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Backup Exec 2012 Incremental Backups Very Big

Created: 01 Aug 2013 | 6 comments

Hi All,

I have been trying to resolve this issue myself for a few days now but not getting anywhere at all. Basically, my incremental backup jobs are far too large and despite going through my settings with a fine tooth comb I cannot understand why this is happening.

To give a brief overview of my set-up - Backup Exec 2012 Capacity Edition running on Windows Server 2008. All of my servers to be backed up are Windows 2003 or Windows 2008 - no VM's or Exchange DAG's to muddy the waters until I'm happy with the current set-up.

I have my rotation set to retain data for 1 week - 10 LTO4 tapes in total.

Mon - Thurs jobs are incremental

Friday jobs are full.

I had a backup job running last night - it was incremental and backed up over 160GB from a server which has a total capacity of 180GB. There is **no way** this much data changed over night. It's a simple file server and the incremental jobs used to backup around 4GB of data per night.

The backup job finished at 17:30 with 160GB in total backed up. I have just run the same job again this afternoon and already it is approaching 145GB with some way to go until completion.

What I'd expect to see is the full backup on Friday taking all 180GB's followed by 4 incremental daily jobs taking around 4-10GB per night.

The backup selection is using the modified time and the BERAW agent is installed - latest service pack installed.

Please can someone advise what steps I can take to resolve this issue?


Operating Systems:

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Siddhant Saini's picture

Hello Chris,

I'd consider two things here: 

1. You are aware that irrespective of the type of backup, the System State backup would always be a full backup. 

2. There are scans done by some anti-virus softwares which can cause your incremental backups to become full backups. When the anti-virus scans a file, the Last Access Date is changed to the time of the scan.

One such example is mentioned in this article:

Thanks and Regards,
Siddhant Saini

Kunal.Mudliyar's picture

Change the job properties to Using archive bit and retry the backup job

archive bit.JPEG

Technical Support


Donald Eady's picture

Great great calls by both Kunal and Sidd,

    In agreement with Kunals last statement i would suggest verifying that the job is set to use the archive bit. If it is not please make this correction and rerun the full backup job prior to the next incremental job. below you will find a link explaining Archive bit and modified time backups...

I hope this posting was helpful


pkh's picture

Be aware that using the Archive bit method may increase your backup times because of the extra processing required.

Chris_MKGH's picture

Thanks for those.

Changed the backup to use archive bit so we'll see how it goes this weekend.

Also noted on the server that Symantec SEP was set to do a daily scan rather than weekly as it should have been. Also suspect the daily scan was never actually finishing properly as the server has so many small files (doc, xls etc).

Will update when I return from holiday!

Anthony_D's picture

I would just like to add some comment regarding Incremental Backup, in order to sum-up things properly, for all the users to understand what really happens there.

In Backup Exec 2012, each time you create a new backup job, BEX will include a Full backup job, as well as an Incremental backup job by default in the task. Then you can either remove the Incremental task or not.

On a Windows Client, when you select the whole server content (e.g>>  C:\ and System State) the System State will never be backed-up using the Incremental method. Never ; it will use the Full backup job method. That means if your System State is 10 Gb for instance, your Incremental job will include these 10GB + the C Drive Incremental job, which makes the System State backup redundant.

So if you really want an effective and clever Incremental backup Job, especially if you are running a Backup 2 Disk equipment, here is how you should schedule your backup jobs :

<The target is Server_1>
1st job : Run a Full backup job, including C:\ and System State of the server. This one will be performed, say, once a week.
2nd job : Run a Full D:\ WITHOUT System State (once a week) - where D:\ holds the Data.
3rd Job : Run an INCR backup job based on the 2nd backup job (every day)

This way, you'll backup the System State only once, so that you'll save much storage space.

Hope this helps.