Is it possible to make Separated Backups at the top level?

Questions about Cobian Reflector
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BoffinBrain
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Joined: 04 Oct 2021, 10:30

Is it possible to make Separated Backups at the top level?

Post by BoffinBrain »

The "Create new separated backups" option has the following description: "If checked, new backup copies will be created using a time stamp."

When I read this, I get the impression that a 'backup copy' would be the backup as a whole, so if run on a regular schedule, you would end up with something like:

Code: Select all

- TopLevelFolder 2022-05-10 00;00;00
- TopLevelFolder 2022-05-11 00;00;00
- TopLevelFolder 2022-05-12 00;00;00
This would be consistent with how other backup utilities bundle things up - for example, with Acronis, you'd end up with archive files named Data_full_b1_s1_v1.tib, Data_inc_b2_s1_v1.tib and so on.

What actually happens: it adds timestamps to the names of folders at the lowest depth(s) [Edit: it doesn't always seem to apply to the lowest depth so I'm not sure what the actual behaviour is!], which might look like the following:

Code: Select all

- TopLevelFolder
- - SubFolder
- - - SubSubFolder 2022-05-10 00;00;00
- - - SubSubFolder 2022-05-11 00;00;00
- - - SubSubFolder 2022-05-12 00;00;00
This behaviour would make recovery of a backup extremely difficult due to the potentially huge number of folders that would need to be traversed and renamed manually, since Cobian has no automated restore features and doesn't catalog things. I'm actually not sure what the use case is for this kind of option.

Is there a way to make Reflector behave like in the first example? If not, could this be added in a future edition?
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cobian
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Re: Is it possible to make Separated Backups at the top level?

Post by cobian »

Hmm.. are you sure that this is the actual behavior? Only the top level directory (or file) will get the time stamp:

- TopLevelFolder 2022-05-10 00;00;00
- - SubFolder
- - - SubSubFolder
- - - SubSubFolder
- - - SubSubFolder
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BoffinBrain
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Re: Is it possible to make Separated Backups at the top level?

Post by BoffinBrain »

OK, I've narrowed down the cause of the timestamping behaviour. It adds a timestamp to every folder that's in the Sources list. In my case I'm backing up multiple discrete locations at different depths (and on different drives) so they're all over the place, despite using Absolute Paths.
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cobian
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Re: Is it possible to make Separated Backups at the top level?

Post by cobian »

Yes, that's right. Every item (directory or file) in the source will be handled individually and the time stamp will be added.
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BoffinBrain
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Re: Is it possible to make Separated Backups at the top level?

Post by BoffinBrain »

So, with ease of restoration in mind, is it possible to make Reflector do timestamping at the top level only, while also maintaining a series of incremental backups? It just seems like a far more useful way to organise things. Or am I better off continuing to use a solution like Acronis?
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cobian
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Re: Is it possible to make Separated Backups at the top level?

Post by cobian »

The top level (the destination) may already exist and must be used as-it. This has been the behavior since 2008.
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BoffinBrain
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Re: Is it possible to make Separated Backups at the top level?

Post by BoffinBrain »

Yep, I understand that the existing behaviour has been around for a very long time, but I'm trying to understand why that kind of behaviour would be useful for anyone. From the perspective of someone who might want to restore from a backup in the future, there would be a lot of manual work required to rename folders.

With the behaviour I describe, it would simply be a matter of merging (copy+pasting) a timestamped full backup with subsequent incremental/differential backups. Is that a behaviour you think would be worth adding to a future version?

(And yes, I'd expect the destination to exist already, so you could potentially add your own directory under the destination that is purely for timestamping purposes, with all the contents of that backup inside that directory.)
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BoffinBrain
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Re: Is it possible to make Separated Backups at the top level?

Post by BoffinBrain »

I guess I'll just carry on using Cobian for full backups for now.
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cobian
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Re: Is it possible to make Separated Backups at the top level?

Post by cobian »

:OK
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