Create a weekly full backup, a daily differential backup, and a monthly image backup (With Retention)

NovaBACKUP
Last Updated: Nov 17, 2016 08:18AM PST
A guide to create, schedule, and implement a backup retention policy for:

A weekly full backup, daily differential backup & a monthly full image backup

 
This guide will provide a step-by-step instructions on how to create, schedule, and implement a backup retention policy for a weekly full backup, a daily differential backup, and a monthly full image backup. This is the recommended way to backup all of your data while making that sure you don't run out of space over time. 

1. Creating the weekly full backup

Firstly, click on the Start button or the Backup tab to begin this process.


From here you are going to assign a name to the backup job, you will want to remember your backup name.



Now that you have the created the name for the backup job, we are going to select the files we want to backup. Remember that since this is a file backup and not an image backup we only want to backup files that are documents, media, and program data that you have from your particular programs. You would never want to backup your Windows folders, and system files because they are constantly in use. These files are constantly changing and are not recommended for backups. You will receive errors if you try to restore those files onto another computer, and you can potentially corrupt your system. It’s best to do backups on files and folders that you use like media, documents, and program data that is used for your particular programs.



From the "Backup Tab", click on “Backup to” button. This will allow us to select the destination of where you want to store the backups once it has finished being created. Generally, you would want to backup your files to an external hard drive so that in the event this computer crashed, you would still have your backups containing your files and folders on hand. For this example I am just going to place this in the C:drive. Additionally, please match your backup name to your media name which can be found under "Backup To". (Please refer to the image below)



Click on settings and look at the configuration in backup settings. The write mode which has the options of “Overwrite media” and “Append to media”. For this particular backup you are going to change to "Append to media", since we will be creating a retention policy for these weekly backups. For the “backup mode” we will leave it the way it is because it is already under the option that we want for this particular job. You can leave the other options alone for now and click ok. 

 

Now for the first backup we are going to click on the purple floppy disc icon which is the "save current job" button. The way to save a new or second job is by going into the NovaBackup Home button and clicking the "save as" button.



Now you have created the Backup job, but you want to place it on a weekly schedule. So let’s go to the schedule button so you create the weekly schedule we want. 



For this example, we are going to start the weekly backups on Monday the 14th. We are going to set the time to 1AM so the backup process won’t be during anytime that you may want to use the computer. Then you are going to have it repeat every week on that Monday. Next change the “run this job” option to “run as specific user” and enter your windows login credentials. If you don’t have a domain or if you are not in a custom workgroup, then you can leave the domain blank. After checking the credentials, click ok.



If we go to the schedule tab, you will notice your weekly scheduled full backup. Now that you have created your weekly schedule, let’s go ahead and create your daily differential. Go back to the backup tab to start on your daily differential backup job.







2. Creating the daily differential backup

When working on your second job you should remember that you technically are not on a new job yet but rather the previous backup job you were on; your weekly full backup. You are going to edit the one we have here and save it as a new file all together. This way, you won’t have to reselect the files and folders you want to backup. 



Enter the new name of the daily differential backup job name, then you can highlight and copy the name so you can paste it in the media name entry when we click on the “backup to” button. This just makes it easier instead of typing the whole naming convention over again. Then click ok



Go to settings and change the Write mode to "append to media" and change the mode to "Differential". Afterwards, click ok.



Next go to the NovaBackup Logo on the top left and click on the “save as” button. This is very important because up until this point, the program thinks you are editing the first job which is the weekly full. If you did a normal save, then you would overwrite over that file when you want to create another one so make sure to click the “save as” button.



Check the name to make sure it matches the same naming convention that is in the backup name. If it is not the same then change it to make it the same.



From there, we are going to go the schedule button so we can plan our daily backups. For this example, we are going to set this schedule to daily, and you want it to start 1 day after your full backups so let’s place this on Tuesday the 15th. You are going to set the time again to 1AM and you are going to let it repeat every day besides Monday because Monday is when the full backup takes place. Go ahead and change the “run this job” option to “run as specific user” and enter your windows login credentials like before. Click ok and when you go to the schedule tab, both jobs should be there. 






3. Creating the monthly image backup

Now that you have created your weekly and your daily backups schedule, let's now create your monthly image backup job. Since this is an image backup and not a file based backup, you would need to click on the home tab then click on the “Image Backup” button.




From here you are going to select "Image Backup Schedule" and click next.



For image backups, you are going to select Full and click next. 



Here is where you select your physical drive for image backup. For this example, we are just going to select the Disk 0 C: drive and click next.



Type of the naming convention for this image backup name and afterwards, choose the backup destination or the location of where this image will be saved. As before, you ideally want to store these types of backups on a different, perhaps, external drive so that if your system does crash, you have your image backup on a complete different physical drive where you can now perform restores of that image. For this example, we are just going to save it in the C drive. Keep the image type “Used sectors” and uncheck “Overwrite previous image backup”. Keep the "Compress the backup" option and leave the "Verify after backup" option unchecked. Then click next.



Here is where you are going to make your schedule for the image backup. You are going to change the type of schedule to monthly and change the first day to 13th. You are going to change the time to 3:00AM so that you have two hours for your daily backup before the full image kicks in. You are going to change the repeat options to once every month on the first of the month. As before you are going change the “run this job” option to “run as specific user” and enter your windows login credentials. After checking the credentials, you can click Finish and now your image backup schedule that you created is now in the schedule tab ready for its first image backup.






4. Creating backup retention policies for your scheduled backups

Now that you have that you have all three backup jobs scheduled you are going to make retention policies for each of these backup jobs. Remember, that a retention policy is a way to instruct your backups to delete old backups so you don’t lose space over time. It looks at how many backups you have and if there are more backups than what the retention was set for, it will delete the oldest backups. 

So let’s first create a retention policy for our weekly full backup. Click on “Backup Retention” and from there you click on new. Here we are going place the name of the backup we are making the retention policy for and we are going add the words “_retention_policy” so that you know that this is the retention policy and not backup.



Click open, and it will say that this it will reset everything to default. Go ahead and click yes. 



From here you are going change the “Backup type to process” as normal backup since this is a file based backup and not an image backup. You are going to change the backup setting to “count” only. This is a way easier system to work with and will make sure there are no confliction or off days on your backup retention policy. Next you are going change the “maximum valid backup count” to what you want you want. Remember that this is a weekly backup so if you change the number from 1 to let’s say 3, then that means that you will have 3 backup files or 3 weeks’ worth of backups. Since we want to have full redundancy we are going to put the maximum valid backup count to 4. This will give us about a month’s worth of backups.



From here click on the advance tab. You are going to change media type to process to disk because you are going to be backing up to a disc drive. Next, you are going to uncheck the remove index logs options and go to then go to the Process media name field. This is important because this is what tells the retention which backup name to look for so it can place the retention rules on them. I am going to place the exact name I have for my weekly full backup into the field.



Then click on save and the name should already be filled at the bottom because you created a new one when you click on “open” earlier. If the name is not there then place the name of the backup we are making the retention policy for and we are going add the words “retention_policy” so that you know that this is the retention policy and not the backup.



Now if you notice, your Backup retention is not in the schedule tab yet; and that is because you have not added the retention policy to the schedule yet. So you are going to click on add so we can add the retention to the schedule.



From here you are going to click on the small little down arrow at the top right so you can select your backup retention policy that you have created for your weekly full backup. Usually we place them in the Utility folder in the NovaBackup user script folders but if you placed your backup jobs or scripts along with your retention policies scripts in a different folder you can go to them here. Afterwards, click open and from here you can start to create the schedule for the backup retention. You want to make the retention schedule match the backup schedule. The only difference you are going to make is that you are going to place the retentions 5 minutes before the backups. That way, the retention looks to see if it needs to delete any older backups first, then your backups will run 5 minutes later. So for this example you are going to set the date to the 7th like before but instead of 1am you are going to put 12:55am to let the retention go before the weekly full backup. Like before change to run as specific user and check your windows login credentials. Then click ok.


And now you have created your first retention schedule. Now you will do the same process for your daily differential backups and your monthly full image backups. 

In the schedule tab and go to backup retention again. Click on "New" and enter the name of the daily differential job name and then add retention_policy and press open. 



Like before it will tell you that this will default all the setting; click yes. Now you are going to change backup process to normal and change backup setting to count. From here choose how many files you want to retain before the retention policy deletes the oldest file. Since this is a daily differential backup and you have a weekly full backup once a week, I am going to set this to 6. So after 6 backup files it will delete the oldest differential backup file from your daily differential backups. 



Next go to the advance tab. Change type to process to disk and uncheck remove index logs. Then you are going to place the daily differential media name here so this retention policy knows to look for these particular backups. Double check everything just to make sure, then click on save.



Make sure that your job name has “retention_policy” at the end so you can know the difference between the backup jobs and the retentions.



From here click add and then select the job schedule button so you can add your daily differential retention policy to the schedule. As before you are going to have the retention run 5 minutes before the actual job so it can delete older backups before making new ones. For this daily differential example you will putting the time again to 12:55am so that the retention can run 5 minutes before the daily backups. Like before change to run as specific user and check your windows login credentials. Then click ok



Now it’s time to finish off with creating your monthly image retention policy.



Go back to the schedule tab and go to backup retention. Click on New and place the name of the monthly full image job name and then add retention_policy and press open. 



Click ok and reset everything to default values. Next change the Backup type process to "Image backup" since this is for our monthly full image backup and then change the backup setting to count. From here you are going to put 2 as the maximum valid backup count so that you will have 2 months’ worth of full image backups.



From here go to the advance tab and change the Backup media process to disk and uncheck the remove index logs. (Now I just want to mention that technically you don’t need to place anything in the process media name because this is the only image backup job that you have. If I had more than 1 image job, then you would want to place the media name in this field so the retention can know what backup it needs to look for to place the retention rules on. With that being said, for this example you are still going to place the media name in here in case you decide on making another image backup job in the same destination location.)  After you have double checked everything, then go ahead and click on save.



The last step we are going to do is add that retention policy to the schedule. Click on add to find your retention job that you have just made. Remember that by default your retention policies would be in the utility folder in your Novabackup program data but if you saved them somewhere else, now would be the time to search and locate them. Then change the schedule to monthly and let’s put the retention 5 minutes before the monthly image backup. In this example, that would be on the 13th at 2:55am. Like before change to run as specific user and check your windows login credentials. Then click ok



And that is it. So now you see your Daily differential backup, your weekly full backup, your monthly full image backup, and the retention policies for each. This will ensure you have good redundancy and will ensure that your backups won't clog up space on your drive.

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