56172: Acronis Backup Service: Initial Seeding

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What is initial seeding and when is it needed

Initial Seeding is an option which helps you if your Internet connection is too slow to back up large amounts of data or the entire machines to the cloud storage. With this service you can save the first full backup locally and then send it to Acronis for upload. After uploading the initial seeding backup, only the incremental backups to that full backup are uploaded to the cloud.

Initial seeding is a paid service and you need to purchase one initial seeding license per each machine you want to seed.

Initial seeding is currently available in the US and Europe.

How to create initial seeding backup

  1. Run Backup Management console.
  2. Select the machine to back up and start creating a new backup plan. It is not possible to create initial seeding backup to the existing backup plan, you need to create a new backup plan.
  3. Select data to back up, backup destination and schedule.
  4. On the Backup options screen, select Use initial seeding:
  5. Select the destination for initial seeding backup, it could be either local or network folder.
  6. Apply the backup plan and run it.

On the first run, Acronis agent creates local backup to the selected destination. When backup finishes, you can send the backup to Acronis for uploading.

(!) Do not delete the initial seeding backup plan. Without that backup plan it’s impossible to continue incremental backups to the seeded full backup.

How to select a drive for sending the backup

Acronis Backup Service supports any local or network hard drive to create initial seeding backup. Acronis accepts only the following hard drive types for initial seeding:

  • external hard disk drives with USB connection
  • SATA hard drives
  • eSATA hard drives

ATA, IDE, and SCSI drives are not accepted.

The hard drive should have one volume and use FAT32 or NTFS file system. Make sure to ship a PSU if external power is required.

You can back up directly to the drive you will send to Acronis or copy the backup to this drive after it is created.

How to prepare the drive for sending

  1. Purchase Initial seeding license and register serial number in your account on Acronis website. See this article if you need help. After the license is registered, it appears on Backup Service panel of My Account web page.
  2. Click on Ship my drive:
  3. You will see your datacenter address in the marked area:
  4. Click the checkbox if you want the hard drive back and you provide the return shipping label in the box:
  5. Print the seeding label:
  6. Now you have all information to send the drive. Pack the drive as described in the next section.

How to package the drive for shipment

It is very important that your hard drive be packaged carefully. Careful packaging will protect your drive from any damage during shipment.

If possible, use the original packaging. Otherwise, packaging materials can be obtained at any shipping outlet or stationary store. You should also include all necessary cables or adapters to the drive. Acronis may not be able to process your initial seeding request if there are no cables included.

The following are instructions about how to package your hard disk drive.

  1. Delicately remove your hard disk drive from the machine. Stick the seeding label you have printed to the drive.
  2. Place the hard drive into an anti-static bag to protect the drive from electrostatic discharge. If you do not have an anti-static bag, simply wrap the hard drive into aluminum foil:
  3. Use a sturdy box that is at least twice the size of the drive. Pack the drive with a bubble wrap around all 6 sides so it can fit tight into the box and cannot be moved within. It is not recommended to use Styrofoam peanuts and jiffy bag for packing as they do not provide enough protection:
  4. Using the website of the shipping company that you chose, prepare and print two prepaid shipping labels:
         1 - Shipping label for sending your hard drive. This label is placed on the top of the box. You should send your package to Acronis data center.
         2 - Shipping label for returning your hard drive. Put this label in the box. If you do not enclose the label, Acronis won’t be able to send the drive back to you. In such case, the hard drive is stored in a safe and after a month will be securely destroyed.
  5. Seal the box with a sturdy tape. Then, stick the shipping label for sending your hard drive to the top of the box, so the label does not wrap around the edge of the package:

How to send the initial seeding backup

  1. Ship the hard drive to the datacenter.
  2. On the initial seeding page of your account, provide tracking number and the carrier.
  3. Select I have followed all the steps and shipped my drive checkbox and click Confirm:

After that Acronis datacenter staff will be notified about upcoming initial seeding hard drive and process it as soon as the mail reaches the datacenter.

How to proceed when upload is completed

When initial seeding backup is uploaded, you will receive an e-mail notification to the address your Acronis account is tied to.

When initial seeding full backup has been uploaded by Acronis, further incremental backups are created according to the schedule within the same backup plan.

After initial seeding backup, all other runs of this backup plan will check whether it was uploaded to cloud storage and fail if the uploaded backup is not found in the cloud.


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