Macrium Support Forum

Incremental Forever: Delete without merge?

https://forum.macrium.com/Topic4736.aspx

By Hendrick99 - 15 November 2015 10:25 AM

I'm using the Incremental Forever option. Recently I've changed the retention rule from 17 backups
back to 14. Now I see that the program deletes a number of incremental backups without merging
them first with the base. Is this a bug or is it "works as disigned"...?
 
Greetings from Amsterdam,
 
Hendrick
By AgedAndUgly - 15 November 2015 11:09 AM

I have never used synthetic full backup myself, but from the knowledge base I learn that the "oldest" backups get integrated in the full backup automatically, and that you can specify the definition of oldest. I could imagine that when reducing the retention count you may simply have deleted incrementals that had been consolidated already. It may be worth your while to review your XML file in that respect.
Cheers
By AgedAndUgly - 15 November 2015 11:32 AM

Hendrick99,
Please disregard my previous comment. I tried to recreate your scenario and failed. So I hope more proficient Reflect users will pick it up and clarify. My one question would be: how sure are you that the oldest incrementals are in fact not merged before the purge? If they are small, this is a very quick process. Cheers!
By Hendrick99 - 15 November 2015 11:34 AM

Hi Willem,
 
I already checked the log files and saw that a couple of backup files were deleted without being merged first with the baseline.
So now my system won't be complete in case of a general restore.
I think that the program simply looks for the latest 14 backups, without noticing that there are a number of older backups that
should be the first candidates for merging with the baseline.
 
Greetings,
 
Hendrick
By Nick - 15 November 2015 12:46 PM

Hi Hendrick 

Thanks for posting.  A synthetic full can only be created if:

The 'Synthetic Full' option is selected in the backup wizard.
There are no Differential backups in the set.
There are no 'Split' files in the set. A split can happen if the backup file system is FAT 32 or if a maximum file size has been set in Advanced properties

Otherwise an Incremental merge is performed on the oldest Incrementals to purge.  

Note: Incrementals can be deleted without merging if the next oldest backup in the set is a Differential. 

Please can you open a support ticket so we can request further information to examine your situation.

http://www.macrium.com/support.aspx#tickets
By Hendrick99 - 15 November 2015 10:46 PM

Hi Nick,
 
All the above is true in my case: The Synthetic Full option is selected and I do not use Differential backups.
There are also no splits etc.
I think that the program simply looks for the latest 14 backups, without noticing that there are a number of older backups that
should be first in line for merging with the baseline. The main issue here is the difference between 'oldest' and 'latest'.
I have opened a support ticket for your department.
 
Greetings,
 
Hendrick
By Nick - 15 November 2015 11:33 PM

Hi Hendrick 

Thanks for sending the support case. We can see from the screen shot you supplied that your files are being merged correctly.



Your Full image '-00-00.mrimg'  was correctly merged with '-10-10.mrimg' and files '-08-08.mrimg' to '-10-10.mrimg' were deleted.  The Full image is now at the same state as the previous '-10-10.mrimg'

Files '08-08' and '09-09' were included in the merge process as they are part of the backup set and are in the merge range. When multiple files are merged the From and To files for the merge are shown in the log as a 'Merging <From> with <To>'.

By Hendrick99 - 16 November 2015 12:35 AM

Hi Nick,
 
Thanks for your time and support. At first it was my understanding that the merge process took place just between one incremental file (10-10) and the baseline (00-00).
I  now understand that every incremental file in that range is a candidate for the merge process. That's a good and safe procedure.
Would it be an idea to clarify the consolidation message in that case? Because this message is always the same, no matter how many files have been merged.
Thanks again!
 
Hendrick
By DanDanz - 6 February 2016 7:55 PM

[quote]
Hendrick99 - 16 November 2015 12:35 AM
...
Thanks for your time and support. At first it was my understanding that the merge process took place just between one incremental file (10-10) and the baseline (00-00).
I  now understand that every incremental file in that range is a candidate for the merge process. That's a good and safe procedure.
Would it be an idea to clarify the consolidation message in that case? Because this message is always the same, no matter how many files have been merged.

I concur with Hendrick's statement that additional "Merging" messages for each incremental that was included in the consolidation would have saved me a lot of worry and troubleshooting when I decreased the number of incremental images from 8 to 2 and then ran an incremental that appeared to be a disaster.
Macrium Reflect Log
Incremental: Retain 2 incremental images 
Create a Synthetic Full backup if possible. 

Incremental Backups: 8 found 

Consolidation: Merging '641CEDBBBA150D57-00-00.mrimg' with '641CEDBBBA150D57-07-07.mrimg' 
Merge completed successfully in 00:07:56 
Deleted '641CEDBBBA150D57-01-01.mrimg' 
Deleted '641CEDBBBA150D57-02-02.mrimg' 
Deleted '641CEDBBBA150D57-03-03.mrimg' 
Deleted '641CEDBBBA150D57-04-04.mrimg' 
Deleted '641CEDBBBA150D57-05-05.mrimg' 
Deleted '641CEDBBBA150D57-06-06.mrimg' 
Deleted '641CEDBBBA150D57-07-07.mrimg' 


It would also help a lot if a "Consolidation failed" message had a bit more detail, like the reason it failed.   I didn't realize until Nick posted these rules in this topic:
A synthetic full can only be created if: 
The 'Synthetic Full' option is selected in the backup wizard.
There are no Differential backups in the set.
There are no 'Split' files in the set. A split can happen if the backup file system is FAT 32 or if a maximum file size has been set in Advanced properties
Otherwise an Incremental merge is performed on the oldest Incrementals to purge.