29054: Acronis Backup: Switching between Removable/Fixed Mode of RDX and USB Drives

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Last update: 13-07-2017

This article describes peculiarities of backing up to removable devices

This article applies to:

  • Acronis Backup 11.5 (Acronis Backup & Recovery 11.5)
  • Acronis Backup & Recovery 11 Build 17437 or higher

By a removable device, we mean an RDX drive or USB flash drive. A USB hard disk drive is not considered to be a removable device unless it is recognized as such by the operating system.

In Linux, an RDX drive or USB flash drive is considered to be a removable device if it is specified by its name (for example, sdf:/. If a device is specified by its mount point (for example, /mnt/backup), it behaves as a fixed drive.

The method of working with removable disk libraries (multi-cartridge devices) depends on the device type, brand, and configuration. Therefore, each case should be considered individually.

Vaults on removable devices

Before backing up a machine to a removable device, you can create a personal vault. If you do not want to, the software will automatically create a personal vault in the drive folder selected for backing up.

  • Centralized vaults cannot be created on removable devices.
  • Vaults created on removable devices do not have the Data view tab.

Usage modes of removable devices

When creating a backup plan, you can choose whether to use your removable device as a fixed drive or as removable media. The Fixed drive mode presumes that the removable device will always be attached to the machine. The Removable media mode is selected by default.

When you back up using the Back up now feature or under bootable media, the removable device is always used in the Removable media mode.

When you back up using Agent for Exchange, Agent for VMware (Windows) or Agent for Hyper-V, the removable device is always used in the Fixed drive mode.

The difference between the two modes is mostly related to retention and replication of backups.

Functionality  Fixed drive  Removable media

If there is insufficient space to continue backing up, the software will prompt you to... 

...manually free up disk space.  ...insert new media.
You can set retention rules for backups stored on the device.  Yes  No
You can set the option to clean up the archive "When there is insufficient space while backing up" within the Custom backup scheme.  Yes  No
Simplified naming of backup files...  ...is unavailable. ...is always used.
You can replicate backups to the removable device.  Yes  No
You can replicate backups from the removable device.  No  No

An archive with several full backups can be created.


No. Before creating a new full backup, the software will delete the entire archive and start a new one.

You can delete any backup of any archive. Yes No. You can delete only a backup that does not have dependent backups.

Since the removable device mode determines the naming scheme for backup files, the Name backup files using the archive name... check box does not appear when the backup destination is a removable device.