5529: Acronis Backup & Recovery 10: Creating a Backup Plan to Removable Media (Multiple External USB/Flash Drives)

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Last update: 08-11-2013

Create a backup plan to have the backups saved to the root of the USB disk or to a certain folder on the disk

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For offsite backup purposes, you may want to create a backup plan which will create backups onto multiple USB disks that you can swap on a daily or weekly basis.

(!) Starting from Build 12457 you can use Simplified archive naming to set up a backup plan to several USB disks or to store only one backup. See Acronis Backup & Recovery 10: Simplified Archive Naming.

If you use an earlier build, as a workaround you can use the solution in this article. Please note, the strategy described below only works for local USB drives and only for personal vaults.

You cannot create managed vaults on a USB drive. For details please see Acronis Backup & Recovery 10: Acronis Storage Node Does Not Support Swapped Drives.

This article covers the following:

Setting up a backup plan to multiple USB disks

  1. Assigning the correct drive letter:

    In order for such a backup solution to work, all USB drives must have the same drive letter.

    Make sure that every USB disk that you are planning to use has the same drive letter, e.g R.

    To do so:

    • Click on Start;
    • Right click on My Computer or Computer;
    • Click on Manage;
    • Click on Disk Management;
    • Find your USB disk, right click on it and click on Change Drive Letter and Paths.

    It is recommended not to use a standard drive letter such as D or E, as it may conflict with flash media. Instead use B, or R.

  2. Selecting a backup destination:
    • It is recommended to use the root folder of the backup. e.g. R:\
    • If you would like to back up to a folder, e.g. R:\Backups, then you must create the Backups folder on every USB disk that you will use.
  3. Creating backup plan:

    Run Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 and click Back up;

    Select what you would like to back up, and select your USB disk as the destination.

  4. Set up the schedule and Retention rules.

    Here you may create a standard backup plan with full, incremental, or differential backups, using any of the provided backup plans and set up Retention rules which suit you best. This is useful when you are swapping your disks around once a week.

    Please note that on every new hard disk the first time you run the backup, you will see a warning message in the logs: Archive was re-created. This simply means that the archive was missing, and it was created. Once you have created at least one backup onto every disk, this message will not appear anymore.

Setting up a backup plan to store only one backup

In some cases you may want set up the product to create and keep only one backup on each disk. This is useful if you rotate your USB disks on a daily basis.

To set up the product to create and keep only one backup in any given archive, please do the following:

  1. Select a Custom backup scheme:

  2. Schedule your full backup to run on a daily or weekly basis.
  3. Set up your Retention rules to:
    • Keep the archive size within 1 MB
    • Retain the backup until all dependent backups become subject to deletion

  4. Set Apply retention rules to run After backup.

    The final screen should look like this:

    Now you can run your backups.

    Each time the backup runs, the product will create a new backup, and then it will delete the old one. Please make sure that the target has always enough space to fit two full backups.

    If you do not have enough space to fit two backups, then set up the Retention rules to When there is insufficient space while backing up. However, this option is not recommended.

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