Skip to main content

Recommended USB drive?

Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 1

I'm actively considering using Acronis to backup my Windows 7 PC.

In the past (XP days) I have used Seagate drives and the backup software that came with them. That software let me down badly -- scheduling plans were very limited, didn't backup files properly and recovery was a mess -- so I now want to use a reliable, full featured professional package such as Acronis.

I then have to decide what external drive to use. I am not yet ready to trust SSD technology for the backup device. Capacity of 2TB or 4TB is adequate for my purposes.

Also, I'm not inclined to want the USB device connected and running continuously, so I need Acronis to hit me with a pop-up messages telling me to connect the device for backup (as per my chosen backup schedule) and not let me avoid doing that.

Suggestions invited.

 

Legend
Posts: 45
Comments: 14864

Jim, welcome to these public User Forums.

I would suggest taking a read through the initial chapters of the ATI 2019 User Guide which will give you a good overview of the capabilities of this backup application.

The alternative to using an external USB backup drive would be to invest in a NAS drive for backups where you would only connect to this when a backup was being performed and where you do not need to map a Windows drive letter that would expose the NAS to other applications.

Forum Hero
Posts: 42
Comments: 6435

SSD is more than reliable (not too mention fast).  However, it is a bit expensive when you start getting into 1tb and larger drives.  That said, if you're needing 2-4tb of storage, just about any USB 3.0 external drive should be just fine and there are many options on Amazon under $100.  I tend to stick with WD or Seagatge for external drives, but price is usually my final determinate if reviews are about equal.

Going back to Steve's comment, the user guide explains the setup and configurations.  You could schedule your backup for a set time (daily, weekly, whatever) and with the option to run the backup when the USB is connected to the system.  That way, if you miss the time it's scheduled for (you won't get a popup), it will run the next time the drive is connected if it's been longer than the schedule that was configured.

That said, not knowing how often you need / want to backup.  I'd schedule it for daily (assuming you're thinking about backing up less frequently for the most part).  Then select the option to "run missed operations" in the schedule.  That way, anytime you're past the daily set time and plug in the drive, the backup should just run since it's past due.

Beginner
Posts: 0
Comments: 1

I have a 2TB laptop drive in a USB3.0 case and the joy of it is that the USB cable is the only one needed. I question your desire to leave it disconnected most of the time--I set mine to make Daily backups and use the Incremental method, but with "Create a full version after every 6 incremental versions" which gives me a full weekly backup plus dailies. This happens automatically at 700am because I am never at the PC at that time.

I have used Acronis since the very beginning of the company. I used to (try to) make weekly backups using bootable media because I didn't trust the fancy bells & whistles of the newer methods. But with ATI2018 now 2019 I must say I am Very Impressed with how far it's come, and it's wonderful just leaving the backup drive connected and backups made & available at all times.

Legend
Posts: 45
Comments: 14864

Tom, welcome to these public User Forums.

Thanks for giving your view on this topic.  The main reason why some users do not like to keep a backup drive connected full time is simply one of caution to avoid any possibility of malware, ransomware etc being able to cripple not only the main computer but also attack any attached drives, especially where a drive may hold the backup files needed to recover from such an attack.

The way around such concerns is in adopting a backup strategy that holds backup data in multiple different locations, including at least a copy of critical data held fully offline and potentially, off site too (to mitigate against fire, flood, theft etc).

Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 1

Thank you for the considered and informative replies.

The alternative to using an external USB backup drive would be to invest in a NAS drive for backups

I wasn't aware of NAS technology. It looks very good but is a tad expensive for my single PC requirements.

You could schedule your backup for a set time (daily, weekly, whatever) and with the option to run the backup when the USB is connected to the system.  That way, if you miss the time it's scheduled for (you won't get a popup), it will run the next time the drive is connected if it's been longer than the schedule that was configured.

That sounds good, but I would like a pop-up to keep nagging me until I do connect the USB drive. It's too easy for me to keep putting it off "until next time" and Sod's Law will eventually ensure that I lose data.

That said, not knowing how often you need / want to backup.  I'd schedule it for daily

Yes, daily is my preference. I'd keep the USB drive connected if I could so that the scheduled  backup would be automatic, but ...

The main reason why some users do not like to keep a backup drive connected full time is simply one of caution to avoid any possibility of malware, ransomware etc being able to cripple not only the main computer but also attack any attached drives, especially where a drive may hold the backup files needed to recover from such an attack.

... is my reason.

Legend
Posts: 45
Comments: 14864

Jim, have a read of forum topic: How to automatically connect and disconnect an external hard drive before and after a backup

Towards the end of the topic there is a link to resources in the MVP User Tools repository for the software and documentation to do this.

Forum Hero
Posts: 42
Comments: 6435

Steve, I can't get the scripts to run from Acronis 2019. 

They work just fine when I "test" them in the backup script settings (Advanced >>> Pre/Post commands >>> Pre-command >>> Edit >>> Test command).  They also run manually when I launch a command prompt "with run as admin" and kick off the .vbs scripts manually.  

I also tried calling on them from a .bat instead, but it's the same behavior.  Whenever Acronis runs the backup task by clicking on "Back up now" or on the set schedule, it just gets stuck "queued". 

Are you seeing this behavior too, or is it just me?  Seems like no matter how simple my "pre" task is (just a little .bat with @echo off and exit in it), it fails to actually get past queued expect for when I test the command in the backup task.  I'll post a video to you later, but wanted to check with you before you head to bed.

Forum Hero
Posts: 42
Comments: 6435

I'm uploading the video to youtube now.  it should be there in a couple of minutes

https://youtu.be/oElIK6smK9k

Legend
Posts: 45
Comments: 14864

Rob, I am not aware of any current issues with running Pre or Post commands but cannot test this further at the moment as my main computer is currently 60% through a large Cloud backup that I expect will continue for some hours yet.  The task itself uses both a Pre and Post Command to write to my own local log text file, and this is definitely working without issue.

My 2 BAT files just contain the following lines:

::The drive letter below should be changed to where your .txt files are stored
::i.e. BackupLog.txt, Host-down.txt, BackupStarted.txt & BackupDone.txt
::Note: BackupStarted & BackupDone are created by the Pre & Post Commands
e:
echo %date% %time% Backup Started %1 %2 %3 %4 >> BackupStarted.txt
echo %date% %time% Backup started %1 %2 %3 %4 >> BackupLog.txt
exit

::The drive letter below should be changed to where your .txt files are stored
::i.e. BackupLog.txt, Host-down.txt, BackupStarted.txt & BackupDone.txt
::Note: BackupStarted & BackupDone are created by the Pre & Post Commands
e:
echo %date% %time% Backup finished %1 %2 %3 %4 >> BackupDone.txt
echo %date% %time% Backup finished %1 %2 %3 %4 >> BackupLog.txt
exit

They are called in the GUI with the name of the task for a parameter.

The current local log file (for my active task) looks as below:

26/01/2019 12:00:33.88 Backup launcher script started:
26/01/2019 12:00:34.10 Checking for active IP address on local network
26/01/2019 12:00:38.49 Host 192.168.0.29 is UP!
26/01/2019 12:00:39.43 Check status of TrueImage.exe
26/01/2019 12:00:39.54 TrueImage.exe was not active
26/01/2019 12:00:39.59 Launching hidden ATI background task
26/01/2019 12:00:54.32 Ready to launch ATI backup task
26/01/2019 12:00:54.34 Number of tasks to run = 5
26/01/2019 12:00:58.27 Start ATI Task 1 Script 275CC91E-D4CE-46CC-A81B-789C4496F97E Name Win 10-1-2 Synology
26/01/2019 12:01:13.79 Backup started Windows 10 Synology  
26/01/2019 12:59:07.22 Backup finished Windows 10 Synology  
26/01/2019 12:59:14.66 End ATI Task 1 Script 275CC91E-D4CE-46CC-A81B-789C4496F97E Name Win 10-1-2 Synology
26/01/2019 12:59:16.55 Start ATI Task 2 Script 49EC961C-D387-4E1A-9626-6AB47C5AE65D Name My Folders
26/01/2019 12:59:24.93 Backup started My Folders   
26/01/2019 14:21:47.10 Backup finished My Folders   
26/01/2019 14:21:56.55 End ATI Task 2 Script 49EC961C-D387-4E1A-9626-6AB47C5AE65D Name My Folders
26/01/2019 14:21:57.53 Start ATI Task 3 Script 75BA2979-24ED-445A-A021-7D5E64A990BB Name Software
26/01/2019 14:22:04.29 Backup started Software    
26/01/2019 15:11:05.69 Backup finished Software    
26/01/2019 15:11:12.32 End ATI Task 3 Script 75BA2979-24ED-445A-A021-7D5E64A990BB Name Software
26/01/2019 15:11:13.97 Start ATI Task 4 Script 8C48AB5C-9D50-4F03-ADBB-73C8EA551F52 Name Apache
26/01/2019 15:11:18.78 Backup started Apache    
26/01/2019 15:14:34.40 Backup finished Apache    
26/01/2019 15:14:40.00 End ATI Task 4 Script 8C48AB5C-9D50-4F03-ADBB-73C8EA551F52 Name Apache
26/01/2019 15:14:40.08 Start ATI Task 5 Script 882ABF5D-C4FE-46A2-84BB-E4E28BD4F778 Name Dell Studio
26/01/2019 15:14:47.25 Backup started Dell Studio  
Legend
Posts: 45
Comments: 14864

Rob, the Pre / Post commands are launched by TrueImageHomeService.exe which should be running as Administrator or Administrator has full control authority.  It is held in Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Acronis\TrueImageHome

The log should also show that any Pre / Post Command was successful.

27/01/2019 10:23:48 :374  -----
27/01/2019 10:23:48 :374  ATI Demon started. Version: 23.4.1.14690.
27/01/2019 10:23:48 :526  Operation My folders started manually.
27/01/2019 10:23:50 :191  Operation: Backup
27/01/2019 10:23:50 :191  Backup type: file level
27/01/2019 10:23:51 :063  Child process has exited with code '0'.
27/01/2019 10:23:51 :064  Execution of user command succeeded: E:/ATIbackupstarted.bat
27/01/2019 10:24:28 :356  Child process has exited with code '0'.
27/01/2019 10:24:28 :356  Execution of user command succeeded: E:/ATIbackupdone.bat
27/01/2019 10:24:28 :607  Operation has succeeded.
 

Legend
Posts: 45
Comments: 14864

I have converted the three .VBS files used to auto mount / remove a USB drive to use Powershell which is much easier to read / understand and have posted the updated files (zipped) to the MVP User Tools and Tutorials repository as USB_Mount_Remove.zip which includes a PDF document about the same.

Forum Hero
Posts: 42
Comments: 6435

Steve,

I don't have TrueImageHomeService.exe  in that folder.  I might try to reinstall, but just want to be sure that's the one in that folder.

 

Attachment Size
487129-163266.JPG 103.52 KB
Legend
Posts: 45
Comments: 14864

Rob, it is not in the main Acronis folder but from Common Files\Acronis path..