How does Macrium's incremental backup feature work?

  1.    24 Nov 2016 #1

    How does Macrium's incremental backup feature work?

    I am thinking of purchasing Macrium v6 as I understand it is the only software that has an an incremental merge feature

    Does it in effect end up giving you an image of your OS and Data drives that is current at all times? will merge your incremental backups into your last complete backup

    Can someone familiar with Macrium explain how this incremental merge feature works.

    Is it done manually or automatically.

    Thanks for your help
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    24 Nov 2016 #2

    Hi, this is what I found from Macrium 6's full help. It doesn't answer your question completely.

    Below is Aomei Backupper's for comparison. I'm sure you will get further comment.
    Macrium is preferred as being more reliable- Aomei, which I've used, has some problems in less usual situations.

    If your backup 'Retention Rules' invoke a 'Synthetic Full' or 'Incremental Merge' then indexes
    contained in more recent Incrementals are updated to reflect the consolidation. Without updating
    the Index would become 'stale'. This file change can cause excessive file copying when
    synchronizing consolidated backup sets to an archive location. See:
    Backup Folder
    for more information on this.

    Macrium Reflect v6 Animated Demo - Incremental Merge - YouTube
    pg 299

    Aomei Backupper
    Merge Incremental Backups to Simplify Backup and Recovery Ma
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    24 Nov 2016 #3

    Instead of increm. what is the downside to just doing a full back up?

    As always thank you for your reply......the process seems more complicated than I imagined.
    I'm beginning to think that perhaps its easier to do a full backup once a month while I sleep.

    I use my PC mainly for photography and video editing.

    I always download my videos and photos to my PC daily and keep those files on the 64gb sd card they were captured on as a temporary backup.

    If I do a monthly full backup instead of incrementals what is the downside?

    Is it also necessary to clone my C drive with the OS and other programs on a regular basis if there have been no changes?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    25 Nov 2016 #4

    The downside of a full image monthly is that you will need lots of storage space. Incremental backups are smaller and faster than differential backups; both are smaller than the base image. Images are compressed, so the base image is maybe half the size fof the data backed up or a bit more.

    Maintain a simple imaging strategy and support it with a different and more frequent means of backing up important data.

    OS: Macrium makes it easy to back up your OS and all related partitions.
    Backup, Backup Windows. All relevant partitions are selected for you.

    You can then update your backup manually or on a schedule. Note the risk of scheduled imaging is your backup has to be powered up and connected. Best to keep your physical backup remotely and powered down. That's a dilemma, unless you're backing up over a network, e.g.

    Manually updating your backup is relatively awkward to find in Macrium's GUI.
    Backup Definition Files, Rt click the one you want, Run now, Click the type you want.

    Other disks and partitions are similar but a bit more straightforward.

    Incremental or differential?
    Restoring a differential backup relies on the base image and one differential image.
    Restoring an incremental requires the base image and as many incremental images as there are to that date.

    When to back up?
    Bear in mind that creating a differential image of the OS on an SSD over USB3 needs, say, 10 minutes- unless you have all your data and everything else on the OS partition as well, when it could be big (very bad idea).

    I back up before and after a major change, and periodically.

    I also maintain a simple log of most changes, so that should I need to restore an image, I then review the changes and can reproduce them, and in the past have used that to find what caused the problem.

    If you work a lot with data, you may additionally like to use another backup system that backs those data up on a much shorter timescale. Maybe use File History or one of the many data backup tools.

    Image backups can also be used when mounted to extract files and folders, and in conjunction with a Laplink program to move programs to another PC or between OS builds.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    25 Nov 2016 #5

    Thank you!
    On the downside to full backups being storage space - wouldn't that be a non issue if you delete the prior backups? My data partition backup of 496 GB takes 1 hour and 20 minutes and another 10 for the system. That could be automated once a week in the early morning hours with a portable back up drive attached.
    I guess everybody has different needs depending on what the use their PCs for.

    "Image backups can also be used when mounted to extract files and folders, and in conjunction with a Laplink program to move programs to another PC or between OS builds"
    If I restore my system and data partitions on a new computer could I do it directly from the back up on my portable back up drive by copying and pasting the backup files or would laplink be necessary?
    Thanks again for your valued assistance and being a great asset to this forum
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    25 Nov 2016 #6

    Suppose you do a full backup with files A, B, C, D and later you add File E to PC and create an incremental backup, it will add file E only to the incremental backup. Next day, you add F to PC, and create a second incremental backup containing file F. On day 3, you delete file B from PC - the incremental file stores a delete file B command in the incremental.

    So you gt a chain of files linked together starting with the full backup and when you do a restore, you choose up to which incremental you want to restore to.

    The free version does not do incremental files but does differential files. This is similar but works cumulatively.

    Each day you do a differential backup, it stores all changes since the last full backup NOT since last incremental.

    So Diff 1 contains E, Diff 2 E+F, Diff 3 E+F-B etc.

    So diffs are less space efficient BUT you only need one diff at selected date and the full backup to restore to the selected date.

    Problem with incs if one fails, all later incs are useless. With diffs, this problem is much less of an issue.

    To be honest, unless you create masses of data, diffs are easier to and less confusing to follow. For most domestic users, diffs are perfectly adequate as the difis will be relatively small.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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