Event based backups - e. g. attaching a harddisk


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alQamar
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Currently I am overly satisfied with the features of Macrium 7.2.

The only thing I am missing compared to different competitor products is one feature:
- ability to plan an automated backup based on an event

Foremost starting a job when an external medium (Harddisk / SSD / USB key etc) is attached. I am aware this would need a service to monitor.
The identification is easily done by
- unique Disk ID (Get-PhysicalDisk).UniqueID)
- serialnumber, model (Get-PhysicalDisk).SerialNumber (GetPhysicalDisk).Model)
- Mounting ID (fsinfo volume list)

This would allow certain backup jobs to be run without user interaction, just by attaching the designated disk.
jphughan
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I helped somebody do this with a tool called USB Drive Letter Manager. I even posted a full config file for that application that would achieve this, including making sure that disk received the correct drive letter that Reflect would expect to use as the destination if the user wasn’t using Volume ID destination discovery. I’ll see if I can find that.
Edited 17 September 2020 10:09 PM by jphughan
jphughan
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Patrick O'Keefe
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alQamar - 17 September 2020 7:58 AM
Currently I am overly satisfied with the features of Macrium 7.2.

The only thing I am missing compared to different competitor products is one feature:
- ability to plan an automated backup based on an event
...
This would allow certain backup jobs to be run without user interaction, just by attaching the designated disk.
I, too, was initially missing this but realized some major differences in the products make a completely unattended operation (nearly) impossible.  Some competitive products take a fixed number of incremental or differential backups per full backup so the user never needs to the to be questioned.  If a full backup is due, it is taken; otherwise, the next due incremental or differential backup is taken.  With Macrium Reflect a backup task could be kicked off, but the user would have to say whether a full, incremental, or differential backup was to be taken. 

I guess an "incremental forever" or an "always full" scheme could be automated without intervention.  I'd better look at jphughan's posting and see how convenient this would be.


Drac144
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Completely unattended operation in Reflect is easily done.  You just have to do it within the constraints of the program.  The consolidation options are relatively new to Reflect.  Prior to that scheduling was done by day of week or month - calendar based.  Now with consolidation, one can also do things based on number of backups of a specific type (i.e. incremental). As long as your plan can be implemented using fixed scenarios, Reflect should be able to do it.  I am sure you can come up with a plan that Reflect cannot do in unattended mode.  In that case, if you have some flexibility you can probably get pretty close.  If you absolutely must have a very specific plan that cannot fit within the parameters reflect provides, then you would have to resort to manual intervention - or use another product.

Most products (software or otherwise) have some limitations.  A product that can do everything that every user would want it to - no matter how unique the request -would be very bloated and probably quite expensive.
alQamar
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Most products (software or otherwise) have some limitations. A product that can do everything that every user would want it to - no matter how unique the request -would be very bloated and probably quite expensive.

I've migrated from such a software.

However having the ability for one backup per day when I plug in a backup target will please most scenarios, even and especially since we have synthetic fulls it is maintenance free.
I hope he developers can look into this and I could get more support from the community on this.

It appears as a unique request yet Veeam and Acronis do support this and it would be just a thing that inforces that main use of a backup application.
Drac144
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I am confused about your request.  If someone is there to manually connect an external drive, couldn't that person click an icon on the desktop to start a backup? Maybe I am missing something about your feature request.
Patrick O'Keefe
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Drac144 - 20 September 2020 7:53 PM
I am confused about your request.  If someone is there to manually connect an external drive, couldn't that person click an icon on the desktop to start a backup? Maybe I am missing something about your feature request.

The intended user for this option is the nontechnical person that wouldn't have the faintest idea what to do with the MR user interface but is capable of plugging in a portable drive every so often.  Another type of user is the lazy technical person (such as I).  When I was an Acronis user I had one of these backup definitions on each of my computers and would plug in a portable drive whenever I was going to make a significant upgrade to any of the computers.  It's not a necessary feature, but it's a very handy one.

It also has a downside .It needs to have a "The backup will start in nn seconds" with a  Cancel option is case you want to access the content of the drive rather than take a backup.
jphughan
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Patrick O'Keefe - 20 September 2020 8:07 PM
The intended user for this option is the nontechnical person that wouldn't have the faintest idea what to do with the MR user interface but is capable of plugging in a portable drive every so often.  Another type of user is the lazy technical person (such as I).  When I was an Acronis user I had one of these backup definitions on each of my computers and would plug in a portable drive whenever I was going to make a significant upgrade to any of the computers.  It's not a necessary feature, but it's a very handy one.

It also has a downside .It needs to have a "The backup will start in nn seconds" with a  Cancel option is case you want to access the content of the drive rather than take a backup.

That "nontechnical person" is the exact use case that prompted me to design and test the solution I provided in the thread I linked earlier.  USBDLM is free for personal use, very inexpensive for commercial use, and not especially difficult for anyone with a bit of technical expertise to set up -- especially when provided with the sort of clear examples I provided.  Sure it might be nice if Reflect supported this natively -- and maybe some day it will -- but in the meantime you've got the solution I described in that linked thread.  As Drac said, having a single application that could do anything a user could possibly want would become quite cumbersome and difficult to use.  Reflect is already critiqued by some here for being too difficult for nontechnical people, and additional functionality is typically correlated with more complex and/or expansive configuration interfaces, so there's always a tradeoff to be made here.

But on the subject of making Reflect easier to use for nontechnical people and also not necessarily having backups associated with a strict schedule, I already have this thread and this thread in the Wish List section.

Patrick O'Keefe
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USBDLM is ... not especially difficult for anyone with a bit of technical expertise to set up -- especially when provided with the sort of clear examples I provided.

I admit your examples are very clear, but I seem to go off the rails when trying to figure out additional customization.  I think of myself as reasonably technical but I'm baffled by the syntax (or maybe the semantics) of the USBDLM .ini file.  Some of what look like assignment statements are actually conditional tests.  Others are actual assignment statements.  Based on a brief search of the web, .ini file parsing seems to be highly product-specific and I didn't see anything in the USBDLM Help doc that explains this.

Sorry to have hijacked this thread.  I'll crawl back under my rock soon.

GO

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