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Kudos0

Cannot get incremental backups to work in Ghost 15

Hi,

I have Norton Ghost 15, a 500Gb hard drive on my Windows 7 laptop (PC) and a 2Tb external hard drive.  What I was hoping to do with Ghost is the following (numbers are made up for illustration):

From a fresh reformat of my PC,

i)                    Restore my PC to a position with which I am perfectly happy with it

ii)                   Take an ‘image’ of my PC at this point, so, if necessary, I could restore to this point at a later date.  Let us suppose the files on my PC amount to ½ the PCs hard drive (so, 250Gb).  Therefore, when I have taken my system image, I would expect approx. 250Gb of my external drive to be used.  This image is a ‘one-off’ snapshot of my PC.

iii)                 Then, every week, back up anything that has been added to my PC since the initial image was taken.  Suppose I add another 10Gb per week.  Then, after a total of 175 weeks after the snapshot was taken, my 2Tb hard drive would be full.

Now, I have been taken through the process twice by a Norton expert by them taking control of my PC and each time the software has not actually done this.  The first time, I missed a backup date and there was some subsequent problem which messed everything up for me.  The second time, the initial snapshot was taken, but afterwards, each subsequent ‘backup’ used more space on my external drive.  So, I think each backup was a full image of my PC.

Does anyone actually know how to do what I wish to do properly?

So, to recap

  1. Day 1: I set my PC how I want it
  2. Day 1: Full PC backup (image file created of entire laptop contents)
  • External hard drive used by 250Gb

3.   Day 8: Incremental backup of anything added since Day 1

  • External hard drive used by 260Gb
4.  Day 15: Incremental backup of anything added since Day 8
  • External hard drive used by 270Gb

5.  Day 22: Incremental backup of anything added since Day 15

  • External hard drive used by 280Gb

Etc

Replies

Kudos0

Re: Cannot get incremental backups to work in Ghost 15

Hi,

I have Norton Ghost 15, a 500Gb hard drive on my Windows 7 laptop (PC) and a 2Tb external hard drive.  What I was hoping to do with Ghost is the following (numbers are made up for illustration):

From a fresh reformat of my PC,

i)                    Restore my PC to a position with which I am perfectly happy with it

ii)                   Take an ‘image’ of my PC at this point, so, if necessary, I could restore to this point at a later date.  Let us suppose the files on my PC amount to ½ the PCs hard drive (so, 250Gb).  Therefore, when I have taken my system image, I would expect approx. 250Gb of my external drive to be used.  This image is a ‘one-off’ snapshot of my PC.

iii)                 Then, every week, back up anything that has been added to my PC since the initial image was taken.  Suppose I add another 10Gb per week.  Then, after a total of 175 weeks after the snapshot was taken, my 2Tb hard drive would be full.

Now, I have been taken through the process twice by a Norton expert by them taking control of my PC and each time the software has not actually done this.  The first time, I missed a backup date and there was some subsequent problem which messed everything up for me.  The second time, the initial snapshot was taken, but afterwards, each subsequent ‘backup’ used more space on my external drive.  So, I think each backup was a full image of my PC.

Does anyone actually know how to do what I wish to do properly?

So, to recap

  1. Day 1: I set my PC how I want it
  2. Day 1: Full PC backup (image file created of entire laptop contents)
  • External hard drive used by 250Gb

3.   Day 8: Incremental backup of anything added since Day 1

  • External hard drive used by 260Gb
4.  Day 15: Incremental backup of anything added since Day 8
  • External hard drive used by 270Gb

5.  Day 22: Incremental backup of anything added since Day 15

  • External hard drive used by 280Gb

Etc

Kudos0

Re: Cannot get incremental backups to work in Ghost 15

When you create the backup job, there is a setting of when to start a new recovery point set. I would guess you would choose yearly and set the schedule to weekly.

That said, it isn't going to work very good. That is a long time to go on incrementals. If one gets corrupted, everything from that point on is no longer usable. Going a week between incrementals may cause Ghost to take a long time reconciling and possibly starting a new recovery point- especially if there are many changes to the disk. If you defrag anytime, Ghost will either make a backup close to the size of the original or start a new RP set.

I recommend new Recovery Point sets monthly with daily incrementals. Also make sure you verify the backup as it is made.

Kudos0

Re: Cannot get incremental backups to work in Ghost 15

Hi and thanks for getting back to me.

Actually yearly Recovery Point + weekly schedule is how I have set it.

I kind of like your suggestion, but I have some questions about it.

1. Is a Recovery Point the same as taking an image of the PC?  In which case, Ghost will take a new very large snapshot every month and my drive will soon fill up, won't it? 

2. Also, each time you do a new snapshot, you are replicating a whole lot of stuff aren't you?

This replication and massive use of disc space is what I am trying to ensure doesn't happen.  What I want to do is get my PC how I am happy with it and take a copy right there (image/snapshot).  From that point on, only backup stuff that I have since added.  With this strategy, I think I will never 'lose' anything and I will have my original snapshot which I can use to restore my PC with should anything go wrong with it.  Does that make sense?

I've a feeling that the bottom line here is that I don't really understand the 'notation', i.e. exactly what a Recovery Point actually is, how that differs from what I call an image.

Is there a good place to go to read up about how Ghost operates, like a Users' Guide?

Kudos0

Re: Cannot get incremental backups to work in Ghost 15


cyman1964uk wrote:

Hi and thanks for getting back to me.

Actually yearly Recovery Point + weekly schedule is how I have set it.

I kind of like your suggestion, but I have some questions about it.

1. Is a Recovery Point the same as taking an image of the PC?  In which case, Ghost will take a new very large snapshot every month and my drive will soon fill up, won't it? 

Yes, a Recovery Point is the terminology that Ghost uses instead of image. Depending on how much stuff is on your drive will determine how big the RP or image file is. I have a 1TB drive that is where I store my image files. I have several months worth of backups that are made daily. I feel pretty confident that I can find a file if I need to.

2. Also, each time you do a new snapshot, you are replicating a whole lot of stuff aren't you?

This replication and massive use of disc space is what I am trying to ensure doesn't happen.  What I want to do is get my PC how I am happy with it and take a copy right there (image/snapshot).  From that point on, only backup stuff that I have since added.  With this strategy, I think I will never 'lose' anything and I will have my original snapshot which I can use to restore my PC with should anything go wrong with it.  Does that make sense?

I've a feeling that the bottom line here is that I don't really understand the 'notation', i.e. exactly what a Recovery Point actually is, how that differs from what I call an image. They are the same thing.

When you start a baseline Recovery Point (image / v2i file), it is the largest. The incremental Recovery Points (iv2i files) are usually pretty small. Of course if you make many changes to the partition, it will be a little bigger. If there are no changes, it will be quite small ( a few hundred KB).

Is there a good place to go to read up about how Ghost operates, like a Users' Guide?

http://www.norton.com/ngh15guide <-Here


The  thing that bothers me about going so long between backups is there is a real good chance you will miss backing something important up. By using daily incrementals, the backup is usually very small and runs very fast- usually under 2 minutes for me.

 

By starting a new image set yearly, if something happens to one of those iv2i files, then everything from then on is useless. To me having at least 2 Recovery Point sets (baseline plus incrementals) makes me feel better.

Kudos0

Re: Cannot get incremental backups to work in Ghost 15

Thanks for your input.  Am at work currently so haven't had chance to check out what you put.  I will do when I get home.

I guess I can put my main problem much more succinctly.  It feels as if all the backups that are being carried out by Ghost are full images.  I have checked this just by looking at the size remaining on the external hard drive that is used solely for these backups.  This is a 2Tb drive and after the initial image backup, there was approx 1.5Tb left (i.e. the backup files were about 500Gb in size).  After the second backup, which ran a week later and which I intended to be an incremental one, there was approx 1Tb left on the disk, suggesting that this 2nd backup was of a similar size to the 1st one.

I will carry on and see what happens, but if this rate continues, not only will I fill my drive in 2 more weeks, but also I suspect that each of the 4 backups will be almost identical.

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