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I know of less than 10 data files I modify regularly that I want backed up. I did a full system backup and tried doing incremental backups every week but find it unnecessary and too long. For example Outlook syncs with all my e-mail accounts using IMAP. I don't want any media files to be backed up.

This may sound silly but I want to check: is there anything I'm not thinking of that needs backing up? For example are there any files that get modified without my knowledge that if I did a full restore, then restore with other files, the computer won't be able to run.

I'm using Acronis True Image 2013. Is there a way to create a schedule for an incremental backup that only backs up select files? If no is there a way to create a schedule for an incremental backup that excludes all media and Outlook files?

I suspect to get some down votes and close votes but could people say why? I think it's a pretty legitimate question "what do I need to backup" encase there's something I'm unaware of.

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It's not backed up if you haven't tested restoring it. Grab some old cheap computer that you can restore to just to test things out. –  Jeff Ferland Apr 22 '13 at 5:22
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closed as off topic by SteveS, Lucas Kauffman, Jeff Ferland Apr 22 '13 at 5:21

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1 Answer

up vote 1 down vote accepted

As with many of these things, the answer is, "Well, it depends"

If you are happy reinstalling the OS from disk, or rebuilding from an image and simply adding in your data files, then maybe you just need to back up your data files. But is your saved image up to date with patches and config changes? Would the OS require thousands of updates if you reinstalled from disk?

You need to look at what scenarios you wish to plan for. In some environments it may be enough to simply hold weekly backups of data, but for others you might want images of all servers backed up incrementally every hour or more frequently.

Determine what you need to keep your business running.

As an example, at home I keep a full backup of my main server every week, but I also keep 2 separate copies of my family photos as they are irreplaceable. I also keep images of my other live servers, but I only update them occasionally - worst case with them I just plan to reinstall from media and then patch. My older servers I hardly bother patching at all - many never get connected to a public network anyway. (And some never had network capability and haven't had OS updates in 25 years...)

So, to summarise, I think your question "What do I need to backup" is unanswerable except in general terms like this, as it is different for everyone.

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