47954: Acronis Backup 11.7/11.5: Backing Up to Removable Devices with Regular Drive Swaps

Correct configuring of backup to removable devices with regular drive swaps with Acronis Backup (Advanced) 11.5 Software.

Introduction - why backup to swapped drives might not work

During the backup creation, the corresponding metadata (structural information about the containers of the backed up data) are collected and saved in specific files depending on the vault type. The accurate metadata is essential for correct subsequent backup processing in terms of a single backup plan, since each backup in the chain is dependent on the previously created backups.

The metadata are saved in the vault as well, i.e., on the target location along with the backup archives, and get synchronized with the internal databases of Acronis Software. If the target medium is replaced, the data do not get copied automatically. As a result, it is not possible to find the metadata to base on upon the next task processing which can cause problems by backup creation or prevent retention rules from proper functioning.  

Solution - how to set up backup to swapped drives


Backup to removable devices with regular drive replacement should be performed with an option "Simplified naming of backup files" or in Removable media mode.

Setting up backup to swapped external drives (e.g. multiple USB-drives)

  1. Make sure Agent for Windows is installed on the machine to be backed up. Simplified naming of backup files cannot be set for Agent for VMware or Agent for Hyper-V. If it is a virtual machine, the Agent for Windows must be installed inside it as well.
  2. Connect Acronis Management Console to the local machine: Connection -> New connection -> Manage this machine:
  3. Configure a new backup plan (it is impossible to activate this option in terms of the backup plan that has been processed before).
  4. Expand "Show backup file naming, archive comments" in the Where to back up section:
  5. Tag the "Name backup files using the archive name…" check box:

Setting up backup to swapped RDX drives

When backing up to swapped RDX drives, Removable media mode should be selected for this device in the backup plan.

  1. Connect Acronis Management Console to the local machine: Connection -> New connection -> Manage this machine.
  2. In the Where to back up section select your RDX device.
  3. Select Removable media mode:

  4. The simplified file naming option will be activated automatically.

When backing up to swapped drives, the following functionality is not available

  • Backing up virtual machines by using Agent for VMware or Agent for Hyper-V.
  • Creating a centralized backup plan (configuring a backup plan on Acronis Management Server).
  • Setting up full, incremental and differential backups within a single backup plan. You need to create separate backup plans for each type of backup.
  • Setting up retention rules. If you specify only full backups within the plan, a backup will be overwritten by each task processing. For incremental and differential backups, the whole chain will be overwritten once a new full backup is created.
  • Setting up replication of backups.
  • Setting up regular conversion of backups to a virtual machine.
  • Converting an incremental or differential backup into a full one.

To overcome these restrictions you can set up a separate backup plan for each of the swapped drives.

Restrictions on archive names:

  • The archive name cannot end with a number.
  • The FAT16, FAT32, and NTFS file systems do not allow the following characters in the file name: backslash (\), slash (/), colon (:), asterisk (*), question mark (?), quotation mark ("), less than sign (<), greater than sign (>), and pipe (|).

(!) Please note that this is the only tested and officially supported backup scenario for using swapped drives as target location.

More information

For detailed information on Simplified naming of backup files please click here.

For information on using removable devices click here

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