Please publish a way to catch the backup method used for an existing backup file


Please publish a way to catch the backup method used for an existing...
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RefDM
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So far I have not succeeded in finding a way to catch the backup method for an existing backup file independently from the context of a backup job. Within the backup job there are MACRIUM_* environment variables. But they exist only for the elevated user - even though from Windows 10 AU onwards the backup can be performed also by a standard user account. And it seems that after a boot the environment variables do not exist before at least one backup job is run...

In some organizations there is a need to process the created backup files further. That is challenging if one cannot distinguish an incremental from a differential backup file.

So please provide a mechanism for getting the backup method for a backup file.

Maybe the technically simplest way to do that might be to publish the API in the DLL responsible to creating the "Backup Method" column for Windows File Explorer....? Of course it would be nice to be able to obtain the information e.g. from a command line without involving software development.

(The most convenient way for the users would be if the backup type could be seen directly from the backup file name - as is the case with several other image backup solutions... However I understand that it may not be technically feasible to implement that way at this point of the Reflect product development.)


bullshark
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hover your mouse pointer over the backup file name in Windows Explorer
RefDM
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Thanks for your reply. However we need to use that information inside a batch script or program code, so hovering mouse pointer is not an option.
Richard V.
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Obviously (see screenshot below) the information that your require is included, along with much else, within the backup image file itself and can be exposed by Reflect's DLL as you said.  Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any other way to extract it after completion of the backup imaging process and backup file creation.  As a workaround, have you considered creating and scheduling scripts for running your backup operations which could include a subroutine for creating a matching named text file to include the required backup type information?  Admittedly a sloppy "kludge", but it might be more expeditious than waiting for Macrium to publish their API details.

http://forum.macrium.com/uploads/images/5c4f4cab-892a-48d0-9d75-4e38.png


Regards, Richard V. ("Arvy")
https://forum.macrium.com/uploads/images/afc5d4fe-5d25-4e25-be94-185e.png

Edited 21 February 2017 2:12 PM by Arvy
RefDM
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Hi Richard, and thank you for contributing to this thread, I appreciate it.

I'm pretty new to Macrium products and currently evaluating Reflect to see if we can migrate over to it from another imaging software. So I guess that I just might see something obvious here...

All other imaging software that I have been using since 1980's have had a trivial way to distinguish between incremental, differential and full backup files. Most often this information is recorded directly within the filename.

I learned that Reflect creates a set of environment variables (MACRIUM_*) that should provide the information I need, so I created a VBS script from the backup XML definition and tried to use them. However I encountered some strange problems there, too.

For example, it seems that the variables are created only before the backup operation starts, so they reflect the situation before creating the new backup. Since they do not seem to be updated after the backup operation has finished, there seems to be no way to detect inside the VBScript file what was the type of the backup just created.

As we have a need to integrate the backup imaging product into a higher level backup/archival software we have used for years, we must find a robust way of detecting the backup method used to create any existing image file.

I only recently learned to know the existence of Macrium and Reflect, and I must say that I was very surprised in a positive way. I was actually surprised that I had never before even heard of Macrium. After version 7 will soon be out, I think that it may well be the only product in the market to fulfill all our needs out of the box if it only will keep its high reliability AND IF we can find a way to detect the backup method for the created images.

I have already learned to like MR so much during my feasibility study that I'll be really sad if I have to conclude that we cannot migrate over to using it due to this single piece of missing information...

Richard V.
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Hi RefDM.  You're welcome.  You're certainly right about the exceptionally high quality of the Macrium Reflect product and, in most respects, it is quite adaptable to individual needs and wishes.  There does, however, seem to be some reluctance about exposing certain aspects of its "inner workings" to the end user.  On average that may be a good thing, but it can also be frustrating for those (myself included) who might wish to adapt certain behavioral details to their own specialized operational environments.

Hopefully, they'll give serious consideration to your request and see its merits, but that could take a while. In the meantime, I can only suggest some kind of "workaround" that would involve extracting the required information (to a DBMS or plain text record) during the operational process by using Reflect's scripting versatility.  That might possibly allow you to hang onto the best product in its class while waiting for a more perfect solution.


Regards, Richard V. ("Arvy")
https://forum.macrium.com/uploads/images/afc5d4fe-5d25-4e25-be94-185e.png

Edited 22 February 2017 1:56 PM by Arvy
BGregory
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RefDM,
Have you considered parsing the HTML log file it creates?  I use this log a lot to create various reports.  Most of the pertinent information you are looking for is included in this log.  I use Visual Basic to parse the log but since it is a text file of sorts, i'm sure there are many other alternatives. Hope this helps.
Bob Gregory


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