %desktop%\BackupStarted.txt
call "cmd /c start %desktop%\BackupStarted.txt"
exit /b 0

Edit: amended the line to launch notepad so that it doesn't cause the backup task to fail due to waiting for notepad to be closed again.

Beginner
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#17

Made the changes to the bat file and the file was not created, indicating the job does not run?

Legend
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#18

Gary, does the script run if you run the backup task manually (that is how I tested the script)?

Beginner
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#19

Yes, it does

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#20

I've had cases like that when I had access to the drive mapping but the userid used by the scheduled task did not.  I could manually test the script but the scheduled task could not run it. 

Or perhaps the scheduled task had access but not authority.  I don't know how to tell which.

Legend
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#21

Gary, comment out the [ call "cmd /c start %desktop%\BackupStarted.txt" ] line from the batch script and see if it runs via the scheduler then?  I found that the above line still caused my task to fail if included when run on schedule though was fine when run manually.  Note: I was getting a red X on the task to show that it had failed but no log file etc because only the Pre-Command had tried to run but failed.

Beginner
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#22

I did as asked, but the backup did not run and the file on the desktop was not updated.  I changed it to run at a specific time and a miracle, it ran.  

I'm willing to leave it like that as I dont have the time to keep making modifications.  the drive gets changed tomorrow, so I'll see how the new drive works

Legend
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#23

Thanks for the update Gary, hope all continues to work with the changed drive.