Empty folders not included in backup?


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jphughan
jphughan
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I just noticed that when I access a File and Folder Backup either via the Restore wizard or mounting it as a virtual disk, empty folders that exist on the source are not included in the backup, even though those folders include custom NTFS permissions.  This might seem trivial, but I can imagine scenarios where it would be useful to have empty folders (including their NTFS permissions) restored if for no other reason than to save time manually recreating them.  Just because a folder is empty at a certain point in time does not mean it isn't useful, and this seems like a bad backup practice overall.  Is there some way to have Reflect include empty folders on File and Folder backups?

jphughan
jphughan
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Bumping this topic.  Has this changed in v7?  I would really like to see empty folders included in backups to preserve custom NTFS permissions that might exist on them even if they don't contain any data at the time of the backup.

Nick
Nick
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Hi 

Thanks for posting. 

No, I'm afraid empty folders aren't included in a File and Folder backup.  They used to be, but there were a large number of customer complaints about the, sometimes, thousands of folders that were unnecessarily contained in backup archives that had no purpose in recovery. However, this could be a configurable option and a development support case has been raised.

Thanks for your input. 

Kind Regards

Nick - Macrium Support

jphughan
jphughan
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Interesting.  Out of curiosity, what were the use cases that involved large numbers of empty folders (a user Home folder share for a rather large company where most users didn't store anything there?), and even if those empty folders were unnecessary in those cases, if users were apparently fine with them continuing to exist at the source, why would they be annoyed to the point of raising a complaint with them also existing in their backups?  Did they hope to use a full restore as an automatic spring cleaning or something?  Anyhow, I appreciate your consideration to make this a configurable option, and if this behavior was changed long ago, I would recommend revisiting this in consideration for making backing up empty folders the default behavior, mostly because I believe that when one chooses to back up a folder with no exclusions, the average person would expect that ALL content in that folder would be backed up, and a folder qualifies as content even if it itself contains no content -- especially if it has special NTFS permissions, which can sometimes involve many ACL entries that would take considerable time to recreate and create risk of not recreating them from memory exactly as they were.  Other examples of useful empty folders are "watched" folders where an application monitors a folder for content copied into it, processes it somehow, and then moves it elsewhere. The "Automatically Add to iTunes" folder is a simple example, but I also support an accounting firm that has an application that accepts PDF scans via a file share, recognizes the content if the document is a standard tax form, then adds any interpreted data to the client's tax return profile and also files the original PDF with the client's own content elsewhere on the server, leaving the share empty.  Under the current Reflect release, after a full restore this share would not exist and the application would be broken.

Edited 29 March 2017 3:20 PM by jphughan
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