Feature Request: Scheduled Backup Pause Time (User Specified Time Interval)


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Patrick O'Keefe
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jphughan - 17 February 2021 6:37 PM
^ Those are the use cases that led me to propose the Opportunistic Backups scheduling option here.

Had I been a Macrium user back when you posted that I definitely would have given it a +1 (or maybe +10)!  That obviously goes way beyond what was proposed in this thread.

Considerations for laptop backups are tricky.  Besides the things you mentioned in you Wishlist posting there are network considerations such as  of cabled vs wireless, private vs public, metered vs unmetered, etc. For some people there might even be time considerations when backup destination is in a different time zone than the laptop.  Macrium could not possibly provide options of every conceivable condition so scripting is probably the only real solution.  But it would be nice if Macrium provided some kind of general framework for the script.  Not everyone wanting such a script would be proficient in PS or VBS.  (I'm certainly not.)  And it would be unfair for you to have to provide help for everybody needing the scripts

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Reflect does provide framework for a script.  Right-click any definition file and click "Generate PowerShell script".  You'll get a wizard popup allowing you to incorporate some additional capabilities.  You can use them or not.  But even if you don't choose any of those, you will get a PowerShell script that calls your batch file and handles all of the necessary work to get that done properly.  And you can customize from there.  You don't have to write everything from scratch.

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jphughan - 17 February 2021 6:42 PM
And just for awareness, the release notes of Reflect 7.3.5550, which launched on 18 January 2021, include this:

Macrium Task Scheduler
  • When waking the computer from sleep, or booting up when Windows Fast Boot is enabled, missed scheduled backups would start running immediately without giving the user time to log in and view the Postpone Backup pop-up message. This has been resolved.
Is everyone having this issue running at least that release?  And if so, are they using Macrium Task Scheduler rather than Windows Task Scheduler?  If your system can't "stabilize" by the time you've logged in and waited for the scheduled backup countdown to elapse (20 seconds by default), then I would argue you have a system issue.

I'm currently running the Macrium Scheduler (I swapped over from the Windows Scheduler as soon as it was made available). 
I'm also using "Run task as soon as possible after a scheduled start is missed" . 
I don't have any system issues and there is no 'defect' with Reflect... I'm suggesting an area of Reflect that could be improved.  Indeed, other products have similar functions..

Reflect Example:
- Machine OFF
- Backup Scheduled for 9:00am
- 10:00am power on PC
- Reflect runs (missed) scheduled backup - fails because the source drive is currently Bitlocked (user got the password wrong, went for a coffee, etc).
In this example, there is no 'problem' with Reflect, it can't backup a drive that is not available.  Smile 

However!

Wouldn't it be good is Reflect had some options to:
(a) Pause any scheduled backups (a OPTIONAL 'n' minutes) if the PC was recently booted?  
(b) Automatically retry 'failed' backups (an OPTIONAL 'nn' re-run attempts with a delay of 'n' minutes between). 

Those two options may result in a lot of failed backups finally working. The reasons for source/target drives being not available are numerous and some enhancements like (a) and (b) above would be greatly appreciated.
P.S the existing option "Run task as soon as possible after a scheduled start is missed"  is excellent and an example of some 'automation' to re-try 'failed' backups automatically (by user OPTION).  
Regards,
Andrew

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jphughan - 17 February 2021 7:18 PM
Reflect does provide framework for a script.  Right-click any definition file and click "Generate PowerShell script".  You'll get a wizard popup allowing you to incorporate some additional capabilities.  You can use them or not.  But even if you don't choose any of those, you will get a PowerShell script that calls your batch file and handles all of the necessary work to get that done properly.  And you can customize from there.  You don't have to write everything from scratch.

Understood.  I'm just thinking this kind of product feature should be an OPTION... like the existing "Run task as soon as possible after a scheduled start is missed" .
Reflect should have some 'global' RETRY options (for failed backups) and a  'global' DELAY option (for backups about to run after the machine is booted).
I'm guessing a lot of people could use these kinds of options (as we do with "Run task as soon as possible after a scheduled start is missed")... hence the request for new OPTIONS.

Your point regarding scripting is 100% valid for specific user requirements, and its great that Reflect has the interface.  In this case, this is a general request for product enhancement, that I suspect many users will enable (just like   "Run task as soon as possible after a scheduled start is missed" ),
Regards, Andrew


Patrick O'Keefe
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jphughan - 17 February 2021 6:42 PM
And just for awareness, the release notes of Reflect 7.3.5550, which launched on 18 January 2021, include this:

Macrium Task Scheduler
  • When waking the computer from sleep, or booting up when Windows Fast Boot is enabled, missed scheduled backups would start running immediately without giving the user time to log in and view the Postpone Backup pop-up message. This has been resolved.
Is everyone having this issue running at least that release?  And if so, are they using Macrium Task Scheduler rather than Windows Task Scheduler?  If your system can't "stabilize" by the time you've logged in and waited for the scheduled backup countdown to elapse (20 seconds by default), then I would argue you have a system issue.
I haven't dug very deeply, but I couldn't find a way to set that default delay.   Is that just the general count-down for starting a backup?  I seem to have disabled that count-down, but as I recall, that wasn't something that could be set for each individual backup.   Back when I was using another vendor's product I set each scheduled backup with a different delay (5 min, 10 min, 15 min, etc.) so I could control the order that the missed backups would run.  I never got it to run correctly.

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@pokeefe The postponement dialog is configured under Edit Defaults > Advanced > Advanced Backup Options.  It's called "Display backup notification delay".  And yes it's an application-wide setting, not something that can be customized.  Despite the name, "Edit Defaults" is a mixture of app-wide settings and defaults for future jobs.

If you want to control the order of execution of missed backups, try staggering their schedules in the first place, even if only by 1 minute or so.  I haven't tested that myself since missed backups just aren't an issue in my case, and if they're missed I'd usually prefer to wait until the next scheduled execution anyway, but that may get the job done.

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jphughan - 17 February 2021 7:18 PM
Reflect does provide framework for a script.  Right-click any definition file and click "Generate PowerShell script".  You'll get a wizard popup allowing you to incorporate some additional capabilities.  You can use them or not.  But even if you don't choose any of those, you will get a PowerShell script that calls your batch file and handles all of the necessary work to get that done properly.  And you can customize from there.  You don't have to write everything from scratch.
I understand that, and I've used the "Generate PowerShell script", but I was (very vaguely) thinking of something more specific to when to run a missed, failed, or interrupted backup.  I was envisioning a tool that might direct the neophyte script writer to a list of PS cmdlets that might useful in such a script.  That idea was far too "blue sky" and off-topic -  not really appropriate for this thread.

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jphughan - 17 February 2021 8:09 PM
@pokeefe ...

If you want to control the order of execution of missed backups, try staggering their schedules in the first place, even if only by 1 minute or so.  I haven't tested that myself since missed backups just aren't an issue in my case, and if they're missed I'd usually prefer to wait until the next scheduled execution anyway, but that may get the job done.
I do have the schedules staggered.  Maybe that does effect the order of the execution of missed backups.  If so, I withdraw my comments.  Smile
I usually don't really care much about the order, anyway.  I just wake up the computers to let the backups run; I don't necessarily even log on.

The one exception to my not caring is the daily backup of a VeraCrypt "container" file where users are locked out of the file for the duration of the backup.  (I'm the only user, and I rarely use the file right after bringing up the computer anyway.  It's not really a big deal, but I do like that backup to run first.


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"Run task as soon as possible after a scheduled start is missed" is a Task Scheduler checkbox Macrium have been exposing, and have evidently included in their scheduler for feature parity with the Windows one, it's actually the scheduler (Historically Windows, & still Windows here since I've not migrated scheduler) that's determining when that's triggered & it doesn't offer "Run X minutes later than the first opportunity if missed". It's not Reflect itself, now doubtless they could play with their scheduler to add a feature which wouldn't then work if the Windows scheduler is used.

Otherwise you have to determine:
Was the job started by schedule
Is it on time or not ( check schedule versus actual time) checking the triggers for both schedulers for compatibility
Delay or not according to time match/mismatch

I could see that getting messy, messy code logic leads to strange bugs, though even that's probably scriptable.

Or else just incorporate an optional N minute/second wait at the start of every job, which would be easy, and is also trivial to script as things stand.
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@pokeefe


I don't believe there's any real sort of rhyme or reason to how scheduled backups get executed when you queue multiple scheduled backups.  Near as I recall, on January 1st, when I have the daily backup, the yearly backup, the January 1st backup, and the yearly F&F backup all queued up within a matter of five minutes apart from each other, they don't get executed necessarily in the order they're scheduled/queued.

GO

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