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


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APA
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Greetings,

I would like to see a (user specified) Scheduled Backup Pause Time option for scheduled backups.

The scheduled backup would start at the scheduled time, but then immediately pause for the (used specified) time delay.

This would be very useful to allow a recently started machine to stabilise (i.e.  connect to networks, unlock encrypted drives, etc.).

Thoughts?
Andrew



Beardy
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This sort of delay is trivial to script, however, if scripted you can also perform checks that the network actually is connected, encrypted drive actually is unlocked, etc. with custom error handling if they're not.
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Thanks Beardy,

Point taken on scripts (and yes almost anything is possible if we branch off into a script / program).   
I'm suggesting this type of control (Scheduled Backup Pause Time) as a possible enhancement to the product.   
I think many (most) people start their systems daily and any pending backups will start as soon as the OS is up. The 'drives' that are the subject of the scheduled backup may not be available at this time and will subsequently fail.   

If Reflect (Scheduler Definition) had an optional 'Pause Time', we could all make use of the facility for drives that are probably not going to be available immediately on machine boot.     
Regards,
Andre






 

jphughan
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I’m not sure “most” people have their backup schedule configured such that it regularly misses its schedule window and therefore runs immediately on system startup. I would think that most people schedule their backups to occur when their system is likely to be on, and then try to keep it on at that time since they chose to have backups run at that time. And not everyone will enable the option to run missed backups as soon as possible.

If you actually need this today, I’d be happy to help you have Reflect generate a script to run your definition file and make this trivial addition. If you’re just suggesting it for the benefit of the user base rather than needing it yourself, then fair enough.

But how long does your system take to “stabilize”? My system connects to a network at the lock screen before I even log in, and I’m pretty sure my BitLocker auto-unlocks complete by then as well since those drives are ready by the time my user session starts. If you’re using mapped drives, that’s not a great practice anyway. Use the UNC path to the target network share.
Patrick O'Keefe
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jphughan - 17 February 2021 3:08 PM
I’m not sure “most” people have their backup schedule configured such that it regularly misses its schedule window and therefore runs immediately on system startup.

I know I'm not "most" people, but I suspect part of my configuration is not uncommon. 
  • My desktop PC is up most of the time.  Daily backups run when scheduled.
  • My wife's laptop is up daily but on no particular schedule.  Daily backups sometimes run on schedule.
  • My laptop is up every few days and often misses its scheduled daily backups.
  • A test PC is brought up a couple times a week.  Scheduled daily backups are usually missed.
I think having an optional delay for missed schedules would be a good option, but might be less straightforward to implement than it appears.

A competitor - Acronis True Image - has that option, but either the option fails intermittently or (more probable) it functions after the computer has been shut down but not when the computer has been asleep.


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Patrick O'Keefe - 17 February 2021 6:03 PM
jphughan - 17 February 2021 3:08 PM
I’m not sure “most” people have their backup schedule configured such that it regularly misses its schedule window and therefore runs immediately on system startup.

I know I'm not "most" people, but I suspect part of my configuration is not uncommon. 
  • My desktop PC is up most of the time.  Daily backups run when scheduled.
  • My wife's laptop is up daily but on no particular schedule.  Daily backups sometimes run on schedule.
  • My laptop is up every few days and often misses its scheduled daily backups.
  • A test PC is brought up a couple times a week.  Scheduled daily backups are usually missed.
I think having an optional delay for missed schedules would be a good option, but might be less straightforward to implement than it appears.

A competitor - Acronis True Image - has that option, but either the option fails intermittently or (more probable) it functions after the computer has been shut down but not when the computer has been asleep.


Hello Patrick
Thanks for the comments. 

Indeed, I have 3 computers (2 desktops and 1 laptop) that are on/off at varying times... I do try to keep the backup strategy the same for all.

Interesting to read the 'other' product has this type of feature, although it is unreliable in your experience.

I'm hoping the Reflect design team can have a closer look at this issue, it seems to be a gap in the product feature set.  Resorting to scripts seems to be overkill for an option that could give us (all):

- A user setting to delay backups (for 'n' minutes).  This could also be tied to a condition (such a a recent start of the PC).
- A user setting to automatically retry a failed backup (for recoverable errors e.g. drive not available) up to "n" times with a retry delay of "nn" minutes.
 Regards, Andrew

jphughan
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^ Those are the use cases that led me to propose the Opportunistic Backups scheduling option here.  But as I said, if anyone in this thread NEEDS this feature right now and would prefer to have it by taking advantage of what can be done today rather than wait for Macrium to (possibly) add it in the future, I'm happy to help get them set up with a script that will achieve this.

Edited 17 February 2021 6:38 PM by jphughan
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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.

Edited 17 February 2021 6:43 PM by jphughan
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jphughan - 17 February 2021 3:08 PM
I’m not sure “most” people have their backup schedule configured such that it regularly misses its schedule window and therefore runs immediately on system startup. I would think that most people schedule their backups to occur when their system is likely to be on, and then try to keep it on at that time since they chose to have backups run at that time. And not everyone will enable the option to run missed backups as soon as possible.If you actually need this today, I’d be happy to help you have Reflect generate a script to run your definition file and make this trivial addition. If you’re just suggesting it for the benefit of the user base rather than needing it yourself, then fair enough.But how long does your system take to “stabilize”? My system connects to a network at the lock screen before I even log in, and I’m pretty sure my BitLocker auto-unlocks complete by then as well since those drives are ready by the time my user session starts. If you’re using mapped drives, that’s not a great practice anyway. Use the UNC path to the target network share.

Agreed, 'most' of the time things are up and work as planned.  Options to delay the onset of a scheduled backup, automatically retry of failed backups are there to recover from error conditions.  Improving Reflects ability to recover and complete backups is the objective.  These kinds of enhancements should be part of the (ever improving) product ... not in 'user' scripts.   There are cases when a user 'script/program' is appropriate (thankfully Reflect supplies powerful tools to enable very user specific requirements).

At this stage, I'd like to avoid scripts, its an unnecessary complication , especially with multiple computers.  Thank you for the offer to assist with script generation, anyway.

There are several reasons why the source/target drive may not be available when the scheduled backup starts.  The PC may be down, the target backup device may be powered off, not connected, the drives may not be unlocked (e.g. Bitlocker), etc.  These are conditions that occur for many people and we should remember that not all our users are IT literate.  Some automated recovery (standard options) would go a long way to help all Reflect users. 

Regards,
Andrew
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I agree that automatic retry would be a useful addition -- which is why I wrote up that Opportunistic Backups idea in the thread I linked.  Did you give that a read?  I have also suggested that Reflect be improved to tolerate temporary network connectivity interruptions by pausing and retrying rather than failing the entire job.  But both of those seem like completely separate feature requests from a user-specified delay on the start of a job.

GO

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