Acronis Incrementals. Safe number ??

  mooly 08:04 08 Jan 09
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Just wondered what you consider a safe number of incrementals to do before starting a new backup. Anyone ever had problems restoring from a long incremental chain ? ( I have not, always been perfect but never had more than 3 or 4 in the backup tree ). Thoughts, experiences ?

  cocteau48 08:26 08 Jan 09

IMHO incrementals are just more trouble than they are worth. I stick to a full disk image every time and had yet to have a problem with a restoration.

  mooly 08:38 08 Jan 09

Sound like you have had a specific problem ? and was it with Acronis.
Have seen it mentioned before on here that "incrementals can be trouble". Even with an chain you can still restore to the first ( or any image ) in the list if there were a problem.
Anyone else had problems ? or not ?

  Batch 08:46 08 Jan 09

It's not necessarily specifically Acronis that is viewed as an issue with incrementals, but the whole concept of incremental back-ups that is considered more risky.

With incrementals, the software has to properly track the changed elements at each back-up and then, on a restore, apply the incrementals appropriately.

The concept of incremental back-ups is well established in the IT industry (for many, many years, even prior to the advent of PCs) and has been known to give rise to issues. As I say, Acronis may not suffer from these issues, but I wouldn't want to take the risk. Would you?

  mooly 09:04 08 Jan 09

They are just so convenient you see. A full image takes around 20 mins to run, a typical incremental after say 2 or 3 days use, only takes a couple of mins on average.
I use Acronis to do running backups on the split HDD. Not ideal I know but extremely useful, it has saved things on a number of occasions, not least when Microsoft upset things occasionally with updates.
And of course there are differential backups, not as quick but thought safer by some.
I was interested whether folks had had specific issues themselves or whether they use incrementals all the time and have no problem.

  cocteau48 09:14 08 Jan 09

I have never had any problem with Acronis and have,in fact, never even tried an incremental backup for the precise reasons of risk to which Batch refers.
I automatically transfer all personal docs/mp3's/jpegs etc to my ext HD.
Acronis is then scheduled to run a complete image of my system,about 10Gb, every day. Once a week I will run a restoration and delete all previous backups.
As the new Acronis TI12 2009 will restore my entire image in under 7 minutes why should I even consider incrementals?
I trust the program to the extent that rather than rely on system restore or Revouninstaller I will use Acronis after trialling a program which I suspect may have become over intrusive and of which I wish to make sure that there is no evidence of it ever having been on the system.
To this extent I have been known to run a restoration 2 or 3 times in one day and it has never let me down.

  cocteau48 09:19 08 Jan 09

"A full image takes around 20 mins to run"
mooly .... do you never eat! Mine is set to run at around tea-time every day on a set it and forget it basis and never really intrudes into the normal use of the computer.

  mooly 12:08 08 Jan 09

I'm a quick eater !! To be honest it's just interesting to hear your experiences, as I say Acronis ( incrementals ) have never failed me yet.
7 mins to restore an image ? Obviously not a notebook I would guess -- although running the restore from another partition on the same drive as I do must slow things down. Maybe time to look at cloning the HDD and running a USB drive for backups. To restore an image takes around 80 mins give or take.

  cocteau48 13:32 08 Jan 09

Hi mooly
I have to say that the latest version of Acronis has halved the time that TI 11 used to take (about 7 minutes + 2 to 3 minutes to reboot as opposed to 15 + reboot) and that is to restore a full image of XP of just under 10 Gb from an external HD.
Interestingly using the same version of Acronis on the Vista laptop and restoring from another partition on the same drive takes about 20 minutes for roughly the same size.
Keeping your backup on an ext HD is really the only safe way to go. A recent catastrophe left me with no alternative but to reinstall Windows. I reinstalled XP ... added Acronis ... and then just pulled my full image back off the ext HD and had everything back to normal in under an hour.

  David4637 16:02 08 Jan 09

DON'T DO INCREMENTALS THEY ADD A RISK FACTOR WHEN RESTORING. David

  mooly 17:30 08 Jan 09

David,
is that based on first hand experience or anecdotal evidence. I agree that common sense says it must carry a risk, but equally I would say that applies to actions such as defragmenting which is generally considered 100% safe.

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