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Differential/Incremental backup not working properly

Created: 13 Jun 2012 • Updated: 14 Jun 2012 | 7 comments

Hello everyone!

I'm using BE 2010 R2 and got the following issue.

I make B2D full backup(reset archive bit)(Overwrite only), and then immediately try to make a differential/incremental backup.

The same backup list for both full and incr/diff is used; otherwise different media sets for both backups are used(configurated to unlimited append).

The dif/inc backup(7 servers, 97 GB), following by full backup start to fill space up to insane 140+ GB (I stopped the process, cause it was way too long)

I tried various configs of dif/inc backups(archive bit/time of modification) and etc.

To my mind If I made full backup, then immediately made incremental then it's gonna be like some kilobytes. Obviously something is wrong with my configuration. How do I make dif/inc backups work properly?

Thanks in advance!

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CraigV's picture



If you're not using a policy, recreate your jobs as such...then try the backups again.

Also, consider an upgrade to BE 2010 R3 with SP2. It's free, you can use your current licenses, it's straight-forward (grab a copy of your Data/Catalogs folders first!), and it fixes a number of issues with previous versions.


Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

pkh's picture

Are your servers Windows servers?  If not, you got to use the modified time method.

Have you tried the modified time method?  This is needed for Linux/Unix servers and NAS devices.

marcusolini's picture

Are any of the servers being backed up a BE Media Server?  If so, any chance that the B2D folder is included in the backup selection?  When able, please narrow down which incremental server backup's byte count is unexpectedly high and characterize the server for us.  Thanks.

VladimirVI's picture

Yes, I backup 6 servers and one of them is my BE server. Yes, B2D folder was included in backup. I excluded it now(only system backup, C:\ and etc.) But still it fills too much space(I believe that filling a single Gb is abnormal). I tried to backup all the servers as I described in 1st post separately, using their own policies. Incremental backup size varies depending on full backup size. Full backup of one server is 7.5 Gb and incremental is 1,4. Others got ratios like 18.4/6.3, 12.4/2.5 and etc.
I don't think it's useful information for you, but I don't know what to do.
All the systems being backed up, are running windows.
Policies configured to make inc/dif backup right after full backup. So there's no possible chance for files to be modified.
Some servers got antivirus soft(Sym. Endpoint protection), but I can't imagine how it modifies 6 Gb of files in 30 seconds.
Is there other possible ways to configure daily partitial(inc/dif) backups? It's crucial point in my current project.
Another question is how can I verify that archive bit has been reset?
Thanks for replies!

marcusolini's picture

Keep in mind that when backing up System State, a full backup is always performed regardless of the backup type that is selected.  This System State full backup behaviour has been present in Backup Exec since the inception of System State for the Windows Operating System.

Hopefully this additional fact clears up the unexpectedly high backup size during incremental backups.

With that said, modifying the backup and restore behaviour of System State is discussed during the elaboration phase of every Backup Exec release.  And that is no different for the next release that is in development.  In fact, for the current BE 2012 release a couple of System State restore enhancements were introduced.  One is that a System State option so that System Files are no longer overwritten during restore unless they have changed; in previously releases all System Files were always overwritten.  Also, for a full-incremental chain, only the last System State incremental backup (actually a full) is only restored.  These enhancements were targeted to decreasing restore time.

Thank you for investigating and responding so quickly.  Hope that this information proves helpful.

VladimirVI's picture

Thank you so much! So it's normal for such backups to be this size?
And what are exactly being backed up while System state is backing up? I want to understand what cause such a different weights of backups and on what its' weight depend.
Thanks a lot again!

marcusolini's picture

The following is a list of the components of System State, which is based on the operating system, roles, and features installed…

Active Directory, Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS), Certificate Services, Cluster Quorum, COM+ Class Registration Database, Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), Event Logs, File Server Resource Manager (FSRM), Internet Information Services, MS Search Service, Network Policy Server (NPS), Performance Counter, Registry, Remote Storage, Removable Storage Manager (RSM), Shadow Copy Optimization, System Files, SYSVOL, Task Scheduler, Terminal Server Licensing (TSL), Terminal Services Gateway (TSG), VSS Express Writer, Windows Deployment Services (WDS), Windows Internet Name Service (WINS), Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI)

The largest System State components are typically System Files and Active Directory.

To identify the specific System State components and files that are present on the operating system, review the XML files that are present in the Backup Exec Logs directory.  For example, for the System State System Files component see: “C:\Program Files\Symantec\Backup Exec\Logs\{E8132975-6F93-4464-A53E-1050253AE220} - System Writer.xml”.