How to change the location of the FPI data folder utilized by Generic S3 Storage Device backup indexes in NovaBACKUP 19.8 and 20.x. You can utilize this method to change the location and move the existing "FPI" data folder, which stores Generic S3 Storage Device backup index data which are necessary to be able to perform restores of backups, to a new location on the 19.8 and 20.x backup client machine, as by default that folder exists in 'C:\ProgramData\NovaStor\NovaBACKUP\FPI\' and due to those records being stored there for every backup you would perform to a Generic S3 Storage Device has the ability to grow over time and in that case typically you would be changing the location to utilize a completely different hard drive. This needs to be a local hard disk based storage location, and should NOT be a network path based storage location. Note: You can only make this settings change one time, if you need to do it more than once, to change custom folder location to a different custom folder location, like D:\FPIData to E:\FPIData, you have to pay special attention to the workaround mentioned near the bottom to do that properly.
A reason why you may want to have this FPI data folder exist on a different hard drive on the client system (which by default stores to the 'C:\ProgramData\NovaStor\NovaStor NovaBACKUP\FPI\' folder, even if you custom define the NovaBACKUP Temporary Files folder location already) which will also move the existing content to another custom defined location would be that this folder can grow quite large depending on the number of Generic S3 Storage Devices that you have added to a client, and how many total backups you complete to them, as well as if you are doing File backups primarily the data index files will be much larger for a 1,000,000 file backup job as compared to a 100 file backup job, as to the size of each index file that will be stored locally on the client machine. In that case the index records in the FPI folder would exist on an entirely different hard drive as to not run you out of disk space on your C: drive which normally would be affected the most by an increase in records storing there, as compared to a separate data hard drive that you may have to utilize where this folder may be better suited to exist at.
This example system has 18.1 GB in use in 'C:\ProgramData\NovaStor\NovaStor NovaBACKUP\', using the default Temporary Files location, and 17.3 GB of that usage is just in the FPI folder, the system as a 55 GB C: drive which is now out of space due to the FPI folder usage, there are other drives that the FPI folder could utilize but there is no setting to change that folder location for a fresh install or after the fact:
The size of just the FPI folder alone in this case, in the default backup client location of 'C:\ProgramData\NovaStor\NovaStor NovaBACKUP\FPI\' folder, is 17.3 GB for the size on disk:
The total size of the entire 'C:\ProgramData\NovaStor\NovaStor NovaBACKUP\' folder, that also includes the FPI folder in the default backup client location, is 18.1 GB, so the FPI folder in this case takes up the majority of the disk space on the C: drive. If the C: drive on the Windows system is close to the free disk space limit, likely due to you performing more and more backups to Generic S3 Storage Device(s) which creates backup records per every time you do complete a backup to those devices which stores to the FPI folder, then it will certainly cause issues if your system were to run to 0 bytes free disk space on C:, and we need to certainly think about utilizing this how to guide to change the location of that folder (which also moves the current content at the same time) with the settings change detailed later:
A new ‘FPIDataDir' variable and value can be added to nsconfig.ini, which can be anwhere inside the [configuration] section which is at the top of the file, which could be just under the existing ‘baseDataDir’ variable (which has to do with the ‘Default Settings > Advanced Options > Temporary Files directory’ setting where the default there would be ‘C:\ProgramData\NovaStor\NovaStor NovaBACKUP’, and in this example client we have changed it via the GUI to be 'C:\NBKTemp’, once a new folder location is specified, usually to change the hard drive from the C: drive to another drive, in this example we used "D:\FPIData" as the new storage location, and after the OK button is pressed in the above dialog, only if the folder differs from how it was set prior, then certain folders are moved from the old specified location to the new specified location). Note: It is not necessary to also have your "Temporary Files directory" setting be different than the default location, but in some cases users may have already done that or want to have any of the non-FPI based folders also moved to another location and utilized there, so this guide covers both items. The FPI folder is considered separate from the Temporary Files directory, even though it does exist alongside the other folders normally under C:\ProgramData, the location of that particular "FPI" folder never gets moved by changing the Default Settings > Advanced Options > Temporary Files directory’ setting, so to change the location of the FPI folder has to be done separately at this time:
After saving that setting in that file, you will exit out of the backup client application (which has the process name "NovaBackX.exe") and then you will restart the nsService.exe process / service in Windows Services, which is the service labeled as "NovaStor NovaBACKUP Backup/Copy Engine service". Then run the backup client application, and the next backup job operation that is executed, that is started either manually or on a schedule, to a Generic S3 Storage Device will perform the move operation to the new folder location that you specified in the FPIDataDir value, an FPI sub-folder will be created in that folder and ALL existing files/folders, to do with all of the already completed indexed Generic S3 backup records, will move to that folder and the backup will complete after that, there is nothing else to do other than you probably want to verify that the FPI folder no longer exists in the default path which is 'C:\ProgramData\NovaStor\NovaBACKUP\FPI\', the "FPI" folder should no longer exist in that original stock location if the function completed properly to do the move operation needed for the restore index records to look proper. Finally, you will then want to verify that all of the Restore index items under the
Special Note: In 19.8 and any current version of version 20.x up to 20.0.1118.1, the FPI data folder path can only be changed one time with the instructions in the above portion of this how to article. If you attempt to change that same variable value multiple times, two or more, to change the existing custom defined folder path value in the FPIDataDir variable to another value, like a second time or more, it won't be able to process that second change properly, in that no existing folders will be "moved" from the first custom defined folder path value after you changed it the first time and the move operation did complete that time, if you attempt to change the folder path one more time, without a workaround that will be mentioned later in this same article (the gist of that workaround is that if you move the first custom defined FPIDataDir folder path back to the original ProgramData location and you remove the current custom defined "first" FPIDataDir variable and value from the nsConfig.ini file, and then restart nsService.exe and the backup client and then you edit the nsConfig.ini file again to add in the FPIDataDir variable and value a second time, which is a new custom defined folder path that differs from the first custom defined folder path, and you run one Generic S3 backup job, it will then be able to move the content properly from the original ProgramData folder path to the new custom defined folder path). If you run into this issue you will see only a partial folder listing in that second FPIDataDir that you defined a second or more time like this, where only the current backup to Generic S3 device that was JUST completed is what can be listed and expanded in the "S3-compliant Storage" category / section of the Restore tab, that only shows the one backup that just completed but no other backups that had already been completed are listed, to any Generic S3 device (we have about 5 x Generic S3 devices on this backup client) and only that most recent backup that you just completed to get the move to be performed is listed and can be expanded circled in green blow:
If you run into this issue, after attempting to change the FPIDataDir value a second or more time, after any of your Generic S3 backup run and complete, which performs the move operation as well, you will notice that you only see a single restore index entry that can be expanded which shows the current time and date only as far as listed backups on any Generic S3 device you may have in this client, and that is due to the issue with attempting to change the FPIDataDir value a second or more time, you can use the workaround mentioned above to fix it:
Note: You can utilize the native NTFS file and folder compression built in to all supported versions of Windows, as long as the hard disk that you have NovaBACKUP client software installed to is utilizing NTFS file system on the hard drives on that client machine, to further reduce the disk space usage used by index records stored in the FPI folder (which for that folder should save about 1/3 of the space once compressed) and the Logs folder (affecting all backup types, not just Generic S3 backups) for all logs that are stored in that Logs folder (which will save from 1/3 up to 1/4 of the space once compressed) that are in either the default ProgramData location, or in the Temporarily Files folder location (defined in Default Settings > Advanced), or specifically for the above instructions on how to change the FPI data folder to get it on a different hard drive covered in this KB article, whatever that new custom FPIDataDir variable folder path location now exists, by enabling the native NTFS file and folder compression on the "FPI" and "Logs" folders, in this example those two folders are in the same default 'C:\ProgramData\NovaStor\NovaBACKUP\' folder location, but those folders that can handle compression, such as the FPI folder and the Logs folder, could also exist on another hard drive and folder path depending on how you set it in the backup client, and those two folders can be compressed in the same manner there. To do this, simply right-click on the FPI and Logs folders, wherever they may currently exist, it could be the default location or in the custom location you defined and those folders were automatically moved to, and click Properties and in the General tab click in Attributes section click on Advanced and enable the option that is stated as "Compress contents to save disk space" (or something of that nature), which is the native NTFS file and folder compression, and doing that one action will enable the option on the folder as well as compress all of the existing files and sub-folders under that location, it will take some time to go through every file in that folder to compress them, and then you will notice a symbol on the folder icons to denote that the native NTFS compression is in fact enabled at the folder level, so that any new files that are stored there will be automatically compressed; the icon itself will change to show you that the folder has compression enabled on it like the two example folders highlighted below:
Here is an example after enabling NTFS file and folder compression on the FPI folder, and in this case we are showing a single Generic S3 device backup index that has had 7 small file backups completed to that single Generic S3 device, which creates 7 separate .dct files under the FPI folder, for that single Generic S3 device on one client machine, and in that case the "Size on disk:" size value for all of the index files in this folder equates to 499 MB, but the original "Size:" value, which is the size if compression was NOT enabled, equates to nearly double that size at 811 MB. The advantage of enabling the native NTFS file and folder compression in the FPI folder can have a big advantage for space savings if we are talking about if the FPI folder grows to 40 GB and just enabling the one NTFS compression option on the FPI folder a single time allows that folder to be closer to 20 GB, and affects any new index records that will store there in the future. It does increase the processor / CPU usage a bit as compared to if you did not enable compression on this folder, but on most client systems that normally have more than one CPU and a healthy amount of RAM, the increase in usage is not likely to be noticed. The larger the number of "objects" or in the case of a file backup, the number of files that were selected for backup in the backup job, the larger these index files (with the .dct file extension on them, otherwise known as dictionary files) will be keep in mind, hence the reason why this folder could grow to 40 GB in size, and may easily fill the typical C: drive due to that single FPI folder growing in size over time, and hence the how to article that exists here which relates to being able to move that folder to a different hard drive exists.
For a good third party article on how to enable NTFS file and folder compression, on folders such as our FPI and Logs folders, go here or, or perform a Google search here. The first article explains the trade-offs to enabling the NTFS compression option and what it is ideal for or not suitable for.