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Will a differential SQL Server 2008 backup job work this way?

Posted on 2011-03-24
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I setup a maintenance plan to just backup databases. I selected only differential, expire after 7 days. It ran for the first time last night and most of the databases were backed up (full). Some however said they failed because they needed a full first. So my questions are as follows:

1. If I run a manual full backup on the databases that did not get backed up will the subsequent differential backups work?

2. Will the old backups be deleted after 7 days or does the expire mean something else? I believe I need to add the maintenance cleanup task to delete files but would like confirmation.

Basically the goal is to always have 7 days of backups, one of which is a full and the rest differential. Nothing more, nothing less, and no manual interaction needed to keep it that way.
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Question by:ThorinO
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6 Comments
 
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by:chapmandew
chapmandew earned 2000 total points
ID: 35207666
1.  Yes.  Differentials and trans log backups have to have a full first, otherwise they've nothing to backup.
2.  Yes, they'll be removed.
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by:ThorinO
ID: 35207689
Most of the databases ran fine and created a full backup, I'm not sure why only a few did not run, do you have any thoughts on that?

2. So the expire will take care of the removal and I don't need the cleanup task?
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chapmandew earned 2000 total points
ID: 35207755
The cleanup task should take care of it.

The ones that did not run,  you'll just need to take a full backup of them (and make sure you do regular full backups from here out).
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by:ThorinO
ID: 35207780
Can I do full/differential in 1 maint plan or do I have to have full and a diff plan setup and the full go before the diff
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by:chapmandew
chapmandew earned 2000 total points
ID: 35207828
so, a differential is everything that has happened since the last full backup.  So, a full has to be taken before the differential.  

Often, a full backup is take every night or so, and a differential is taken a couple times throughout the day.
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by:ThorinO
ID: 35352850
I created a new job that runs a full and differential, still watching it to see if it is working the way I want.
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