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  1.    4 Weeks Ago #1
    Join Date : Oct 2017
    Posts : 29
    Windows 10 Home 64-bit (1709)

    Creating a new differential backup after a restore


    Can I create new differential backup after restoring an existing one? Let’s take the following backup set as an example:

    00 – Full Backup
    01 – First Differential
    02 – Second Differential
    03 - Third Differential

    If I restored to the second differential backup, could I then create a new differential backup and continue the set? What would happen to the third differential backup (03 above) if I did that? I am using the free version of Macrium Reflect 7.1.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    4 Weeks Ago #2
    Join Date : Jan 2015
    UK, Midlands
    Posts : 11,030
    Win 10 Pro (1703)

    A differential image represents the difference between the base image and your imaged disks or partitions as they currently are, as you probably know.

    So creating a new differential image simply allows you to restore what you have imaged, and only requires you have that differential image file and the base image file. The other differential image files are not relevant to that.

    So if you no longer need the older differential image files, you could delete them.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    4 Weeks Ago #3
    Join Date : Dec 2015
    Posts : 5,974
    Windows10

    Quote Originally Posted by radiowaves View Post
    Can I create new differential backup after restoring an existing one? Let’s take the following backup set as an example:

    00 – Full Backup
    01 – First Differential
    02 – Second Differential
    03 - Third Differential

    If I restored to the second differential backup, could I then create a new differential backup and continue the set? What would happen to the third differential backup (03 above) if I did that? I am using the free version of Macrium Reflect 7.1.
    Sure you can do that. Each differential is independent of other diffs (unlike more space efficient incrementals in paid versions).

    Each differential contains all changes since last full backup. So it does not matter which you select, and can create new ones.

    As they are independent, you can delete older ones to save space.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    4 Weeks Ago #4
    Join Date : Oct 2017
    Posts : 29
    Windows 10 Home 64-bit (1709)
    Thread Starter

    Returning to the example, after restoring the second differential backup, are there any guidelines about the best type of backup to do next (full vs. differential)? Let’s assume the second differential is only two days old and very little has changed since it was captured. I’m trying to understand if the fact that I restored affects what to do next.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    4 Weeks Ago #5
    Join Date : Oct 2017
    Posts : 29
    Windows 10 Home 64-bit (1709)
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by cereberus View Post
    Sure you can do that. Each differential is independent of other diffs (unlike more space efficient incrementals in paid versions).

    Each differential contains all changes since last full backup. So it does not matter which you select, and can create new ones.

    As they are independent, you can delete older ones to save space.
    What I’m not clear about is this: is there anything about a restored environment that would make you want to do another full backup afterwards vs. continuing the existing backup set with another differential?
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    4 Weeks Ago #6
    Join Date : Jan 2015
    UK, Midlands
    Posts : 11,030
    Win 10 Pro (1703)

    A base image is a bigger file and takes longer to generate.

    A differential file is smaller and faster to generate.

    All you need to restore your system is either:
    A base image
    or
    A base image + a differential image corresponding to that base image.

    How you use that is entirely up to you.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  7.    4 Weeks Ago #7
    Join Date : Dec 2015
    Posts : 5,974
    Windows10

    Quote Originally Posted by radiowaves View Post
    What I’m not clear about is this: is there anything about a restored environment that would make you want to do another full backup afterwards vs. continuing the existing backup set with another differential?

    You are still not getting it - each diff is independent. It does not matter in the slightest if you restore to some intermediate state after the original full backup. When you create a diff, it just compares PC today against full backup done originally.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    4 Weeks Ago #8
    Join Date : Oct 2014
    Posts : 920
    Windows 10 Pro

    Nothing different about the restored environment. Eventually it makes sense to take another full, as your differential files continue to get larger and larger and take longer since its everything that changed since the first full backup.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  9.    4 Weeks Ago #9
    Join Date : Jun 2014
    UK
    Posts : 1,051
    W10 pro x64 and W8.1 x86

    Quote Originally Posted by radiowaves View Post
    What I’m not clear about is this: is there anything about a restored environment that would make you want to do another full backup afterwards vs. continuing the existing backup set with another differential?
    Possibly yes......

    Although creating a new incremental or differential based on a restored image will work, you might be surprised just how big that new image is. Although outwardly nothing has changed, the reality could be that pretty much everything has......

    An analogy. You are making an image of all the books in the local library. You restore that image and everything is put back exactly where it was... almost. Now suppose each row of restored books was a little to the left or right of where they were before. It makes no difference to the user, but the program imaging the books thinks every one is now different and so creates a new differential or incremental image to reflect that. The result is that the differential or incremental image can be almost as big as starting a new full sequence off.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  10.    4 Weeks Ago #10
    Join Date : Oct 2017
    Posts : 29
    Windows 10 Home 64-bit (1709)
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by cereberus View Post
    You are still not getting it - each diff is independent. It does not matter in the slightest if you restore to some intermediate state after the original full backup. When you create a diff, it just compares PC today against full backup done originally.
    I assumed Macrium Reflect worked this way, but I wanted to be absolutely sure before basing my backup strategy on it.

    I used to use Windows System Image Backup (SIB) and learned the hard way not to make assumptions about it. I once tried to reinstall Windows 10 on an old, problematic laptop. I assumed that if it didn’t work out I could just restore it with a Windows SIB image that I captured just prior to the reinstall attempt. Bad assumption. When I tried to restore, Windows SIB could not find the image file on the external hard drive. Very frustrating. I think it had something to do with a change to a volume name that SIB didn’t like. Anyway, lesson learned. Don’t make assumptions when it comes to something as important as a system image.

    I decided to try Macrium Reflect after I found out that Windows SIB was being deprecated in the Fall Creators Update. It has worked great so far.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 
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