Acronis - how long can I add incrementals?

  Pineman100 13:57 21 Mar 08

I use Acronis True Image 8.0, under XP SP2 Home, to image my whole C: drive to an external HDD.

I've been using this system for a bit less than a year. I don't backup as often as I should, but I do it about once a month (I'm not a business user - just home computing).

My backups currently consist of one original full image, plus ten subsequent incrementals. I've never (so far!)found it necessary to run a restore.

How long should I go on adding incrementals to the original full backup? I'm a bit nervous that, if just one of the incrementals becomes corrupted, it could wreck an entire restore procedure. Is that the case, or have I misunderstood?

Should I, at some stage, start again with a new full backup, followed by incrementals? How often do most people do this (if at all)?

Any advice on good practice would be much appreciated.

  PO79 14:03 21 Mar 08

My own regime consists of a monthly full back up, with weekly incrementals. It's really a personal preference, but I would strongly recommend a monthly full backup.

  Technotiger 14:10 21 Mar 08

Hi, I also use Acronis. I have a full backup done a little while ago, and I do an automatic Differential backup every Sunday. Have never yet had to use the backup - but Incremental backups create a 'daisy-chain' the whole of which is required, with the original backup, in the event of having to use your backup.

Just one Differential backup, plus the original backup is used if or when needed. So I just keep my Original full backup plus my latest Differential, deleting previous differentials - thereby using less disk space and the Restore if/when needed is quicker.

  Pineman100 14:20 21 Mar 08

Technotiger - I can't find an option to choose a differential backup. I wonder whether my ATI version 8.0 didn't include this. What version is yours?

I presume that a differential backup simply backs up everything that has changed since the last full backup. Is that right? If so, it sounds a much better option than a stack of incrementals.

Maybe I'll have to upgrade my ATI.

  Technotiger 14:30 21 Mar 08

Mine is Version 11 - and you presume correctly, IMHO it is a better option.

  Pineman100 14:36 21 Mar 08

Yep - sounds much better.

Thanks very much TT. Sounds like I'll have to spend some money. :-(

  Technotiger 14:41 21 Mar 08

Worth every penny :-))


  Technotiger 14:43 21 Mar 08

PS - if you do an upgrade from 8 to 11 you will probably get a substantial price reduction! If I remember correctly, I got 40% Off when I upgraded.

  Chas49 18:58 21 Mar 08

No matter which version of Acronis you have it would be wise for you to occasionally validate your backups - I didn't and, when I needed it, I found it had somehow got corrupted! Another fine mess I got myself into to!

  David4637 17:47 22 Mar 08

NEVER USE INCREMENTALS, always backup a complete drive, that way you reduce the risk of corrupted file(s). The time saving is minimal anyway. David

  Pineman100 18:43 22 Mar 08

Thanks again everyone. All very useful advice. I shall definitely upgrade and use full or differential backups.

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