Incremental Backup and Restore
Handy Backup / Features / Incremental Backup
Incremental backup is a method that allows reducing the amount of disk space and time required for making regular backups. Unlike full backup which assumes copying of the entire backup set, incremental backup processes only those files that were created or modified since the previous backup. For example, if you do daily incremental backups, Tuesday’s backup will involve only files that appeared or changed since Monday.
Incremental backups allow you to maintain the appropriate level of data retention while using a reasonable amount of storage media. Say that you need to regularly backup photo archive that is frequently updated and reorganized. Backing up gigabytes of the same files is but a waste of time and money. On the other hand, trying to remember each new picture and modification (in order to do a selective backup) is definitely not what is needed for easy and automatic backup. And this is where incremental backups save the day!
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To perform incremental backups, a software must keep track of all files included into the backup task. Upon each task execution, the utility compares the current state on the hard drive with the situation which took place during the most recent backup, and backs up only new and modified files. Handy Backup does this through storing information about each backup task in index files of its own .hbi format.
By default, each time you execute an incremental backup task in Handy Backup, the program updates the destination folder with new and changed files. This approach allows you to always keep an up-to-date backup of the selected data in the desired place (either in normal, or in compressed state). If you also want to save all intermediate versions of data, you need to enable the backup with timestamps option.
With incremental backup with timestamps enabled, with each task execution the utility will create new folders (named correspondingly to current date and time) and place data and index file into them.
Note: At present, Handy Backup supports creating incremental backups of folders and files only. For more advanced features like disk image backup or database backup, incremental backup can’t be enabled.
To restore a backup, you need to create a restore task and select the index file which contains details of the data you want to restore. To restore one of the intermediate incremental backups, you need to browse for the respective index file and use it as a source of information about restoration.
Restore tasks also have a choice between full and incremental restoration. Full restoration suggests restoring the entire data set to the original location, while incremental restoration processes only those files that were deleted or modified.
To learn more about incremental backup and backup with timestamps, please refer to Step 4: Advanced Backup Settings in the User Manual.
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