Backup aborts after several hours


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Bouvere
Bouvere
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Hello,
I am on a business trip for several month. In order to backup my laptop from here, I use a VPN connection to my home server. This works well, in theory, but it is slow.
An update can take about 30 hours because of this, which is in general not a problem.
One problem is, that every 24h my home provider resets the internet connection. After 2 Minutes everything is online again and the VPN connection reconnects itself automatically.
BUT: Macrium Reflect, as soon as the adress is not available anymore, aborts the backup! Even after 16 hours running, it just aborts it and thats it.
No retry button, not automatic try to reconnect to this folder for some time. It just did not work and is aborted! All progress lost.
To avoid this I now tried pausing the backup over night. Next day I made sure VPN connection stands. I made sure I can reach the backup folder. Then I unpaused and for some reason Macrium Reflect could not find the backup folder again and just died.
Please please add at least a Retry button! Dont just throw away all progress if the server can not be reached! Maybe it comes back within a few minutes! This makes me cry, really.
With best regards,
Felix


jphughan
jphughan
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Interesting use case, and I can definitely see how an function that retried the connection a few times before failing would be useful.  This might have been a better topic for the "Wish List" section though.  But just out of curiosity, since you posted in the Disk Imaging section, I assume you're capturing disk images rather than file and folder backups.  In that case, what would you do if you ever had to RESTORE one of your backups while you were away? I assume your VPN solution won't run inside the Rescue Media environment, so just as a general suggestion, you may want to consider traveling with a small portable USB hard drive to store backups while you're away so that they happen more quickly and are actually accessible if you need to restore from them.  Of course your backups wouldn't be off-site this way, but it might still be worth doing.  You could also of course do that IN ADDITION to your VPN backups rather than as a replacement for them.

And also out of curiosity, who is your home provider that resets your Internet connection every 24 hours?  Have they told you why they do that?  Are you sure it isn't just an issue with your cable/DSL modem or router?

Edited 10 May 2017 7:06 PM by jphughan
Bouvere
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Thank you for the quick answer! Until now I thought this 24h forced reconnect is usual, as a way to manage the limited amount of available IP addresses, but maybe it is just a problem with the router configuration. I checked this as an option and might have found a way to prevent this reconnect. But I still think a Retry button for backups is a good idea. Many problems can be solved by the user without the need to restart everything in my opinion.
About you second idea to backup online some folders, this I already do by using a cloud storage service.
Maybe an moderator can move this to the Wish List? Thanks!

jphughan
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Well if Macrium is going to implement this as an improvement, I think automatic retries would be better than a button because if the backup runs as a scheduled task, there might not be a user logged in to click a Retry button. But maybe the number of automatic retries could be configured. But in terms of the secondary backup, again would you have a way to access your backups from a Rescue environment? I'm just picturing a scenario where your hard drive was totally corrupted from malware or something and was unbootable. In that case, you might want to have an image backup on an external hard drive, otherwise you would probably be stuck. And even if you could access your VPN or cloud storage from Rescue, it would take a LOT longer to restore.
Bouvere
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You are right, indeed. It is not the best solution, but it is better than having no backup at all.
Having an external drive would be good probably.
I think my laptop has some basic recovery build in, which resets the factory settings. From there I could install the VPN, download the backup to a partition or newly bought external drive and then recover.
Right now I just hope I survive until I am back home near to my server :-)

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One thing I've  learned about reading this and other imaging forums is that people have reasons for doing things that I hadn't thought of.
However, this backup arrangement seems to be an awkward way of doing a backup. Thirty hours?!  Download the backup via a VPN and then recover after having to reload the Day 0 image that is hopefully on the disk? The time to test a recovery is before you really need a recovery! Until you know for certain you can recover you only have half a backup. This all flies in the face of trying to keep backup/recovery simple because simple is what you want when you are dead in the water.

Good for putting your data files on a cloud storage service - they are the important files, not the OS.
I second getting a USB drive for imaging.  If you have the data files backed up there is no need to be imaging the OS all the time unless you are doing a whole lot of installing new applications.. If you reload the OS and it is just missing some OS or app updates then it will get them again.
It may be that saving the image to the cloud service could be faster and without the annoying dropout than the VPN route to your own server.

Is the 30 hours partially because your PC has one giant partition with everything in it?  If so, consider partitioning the disk so the OS/apps are in one partition and your data files are in a different one. This way  the OS/apps can be imaged relatively quickly and you can deal with the data files independently.





Bouvere
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I am doing a full backup once a month, thats why it takes such a long time.
A differential backup would make no sense in my case, as you would first have to download the old backup and find the changes and then backup again, or not? I am not sure how it works exactly, but I guess it would take even longer.
And indeed, I have a good reason to do this. I got new software here at university during my stay, which is not backed up and which I do not have at home. This I would like to keep, without buying an external drive.
 
I do not see the reason, why the backup should not try again to reach the destination? It would be quite simple to implement, you do not need any additional buttons to click as it is an automatic retry (simple, isn't it?) and it would also help if someone unplugs your LAN cable accidentially, or if you have a short blackout where only the laptop stays awake.



jphughan
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If you're only doing Fulls, then the time between backups won't affect how long the backups take. But a Differential/Incremental doesn't have to download the entire Full, so you should really test that sometime -- although even if it did have to download a lot of data, it still wouldn't take more time to create a Diff/Inc than a Full, and if 30-hour backup times are acceptable in your case, then backup time doesn't seem to be a major concern anyway. And if you use Incs with Delta Incremental Indexes enabled, it would be even faster since that only requires the most recent Inc in the chain to even be available. The catch is that RESTORE times would be longer since you'd be retrieving a Full plus any Diff/Inc backups to bring you current.

Again, I really think you need to consider having an external USB drive with you. I have a SanDisk Extreme Pro USB 3.1 flash drive that cost $120 for 256GB of storage that's as fast as a good SATA SSD and fits on a keychain. If you had a total system failure would you really want to wait 30 hours for your system to come back?

Still, I agree that automatic retries to handle temporary network issues is a good idea and shouldn't be difficult to implement, but we'd have to hear from Macrium for that.
Edited 13 May 2017 4:03 PM by jphughan
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