Replacing Full backup


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athegn
athegn
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I am just trying to understand how the various backup methods work.

I have done a Full backup of one drive. Then several differential backups; after the forth the first differential is dropped.

Do I need to do a full backup again at any time; replacing my original Full backup?

Is this a wise move?

Any advice appreciated.


Froggie
Froggie
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DIFFERENTIAL backups always contain the FileSystem differences from the original FULL and the current Differential.  All will continue to work by themselves as time moves on... but they will get BIGGER and that's when users of that scenario (FULLs & DIFFs only) will decide to generate another FULL backup.
jphughan
jphughan
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Building on Froggie's answer above, I would also suggest that you should always have at least two Full backups.  The reason is that if you only have one, and any portion of that single Full backup ever becomes corrupted or even unreadable (perhaps due to a problem with the underlying storage device), then all of your backups become useless because they all depend on that single Full.  If you have a second Full, it may not have any corruption or readability issues and therefore would be usable.  Even better would be to have Fulls stored on two separate storage devices.

But essentially, as Froggie said, if you only ever capture a single Full, then as time goes on, each Differential will likely get larger because it will have to account for the differences over a larger "time gap".  So if you don't actually NEED to retain the ability to go all the way back in time to the point of the original Full, you will likely find that the storage required to store your backups will increase if you have an old Full plus a recent Differential compared to having a more recent Full and a Differential, for example.

GO

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