How to schedule your images
In part three of our series on working with Macrium Reflect, we look at scheduling full and incremental images as part of a regular backup cycle.
In the last two tutorials we created full and incremental backup images of drive C. We also saved the options we used as XML backup definition files. In this tutorial I’ll take you through the steps required to schedule these disk images in a backup cycle so that they run automatically. I’ll also show you how to utilize the disk space management options in Reflect so you never have to worry about running out of storage space your backup drive.
What’s a backup cycle?
A good backup cycle is essential to optimize use of available storage space and to protect your computer from sudden failure as well as giving you the ability to recover historical data.
A standard incremental back up routine could follow a seven-day cycle, starting on a Monday at 18.00.
This example is quickest to execute from Tuesday to Sunday and uses less storage on these day’s as only changes since the previous day are saved. There is however, an increased exposure on Tuesday, as at that point only one day’s backup can be restored. If you need to go back to the previous Friday, for example, then unfortunately this isn’t possible.
Example 1 could be modified not to delete the previous full image but to delete the full image from the Monday before that. Therefore this would keep a minimum of 7 Days of data and a maximum of 14 Days (or 30 and 60 days for a thirty-day-cycle).
The obvious disadvantage of this method is that double the amount of disk storage is required. But, if the storage is available, then this is a more comprehensive solution.
We can use the previously created backup definition files for both the full and incremental images of drive C and implement the 7-day-cycle example above
OK, let’s begin by scheduling the full image to run on Mondays…
That’s it! Your full and incremental backup images of drive C are now scheduled to run. If you click on the ‘Scheduled Backups’ tab you can see the schedules you’ve just created.
Note: Reflect actually uses the standard Windows task scheduler to run backup tasks.
Managing Disk Space
These backups will now continuously run every weekday of every week.
However, the drive that hosts your backup directory will soon run out
of disk space. Fortunately we can automatically purge old backups to make
room for the latest. We’ll delete all full backup image files in the backup
directory older than 14 days.
We are done! Drive C is now automatically protected and you have retained a maximum of 14 days history.
If you are unfamiliar with backup routines then this has probably appeared quite a lengthy topic. However, the operations in Reflect have been nothing more than a few clicks. Once it is set up you don’t need to do anything else to keep your PC protected.
In the next tutorial we’ll look at some of the things you can do with VBScript. This is an advanced topic, but you don’t need to know anything about VBScript to get started. So if you wondering, “But how do I do this….” Then read on.