Windows 10: Macrium Reflect Incremental/Differential Curiosity Solved


  1. Posts : 83
    Windows 10 Professional
       27 Jun 2017 #1

    Macrium Reflect Incremental/Differential Curiosity


    Is there any way to see what changed between the most recent image and the previous image?

    I see the file size increase nearly daily when I have not always made any major changes to my system. I know Windows saves new logs daily, but sometimes the change is 10GB+ after very little use. A disk cleanup does not reduce the change, either, so I suspect something in system files is at work.

    It would be interesting to track what files were updated/added between backups. Obviously, Macrium Reflect has that ability built in or it wouldn't be able to do the differential or incremental backups, but can users access that data?
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  2. Posts : 29,021
    Triple boot - Win 10 Pro, Win 10 Pro Insider (2) - (and a sprinkling of VMs)
       27 Jun 2017 #2

    Xilnik said: View Post
    Is there any way to see what changed between the most recent image and the previous image?

    I see the file size increase nearly daily when I have not always made any major changes to my system. I know Windows saves new logs daily, but sometimes the change is 10GB+ after very little use. A disk cleanup does not reduce the change, either, so I suspect something in system files is at work.

    It would be interesting to track what files were updated/added between backups. Obviously, Macrium Reflect has that ability built in or it wouldn't be able to do the differential or incremental backups, but can users access that data?
    The basic mechanism of how Macrium creates backup images would prevent a user from accessing the actual file changes, in that manner. Macrium (and others) does a changed sector backup. In other words, it is comparing the previous .mrimg image to the current partition to be backed up. Only sectors where the hash has changed are backup up in the incremental/differential. It is not "file" oriented, it is sector oriented. That's why 30GB can be created and verified in an image in < 10 minutes. It does not use the NTFS file system, it's down at the RAW level. This all applies to image backups, not the File Backup option. I'm sure I've left out some details, but because it doesn't use NTFS per se, there is no way to see individual changes.

    Size differences can also occur due to the data being re-written to different sectors. Even though you may have not added or changed very much at all, any small change to the data in a sector, even 1 byte, will cause it to be included as a changed sector for backup.

    Hope I didn't over-explain.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


 

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