63444: Acronis True Image 2020: tibx backups in local destinations

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Introduction

Acronis True Image 2020 introduced a new backup format - .tibx, which is even more reliable and convenient. The .tibx format is used for disk backups created to internal drives, external drives, network storage. 

This article describes how .tibx archives look and behave outside of Acronis True Image interface.

Description

A local .tibx file can contain:

  • one full backup
  • one full backup and one or more incremental backups
  • one differential backup
  • one differential backup and one or more incremental backups

A local .tibx file cannot contain:

  • just incremental backups, without a full or differential backup

Names and relationship between .tibx files

The first full backup name exactly matches the backup name specified in Acronis True Image graphical user interface (GUI).

Set the backup name (option Rename in the backup drop-down menu) before saving backup plan for the first time. Once a backup plan is saved, it cannot be renamed.

For example, backup plan named "System partition" will produce the first full backup file "System partition.tibx".

If you selected Incremental backup method under Options - Backup scheme, then first incremental backups (until the next full backup) will be written to the same file "System partition.tibx". If you used earlier versions of Acronis True Image, you may expect a separate .tib file to be produced on each run of the backup - writing all incremental backups to the same file is one of the changes from the .tib format. It is not possible to force the old behavior to put incremental backups in separate .tibx files.

Regardless of the chosen backup scheme and types (full, incremental, differential), subsequent .tibx files will have an ever-increasing number appended to the backup name:

backup name-0001.tibx

backup name-0002.tibx

backup name-0003.tibx

etc.

It is not possible to tell whether a backup is full or differential by looking at its name. Use "Clean up versions..." backup menu to see backups' types and their relationship. See How to view and manage backup versions in new backup format

For example, if you run the backup 7 times, using the default setting Create a full version after every 5 incremental versions it will produce:

  • 1 full backup, stored in "System partition.tibx"
  • 5 incremental backups, stored all in the same file "System partition.tibx"
  • 1 new full backup, stored in "System partition-0001.tibx"
If you have several .tibx files belonging to the same backup, be aware that Date modified parameter of the existing backup file may change when the new backup is run. This is expected behavior, due to the way metadata is written to backups in new backup format.

Do not delete the first .tibx file (12KB)

After the very first backup version is deleted, the .tibx backup file itself ("System partition.tibx" in the example above) will not be deleted. Instead, it will drastically reduce in size, down to 12KB or similar size.

This file is required for proper functioning of backup browsing mechanism.

Do not delete the first backup, even if it is several KB in size, because that would render unusable all other backup versions in that backup plan.

The 12KB .tibx file will remain for as long as you keep the given backup. It will be deleted if you delete the backup along with all of its versions (backup menu option Delete - Delete entirely).

A single-digit number in the backup name

Sometimes you may see a single-digit number before .tibx or the usual 4-digit sequence, e.g. "backup name-1.tibx" or "backup name-1-0001.tibx":

That extra number is added in 2 cases:

  1. When running a backup without adding a previously created backup to the list using "Add existing backup" feature:

  2. When creating a second backup plan with the same name as already existing backup plan:

For example, when you remove a backup plan from the list using Delete - Remove option, that keeps the .tibx file in place, and just removes the backup plan from the program interface. Subsequently, when at any time in the future you create a new backup plan with the same name as before, the software considers it as a independent backup plan, without any relationship to the existing backup and adds a single digit number to the .tibx name to distinguish it from the earlier made backup. The previous backup (without the single-digit number in the name) remains inaccessible for recovery until you add it to the list as a separate backup.

New .tibx file, created within such backup plan will have -0001 added after -1:

  • backup name-1-0001.tibx
  • backup name-1-0002.tibx
  • backup name-1-0003.tibx

To avoid the single-digit number being added automatically to your backup name:

  • always use the option "Add existing backup" as on the screenshot above, when you want to continue an earlier made backup
  • give backup plans unique names

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