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Was cluster-like backup behavior changed since the old versions of ATI?

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Beginner
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In the past (I don't even remember which version exactly) Acronis True Image had a checkbox in backup settings with something like "Backup by cluster" which would do exact copy of partition by clusters (or so I assume). The problem was, I remember, that even without checking that checkbox Acronis still (which looked like it) was backing up by cluster. I remember being sure about this due to:

1) After restore Defraggler showed that full clusters were not in a strict raw but mixed all over the drive with empty clusters;

2) The next incremental (or differential) backup after a full backup could be 50% of this previous full backup while not many files were actually added or deleted. I assumed this was happening because of file fragmentation happening with time in OS and after driver/software installation.

I am using Macrium Reflect Free for many years now but I decided to ask whether I was right about this bug at that time. And if I was then was it fixed since or was creating non-full backups improved much for the last 5 years or so?

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Legend
Posts: 79
Comments: 16740

Dmytro, welcome to these User Forums.

All versions of Acronis True Image provide an option to perform a Sector-by-Sector backup, and this can be further configured for whether unallocated sectors should be included or not?

See the ATI 2018 User Guide: Image creation mode for some further information.

Note: performing disk defragmentation will cause new backups to be larger because changes are captured at a sector level and defragmentation touches a large number of sectors.

In reply to by Steve Smith

Beginner
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Comments: 2

You, sir, aim at the center and thank you for an answer. Yes, restriction of defragmentation which would increase further backups in the chain did bother me aka 'don't shuffle anything for good'.

So... this supposed to be the case even if an option to perform a Sector-by-Sector backup was unchecked, right? Are these sectors of a 4KB/512B cluster size or bigger? There is no option in new versions of ATI of saving per file basis instead of per sector for lower size of subsequent chain backups?

Thank you in advance.

Legend
Posts: 79
Comments: 16740

Dmytro, ATI may force a backup to be done using sector-by-sector mode for various reasons, including finding any bad sectors, or if dealing with a foreign file system such as EXT2/3/4 used by Linux OS's.

The sector size really depends on the disk drive that is being backed up, and is not controlled by ATI.

ATI does provide for making Files & Folders backups as opposed to making Disks & Partition backups.  The method that ATI uses to determine how changes to files or folders are detected has not been published by Acronis but is thought to be determined at a sector level.

In reply to by Steve Smith

Beginner
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Thank you again. Very interesting information.