Image ID


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dbminter
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What exactly is the Image ID?  How is it generated?  And why is it the recommended choice for target file names?  Wouldn't using the partition Label has a file name be a better choice?

jphughan
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The Image ID is just a random, arbitrary identifier.  I don't know the technical mechanics of how it's generated, but a new Image ID is generated with every Full backup.  My guess as to why Reflect recommends using them rather than a user-provided string is because if you specify a custom name and then create a second Full from the same definition file at the destination, Reflect just adds a 1 to the user-provided string before its own standard image numbering convention, which can make it harder to sort through visually.  By comparison, Image IDs are distinct enough from each other that it's easier to tell which files are part of which backup set.  Using a partition label could be problematic because a) not all partitions have labels, b) partition labels might be changed while the user is in the middle of a backup set, and c) backups can contain images of multiple partitions, and technically even multiple disks.

Edited 4 January 2018 9:15 PM by jphughan
jphughan
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Old thread where Macrium answered a question like this: http://support.macrium.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=12060

dbminter
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My problem with using the Image ID would be is it seems to be harder to implement appending additional Incremental/Differential images to it if the ID is a randomly generated string.  But, you say this random renaming is only on Full backups?  If so, I think I noticed this myself yesterday.  Last year's Full backup was named a different string from yesterday's Full backup of the same partition.


EDIT: After reading your follow up post, I can see why Image ID might be preferable.  It doesn't really apply to me.  I, too, use dedicated, descriptive directories, so I could use either my descriptive user defined file names or an Image ID.  And I don't get confused by multiple images because I generally run Full backups so the retention is only for 1 day, since the scheduled tasks only run at multiples of time of more than 24 hours.  And I generally only use Incremental images, never Differential.  And even when I do use Incremental backups, it's only within a 24 hour period between daily backups.  They're used before I install/update software/Windows or make some kind change to Windows that I might need to roll back from.


Thus, due to the way I take backups, adding 1's, 2's, etc. to the end of my file names doesn't confuse me.  In fact, I prefer it that way because I tell that X backup was Y backups after the morning backup.  Plus, I generally go by the date/time stamp on the file.  And, if I need absolute clarity, I load the chain of backups in Reflect and check the Comments I put on the backups.  It also gives me an overview of the times when they were generated, too.


So, it's nice to know that there are choices depending on what you prefer.  Smile

Edited 4 January 2018 9:57 PM by dbminter
jphughan
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Incrementals and Differentials are always named with the Image ID of their parent Full; they only differ in the numbering after the hyphen.  Every Full backup, regardless of whether it came from the same definition file, contains the same source data selections, etc., causes a new Image ID to be generated.  Stated differently, there is exactly one Image ID per backup set, a set being defined as a Full backup and all of its child backups, NOT every backup generated by a particular definition file or every backup set that would be considered "matching" for retention policy purposes.

Edited 4 January 2018 10:06 PM by jphughan
dbminter
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You know what?  Since I use descriptive folders, using descriptive user defined file names is somewhat redundant.  In future, I may update my backup scheme to start using Image ID's instead.  The only real benefit I can think of in using descriptive file names is for the monthly and yearly backups I write to USB HDD and then copy to optical discs.  I have descriptive folders on those, too, but the image files are kept in the root directory.  It would save me having to navigate the folder structure to find out what's on a particular disc.


Or maybe it's too much trouble to change what already works for me.  LOL  It's something to keep in mind, though.


Thanks!

GO

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