Exclude folders from backup


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madrian
madrian
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Hi,

I am coming from Acronis, I cannot find an option to exclude folders from system Windows backup. For example, I don't want to backup my download directory.

My second question is if it is possible to run Macrium at reboot/shutdown and run only once per day. 
jphughan
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If you're performing image backups, there's no way to exclude folders.  The reason is that image backups operate on a disk block level, not a file level, and the block level doesn't directly have any concept of individual files.  To be able to exclude folders, you'd have to perform a File & Folder backup instead, but that wouldn't be ideal for a Windows partition.  I wrote a more detailed comparison between image vs. F&F backups a while ago here if you're interested.  If I had to guess, it might be possible for Macrium to support excluding certain files and folders from images of NTFS partitions because the NTFS MFT would help establish a "file to block" mapping of the imaged data, but allowing that might break or at least drastically increase the complexity of some other really handy features that Reflect already has, like Rapid Delta Restore/Clone and BitLocker Live Restore/Clone, since an image backup that had certain content excluded wouldn't contain a complete snapshot of the partition's contents anymore.  But that is just a guess.  Perhaps Macrium will post here and shed more light on this, since I wouldn't mind having this capability myself -- in fact I ended up partitioning my disk and storing my regular data on the new partition (I don't use the user profile folders much) specifically because I couldn't do this.  The other possibility is that Acronis may be capturing file-level image backups rather than block-level backups, rather like Microsoft's own DISM tool does.  That has its advantages in some cases, but it certainly also has its limitations.

In terms of your second question, you might be able to create a manual scheduled task to achieve what you want, but I'm not sure.  Looking at triggers available in Task Scheduler, it has native support for running a task at logon, but not shutdown/logoff.  If you wanted the latter, you'd probably have to choose "On Event" and then find the Event Viewer event for a logoff.  The problem you MAY have though is that too many services may have stopped by the point that a logoff event is written to Event Viewer.  Again, I haven't tried to set that up, but if you Google "Windows scheduled task at every logoff", you might find something.  For the rest of the task, the configured Action would need to be a Reflect command line for your job, the syntax for which you can derive from here, and in terms of running it at most once per day, when Reflect is about to run a scheduled task, the logged on user (if any) will see a popup prompt and have the opportunity to cancel it, so that's as close as you can get to limiting the number of backups per day.  That would actually be handy for your case if you were restarting in the middle of the day for some other reason and didn't want to wait for a backup, for example, but again I don't know if that will even work based on how logged off your session will be by the time that Event Viewer trigger event would have been written.

Finally, manually created scheduled tasks probably won't show up in the Reflect interface, so your definition file and Reflect's Scheduled Tasks tab will appear to have no scheduled tasks listed -- but the task should still run if set up correctly, and you'll still get log entries under the Log tab.

Edited 3 January 2018 12:58 AM by jphughan
Seekforever
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Excluding from image backups and run on shutdown are 2 features that Acronis did have when I last used it years ago. I don't know if the exclusion was viable  because of using their own snap-shot software. IIRC, Macrium has said that implementing exclusions from images is unreliable when using VSS. Now that Macrium has RDR etc I could imagine that they might cause increased complexity.
Froggie
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Madrian, imaging at either Startup or Logon is supported in REFLECT.  As far as shutdown is concerned, I shutdown the System following my last scheduled image of the day (also supported) rather than image at my shutdown... I'm usually heading to bed at that time Smile

Gork
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Macrium has indicated in the past that while it IS possible to exclude files/folders when performing an imaging backup they have chosen not to implement this feature due to inherent problems which can be caused by this operation.  (I don't recall the specifics, but it was explained in the forums.)

OPs can help other forum searchers by highlighting (✔) an answer that resolves the issue.

martincomputerguy
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Not true:
- Go to knowledgebase.macrium.com
- Search for: exclude

Or, google: macrium reflect exclude

Search results include:
"How to exclude files from a Disk Image"
https://knowledgebase.macrium.com/display/KNOW7/How+to+exclude+files+from+a+Disk+Image

This article explains how to set a Registry key that will exclude items from EVERY Disk Image backup, i.e., this method can't exclude items from some Backup jobs and not others.


Edited 19 February 2018 4:26 PM by martincomputerguy
jphughan
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martincomputerguy - 19 February 2018 4:25 PM
Not true:
- Go to knowledgebase.macrium.com
- Search for: exclude

Or, google: macrium reflect exclude

Search results include:
"How to exclude files from a Disk Image"
https://knowledgebase.macrium.com/display/KNOW7/How+to+exclude+files+from+a+Disk+Image

This article explains how to set a Registry key that will exclude items from EVERY Disk Image backup, i.e., this method can't exclude items from some Backup jobs and not others.


Just for the sake of clarity, that registry key removes content from VSS snapshots, not disk image backups, which means:

- It won't apply to disk images that don't use them, e.g. backups of non-NTFS volumes or backups where the VSS snapshot failed for whatever reason.
- Right upfront Macrium advises that this mechanism is not 100% reliable, though they admittedly indicate it may only cause a problem when excluding large numbers of files.
- As mentioned, it would apply to all image backups, and I don't believe these exclusions are recorded in the log (although I haven't tested it), so if you set this and then forgot to remove it later when you wanted to start capturing a comprehensive image backup for example, that could be a nasty surprise when you expected to restore data later.

Still, that's a useful suggestion, and for someone whose backups always use VSS, then this may be workable, but it's important to be aware of the details.

Edited 19 February 2018 5:31 PM by jphughan
martincomputerguy
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And thus it would be far better if Macrium Reflect added an Exclude option to Disk Image backups. Acronis True Image has this option, why can't Macrium?

jphughan
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I've already guessed as to why above and Gork says that the reason this doesn't exist was already explained somewhere else, but it may be worth creating a Wish List thread for this if you really want it.

Edited 19 February 2018 5:00 PM by jphughan
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