Will EaseUS Todo Backup make incremental clones

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Will EaseUS Todo Backup make incremental clones

Postby Recruiter » Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:42 am

If I set EaseUS Todo Backup to make a clone of my HD. can I set it to make incremental clones, say monthly, so I'm not making a full clones each month? Otherwise, my external drive will run out of space fairly quickly. As it stands, the way I understand it (hopefully I'm wrong), I would start with a full image. Next I would run a full backup, followed by incremental backups. Then, run additional full backups, as needed, to complete the backup sets, and start them over. The problem arises, when a HD crashes, if a clone hasn't been made since the original, and programs are added or removed, some of the data could have nowhere to go, unless there is an up-to-date clone. If a new image is available, or better yet, the original plus incrementals, it could be a true timesaver.
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Re: Will EaseUS Todo Backup make incremental clones

Postby Zig » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:13 am

Recruiter,

Don't make clones; they're to be used only to switch drives - use incremental (or differential) backups for crash recovery.

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Re: Will EaseUS Todo Backup make incremental clones

Postby Recruiter » Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:12 am

Let me ask this way - If I want to have full protection, in case of a system crash, where I can easily reinstall my complete drive from a given state, I would create a bit by bit clone/image of that drive. Whenever changes are made, i.e. new programs, updates, hardware, etc, the old image becomes obsolete, and in order to fully recover, you need a new image. A backup will save your data, pictures and settings, but not your installations. You would need to reinstall through a clone/image to put yourself back whole again, without going through the hastle of reinstalling your programs, etc.
That was why I was curious if it is possible to create an incremental image along with creating backups, to keep completely up to date. I want to create a clean installation to start, complete with all updates and primary hardware and program installations. In this fashion, if, say, a virus gets into my system, and reloading the previous image doesn't clear the problem, I can revert to the original clone/image.
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Re: Will EaseUS Todo Backup make incremental clones

Postby JEfromCanada » Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:32 am

Recruiter,

Don't think in terms of physical implementation (image vs. backup). Think in terms of functional capability. A clone operation is the only true "image". A secondary disk is created in the exact "image" of the original. Recovery involves swapping out the old drive, and swapping in the new drive. Very fast restore - downside being that a clone contains the "old" image as of the date the cloning operation was performed. And, as you already mentioned, that image cannot be updated incrementally, although you can opt to create a "fresh" cloned image at any time.

A disk backup is technically not an image. It is a backup of the entire disk, including any configuration information required to make the disk bootable again. Because it is a backup, there is an element of elapsed time to "restore" that backup to a new drive in the event of a failure. However, this disk backup can be updated with changes (incremental or differential) on any scheduled basis you want. So, when a failure occurs, the backup can be restored onto a new drive, and it will be completely up to date.

The last type of backup is the file backup, which is good for work files (documents, etc.), but does not capture enough information to be able to restore a disk to a bootable state.

I hope that explains things for you.
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Re: Will EaseUS Todo Backup make incremental clones

Postby Recruiter » Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:32 am

OK - let me see if I understand this correctly. The backups I've been doing up until now, in Windows backup, is a file backup, since it is only saving data, settings, etc. but no real disk information.
What I should be doing is a [i]disk backup[i], so if I need to recover from a crash, the combination of full disk backup and differential/incremental backups, puts me back to where I left off.
I think I would feel safer with a barebones clone also. This way, if something is corrupted, I can easily start over, without all the program installations. That's the part that takes so long. Last year, I had to create a whole new bootable drive, because my C:\ drive got so messed up. Now I have a clone of that original configuration on my external drive, just in case it happens again. Some day I'll clean up the C:\ drive again.
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Re: Will EaseUS Todo Backup make incremental clones

Postby Zig » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:43 am

But you can only restore your system by physically swapping that disk with the original one; moreover, by cloning to an external (USB) disk, it might not boot even then. If you want to make a security clone, the best thing is to attach it internally alongside of your OS drive, make the clone, shut down, & remove and store the cloned drive.

I agree that a disk backup with incremental or differential backups is the way to keep an image from which you can restore your OS & programs, if needed.

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Re: Will EaseUS Todo Backup make incremental clones

Postby JEfromCanada » Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:21 pm

Recruiter wrote:This way, if something is corrupted, I can easily start over, without all the program installations. That's the part that takes so long. Last year, I had to create a whole new bootable drive, because my C:\ drive got so messed up. Now I have a clone of that original configuration on my external drive, just in case it happens again. Some day I'll clean up the C:\ drive again.


There's nothing wrong having the cloned drive as a fallback; but again, you're still left trying to update the system (after replacing the old disk with it's clone) to include all security updates, any newly installed programs (since making the clone), and of course, all your own data.

When you use the disk backup option and followup (incremental/differential) backups, all you need to do a restore is the Bootable CD that Easeus allows you to create. In many cases, the default Boot CD will suffice; but it is safer to create the WinPE version of the boot CD (more effort but much more capable).

In the event of a crash, you simply boot from the CD, and that automatically presents you with a menu of options, including the "Restore" capability. All that you need to do after rebooting is to choose the point-in-time that you want to restore to (usually the most recent backup point, but not necessarily - if you suspect having picked up something nasty just prior to your system failing), and EaseUS does the rest!
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Re: Will EaseUS Todo Backup make incremental clones

Postby Recruiter » Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:48 pm

I think I finally get it! All this time, I assumed an image/clone could be "imaged" back, if something went wrong. As they say, never assume anything. Without having another physical HD to clone to, it really wouldn't make any sense to make the image. Instead, stick with the disk backup. with scheduled incremental/differential backups. I may be slow, but I finally get it--eventually.
One last question. What's the difference between a differential, and incremental backup. They seem to accomplish the same thing.
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Re: Will EaseUS Todo Backup make incremental clones

Postby JEfromCanada » Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:08 pm

The main difference between the differential and incremental backups is the time it takes to make a backup, vs. the time it takes to restore.

I will explain both in a second... Which one you choose to use depends on your backup window (i.e. how long your system can be "down" to make backups), and how much backup space you have available. The remainder of this will assume you are doing EITHER incremental OR differential backups (not a mixture of both).

So, incremental vs. differential... Let's say that you start with a full backup. With incremental backups, each backup you make will only contain the changes since your last incremental backup. In most cases, this results in small backups that don't take too long to create. On my system, the initial full backup took about 6 hours to run. My daily incremental backups take about 5 minutes.

While incremental backups are much quicker, there are some possible downsides:
1) If the files that change daily on your system are large ones (like Outlook files, windows registry, any database applications), the size of your daily backups may be larger than mine, and those "small" backups will add up over time to take quite a bit of space.
2) When restoring after a crash, EaseUS does its restoration by automatically restoring the original full backup, followed by automatically restoring each and every incremental backup (up to the date you specify as your "target"). That will work great UNLESS one of the incremental backup files is corrupt. If that happens, the restore will stop right there - it can't proceed any further.

Now, let's consider differential backups. Differential backups contain everything that has changed since your last full backup. That means that, over time, differential backup files tend to get larger each day, and backups can tend to be longer each day. That means you may need to schedule more "downtime" to run your backups (assuming you would prefer that your system be idle during backups). Depending on how many differential backups you want to keep handy (again, in case you pick up something nasty and would prefer NOT to restore it), you will initially need more storage than you would with incremental backups; but over the longer period, differential backups can actually take up LESS total backup space.

The main benefit of differential backups over incremental is that the RESTORE TIME will be shorter. EaseUS only needs to restore the original full backup plus ONLY ONE of your differential backups (corresponding to the date you choose as your restore target). That means there is less likelihood of a faulty differential backup rendering your system backup "too old". If there is corruption in one differential file, it doesn't affect any other differential file.

If you have backup media that you trust to be non-faulty (or fault tolerant), then you may prefer incremental backup. If you're a bit paranoid about your backup media, you might prefer the "redundancy" that differential backups afford.
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Re: Will EaseUS Todo Backup make incremental clones

Postby Recruiter » Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:22 am

Thanks for all the clarifications. It was an education I really needed. Up until now, I thought I was doing a backup routine correctly. Boy, was I wrong. I started with, as you could probably guess, an image of my HD, on my external drive, in its original state. I also had scheduled new images each month. I also had, in Windows, a full "file" backup, followed by (I think) incremental backups daily. I would normally keep the most recent image, delete the previous image, but keep the original one as my "go to" image, if all else fails. I guess the thought process was OK. The implementation of it was flawed.
What I need to do now is, first get rid of the images on my external drive. They aren't doing me any good. Run EaseUS Todo Backup, in a full disk backup. Next set up scheduled differential (yes, I'm paranoid) backups. Also, since I will be running disk vs file backups, I can turn off the Windows backup.
One last question. Can you easily restore a file or folder, back to its original location, as you can with Windows backup. I run the same backup setup on my wife's laptop. She does machine embroidery, and is constantly downloading new designs. Every now and then, she will inadvertantly delete a catagory, which I then need to retrieve from her backups. Would the process be similar in EaseUS Todo Backup?
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Re: Will EaseUS Todo Backup make incremental clones

Postby Zig » Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:49 am

Recruiter,

Can you easily restore a file or folder, back to its original location, as you can with Windows backup.


Yes; "drill down" to the appropriate folder in your backup set, then right-click on the desired file. Many people, however, keep a separate data backup set, apart from their OS & programs backup. One could even use a different program such as Cobian or Karen's Replicator, though EaseUS is also capable of doing this.

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Re: Will EaseUS Todo Backup make incremental clones

Postby Rolo42 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 2:19 am

A clone is just that: a copy. "Incremental clone" is impossible by virtue of clone's definition.

A weekly incremental backup with the first one of the week being a differential is a sturdy and efficient plan. (or monthly with same setup)
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Re: Will EaseUS Todo Backup make incremental clones

Postby Recruiter » Fri Feb 24, 2012 2:59 am

OK. Lets say I set up a monthly schedule. For arguments sake, the first Sunday of the month gets a full disk backup. Each Monday gets a differential backup. Tuesday thru Sunday gets an incremental backup. Can I assume I can set up EaseUS to run this type of schedule?
If I really want to be paranoid, I can keep the Windows backup running, to back up my data files at the same time. Just in case.
Have I left anything out? If I can do all this, it sounds like the perfect backup plan.
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Re: Will EaseUS Todo Backup make incremental clones

Postby Rolo42 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:28 am

Windows Backup is completely unnecessary and you don't want two backups running at the same time (VSS can go bonkers in addition to their being slow).

Unfortunately, you can't specify every week for monthly schedule; you'll have to specify dates.
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