Ruff_Hi's Antics

All Happiness is the Release of Internal Pressure

My Backup Routine

Someone asked me the other day about my backup routine. My answer: Do you really want to know? They said yes ... so I told them. Hang on, it takes a while ...

My Storage Summary
First off, a little back ground about how I have my system set up. I have 1 120Gb SSD. This is my boot drive and contains the operating system. I have 'tricked' windows into putting the user data on a different drive.

My computer box contains 4 HDDs. These are used for ...

I only back up the SSD, the user data and the software data. This means my movies and recorded TV aren't backup. Boo Hoo if I lose that data.

Daily Backups
Each morning at 1:02am, a daily backup run is triggered using Acronis True Image 2014. This task performs an incremental backup of my SSD to a dedicated directory (called 'set0') on my internal 1TB backup disk.

Later, at 1:45am, a daily backup run is triggered using Acronis True Image. This task performs an incremental backup of my user and software logical drives to the same dedicated directory on my internal 1TB backup disk.

The first task calls a batch file before the backup is run.
The second task calls a batch file after the backup is run.
What do these batch files do?

Daily Batch Files
Note: I didn't create these batch files. I found them in a forum at Acronis. They were written by oracledba.

The first batch file reviews the target backup directory and, if a certain condition is TRUE, it archives the current directory. Effectively, it renames 'set0' to 'set1'. I have set this up so that this 'create new generation' happens on a wednesday morning. I have also set it up so that it keeps 5 old generations of data.

So ... my backup directory structure looks like this (Q is the letter for my internal backup hdd) ...

When I say "it renames set0 to set1", what it actually does is deletes set5, renames 4 to 5, 3 to 4, 2 to 3, 1 to 2, 0 to 1 and creates a brand new set0.

The second batch file does exactly the same as the first but runs against a 1TB external disk drive. This keeps the internal and the external drives in sync for the generations

Sync the new backup
The final step in this daily process is to sync the newly created backup. For this, I use Beyond Compare. I use this software extensively for comparing files, directories, FTP sites, etc. It also has the ability to run in batch and provide syncing functionality. So ... the 2nd stage of the 2nd batch file syncs up set0 on the internal drive with set0 on the external drive.

About Every 6 weeks

About every 6 weeks ... more honestly, when I remember ... I detach the external drive and take it to work. This now becomes my offsite backup storage location. I bring home the other external drive and it becomes the new external drive in the daily backup dance.


Backup Cycle


Effective Impact

I have 12 weeks of daily backups available to me at any point in time.