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Grover's How to Backup 2012-2013 from within Windows

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Legend
Posts: 172
Comments: 11125

This guide covers a wide range of options offered within the 2012-2013 versions. Take the time to look at each figure and read all associated comments as each has a purpose in the creation of the backup tasks.
    Help with creating a backup scheme which is self maintaining can be found in figures 11-full or 11-inc or 11-Dif...depending upon your choice of backup types. The user manual also has a good section on "custom" backup schemes.

    Help with the use of custom backup storage folders and custom backup file names can be found in figure 8.

2012-2013 HowToBackup Presented as a PDF (same content)
http://forum.acronis.com/sites/default/files/mvp/user285/2012-htb/2012-backup_from_within_windows.pdf
  Note: The PDF does NOT contain some of the newer comments as listed below.

Figure 1: Intro1

Figure 2: Intro2

Figure 3: Source1 (For 2011-2012--not for 2013)-continue

Figure 4: Source2

Figure 5: Disk mode (Cause all partitions to be included within backup. which is the preferred type of backup if wanting to create a replacement bootable disk.)

This is the best type backup for most users if you want to be able to recreate your system due to a failed disk or virus, etc.

Figure 6: Select Destination1

Figure 7: Browse for Storage Destination. Each task should have its own unique destination folder. Do not mix backup files from other tasks in same folder.

Failure to click the Browse option will prevent access to assigning custom names to backup files. Click the browse option to continue.

Newer versions. Use Browse button to select target disk; storage folder name; TIB backup file Name.

Figure 8: Assign custom folder name and assign custom backup file name

The creation of custom backup tib file names can only be changed when positioned in the directory tree as indicated in Figure 8; whereas the task name or "backup name" can differ from the backup file name. Task name changed or re-assigned in figure 18,
In 2013, all backup files will have a program added suffix to the *.tib name such as
   user assigned name_FULL_B1_S1_V1.tib
   user assigned name_INC_B1_S2_V1.tib as per this link example
    http://forum.acronis.com/sites/default/files/mvp/user285/guides/test2013-1.gif
Assigning custom names to storage folders and backup files:
Understand that the backup file name is not task name and the task name is not the backup file name. The task name (Backup name) and the backup file name are two separate entities. They both may or may NOT carry the same name controlable by the user. Custom Backup file name controlled in figure 8. Task name (Backup name) controlled in figure 18. Avoid the use of parenthesis indicators or periods as part of the backup file name. The best time to finalize or change the "Backup name" (task name) is just prior to pressing the SAVE button to save the task configuration. This will allow you to change the "Backup or Task name" without changing the custom backup tib file name.

Figure 9: Backup Scheme start

Figure 10: Example of default backup scheme settings
Important note: In my opinion, each user should create their own custom backup scheme and completely AVOID the default backup scheme settings and completely avoid ANY use of any consolidation option.
Set your backup scheme up using one of the next 3 examples --11-Full; or 11-Dif; or 11-Inc. Adjust the 6 & 4 examples to fit your own retention needs. These next 3 examples provide for automatic cleanup (automatic deletion of oldest backups) and does NOT use any consolidation settings.
To provide the best success ratio, some backup scheme options are indicated "AVOID."

Figure 11-Full: Example of custom/full backup method settingsIf using Full backups only, this is a recommended method. These automatic cleanup settings will provide for automatic deletion of the oldest backups after the "Store no more than X number of chains" quota has been reached.
In this example, deletion of oldest backup will occur immediately following creation of backup #5.

Allow space for 1 more full backup in addition to "Store no more than X number of chains" as the program will NOT delete the oldest full until its replacement has been successfully created.

Figure 11-Inc: Example of custom/incremental backup method settings
If using incremental type backups (which is full + X Inc), the 11-Inc is my recommended method. Change the 6 or 4 to fit your available storage.
These automatic cleanup settings will provide for automatic deletion of the oldest backups after the "Store no more than X number of chains" quota has been reached.
In this example, deletion of oldest backup will occur immediately following creation of backup #29.

Allow space for 1 more full backup in addition to "Store no more than X number of chains" as the program will NOT delete the oldest full until its replacement has been successfully created.

In this example, one chain or one recent version chain =1 full plus 6 inc or 7 files per chain.
If keeping 4 recent version chains (4 chains of 7 each) retention would be 28 files. Deletion of oldest chain will occur after backup 29 (full).

Also understand the limitations/risk factor of incremental backups.
If one inc backups gets corrupt or accidentally deleted, all newer inc are worthless so avoid excessive number of incremental backups. Always maintain a full backup set which are current This explains why keeping a reasonable number of x "recent version chains" can be very important. Keeping a high number of incremental is a high risk factor to your backup data and should be avoided.
For a better understanding of the differences between Inc and Dif as it relates to the safety factor, review this link.
http://forum.acronis.com/forum/40810

When restoring an Incremental backup, select the specific Inc file to be restored and all preceding Incremental files plus the full backup base must be present and will be restored (multiple files required).

Figure 11-Dif: -Example of custom/differential backup method settings

If using differential type backups (which is full + X Diff), the 11-Diff illustration is my recommended method. Change the 6 or 4 to fit your available storage.
These automatic cleanup settings will provide for automatic deletion of the oldest backups after the "Store no more than X number of chains" quota has been reached.
In this example, deletion of oldest backup chain will occur immediately following creation of backup #29.

Allow space for 1 more full backup in addition to "Store no more than X number of chains" as the program will NOT delete the oldest full until its replacement has been successfully created.

In this example, one chain or one recent version chain =1 full plus 6 diff or 7 files per chain.
If keeping 4 recent version chains (4 chains of 7 each) retention would be 28 files. Deletion begins after backup 29.

When restoring, a single diff file is selected and that specific diff plus its full backup base will be restored (2 files restored).

Figure 12:Backup options-Advanced & Validation

Figure 13: Backup options-Notifications

Figure 14: Backup Options-Exclusions

To add additional exclusions:
Click the browse option and browse to and select a specific folder and then click the Add option.
The selected folder should appear inside the exclusion window.

Figure 15: Final backup scheme (your custom 11-Full or 11-Inc or 11-Diff) & backup options from all 5 column headers. Your custom scheme may differ.
My personal recommendation is NOT to use the options
...Delete Version Chains Older than x days.
...Keep size of backups no more than x GB's
Avoid editing a task after completion or finalization.

Figure 16: Schedule1-Advanced settings

Figure 17: Schedule2 Advanced settings

Figure 18: Completed settings of task 

(Backup name=Task name.  Accept or change task name.)

IMPORTANT:
Figure 19: Display of finished task. It is the multiple execution of a specific task which causes the actual backup files to be created as configured in the custom backup scheme. A specific task executed via a schedule; or via the task "Backup Now" option; or the task created desktop shortcut option is what initiates the accumulation of incremental or differential type backup inside the destination storage folder.

Figure 20: Info icons not readily visible.

Figure 20-1: Two ways to stop the scan for backup files at start of program.

1. From within the program.

----------------------- also check link which contains newer Scan for Backups info
http://forum.acronis.com/forum/31895
2. If you have not started the program after installation and you want to avoid the hassles of having to delete the unwanted addition of backup tasks to your display, you can prevent the first scan by a simple edit in the registry as below.

Figure 21- Task Data (Explore & Recover)

CAUTION: Clicking the DELETE option will delete all BACKUP FILES CREATED BY THIS SPECIFIC TASK. Use the next screen for a more controlled deletion of specific files. Deletion of Interim files within a backup can ruin or prevent the restoration of a complete backup.

Acronis Backup Explorer module:
Figure 22: Task Explore & Recover View   Plus File Details
It is this screen where individual backup files can be deleted from the existing task without deleting the task. Deletion of incremental backups will spoil the backup chain..

Attachment Size
2012-18-htb-final.jpg 58.47 KB
2014-07-itb-dest1.jpg 34.1 KB
7-2014-browse.jpg 5.78 KB
0 Users found this helpful
Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 21

#1

Great screenshow, Grover. I have downloaded the Zip-file; a nice alternative to the app's helpfile..

Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 2

#2

Excellent Grover.

Thanks for the assistance

I have used Acronis for years to clone replacement drives, but this is first time using as a permanent backup solution. Like anything worthwhile some effort is needed and this tutorial really helped!

- Jeff -

Forum Star
Posts: 49
Comments: 3750

#3

Good job, Grover, as usual!

Forum Member
Posts: 7
Comments: 36

#4

Well thank you Grover, I'll give it all a whirl!!

Beginner
Posts: 0
Comments: 1

#5

Hi Grover!
Good job!

Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 2

#6

Many thanks Grover - your step-by-step guide is very helpful

Beginner
Posts: 0
Comments: 1

#7

I appreciate the effort you put in to explain the process. I have been using Acronis for a long time but had forgotten a step. After your reading your document, it all fell into to place and I was able to proceed. Thank you.

Legend
Posts: 172
Comments: 11125

#8

It is comments such as yours which makes the effort worthwhile.
Thank you.
Grover

Beginner
Posts: 0
Comments: 5

#9

Hi Grover, nice Tutorial - great!

Many thanks - stefano

Beginner
Posts: 0
Comments: 4

#10

Thank you heaps, GroverH. You have made using ATI 2013 intelligible. I'd almost given up on it.

Beginner
Posts: 0
Comments: 2

#11

I'm new here and have only glanced over your tutorial thus far. First, thank you for taking the time to do this. My project I think is addressed more or less in the first part in that I plan to copy everything from my OLD 1T drive over to a NEW 3T. Then unless Acronis has a way of redesignate drive letters I'll have to go into the BIOS and change it there.

Again, thanks for your work.

Legend
Posts: 172
Comments: 11125

#12

Attention to anyone posting in this thread.

This is not a forum for posting question and answers. The purpose of this particular forum is a

"Centralized place for sharing your best practices, tips & tricks for protecting data loss at home"

Please do NOT POST into my helper postings!

There is a place to provide feedbackup to Acrnois, is that is the purpose of your postings.
http://www.acronis.com/support/feedback.html

Beginner
Posts: 2
Comments: 2

#13

Wow! A lot of work!

You have inspired me to give Acronis a solid shot - I've used it for years - it has saved me in the past - but, the updates over the past several have left me feeling unsure.

I just updated from 12 to 14 and want to reconfigure backup strategy and you have helped a lot!

Thank you,

Beginner
Posts: 3
Comments: 4

#14

Hello GroverH:

I have a question regarding just how necessary you really feel it is to use folders for backup locations, as opposed to putting them directly on the root drive of the backup device, and why you feel that way. It would seem to me that, the less complex, the less possibility for error. A folder, as well as a file, can become corrupted, if I understand correctly. Therefore, it would seem to me that putting backups directly on the root would eliminate one possible problem between me and getting at my data. If I'm incorrect, please enlighten. :)

Also, you have stated that you feel each backup set should be in its own folder. For years (with older ATI versions), I've kept two different backup sets on the root of a USB external with no problems at all. Have I just been lucky? Could you explain why you think this is potentially a problem? Both backup sets have distinct names of course, so I wouldn't imagine that ATI would mess one up with the other, but again if you have some experience to the contrary or good reasons, I'd appreciate the feedback.

Thanks for all the help you have provided over the years.

Yuki

Legend
Posts: 172
Comments: 11125

#15

Yuki,
My apologies for the belated response.

My basic response is that is a matter of my personal preference.

I often refer to the these preferences as Grover's rules as they are the rules I practice. Many are contrary to the suggestions offered by Acronis in their instructions

Acronis permits task editing and for me, that has posting proven by a multitude of other posters that editing a task rarely produce the results the user expects and Acronis makes no promises or explanations as to what will occur following an edit.

Acronis goes to great length to promote that backups can be mixed and different tasks stored in the same folder Again, over the years, I have found that mixed task storage folders cause nothing but confusion for the user--especially the inexperienced user. Having a folder singly dedicated to one task makes troubleshooting and error visibility much easier. This is my observation but no proof.

Acronis offers a delete option via the right click option inside any workable task. To me, this delete option can be compared to a stick of dynamite. The user is provided no indication as to which files are being deleted and an assortment of backup can be destroyed. I personally would like to see this specific DELETE option be discarded and force all deletes to be processed via the Acronis Backup Explorer. Link below. From within that screen, the number of files to be deleted are identified in number and only the selected files are deleted.
http://forum.acronis.com/system/files/delete-backup-file.jpg

I have no problem with backups stored in root folder and it may well be a safer choice. I would certainly agree that it would be safer than a long path name. I do believe the longer the path, its length increases the possibility of file problems. Again, a matter of my perspective. For my own use, I will not use a long file name or long folder paths. I do believe that each task should be assigned its own individual folder so avoid confusion and make visual observation easier. A storage older close to the root would be much preferred to a long path. My folders are always sorted via date/time. Recently, there was issues posted by a user with hundreds of backups related to a single full backup. Working with one task is bad enough but with multiple tasks, troubleshooting is much more difficult. Not all files were restorable.

So, as the saying goes, the bottom line is that having posted over 9000 response and a review of many more during my usage time with Acronis, I try to practice safe backup procedures and I believe Grover's rules helps to ensure I have as few problems as I can foresee. Often times, when a user posts a problem, I will try to replicate their issue. Quite often, I find that the user's inexperience is their own problem and if they were to practice Grover's rules, their problem would "probably not have occurred or be much less severe. Again, a matter of opinion based on past observation.

Occasional checking for disk errors can help to reduce the creation of an errored backup and one of first steps in troubleshooting a botched clone or restore. This is another of my observations noted over a period of time.

I have no statistics nor specific proof but from the experience I have gained over the observations of the many postings on the Acronis forums, I have developed practices which I avoid--thus Grover's rules. In many of my postings, I point out these are "my recommendations" and as I am not tied or associated with Acronis, I try to make the user aware that my comments and recommendations are mine alone.

Beginner
Posts: 3
Comments: 4

#16

Hi Grover,

No problems on belated responses. It's the holidays after all. :)

I quite agree about editing tasks. I have found this a very flaky part of the program for many years. You just can't be sure of what will happen, so I've given it up for delete and rewrite.

I also agree about the delete dynamite. In fact, Acronis has gone backwards with this functionality, actually. It used to be 'Remove' and you could just remove backup files without deleting the task itself. Plus, you got a popup window showing you what was going to be deleted and a request for confirmation. Now, you basically get 'Delete it all' without precise assurance of what will be deleted, or delete nothing. And deleting backups through Windows instead of via ATI just confuses ATI. Not sure how anyone at Acronis thinks that removing functionality rather than adding it is a good thing.

Thanks for your insight and help. I think I'm experienced enough not to make drastic mistakes, but I backup redundantly to different drives, so I'm probably prepared for the worst. I don't let the versions go to high, and I verify.

Thanks again,

Yuki