Go Premium for a chance to win a PS4. Enter to Win


daily backup, or normal and then differential/incremental???

Posted on 2002-03-12
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-06-22

I have to backup a large drive of often changing data, of about 20gb on a windows NTFS partition.

I am often asked to recover files/folders for users who have accidently deleted them, and also obviously I would like to be able to restore the whole lot to another drive should a disaster occur.

which of the options in the windows 2000 backup utility should I use?
Question by:tommyh
LVL 44

Accepted Solution

CrazyOne earned 400 total points
ID: 6859140
From the Windows Backup help


Differential backup

A differential backup copies files created or changed since the last normal or incremental backup. It does not mark files as having been backed up (in other words, the archive attribute is not cleared). If you are performing a combination of normal and differential backups, restoring files and folders requires that you have the last normal as well as the last differential backup.

Incremental backup

An incremental backup backs up only those files created or changed since the last normal or incremental backup. It marks files as having been backed up (in other words, the archive attribute is cleared). If you use a combination of normal and incremental backups, you will need to have the last normal backup set as well as all incremental backup sets in order to restore your data.

Normal backup

A normal backup copies all selected files and marks each file as having been backed up (in other words, the archive attribute is cleared). With normal backups, you need only the most recent copy of the backup file or tape to restore all of the files. You usually perform a normal backup the first time you create a backup set.

Backing up your data using a combination of normal backups and incremental backups requires the least amount of storage space and is the quickest backup method. However, recovering files can be time-consuming and difficult because the backup set can be stored on several disks or tapes.

Backing up your data using a combination of normal backups and differential backups is more time-consuming, especially if your data changes frequently, but it is easier to restore the data because the backup set is usually stored on only a few disks or tapes.


Personally Incremental would be my choice because it is a bit faste and it removes the archive attribute from the file being backuped. This way if that file is not used when the next backup occurs then Backup does not neeed to waste time copying it. However if your aim is to be able to restore the files quicker then use differential because for restoring purposed it is a bit faster. It's whatever is most important you. Faster backups versus Faster restore.

The Crazy One
LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 6859856
I think you should use the option of training your users not to be so stupid, frankly. Tell them that backups are there to rescue their work if the building burns down, not to solve problems when they've deleted something they shouldn't have!

Expert Comment

ID: 6861501
Executive Software has a program call Undelete which takes all deleted files and makes them recoverable. You can get the deleted files from there and not have to go to tape. Just monitor it closely so you don't use up all your drive space.
Free Tool: IP Lookup

Get more info about an IP address or domain name, such as organization, abuse contacts and geolocation.

One of a set of tools we are providing to everyone as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.


Author Comment

ID: 6909184
Ive opted for weekly normal backup followed by a daily incremental.

Author Comment

ID: 6909187

I was hoping for an answer that gave a reason for choosing one method over another, rather than merely a copy and paste from the help file.
LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 6909316
Whats wrong the help file explaination. It tells what the difference are. There really isn't much that can be added to it or explain it anymore better than that. And I did give a personal opinion ony why I would use Incremental over Differential. Don't know what else can be said.  

Featured Post

Ask an Anonymous Question!

Don't feel intimidated by what you don't know. Ask your question anonymously. It's easy! Learn more and upgrade.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

NTFS file system has been developed by Microsoft that is widely used by Windows NT operating system and its advanced versions. It is the mostly used over FAT file system as it provides superior features like reliability, security, storage, efficienc…
In this post, I will showcase the steps for how to create groups in Office 365. Office 365 groups allow for ease of flexibility and collaboration between staff members.
How to fix incompatible JVM issue while installing Eclipse While installing Eclipse in windows, got one error like above and unable to proceed with the installation. This video describes how to successfully install Eclipse. How to solve incompa…
Want to learn how to record your desktop screen without having to use an outside camera. Click on this video and learn how to use the cool google extension called "Screencastify"! Step 1: Open a new google tab Step 2: Go to the left hand upper corn…
Suggested Courses

971 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question