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No local attached drives >2TB and not displaying real size of backups inside tib files

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We are using Acronis Backup for VMware for 2 years now and still stumble upon the same problems:

1. No support for local attached drives > 2TB.
Since vmware ESX6.0 vmware is able to use local devices > 2TB. Why is Acronis not able to use them and still has the 2TB limitation?

2. tib files only get bigger but not smaller.
When deleting VMs from backup jobs, the corresponding tib files do not get smaller. After a few times with adding and deleting VMs to the backup, we often have the case that these tib files fill up the whole partition and show file sizes of neary 100% of the partition. But the tib files are propably only filled up half. Acronis is not able to show the real sizes of the backups inside the tib files and is not able to shrink the tib files if the space inside is not needed. Why?

kind regards,
Marc

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Acronis Program Manager
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Hi Marc,

1. This limitation will be removed in the next version of Acronis Backup for VMware which is pending to be released in 2016 (around the middle of the year or earlier).

2. The "Always Incremental" (single-file) archive format will remain the same, so shrinking the physical file size won't be possible. It is supposed that the backups inside the archive are maintained through retention rules, so deletion of large portion of backups from such archives (when shrinking becomes a necessity) is not something standard. One possible workaround is as follows: set up 2nd destination in the backup task which upon execution will copy all backups from 1st destination archive (non-shrinked) into minimum-sized new archive in the 2nd location. This new archive can then replace the old non-shrinked one in 1st destination.

Thank you.

--

Best regards,

Vasily

Acronis Virtualization Program Manager

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Using Acronis True Image 2016, Full Version.  The size of my Local Disk, the size of my backups, and the Total Size reported within Acronis do not correspond. Example: Acronis Total Size states 2.0TB but the actual backup states 0.98TB (Local Disk has 1.05TB used space to be backed up, and the External Hard Drive has less than 2.0TB of available space.)  On another computer, Local Disk used space is 103GB, backup up size is 39GB.   Sector-by-sector backup Total Size in Acronis is 232GB.  Which one do I believe? Do I really have an Entire PC backup, or a Disk and Partitions backup that is going to restore my computer in the event of a total disaster? 

For most other software companies, I can simply state my problem or question in an email, and get a response within 1 day.  It was devastating to discover that I had only 30 days to seek support from Acronis in a situation where I'm not certain I can really count on this backup system working.  I'm not even certain that this comment is going to reap me any benefit.  Is it possible there is someone "somewhere in the world" who has had my specific problem and can explain what this size discrepancy means?  Acronis True Image 2016 is so simple to use but support is so hard to get.

For what it's worth, my email address is "merrett3@mymts.net."

 

Acronis Program Manager
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Fred,

Can you please send me (use private message) a few screen shots showing the inconsistency in backup sizes you describe? Without screen shots it's hard to get the context and properly understand the problem. I will then try getting the answer for you from our Acronis True Image team.

It is sufficient to have an "Entire PC" backup for full computer recovery. The other options you mentioned (Disk and Partition backup) are for partial protection (to save space).

Thank you.

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Thanks for the informative response, and the indication that a resolution of this issue is possible.

Attachments show size discrepancy on my computer. Other similar discrepancies are on my wife's computer not accessible at the moment.

 

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Thanks for the informative response and the indication that a resolution of this issue is possible.

Sorry if I have duplicated my response to the email.  I am feeling my way through this means of communication.

Attachments show the size discrepancies on my computer. The similar discrepancy is on my wife's computer, not accessible at this time.

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Acronis Program Manager
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Fred,

Thank you for the screen shots - indeed the sizes looks strange on them. I'll try to find an answer for you, though it may take some time.

Thank you.

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Just deleted Disk & Partitions backup option.  Both backups on my external HD's were deleted.  Now Entire PC backup on HD size is 1.04TB, Local Disk size is 1.04TB, and the Acronis Total Size is 1.0TB.  I will check the same on my other computer when it is accessible, and report what I find.

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On my other computer, Local Disk (used) is 96.8GB, Acronis Total Size backup is 40.8GB, and the actulal backup on the external HD is 40.8GB.  When I open the backup, there are 3 icons: C:; System Reserve; and Recovery Image.  On the DENCOMPUTER described in my last message regarding size, the "Recovery Image" icon is missing.  There are only 2 icons: C:; and System Reserve.  As with the size discrepancy, I am wondering about the icon discrepancy.

Thank you very much for the support you are giving me when I was afraid I was "all alone."

 

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Has Vasily viewed my last 2 (August 13th) postings?  I have received no indication.

Fred Paul Merrett 

Acronis Program Manager
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Fred Merrett wrote:

On my other computer, Local Disk (used) is 96.8GB, Acronis Total Size backup is 40.8GB, and the actulal backup on the external HD is 40.8GB.  When I open the backup, there are 3 icons: C:; System Reserve; and Recovery Image.  On the DENCOMPUTER described in my last message regarding size, the "Recovery Image" icon is missing.  There are only 2 icons: C:; and System Reserve.  As with the size discrepancy, I am wondering about the icon discrepancy.

Thank you very much for the support you are giving me when I was afraid I was "all alone."

These sizes according to your description look normal. The icons you describe correspond the labels of the volumes included in the backup archive.

The "Recovery Image" volume is typically created by some hardware vendors (mostly for laptops). It contains specialized recovery tools which allow rolling back the system to initial shipping state with clean OS and everything. Such volumes are usually not assigned with drive letter and you can only see them from Windows Disk Management snap-in.

In other words it is normal that some systems may have such "Recovery Image" partitions while some may not - all depends on particular system initial configuration. 

The "System reserved" partition is a small 100-300MB service partition used by Windows 7 and higher to store boot configuration (BCD records). It is also hidden by default.

Concerning your original question about sizes discrepancy - I'm still looking for an answer (as mentioned before it may take some time unfortunately).

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Thank you fory your response. 

As in my initial question, I would expect a Local Disk (used space) of 98.6GB to be reflected in the Acronis Total Size and the actual external HD backup to be very close to 98.6GB, not 40GB.  It appears that more than half of the Local Disk is not being backed up.  It is not really an Entire PC backup, and this does not result in a secure feeling of security in the event of a computer disaster.

I am simply clarifying the issue, and will wait for your answer when it is available.

Again, thank you very much for your help.

Fred Paul Merrett

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I am afraid your instructions are confusing for me.  The lack of understanding is my fault.

Is the 2nd .tib file referring to the "WDFC..." backup? Following your instruction, I have eliminated the Disk and Partitions backup, preferring to do the ""Entire PC" backup.  The latest results show the following: Acronis Total Size = 1.0TB; Actual Backup Size = 1.0TB; Local Disk Used Size = 1.13TB.  Can I assume that the .13TB discrepancy is do to the "Exclusions?" Is this result close enough to be a reliable backuip for entire recovery of my PC?

Of greater concern is the huge discrepancy on my wife's computer.  Her Acronis Total Size = 42.3GB; her Actual Backup = 42.3GB; but her Local Disk Size = 104GB.  Where is the missing 60GB from the backup?  It seems clear that the Acronis True Image is failing to provide a secure backup that I can use to restore her computer in the even of a complete disaster.

Fred Paul Merrett

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Hi Fred,

can you confirm using sector-to-sector backup for both backup plans?

It seems to be a compressed backup on your wife's computer, it might be also compressed on your first PC. Compression ratio is highly dependent on filetypes, Word documents are better compressible than Jpeg-Images for instance.

I have seen high compression on our Windows 7 machines, actual disk size is 13.3GB, backup Archive size is only 4.1GB. This backup includes the Windows OS and some litte data files.

One way to make sure your backup is secure is to restore it, best to an emtpy harddrive to retain the original disk in case the backup is not secure.

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Because I cannot send attachments in thE other format, I am sending then via this website:

https://forum.acronis.com/forum/109636#comment-382890

Please refer to this website to see the attachments

The screenshots show the 2 computers in question:  the DENCOMPUTER (my computer) and the BEDROOMCOMPUTER (my wife's computer).

The shots show the actual size of my local disks (diskmgmt.msc); the size of the Acronis True Image interface; the properties of the Local Disk; and the properties of the actual backups.

Again, the major discrepancy causing concern is my wife's computer (BEDROOMCOMPUTER).  Many attempts at backing up her conputer end in the same reult.  Backup is always with no compression.

PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF THE ATTACHMENTS AND MESSAGE ARE RECEIVECED.

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Acronis Program Manager
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Fred,

According to the screen shots everything seem to be normal in your setup:

1) Dencomputer: the size of all data on 1st disk (C:\ + service partitions) is ~1.2TB. The size of the full backup is ~1TB which looks normal taking into account default compression. The same 1TB size is shown in Acronis True Image interface (de3ncomputer_2.jpg).

2) Bedroom: the size of all data on the 1st disk (C:\ + service partitions) is 106GB. The size of the full backup is 42GB. This also looks normal, since compression depending on the type of backed up data may vary from 20% to 80% effectiveness. The same 42GB size is shown in Acronis True Image interface (bedroom_4.png).

In other words there should be nothing to worry about.

Thank you.

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I am getting the impression that, even when "no compression" is selected for the backup, there is still some automatic compresssion taking place, depending on the type of file.  Is this accurate? 

If so, it seems strange that, on my wife's computer, almost 50% of the backup is compressed while very little is compressed on mine.  I have on occasion restored a file or folder from the backup without discovering any indication that there was a compression involved.  (This is why I select "no compression.")  The stark difference in backup size, comparing the two computers, is also strange because I alone operate both computers in pretty much a standard way.

I am eager for you to complete my understanding, so I can feel secure in the backup process.

Thank you.

Fred Paul Merrett

 

 

 

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Fred Merrett wrote:

I am getting the impression that, even when "no compression" is selected for the backup, there is still some automatic compresssion taking place, depending on the type of file.  Is this accurate? 

With no compression the only thing which would affect the size of the backup is automatic files/folders exclusions applied: there are Windows page and hibernate files excluded from the backup automatically (these files will appear while browsing the archive, but their content will be empty).

Fred Merrett wrote:

If so, it seems strange that, on my wife's computer, almost 50% of the backup is compressed while very little is compressed on mine.  I have on occasion restored a file or folder from the backup without discovering any indication that there was a compression involved.  (This is why I select "no compression.")  The stark difference in backup size, comparing the two computers, is also strange because I alone operate both computers in pretty much a standard way.

I am eager for you to complete my understanding, so I can feel secure in the backup process.

Thank you.

Fred Paul Merrett

The compression is less effective when backing up video/audio/games data, while with other data types (for example SQL DBs) it is expected to get 60% and even better compression ratio. Your 2 systems have quite huge difference in data size (~ x5 times), so it's likely that they have different types of data stored on them which explains different compression results.

You can also always verify that the backup is valid by either trying to browse it and restoring some random file, or by mounting it as new logical drive and calculating the data size inside this drive, or by exploring the .tib file via double-click on it from Windows explorer, or (if none of the previous checks convinces you) perform full system recovery.

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I'm getting really tired of not really getting a resolution to the discrepancy in recorded backup size since it undermines any confidence I can have should a disaster occur.

On my DENCOMPUTER, I have been running custom backups (new full backup each time, no compression). The first backup of the Local Disk was 0.99TB. Acronis Total Size reported 1.00TB. After a new backup of the same Local Disk (1.00TB), Acronis Total Size reported 2.0TB. After the latest backup of the same Local Disk (1.00TB), Acronis Total Size now reports 3.0TB.

How can the Acronis Total Size report 2 and 3 times the actual size of the actual backup???

I don't even want to bring up again the issue of my wife's Acronis backups where the Acronis Total Size reports only half the actual size of the Local Disk backup.

Is what I am saying confusing? Perhaps I am not explaining the problem adequately. Please let me know, because I would really like to know what is wrong so I can be done with this issue.

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Fred, I'm not sure if I mentioned it before, but the "Total Size" is the size of all backups located in the selected location, which is why it shows 3TB = 0.99 (1st backup) + 1TB + 1TB (2nd and 3rd accordingly) for you. Hopefully the attached screen shot will clear the things up.

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Screenshot was informative.  Thank you.

I have taken 3 screenshots of my existing situation for your analysis.  Note that Entire PC ("PC-1") records 3TB which is not the actual case.  My actual backup is about 1TB.

Fred

 

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Acronis Program Manager
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Fred,

Thank you for the last screen shots - they were most helpful. After further discovery I've found a known GUI bug record in our database (internal ID: TI-84427) where the size under "Entire PC" is increased each time backup is created. This problem is reproduced only when the backup is saved to a USB drive which appears to be exactly the scenario like in your case. The fix for this problem is pending to be done in one of updates for Acronis True Image 2017 and/or newer versions. Until then it is safe to ignore this incorrect size in GUI - it practically doesn't affect anything (except causing confusion).

Thank you.

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Thank you.

Does this mean I will have to wait until True Image 2017 is released, and then will have to spend another "$100" tro purchase the resolution to my issue?

This still doesn't explain why on my wife's computer, the reported Acronis Total Size is always about half the Entire Local Disk size.  There is virtually no videos or music on her computer - files that would warrant compression.

Fred

.

 

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Things have gone from bad to worse. During two attempts to backup my DENCOMPUTER, Acronis reported that it was backing up 26MB. This much was to be expected initially; however, the backing up never got beyond 26MB after many hours of so-called backup. During a 3rd attempt, backup went beyond 26MB inidcator, but after 5 hours only 126GB had been backedup. In past successful backups, I have usually had 1TB backed up in an 8-10 hour overnight period.

I am about to totally uninstall Acronis True Image 2016 since it has apparently disintegrated beyond use. I will attempt to re-install the program, hoping to not encounter any further frustratioin.

I am feeling deserted at this point, so I could use some encouragement by knowing that Acronis still cares and is trying to help me solve these issues which seem to be multiplying.

Hope to hear from someone really soon.

Fred Paul Merrett

Acronis Program Manager
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Fred,

Your replies and description are very confusing and disrupting I'm afraid. I still do not understand what is the real issue now. Before, when you provided the screen shots I thought I could get it, but now I'm totally lost. Where exactly do you see this "26 MB indicator"? Are there any backup logs from Acronis True Image? Do they show any problems? Is your external drive actually healthy and can perform writing of huge files onto it properly? The slowness in backup speed assuming that nothing changed in the environment or the backup task setup may only mean problems with the connection to the backup storage device (have you tried to plug it to different USB port?) or other hardware-related issues. It's unlikely that reinstallation would fix the problem.

Have you tried to perform actual recovery of some selected random files from your existing backups? This simple test should give you confidence in the backup. If you still feel unconfident then step-by-step description of your actions (e.g. step-by-step screen shots) with poiting to exact things which you believe are wrong would be really helpful.

Thank you.

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I thought I was uninstalling the media add-on, but the entire program is gone.  I will re-install immediately.  The 26MB appears at the bottom of the Acronis screen once the backup is started.  Time needed is being calculated, and then the bckup progress is recorded, growing until completion.  What has been happening is the "26MB" no longer incrreases as it has done in the past.  This tells me that the backup process is not haappening.  In my 3rd recent attempt, the process was going so slowly it would day 2-3 days.  This is not the way it should be, based on past successful reults.

In spite of the mess I find myself in, I appreciate your very quick response, and regret the confusion I am causing in trying to express these issues on papre. 

I will re-install, check out my 2 extrernal hard drives, and having only 2 3.0 USB ports, I will switch the connections to see what happens.

I will let you know over the next 24 hours.

Thanks again.

Fred Paul Meerrett

 

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Fred, I've also asked my colleagues from Acronis True Image Home team to assist you with the issues - please expect a private message soon with instructions on how to proceed. I will now lock this forum thread, since we've really gone offtopic here.