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Solved: How to Restore System: Full Back-Up or Incremental Back-up?

Discussion in 'All Other Software' started by referee07, Nov 11, 2011.

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  1. referee07

    referee07 Thread Starter

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    I am using Acronis True Image Home 2010 as my back-up program and have a full back-up and (as of now) one incremental back-up on a portable hard-drive. My question is: should I need to restore my computer's system, how should I do it? That is, restore the full back-up and then the incremental back-up? (I see the size of the incremental back-up is less than 1/2 the size of the full back-up.) Thanks for any and all suggestions.
     
  2. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    When you open the archive with the Acronis recovery CD, it basically gives you a list of the dates, like System Restore, of when the backups were made and which you want to restore. It is smart enough to realize that the incrementals go with the full, so if you click on any of them, it pops up and gives you the dates to choose from.

    You should actually try it to be sure that you can access your archives and that Acronis has all the drivers needed. A backup you can't get to is of no use to you. Boot up and explore the options for yourself.

    Be sure to run chkdsk /f occasionally on the backup drive. If the file system has problems, the archives may not work. But if chkdsk finds and corrects a problem, you will then need to verify the backups to be sure they are still valid.

    It's not a bad idea to verify the image with the recovery CD, either. I had one backup that seemed OK but was considered invalid by the boot CD, so it was useless. Checking that the CD accepts the image as intact makes me sleep better now.

    I make 6 incrementals a day, so System Restore is turned off. They are small because few changes occur in that time (though a defrag will make an incremental as large as a full because all the files will have changed position, so don't defrag too often. More than once a month is a waste of time and the drive. Windows takes care of that, anyway).

    Once a week, I make a new, full one and start again from there. But it is all done by the scheduler and it even removes the old archives, so I don't need to do anything manually.

    (Half is large for an incremental. Usually they run 1-4 GB's for me, unless there was a defrag.)

    It's very wise that you are doing this. You are at the stage now where you are fine-tuning your schedule and methods. Everyone will have a different opinion on the specifics, but the basics remain the same - make them often. If people didn't want to get this deep into it, they could still make at least one backup with a free tool and save themselves a world of hurt when their drive dies. :D

    Don't forget the differentials, either. When you restore from an incremental, you need that file plus all the incrementals that came before it. When you restore from a differntial, you need only that last differential file and the full it is attached to. You can delete all the previous differentials. So it is an idea if space becomes a problem.

    ============================================

    For those who have nothing right now--->

    Free drive backup software (imaging, cloning, and archiving):

    Paragon Backup & Recovery
    Macrium Reflect (Free)
    O&O Disk Image Express
    Easeus Todo Backup
    Redo Backup & Recovery (Boot CD)
    Comodo Time Machine (Complete system, files, programs, and settings restoration, but not "bare-metal" for failed drive)
    Clonezilla Live (A bootable CD of Debian with Clonezilla.)
    Drive Image XML
    PING (Partimage is not Ghost) (Boot CD with option Clam Antivirus)
    Partition Saving
    Clonezilla

    There are also many commercial products with more features.
     
  3. referee07

    referee07 Thread Starter

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    Elvandil, thanks again for the help. I replied in a earlier post today that I tried to use the Acronis System Restore CD that I created, and it work as advertised. I did check and the Acronis version (Home) does not have a "differential" back-up option; there are only "full back-up" and "incremental back-up." I like the idea of only having to restore the "differential" and having the full back-up attached to it. Is your Acronis program something other than the "Home" version?
     
  4. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    I stopped using the Home version around 10 or 11. I'm using Acronis Backup & Recovery now since it is more business-oriented and more straightforward so far as I can tell, and seems to have more options. I don't need all the pretty pictures, just something that works well. But I'm pretty sure that the Home version at least used to have differential. I'll have to take a look on that.

    Glad it worked for you. As you can tell, they make it pretty hard to make a mistake and there are not too many difficult choices to make. :D

    Incremental takes a bit more room because you need all of the ones created since the full to restore the final one, but it also gives you more dates to choose from, so it's a mixed bag.

    Don'r forget Try & Decide, either. Most people don't realize how powerful that is. It basically virtualizes your entire system like Returnil does so that nothing you do is saved unless you want it to be. That includes infections or other problems. It makes it safe to try new software in the virtual world before committing it to your "real" system.
     
  5. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    2009 had it, 20011 and 2012 had it, so it's hard to believe that 2010 didn't. Have you got the user guide?
     
  6. Bailifeifei

    Bailifeifei

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    full backup is a saver way for system restoring. i usually set up a daily backup schedule, and save three versions of the images,
    but acronis is too expensive for me. so i just got a free tool which is easy to use and reliable. a specific file can also be restored in Windows explorer from a folder or partition backup image.

     
  7. referee07

    referee07 Thread Starter

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    Thanks, guys. Elvandil, I checked and my version of Acronis Home does have a differential backup option:

    Differential backup: A differential backup stores changes to the data against the latest full backup. You need access to the corresponding full backup to recover the data from a differential backup;

    Along with an incremental backup option: Incremental backup: A backup that stores changes to the data against the latest backup. You need access to other backups from the same archive to restore data from an incremental backup.

    And, it looks like the differential backup is a better option because I wouldn't need other backups (other than the full backup) to be able to restore the system. However, I haven't seen the differential backup as an option. I recall the menu for backups is something like, "Would you like to create a new backup?" or "Would you like to add to an existing back up?" Maybe I didn't notice that if the latter option is chosen, there is then an option to chose incremental or differential?
     
  8. referee07

    referee07 Thread Starter

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    Elvandil, this posting is off-topic, but, would you take a look at a posting that I made yesterday regarding my attempts to get my Palm Tungsten/E2 hand-held to connect to my Dell Inspiron computer via Bluetooth? Apparently, I need to have my LAN passkey to do this, but I don't know where to look for this. Thanks and apologies for posting this off-topic question in his topic.
     
  9. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    Try any advanced options you see in Acronis. It sure looks like differential is there somewhere. But actually, aside from space, most companies and individuals use incremental since it gives more possible dates for restoring, one for every backup, so if you find the most recent infected or something, you can go back one more. But you can always save more than one differential, too.

    I hope you realize as well that the image files can be mounted and assigned a drive letter so you can recover files and folders from them without restoring the whole image.

    Link to your other one?
     
  10. referee07

    referee07 Thread Starter

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    Elvandil, thanks for the info. It looks like both options have their benefits. I like the idea of going back one back-up if something happens. I'll have to give this some thought. I'm not sure how to supply the link to my posting from yesterday. If you could tell me how to supply a link via this thread, I'll do that. I just went under my "Subscribed Threads" in Tech Guy and it was there. I would appreciate any help you could give me on this. Thanks again.
     
  11. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    Probably just right-click any link that goes to the thread and Copy Shortcut, or go to the thread and copy the address from the address box.

    You could also just keep the 2 or 3 most recent differentials and you'd then have 3 dates to restore to. Or if the drive is used for nothing else, keep all the differentials until the drive is 3/4 full or something. That's the great thing about Acronis - there are options to do things the way you want, once you figure out what that is. The built-in schedules work well, too, and automatically delete older images. The GFS schedule I use makes both inc's and dif's and an occasional full back to at most a month ago. If there is any problem at all with Acronis, and I haven't found any, it would be that with so many choices, it takes a while to create a rational schedule that suits each person's needs. But at least you have those choices.

    But having everything completely automated is very nice. At first, it's fun to make images, but it gets to be just another chore after a while. So having it set to make and delete images all by itself is nice. Then all you do is check the log once in a while to be sure it's working and you don't have to think about it otherwise.
     
  12. referee07

    referee07 Thread Starter

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  13. referee07

    referee07 Thread Starter

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    Elvandil, I thought that I would let you know that I took Acronis up on a deal where I got True Image Home 2012, and the Plus Pack. Initially, I wasn't able to to a system back-up but I uninstalled the download and then re-installed it, and everything worked fine. Also, with the 2012 edition, differential back-ups are clearly shown as an option. All in all, I think that buying the new edition, was $29.00 well spent. Now, I have to decide if I want to leave my external hard-drive out in order to make back-ups daily or weekly. Thanks again for your help with this issue.

    Referee07
     
  14. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    No problem.

    My external is connected all the time. I would have used an extra internal, probably, if there had been room in the ultra-small case. Running fine for 3 year now. There's no reason an external shouldn't last as long as an internal if cords are out of the way and it is not dropped. :D
     
  15. referee07

    referee07 Thread Starter

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    Elvandil, thanks again.

    Referee07
     
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