Apart from creating a "Full backup" (FB) every time I believe that computer backup schemes always begin with a FB and one can then choose for subsequent backups to be of the “Incremental” (IB) or “Differential” (DB) type. If one chooses the “IB” scheme then one must keep every single IB and a fault in any one IB, or a missing IB, will cause the chain to break rendering the entire backup scheme corrupt and useless. After some time it may be that there are 100 or 200 IBs so the chances of an error in one of them gets larger. If, instead, one chooses the “DB” scheme and, say, saves all but the last four DBs then, even if one is corrupt, there are another three DBs to choose from because there is no chain to break. Have I understood this correctly? If I am correct then why, oh why, does the IB option exist? In fact I believe it is usually the "Default" backup option which amazes me and so I choose the DB option. Am I missing something?
It is not helped by each program using a different name for each type of Backup
I reckon I will change to what you do Fruit Bat and only do Full backups (FB). That way it gets around any 'linking' of backups and it is simpler. I'll just keep my original FB (which is the 'cleanest' as it was done soon after OS installation) plus two 'recent' FBs. Incidentally I did read somewhere that someone's Incremental backup scheme did fail due to an error in one of the IBs thereby 'breaking the chain' and they could not restore their system. Unfortunately I cannot find the article again so I cannot point you to it.
I have used differential and incremental in the past and have been unable to restore the backups so that now I always use Full Backups - every two weeks and retain the latest two Full Backups (just in case)
If using Acronis a Full Backup is verifiable (from within Acronis) to give you that assurance.
Thanks compumac for confirming that the risk is there regarding both IBs and DBs. I am using Macrium Reflect Free (MRF) and I have always had the 'Auto verify' option selected and after each DB I see the message "Image and verification completed successfully". However even a small risk of not being able to restore from the backup is best reduced even more and doing FBs seems to be the best way to achieve this. Every two weeks seems OK to me but MRF scheduling options are 'weekly' or 'monthly' so do I take it you are doing your FBs manually and not using a scheduler?
I do FB's manually every two weeks, or if there is an important update (Windows or Programme) I do a FB before and after updates.
Every month I also do a separate FB that is made to an external drive that is only connected to the PC for the duration of the backup.
OK. Thanks for your input. In my case I will manually run a FB on the 1st monthly followed by another FB around the 15th. This way each FB will be stand-alone, independent of each other so a fault with one will not impact any other FB. I'll call this "Answered" now.
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