V7 incremental files far smaller than V6?


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ALM4
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Since upgrading from V6 to V7 on 4/8/17 I have noticed that the incremental files for a number of drives are sometimes markedly (25X) smaller.  Has Macrium added a new more efficient method for dealing with a drive where little or nothing has happened since the last incremental.??     I am delighted if I am saving hundreds of megabytes of storage every week, but want to be sure I am not losing the security of a good backup.

Below is a abbreviated directory listing of my drive D:\, does not see a lot of changes week to week.  You can see the difference with the 4/10/17 incremental file.

Thanks in advance
Al

Filename format:   [Computer name]-[Drive letter] [Backup set]-[Incremental #].mrimg
Directory of K:\Reflect H  ============================
01/02/2017 12:27 AM  5,886,248,515 PC7-H 3-00-00.mrimg
01/02/2017 02:02 PM   15,188,986 PC7-H 3-01-01.mrimg
x
x
x
04/03/2017 11:16 AM   19,813,863   PC7-H 3-94-94.mrimg
04/04/2017 11:16 AM   20,333,832   PC7-H 3-95-95.mrimg
04/05/2017 11:15 AM   83,373,950   PC7-H 3-96-96.mrimg
04/06/2017 11:16 AM   65,434,624   PC7-H 3-97-97.mrimg
04/07/2017 11:16 AM   15,061,170   PC7-H 3-98-98.mrimg
04/10/2017 11:26 AM    526,721       PC7-H 3-99-99.mrimg
04/11/2017 05:32 PM   185,551,948 PC7-H 3-100-100.mrimg
04/12/2017 06:06 PM    412,015       PC7-H 3-101-101.mrimg
04/13/2017 11:16 AM    144,558       PC7-H 3-102-102.mrimg
04/14/2017 11:16 AM   30,077,509   PC7-H 3-103-103.mrimg
04/15/2017 11:16 AM    169,284       PC7-H 3-104-104.mrimg
04/16/2017 11:16 AM    358,829       PC7-H 3-105-105.mrimg
04/17/2017 11:15 AM   8,853,330     PC7-H 3-106-106.mrimg
04/18/2017 11:16 AM    230,847       PC7-H 3-107-107.mrimg
04/19/2017 11:16 AM   43,914,022   PC7-H 3-108-108.mrimg
04/19/2017 05:17 PM    350,767       PC7-H 3-109-109.mrimg
04/24/2017 10:20 AM    391,870       PC7-H 3-110-110.mrimg


jphughan
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I suppose CBT might be responsible for an improvement here (though smaller Incrementals was never mentioned as a benefit), but I'm confused. Your backup sizes vary pretty widely, which isn't too unusual for daily backups, but it's not as if your backups were all large prior to one day and then became small and stayed that way afterward. There are still some large backups after that (4/14, 17, 19), and although you're not showing much history prior to the 4/10 date you mentioned, I would bet there are some smaller backups back there too. Have you checked the log files for these jobs to see whether there's been a change in the total size of data that was backed up, which is different from the file size if you're using compression? Did your compression and/or Delta Incremental Indexes setting change perhaps? Did you install the Windows 10 Creators Update around its 4/11 release date? Maybe it just generates less "churn" somehow? But whatever the cause (which assumes this does represent a real change and not just an anomalous observation), I highly doubt that Reflect would suddenly be telling you that your backups were successful while only backing up a fraction of the appropriate data. Smile
Edited 26 April 2017 7:28 AM by jphughan
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Hi AL,

Thank you for your post.

Windows provides a method for applications to increase a file size by consuming free disk space that had previously been used by another process. If the file isn’t written to before the next incremental/differential, CBT will not detect this as a change, whereas a byte-for-byte comparison of the file would.

The most common use of this method is by database applications such as Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Exchange, but it is available to any application.

So that we can investigate your query further and provide a more detailed response, please could you open a support ticket using the link below:

https://reflect.macrium.com/support.aspx

Kind Regards,
Jamie – Macrium Support

ALM4
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jphughan - 26 April 2017 7:24 AM
I suppose CBT might be responsible for an improvement here (though smaller Incrementals was never mentioned as a benefit), but I'm confused. Your backup sizes vary pretty widely, which isn't too unusual for daily backups, but it's not as if your backups were all large prior to one day and then became small and stayed that way afterward. There are still some large backups after that (4/14, 17, 19), and although you're not showing much history prior to the 4/10 date you mentioned, I would bet there are some smaller backups back there too. Have you checked the log files for these jobs to see whether there's been a change in the total size of data that was backed up, which is different from the file size if you're using compression? Did your compression and/or Delta Incremental Indexes setting change perhaps? Did you install the Windows 10 Creators Update around its 4/11 release date? Maybe it just generates less "churn" somehow? But whatever the cause (which assumes this does represent a real change and not just an anomalous observation), I highly doubt that Reflect would suddenly be telling you that your backups were successful while only backing up a fraction of the appropriate data. Smile
 Hi,
Yes, I trimmed the listing a bit, below is the full file, you can see the dramatic change (well, dramatic for me) after 4/8/17.   Incrementals never below 14 MB, now  as small as 144 KB.

Some background:  Drive H is a 30 gig partition, using 6.7 gigabytes of space for 2600 files. It is lightly used with only a 30 MB Quicken file edited a couple times a week. The last incremental file (dated 4/26/17) shows the impact on file size of my adding a 70 MB .MP3 file as an experiment. It also shows that prior to 4/8/17, when V7 was installed, the incremental files were never smaller than 14,527 KB, now they can be as small as 142 KB.    

You gave me some things to think about:
1. Did install the massive Windows update on 4/11 so there might be a link there. Maybe my incremental files, on days when there was no activity, were too large and now it has been "fixed" ?   I just assumed the 14 MB incremental files represented an index of the status quo.
 1B. Also had an issue at that time with multiple copies of the Reflectbin.exe showing up in the Task Manager resulting in a "Reflect is busy..." whenever I tried to edit the script files.  Seemed to go away at the same time as the  7.02.2134 patch installed on 4/12/17.
2. Have not changed the compression levels or Delta settings.   The log files show the same amount of data being backed up as appears in the incremental file size.
3. Did successfully restore some files from a recent incremental and all the way back to the initial full backup, so things appear to be working.

Thanks for your assistance on this, I have also taken advantage of Macrium's offer to file a ticket on this.
Al

Directory of K:\Reflect H

01/02/2017 12:27 AM  5,886,248,515 PC7-H 3-00-00.mrimg
01/02/2017 02:02 PM   15,188,986 PC7-H 3-01-01.mrimg
01/03/2017 12:00 PM   15,023,571 PC7-H 3-02-02.mrimg
01/04/2017 12:00 PM   43,272,853 PC7-H 3-03-03.mrimg
01/05/2017 12:01 PM   15,023,038 PC7-H 3-04-04.mrimg
01/06/2017 12:00 PM   14,898,528 PC7-H 3-05-05.mrimg
01/07/2017 12:01 PM   14,888,281 PC7-H 3-06-06.mrimg
01/08/2017 12:15 PM   15,031,268 PC7-H 3-07-07.mrimg
01/09/2017 12:15 PM   14,912,586 PC7-H 3-08-08.mrimg
01/10/2017 12:16 PM   14,898,181 PC7-H 3-09-09.mrimg
01/11/2017 12:15 PM   14,929,686 PC7-H 3-10-10.mrimg
01/12/2017 12:16 PM   15,043,195 PC7-H 3-11-11.mrimg
01/13/2017 12:16 PM   14,886,282 PC7-H 3-12-12.mrimg
01/14/2017 12:16 PM   14,876,356 PC7-H 3-13-13.mrimg
01/15/2017 12:16 PM   14,876,361 PC7-H 3-14-14.mrimg
01/16/2017 12:16 PM   14,914,177 PC7-H 3-15-15.mrimg
01/17/2017 12:16 PM   14,906,713 PC7-H 3-16-16.mrimg
01/18/2017 12:16 PM   15,053,924 PC7-H 3-17-17.mrimg
01/19/2017 12:16 PM   43,307,434 PC7-H 3-18-18.mrimg
01/20/2017 12:16 PM   36,469,260 PC7-H 3-19-19.mrimg
01/21/2017 02:08 PM   15,041,106 PC7-H 3-20-20.mrimg
01/22/2017 12:16 PM   14,875,343 PC7-H 3-21-21.mrimg
01/23/2017 12:16 PM   14,875,753 PC7-H 3-22-22.mrimg
01/24/2017 12:16 PM   14,917,242 PC7-H 3-23-23.mrimg
01/25/2017 12:16 PM   36,313,290 PC7-H 3-24-24.mrimg
01/26/2017 12:16 PM   17,592,755 PC7-H 3-25-25.mrimg
01/27/2017 12:15 PM   14,875,605 PC7-H 3-26-26.mrimg
01/28/2017 12:16 PM   14,875,074 PC7-H 3-27-27.mrimg
01/29/2017 12:16 PM   15,030,452 PC7-H 3-28-28.mrimg
01/30/2017 12:16 PM   14,876,481 PC7-H 3-29-29.mrimg
01/31/2017 12:16 PM   14,876,699 PC7-H 3-30-30.mrimg
02/01/2017 12:16 PM   32,911,031 PC7-H 3-31-31.mrimg
02/02/2017 12:16 PM   43,465,955 PC7-H 3-32-32.mrimg
02/03/2017 12:15 PM   15,030,106 PC7-H 3-33-33.mrimg
02/04/2017 12:16 PM   14,875,912 PC7-H 3-34-34.mrimg
02/05/2017 12:16 PM   14,876,321 PC7-H 3-35-35.mrimg
02/06/2017 12:16 PM   19,004,638 PC7-H 3-36-36.mrimg
02/07/2017 12:16 PM   14,887,747 PC7-H 3-37-37.mrimg
02/08/2017 12:16 PM   54,369,301 PC7-H 3-38-38.mrimg
02/09/2017 12:15 PM   15,038,250 PC7-H 3-39-39.mrimg
02/10/2017 12:15 PM   14,882,085 PC7-H 3-40-40.mrimg
02/11/2017 12:16 PM   14,981,949 PC7-H 3-41-41.mrimg
02/12/2017 12:16 PM   65,381,907 PC7-H 3-42-42.mrimg
02/13/2017 12:16 PM   14,883,985 PC7-H 3-43-43.mrimg
02/14/2017 12:16 PM   43,855,376 PC7-H 3-44-44.mrimg
02/15/2017 12:15 PM   70,728,807 PC7-H 3-45-45.mrimg
02/16/2017 12:16 PM   14,882,219 PC7-H 3-46-46.mrimg
02/17/2017 12:16 PM   14,882,070 PC7-H 3-47-47.mrimg
02/18/2017 12:16 PM   15,040,348 PC7-H 3-48-48.mrimg
02/19/2017 12:16 PM   14,925,710 PC7-H 3-49-49.mrimg
02/20/2017 12:16 PM   14,919,082 PC7-H 3-50-50.mrimg
02/21/2017 12:16 PM   17,916,888 PC7-H 3-51-51.mrimg
02/22/2017 12:16 PM   15,735,776 PC7-H 3-52-52.mrimg
02/23/2017 12:16 PM   14,922,944 PC7-H 3-53-53.mrimg
02/24/2017 12:15 PM   25,785,300 PC7-H 3-54-54.mrimg
02/25/2017 12:17 PM   14,897,935 PC7-H 3-55-55.mrimg
02/26/2017 12:16 PM   14,895,697 PC7-H 3-56-56.mrimg
02/27/2017 12:16 PM   14,961,945 PC7-H 3-57-57.mrimg
02/28/2017 12:16 PM   14,920,743 PC7-H 3-58-58.mrimg
03/01/2017 12:16 PM   24,906,979 PC7-H 3-59-59.mrimg
03/02/2017 12:16 PM   15,041,942 PC7-H 3-60-60.mrimg
03/03/2017 12:16 PM   15,041,326 PC7-H 3-61-61.mrimg
03/04/2017 12:16 PM   14,907,032 PC7-H 3-62-62.mrimg
03/05/2017 12:16 PM   52,927,966 PC7-H 3-63-63.mrimg
03/06/2017 12:16 PM   14,921,608 PC7-H 3-64-64.mrimg
03/07/2017 12:16 PM   21,457,726 PC7-H 3-65-65.mrimg
03/08/2017 12:16 PM   154,657,623 PC7-H 3-66-66.mrimg
03/09/2017 12:16 PM   14,904,396 PC7-H 3-67-67.mrimg
03/10/2017 12:15 PM   14,895,524 PC7-H 3-68-68.mrimg
03/11/2017 12:16 PM   67,870,448 PC7-H 3-69-69.mrimg
03/11/2017 07:33 PM   71,348,899 PC7-H 3-70-70.mrimg
03/12/2017 11:16 AM   15,045,456 PC7-H 3-71-71.mrimg
03/13/2017 11:16 AM   42,522,723 PC7-H 3-72-72.mrimg
03/14/2017 11:16 AM   56,888,978 PC7-H 3-73-73.mrimg
03/15/2017 11:16 AM   153,895,896 PC7-H 3-74-74.mrimg
03/16/2017 11:16 AM   46,838,917 PC7-H 3-75-75.mrimg
03/17/2017 11:16 AM   34,963,285 PC7-H 3-76-76.mrimg
03/18/2017 11:16 AM   22,775,239 PC7-H 3-77-77.mrimg
03/19/2017 11:16 AM   14,962,419 PC7-H 3-78-78.mrimg
03/20/2017 11:16 AM   15,106,062 PC7-H 3-79-79.mrimg
03/21/2017 11:16 AM   14,958,762 PC7-H 3-80-80.mrimg
03/22/2017 11:16 AM   91,025,613 PC7-H 3-81-81.mrimg
03/23/2017 11:16 AM   15,166,040 PC7-H 3-82-82.mrimg
03/24/2017 11:16 AM   44,495,925 PC7-H 3-83-83.mrimg
03/25/2017 11:15 AM   15,065,317 PC7-H 3-84-84.mrimg
03/26/2017 11:15 AM   15,053,132 PC7-H 3-85-85.mrimg
03/27/2017 11:16 AM   15,052,267 PC7-H 3-86-86.mrimg
03/28/2017 11:16 AM   14,919,088 PC7-H 3-87-87.mrimg
03/29/2017 11:16 AM   45,941,342 PC7-H 3-88-88.mrimg
03/30/2017 11:16 AM   26,162,796 PC7-H 3-89-89.mrimg
03/31/2017 11:16 AM   44,613,627 PC7-H 3-90-90.mrimg
04/01/2017 11:16 AM   36,371,062 PC7-H 3-91-91.mrimg
04/01/2017 08:54 PM   50,881,268 PC7-H 3-92-92.mrimg
04/02/2017 11:16 AM   14,885,444 PC7-H 3-93-93.mrimg
04/03/2017 11:16 AM   19,813,863 PC7-H 3-94-94.mrimg
04/04/2017 11:16 AM   20,333,832 PC7-H 3-95-95.mrimg
04/05/2017 11:15 AM   83,373,950 PC7-H 3-96-96.mrimg
04/06/2017 11:16 AM   65,434,624 PC7-H 3-97-97.mrimg
04/07/2017 11:16 AM   15,061,170 PC7-H 3-98-98.mrimg
04/10/2017 11:26 AM        526,721 PC7-H 3-99-99.mrimg
04/11/2017 05:32 PM   185,551,948 PC7-H 3-100-100.mrimg
04/12/2017 06:06 PM         412,015 PC7-H 3-101-101.mrimg
04/13/2017 11:16 AM         144,558 PC7-H 3-102-102.mrimg
04/14/2017 11:16 AM   30,077,509 PC7-H 3-103-103.mrimg
04/15/2017 11:16 AM        169,284 PC7-H 3-104-104.mrimg
04/16/2017 11:16 AM        358,829 PC7-H 3-105-105.mrimg
04/17/2017 11:15 AM   8,853,330 PC7-H 3-106-106.mrimg
04/18/2017 11:16 AM      230,847 PC7-H 3-107-107.mrimg
04/19/2017 11:16 AM   43,914,022 PC7-H 3-108-108.mrimg
04/19/2017 05:17 PM       350,767 PC7-H 3-109-109.mrimg
04/24/2017 10:20 AM       391,870 PC7-H 3-110-110.mrimg
04/26/2017 11:22 AM   80,517,483 PC7-H 3-111-111.mrimg







Edited 26 April 2017 5:50 PM by ALM4
ALM4
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JamieW - 26 April 2017 9:34 AM
Hi AL,

Thank you for your post.

Windows provides a method for applications to increase a file size by consuming free disk space that had previously been used by another process. If the file isn’t written to before the next incremental/differential, CBT will not detect this as a change, whereas a byte-for-byte comparison of the file would.

The most common use of this method is by database applications such as Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Exchange, but it is available to any application.

So that we can investigate your query further and provide a more detailed response, please could you open a support ticket using the link below:

https://reflect.macrium.com/support.aspx

Kind Regards,
Jamie – Macrium Support

Thanks, will do.

jphughan
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Holy moly, I thought those size figures were in KB.  If they're in BYTES, you have the tiniest Incrementals I've ever seen! Tongue  My Reflect backups run to a disk rotation so that there's always a week's worth of changes to any given disk and they're regularly 100GB!  But if the amount of data you're dealing with is that small, one quick and very easy way to set your mind at ease here would be to perform a test restore (to an alternate location) and then use an application like HashCalc (free) to compare SHA-1 hashes of restored files to the ones on your H drive.  If they match (and they absolutely should), then you can be confident your data is being backed up properly.

Anyhow, now you've got me curious, so please report back on any results from your off-forum investigation with Macrium!

Nick
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Hi

14 MB, now  as small as 144 KB.


Apologies, we didn't notice the small incremental sizes. Basically, there is no or very little data change in Incremental and the size of the file is made up mostly or entirely by the Index and meta data at the back of the file. V7 uses 'Delta' Indexes by default and this explains the difference.

Kind Regards

Nick - Macrium Support

Edited 27 April 2017 8:56 AM by Nick
jphughan
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Aha, so there WAS a change to Delta Incremental Indexes like I asked the OP! Smile
ALM4
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Thank you all.
Puts my mind at ease, one of those situations where if you start doubting something it does not take too much to "fall down the rabbit hole.."

GO

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