Since updating to 7.2.x, Image Guardian prevents me from backing up my images to an external hard...


Since updating to 7.2.x, Image Guardian prevents me from backing up my...
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Sigma
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For several years I've used Macrium Reflect to image my SSD to my HDD, then I use Cobian Backup to backup my internal HDD to an external HDD. This was working fine until I updated Macrium Reflect to the 7.2.x version.

When running a backup today, I was getting pop-up notifications from Reflect telling me that Image Guardian had blocked a process from accessing one of my image files. When checking Event Viewer, I could see that Image Guardian was blocking Cobian.exe. What would happen then is, Cobian Backup would retry the file copy process for that particular image file, only for it to once again be blocked by Image Guardian once it hit 100% - rinse and repeat. This kept Cobian Backup trapped in a loop attempting to copy the same image file over and over again.

The only solution I've found is to disable Image Guardian, then Cobian Backup can backup the image files without issues, however, this is the first time I've had to do this since Image Guardian was added to the product. I've always kept it turned on until now.

Why is this happening?

jphughan
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Is the error message referring to a file on the internal HDD (i.e. the source for Cobian's job) or the external HDD?  Does Cobian try to do anything to the source files, like clear the Archive bit?  I mention that specific possibility since you said this occurs after the Cobian job reaches 100%.  Image Guardian was added in Reflect 7.1, so was this working fine with Image Guardian active back then, or did you install Image Guardian for the first time with 7.2?

Edited 2 November 2018 3:38 PM by jphughan
Sigma
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Thanks for the response! I'm not 100% sure whether it's the file on the internal or external that's triggering this. This is the location that appears in the log: -

\Device\HarddiskVolume6\Documents\Backup Files\Reflect Image\

I'm assuming it's the external, but I might be wrong.

Cobian is set to copy the file attributes and time stamps from the source files to the destination files, and it's also set to clear the archive attributes, however, it's been set like that ever since I started using it, so I haven't recently changed any settings in Cobian Backup nor Reflect.

I've used Image Guardian since it was added in 7.1.x, as I thought it was a great addition to the program and would help protect me from ransomware.

jphughan
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Hmm, I would've expected to see a number after "Harddisk" in that path, just like there's one after "Volume".  Is that a typo in your post above or does the log really not show which disk it's talking about?  Another possible way to find out is that the first time the MIG popup appears, it will identify the file it's protecting, so what you can try to do is trigger it again by doing something that will get blocked (try renaming the file or something), then when the popup appears, click the link to reset the warnings.  Then run Cobian and the first MIG popup should show the path to the file that was protected.  If it's the destination of the Cobian job, my guess is that what's happening is that Cobian is copying the file first and then setting the attributes afterward -- and since the file already exists on the destination at that point, the attribute change attempt counts as a modification rather than a new file creation, so MIG blocks it.  If it's the source, then it's probably the Archive bit.

Either way though, if you had Image Guardian active under 7.1, then fyi Image Guardian was reworked under the hood quite a bit for 7.2, so a change in behavior is definitely possible.  In that case, hopefully Macrium can weigh in here on whether this is an unintentional consequence and will get fixed in an update or whether this is a side effect of something they changed deliberately and therefore can't/won't be fixed, e.g. maybe 7.2 Image Guardian now protects against some risk scenario that 7.1 Image Guardian didn't, and that extra protection is being tripped here.

Edited 2 November 2018 4:08 PM by jphughan
Sigma
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I have the external disconnected at the moment, so I tried enabling Image Guardian and then deleting a file that's on my internal HDD to trigger it. In the pop up notification it lists the location as the following (I've removed the file name): -

D:\Documents\Backup Files\Reflect Image\

However in Event Viewer and in Reflect's own Events section, it lists the location as this, the same as the location mentioned in my previous post: -

Device\HarddiskVolume6\Documents\Backup Files\Reflect Image\

So I guess the earlier notifications were about image files on the internal drive, not the external one, which would make the clearing of the archive bit the most likely cause.

As you said, hopefully someone from Macrium can reply and say whether this is deliberate or a bug.

Thanks very much for your help!




Nick
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Sigma - 2 November 2018 3:50 PM
Thanks for the response! I'm not 100% sure whether it's the file on the internal or external that's triggering this. This is the location that appears in the log: -

\Device\HarddiskVolume6\Documents\Backup Files\Reflect Image\

I'm assuming it's the external, but I might be wrong.

Cobian is set to copy the file attributes and time stamps from the source files to the destination files, and it's also set to clear the archive attributes, however, it's been set like that ever since I started using it, so I haven't recently changed any settings in Cobian Backup nor Reflect.

I've used Image Guardian since it was added in 7.1.x, as I thought it was a great addition to the program and would help protect me from ransomware.

Thanks for posting.

Cobian is triggering a blocking notification when it attempts to clear the archive bit on the source file as the file has to be opened with write access.  This is exactly the same behavior as in Reflect v7.1, the difference with 7.2 in that there is now a popup notification to alert you of this,  

As the archive bit modification has always been blocked you might as well just turn that setting off in Cobian then you won't receive any alerts. 

Kind Regards

Nick - Macrium Support

Edited 2 November 2018 4:49 PM by Nick
Sigma
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Why does Cobian get stuck in a loop trying to copy the same image file over though? I have to disable Image Guardian to get that to stop, so that my backup progresses as normal. That didn't happen in any versions of 7.1.

Is there any downside to turning off the clearing of the archive attribute in Cobian, given that I'm doing incremental backups? To be honest, I'm not 100% sure what that feature is for. It was enabled by default when I installed the software years ago.

Thanks for the reply.



Edited 2 November 2018 4:54 PM by Sigma
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Sigma - 2 November 2018 4:53 PM
Why does Cobian get stuck in a loop trying to copy the same image file over though? I have to disable Image Guardian to get that to stop, so that my backup progresses as normal. That didn't happen in any versions of 7.1.

Is there any downside to turning off the clearing of the archive attribute in Cobian, given that I'm doing incremental backups? To be honest, I'm not 100% sure what that feature is for. It was enabled by default when I installed the software years ago.

Thanks for the reply.



Thanks for getting back.

Really not sure why you are seeing a problem with the backup. Testing with Cobian backup 10 doesn't show this behavior with Reflect 7.2 or 7.1.   Is there a log you can post up?

Is there any downside to turning off the clearing of the archive attribute in Cobian, given that I'm doing incremental backups?


Image Guardian (both 7.1 & 7.2) will block this operation, so there obviously isn't any downside to disabling this as you've never actually done it.  I suggest you try un-checking the 'Clear archive attribute'  option and see how you get on. 


Kind Regards

Nick - Macrium Support

Edited 2 November 2018 5:03 PM by Nick
jphughan
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Some file backup applications use the Archive bit to determine what to back up, although I don't know how common they are these days.  Here's how it works: Whenever a file gets modified (or created), Windows sets the Archive bit, basically saying, "Hey, this file has changed or is new and therefore needs to be backed up."  Then, file-level backup applications that manage the Archive bit will clear the Archive bit after they've successfully backed up that file, indicating that it no longer needs to be backed up.  Then when it gets modified again, the Archive bit is set again -- rinse and repeat.  This means that you can technically configure a file-level backup application such that it only backs up files that have the Archive bit set at the time of the backup, using that as the indicator of what's changed.  But the FAR more common approach these days is for file-level backup applications to determine what to back up based on whether the file size or Date Modified timestamp has changed, since that's a more reliable indicator.  The restriction to that approach is that it requires the last backup to be available for comparison.  If you only use the Archive bit, you can theoretically tell which of your files have been modified since your last backup even if you don't have the last backup available to compare against.  However, the restriction to the Archive bit approach is that it doesn't allow for more complex backup solutions such as GFS scenarios where you might capture daily Incrementals and weekly Differentials.  The Archive bit would be fine for the Incrementals, but when you then wanted to make a Differential based on the root Full, the Archive bit would be useless for figuring out what had changed since the Full, because it would have been cleared when the last Incremental was created.  The Archive bit is more geared toward scenarios where you're simply replicating a set of files from one location to another and just want the backup to be current, as opposed to wanting to maintain historical versions.

Edited 2 November 2018 5:16 PM by jphughan
Sigma
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I'm using Cobian Backup 11. The log from today doesn't show any issues whatsoever, but I sat there and watched it get stuck in a loop where it would copy a Reflect image file from D to F, then Image Guardian would kick in with a warning once the progress for that particular file hit 100%, then Cobian would start copying the exact same image file over from D to F again - rinse and repeat. After this happened a handful of times I launched Reflect and turned Image Guardian off - this was while Cobian was part way through making another attempt at copying the file over - and once I'd done that the backup progressed as normal and completed with 0 errors in the log.

I'm worried that if I turn off clearing the archive bit, Cobian will end up backing up my entire D drive to F, apart from just the files that are new or that have changed. To me that would be a bigger pain than just turning Image Guardian off

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