Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 21
  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger petesmst's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Posts
    789
    Thanks
    38
    Thanked 43 Times in 33 Posts

    Learning a hard lesson (Should one pay more attention to Chkdsk?)

    I use Acronis True Image to make a backup of my full system once a week (incremental backups). Every couple of months I start a new sequence of incremental backups and delete the previous set. The first of each sequence is a full backup. For years this has worked just fine; and being able to recover my system has saved me a number of times.

    Two weeks back, I decided to increase the frequency of full system (incremental) backups to once per day just while my new Windows 10 installation settles down. (Probably over-kill, I know, but that's what I decided).

    Yesterday, whilst trying to get an update to Nero to install, the inevitable happened, and I messed up my system. I booted up with my Acronis TI Recovery Disk and selected to recover my latest full system backup,(one from earlier the same day). The backup had been validated by Acronis. After 20 minutes, ERROR: "The Backup has Failed - index corrupted". I ran the recovery again. Same error. I then tried to recover the backup of the previous day ...same error. to cut a long story short, I eventually went back to the first, full, backup of the previous incremental backup sequence of two weeks back (fortunately to just after the installation of Windows 10). It was recovered successfully. I then recovered all my documents/data from my Acronis Non-Stop Backup. Windows Update has since brought my OS back up to date.

    After digging around on line, I discovered in an Acronis Forum that disk errors can give rise to a corrupted system backup; and that regularly running chkdsk /r can prevent this.

    I then ran chkdsk and found that there were, indeed, errors on my system drive. Clearly (or so it seems), the incremental backups that had been made since the errors had occurred, were all corrupted as a result. So, whilst the backups were Validated by Acronis once they had been made, the corrupted index was not detected.

    I assume from the foregoing that the full sequence of recent incremental backups was corrupted, presumably because the initial full backup that started the sequence was made from a system disk with disk errors.


    So the lesson learned: Run chkdsk /r from time to time to ensure that your system backups are not corrupted and rendered "un-recoverable". Simply assuming that validation of a backup ensures a recoverable backup is not enough.
    Last edited by petesmst; 2015-08-30 at 07:32. Reason: Corrected typos
    (My Setup: Custom built: 3,70GHz Intel Core i7-4820K CPU; MSI Military Class iii X79A-GD45 Plus Motherboard; Win 10 Pro (64 bit) - (UEFI-booted); 16GB RAM; 512GB SAMSUNG SD850 PRO SSD; 120GB SAMSUNG 840 SSD; Seagate 2TB Barracuda SATA6G HDD; GeForceGTX 980 4GB Graphics Card; Office 2013 Prof (32-bit); MS Project 2013 (32-bit); Acronis TI 2015 Premium, NIS 2016, VMWare Workstation12 Pro, etc). WD My Book 3 1TB USB External Backup Drive). Samsung 24" Curved HD Monitor.

  2. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to petesmst For This Useful Post:

    cloudsandskye (2015-09-10),wavy (2015-08-30)

  3. #2
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    12,519
    Thanks
    152
    Thanked 1,397 Times in 1,220 Posts
    ...Or rely less on incremental backups. If you ask me, two months of incremental backups is asking for trouble. A problem in one of your interim backups will ruin every backup past that one. If you want to rely more on less than full backups, use differential backups every 5 or so incremental backups. In any case, I would take a full back every month, at the very least.
    Rui
    -------
    R4

  4. #3
    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    ny
    Posts
    2,365
    Thanks
    232
    Thanked 147 Times in 136 Posts
    Good idea, glad you got most of it back!

    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  5. #4
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Manning, South Carolina
    Posts
    9,433
    Thanks
    371
    Thanked 1,456 Times in 1,325 Posts
    Hey Y'all,

    Personally, YMMV!, I only do Full Images of my System Disk biweekly.
    1. Drive space is cheap.
    2. Why add complexity to the process.


    I also Image my Data Disk biweekly. I also have my data disk changes sent to another internal HD by RoboCopy every evening at 6:30 while I watch the news. Occasionally, I also use RoboCopy to copy these changes to my NAS.

    I also Image System Disk to a second internal disk before installing any "questionable" or trial software.

    I backup my NAS monthly as it is mostly pictures my wife & I share and some archived documents that I may need occasionally, in other words stuff that doesn't change often.

    All backups are kept to at least three generations. I even have an Excel workbook that keeps track of all the backups by machine (4) and storage device (10).

    OCD who Me? ROTFLOL2.gif

    It's a system that works for me! YMMV.

    HTH
    Last edited by RetiredGeek; 2015-08-31 at 17:08.
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

    PowerShell & VBA Rule!

    My Systems: Desktop Specs
    Laptop Specs

  6. #5
    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    ny
    Posts
    2,365
    Thanks
    232
    Thanked 147 Times in 136 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by RetiredGeek View Post
    OCD who Me? ROTFLOL2.gif

    Omniscient Computer Dominator?

    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  7. #6
    5 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    S.F. Bay Area, California, USA
    Posts
    735
    Thanks
    15
    Thanked 80 Times in 78 Posts
    EaseUS ToDo Backup checks each disk BEFORE allowing a backup to be run.

    Zig

  8. #7
    WS Lounge VIP
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    8,162
    Thanks
    47
    Thanked 976 Times in 906 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by ruirib View Post
    A problem in one of your interim backups will ruin every backup past that one.
    That is only a problem if you are using incremental system backups. If it's a data backup there is no downside to a failed incremental, except a file changed post that incremental can't be recovered to the time of the failed incremental. Subsequent backups will be fine.

    cheers, Paul

  9. #8
    5 Star Lounger petesmst's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Posts
    789
    Thanks
    38
    Thanked 43 Times in 33 Posts
    Many thanks for the comments and opinions. Regarding my specific "lesson", I don't believe full, or incremental backups of a disk with errors would have made any difference to the outcome in my particular case!
    (My Setup: Custom built: 3,70GHz Intel Core i7-4820K CPU; MSI Military Class iii X79A-GD45 Plus Motherboard; Win 10 Pro (64 bit) - (UEFI-booted); 16GB RAM; 512GB SAMSUNG SD850 PRO SSD; 120GB SAMSUNG 840 SSD; Seagate 2TB Barracuda SATA6G HDD; GeForceGTX 980 4GB Graphics Card; Office 2013 Prof (32-bit); MS Project 2013 (32-bit); Acronis TI 2015 Premium, NIS 2016, VMWare Workstation12 Pro, etc). WD My Book 3 1TB USB External Backup Drive). Samsung 24" Curved HD Monitor.

  10. #9
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    St Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    23,571
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 1,056 Times in 925 Posts
    @RG,

    Do you mean RoboCopy as opposed to RoboForm?

    Joe

  11. #10
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Manning, South Carolina
    Posts
    9,433
    Thanks
    371
    Thanked 1,456 Times in 1,325 Posts
    Joe,

    There I go again! At least I was consistent...ly WRONG.

    Thanks for the catch Joe.

    I've corrected it in the original post so as not to get people confused until they get here.
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

    PowerShell & VBA Rule!

    My Systems: Desktop Specs
    Laptop Specs

  12. #11
    Silver Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,335
    Thanks
    13
    Thanked 267 Times in 260 Posts
    Ya I only go with full images and always run it through the verify image process, no image corruption ever encountered with that method, so far.

  13. #12
    Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    South Jersey
    Posts
    69
    Thanks
    9
    Thanked 13 Times in 11 Posts
    It may be OCD but it makes sense.

    It only seems like overkill until you need it.

  14. #13
    4 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    557
    Thanks
    51
    Thanked 68 Times in 66 Posts
    I'm with RG on this one. I started doing fewer incrementals and diffs years ago. Now I only do full backups unless there is some really strong reason why I cannot.

    And the reasons are the same too. Simplicity, reliability, and most of our systems can easily handle the data volumes involved (Disk to disk backups really were a quantum leap forward). I'll take a one decision, one step restore over a complicated multi-step restore any day of the week.

    Even the redundancy angle is better with multiple full backups. If you have multiple full copies and your backup media has a point problem, you have multiple sources from which to recover the damaged backup files (potentially).

    I've also grown more wary of proprietary backup formats. When you need to restore you need as much reliability and flexibility as possible. Files in their original format and directory structure decrease your reliance on special recovery programs.

  15. #14
    3 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Marietta, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    296
    Thanks
    9
    Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by petesmst View Post
    After digging around on line, I discovered in an Acronis Forum that disk errors can give rise to a corrupted system backup; and that regularly running chkdsk /r can prevent this.
    ...
    So the lesson learned: Run chkdsk /r from time to time to ensure that your system backups are not corrupted and rendered "un-recoverable". Simply assuming that validation of a backup ensures a recoverable backup is not enough.
    I also use Acronis (for full weekly backups).

    I have no routine procedure for running CHKDSK / R (maybe never done). I assume there is no way to automate this, since it requires a restart of Windows.
    Rick Groszkiewicz
    Life is too short to drink bad wine (or bad coffee!)

  16. #15
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Calgary, AB
    Posts
    9
    Thanks
    10
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Hi, I have a ? regarding backups on Win 7. I do a weekly image and something else that creates individual files as zip files. The zip file backup seems perfect for retrieving individual files (once you find it). But can I recover individual files from the image? I'm a rookie when it comes to backups, and I have never needed to do any kind of recovery yet (knock on wood) so I'm not really sure of what I'm doing. My total backup uses >100GB per week and I'm running out of space. I used to backup to an internal drive, but have switched to an external drive which is offline except when backing up. I have backups going back almost a year, what is a good length of time to store backups for? I'd like to clear the backups off my internal drives and just use the external drive (2GB) which would be around 15-20 full backups (incl. zips if necessary more if not). Would that be sufficient if I do weekly backups? I have never done incremental or differential backups. My PC is extremely stable as I write this so this might be a great time to implement a new strategy.

    Another point I'd like to ask is I bought Acronis true image 2014 last year on sale, but then read horror stories about it destroying peoples systems so I never used it. Is there any truth to that, should I use it or stick with Win 7 if I end up just doing Image backups.

    Thanks in advance for any help you can provide to a backup newbie!

    Norm

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •