Different file extensions for different types of backups and backup file extensions


Different file extensions for different types of backups and backup...
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keithmac
keithmac
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I'm a database developer. I'm pretty new to Macrium Reflect. I started using it a few years ago to backup the work I do for clients on my development machine. I ran a full backup of my data drive a couple years ago. I generally backup my source code to my client's systems and they backup those drives as well, so it's not critical that I backup my system daily. Since that full backup (on a bare HDD), I've run incremental backups on a large separate HDD. Here's my basic scenario:

1. Ran a full backup a couple years ago on a bare HDD (let's call it drive A)
2. Ran a bunch of incremental backups on a different bare HDD over the last couple years (let's call it drive B)
3. 3 days ago with drive B nearly full I started an incremental backup on it. MR put part of this incremental backup on drive B and the other part on drive C (a new empty bare HDD)

In step 3 above I was about to run another incremental backup and noticed that the bare drive wasn't going to have enough space for the backup. I looked around online to find out how to handle that. I found nothing. I was hoping that Macrium Reflect would know what to do. I put a new bare drive in my docking station and started the incremental backup but noticed that it was going to back up everything as if there had been no incremental backups before that. This made me realize that it needed to know what was already on the other drive. So I stopped the backup and put the almost full drive into my docking station and started it again. When it got full, it told me to point to a different target location so it could finish. I ejected the first drive and put in an empty bare drive. MR finished the backup there. This is pretty much what I expected MR to do.

Two days later I went to run another incremental. I put drive C (the one that had the 2nd half of the previous incremental backup) in my docking station. Well much to my dismay MR had no idea what to do. It renamed the one file on there as bad. Ugh. I thought maybe MR was smart enough to look at drive B, figure out what to do from there, realize it was full and had the partial from the previous backup, and tell me to put drive C in so it could run it to there. All very logical. Well it didn't do that. it just said it was full and couldn't do anything. Then I thought, okay, I'll put drive C in and maybe it can figure it out from the 2nd half of that last backup. It choked there too. It started backing up everything again.

I gave up. I had ordered some new bare drives a few days before so I could run a new full backup. I did that last night. I'm protected. But I need to know how to handle this for the future. My suspicion is that if an incremental (or probably differential) backup drive is nearly full, rather than trying to continue them on another drive, I need to run another full. I know I should do full backups more often but like I said, it's not critical for what I do.

Is there a way to get this to work the way I thought it should have? Is there a way to get this to work the way I thought it should have? I hope someone has some good insight into this.

One other question. I couldn't figure out a way to give different backup types different file extensions. In SQL Server it's common to name full backups with a BAK extension, differential backups with a DIF or DIFF extension, and transaction log backups with a TRN extension so you know what's what. I found nothing in MR's settings that allows me to tell it how to name the different ones. It's all or nothing from what I could see. That seems odd to me given my background. If not, is it safe to rename a file once it's done, with a different extension so I know what it was? I actually used MR to explore my previous incremental backups too to find out if they were incremental or differential. There was no information that I could find in there. This really surprised me.

Thanks,

Keith

dbminter
dbminter
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As long as you don't have Image Guardian running, I can't see a reason why you couldn't add a .BAK extension to existing Macrium backup names.  I don't know how Reflect itself will handle them, though.  I don't know if you're allowed to load things other than the expected extensions in the Reflect interface.  And, given chains like Incremental and Differential backups, they may be looking for specific extensions to load the entire chain.


As an experiment, I propose this: rename a chain of backup files with Incrementals/Differentials with your desired extensions.  Load one of these file name changes in the Reflect interface to do a manual Verify on the contents.  You will probably be prompted about missing files in the chain, particularly if you're mixing .INC and .DIF extensions within the same chain.  However, I think Reflect SHOULD, but I don't know if it does, prompt you for the next file in the chain, so you can manually point Reflect to the next file in the chain.  After this experiment, you can always remove the .INC and .DIF and .BAK extensions to restore the chains.  As I said, you may need to disable Image Guardian to rename the files.

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