File-Level Backup (Current Backup Format)

Introduction

The most commonly used type of backup in the Backup Agent for Windows is a file-level backup. File-level backup allows you to back up individual files from your computer to the backup destination (local or cloud storage). This is great for backing up important project files, source code, personal documents, photos, presentations, Microsoft Office documents, and so forth. This type of backup is mainly designed to ensure that your most sensitive and important information is regularly backed up and therefore not vulnerable in the event of a hardware malfunction or ransomware strike.

It is not recommended to use a file-level backup type to back up the entire drive. For this purpose, the image-based backup is a better choice

Create Backup Plan

Use Backup Wizard to create a file-level backup plan.

  1. Open the Backup Agent.
  2. Click the Files icon in the main toolbar or press the Ctrl+B shortcut.

The backup plan consists of the following steps:

Backup Type

Select the backup type. The following types are available:

  • Local or Cloud Backup. Select this option to back your data to a single destination: local drive or a cloud storage
  • Hybrid Backup. Select this option if you intend to back up your data to a local drive, then to cloud storage.

Click Next.

Cloud Storage

Specify the storage destination for your backup plan.

In case you selected a Hybrid Backup option on the previous Backup wizard step, specify the local storage destination, then specify the cloud storage destination

To add a new storage account, click Add new Storage Account.

Click Next.

Plan Name

Specify the backup plan name.

If you want to keep your plan configuration in backup storage, select the Save backup plan configuration to the backup storage check box.

Click Next.

Advanced Options

Specify advanced options for your backup plan.

The following options are available:

  • Backup NTFS permissions. Select this check box to include NTFS permissions in the backup plan
  • Track local file deletes in backup storage. Select this check box to track deleted objects and prevent them from restores
  • Use Backup Operator (selected by default). Select this check box to use backup operator API to perform the backup plan. Using this option can resolve, for example, NTFS permission restriction issues
  • Use fast NTFS scan. Select this check box It's our proprietary file scanning & search mechanism. Our method — as opposed to Windows's NTFS file scanning method — generates a file tree. Navigating through said file tree is considerably faster, resulting in overall faster backups.

Note that you Force Using VSS check box must be selected in order to use a fast NTFS scan

  • Force using VSS. Select this check box if you want the Backup Agent to back up objects from a snapshot in order to avoid any access conflicts
  • Use system VSS provider. Select this check box in case you experience issues with a third-party VSS provider. Once the backup plan is started, the Backup Agent will use the system VSS provider forcibly.

Click Next.

Backup Source

Specify files and folders for your backup plan.

Click Next.

Advanced Filter

Specify additional selection criteria for objects of the backup plan.

The following options are available:

  • Backup all files in selected folders. Select this option to include all objects in selected folders in the backup plan
  • Backup files of these types. Select this option to include files of specific types in the backup plan, then specify types in the field to the right by entering appropriate file extensions. Separate extensions with a semicolon

For example, to back up all mp3 files in selected folders, enter *mp3 in the field

  • Do not back up files of these types. Select this option to exclude files of specific types from the backup plan, then specify types in the field to the right by entering appropriate file extensions. Separate extensions with a semicolon

For example, to exclude all text files from the backup plan, enter *txt in the field

  • Skip folders. Select this option to exclude specific folders from the backup plan. Separate multiple folders by a semicolon
  • Backup files modified:. Select this check box to apply the modification date criteria to all objects in your backup plan, then specify the last modification date in the days ago field

For example, if you intend to include in the backup plan all objects that have been modified more than 15 days from the moment of the backup plan run, select the Backup files modified: check box, then in the days ago field, specify 15.

  • Backup files modified since:. Select this check box to apply the modification date criteria to all objects in your backup plan, then specify the date and the time, after which all objects will be included in the backup plan

For example, if you intend to include in the backup plan all objects that have been modified since 3 pm on October 15, 2019, select the Backup files modified since: check box, then in the date field, specify 10/15/2019 and in the Time: field, specify 15:00

  • Do not back up files larger than:. Select this check box to limit the object size in the backup plan, then specify the object maximum size in MB
  • Do not back up system and hidden files. Select this check box to exclude from the backup plan files that have 'Hidden' and 'System' attributes
  • Do not back up locked files. Select this check box to exclude from the backup plan files that are open at the moment of the backup plan run.
  • Do not back up On-Demand files (selected by default). Select this check box to exclude On-Demand files from the backup plan. To learn more about On-Demand files, refer to the OneDrive Files On-Demand For The Enterprise article at techcommunity.microsoft.com.

Once you disable the option not to back up On-Demand files (enabled by default), upon the plan run, On-Demand files that available online only (with an Unpinned attribute) will be downloaded from your OnDrive storage, then uploaded to backup storage specified in the backup plan. After these files are backed up, they will be marked with an Unpinned attribute which means that these files are available online

Click Next.

Compression and Encryption Options

Specify compression and encryption options for the backup plan.

The following options are available

  • Enable compression. Select this check box to apply compression to all objects in the backup plan
  • Enable encryption. Select this check box to apply AES encryption to all objects in the backup plan, then specify the encryption algorithm and the encryption password in the corresponding fields below. The following encryption algorithms are available:
    • AES 128 bit
    • AES 192 bit
    • AES 256 bit.

In case the storage destination for the backup plan is Amazon S3, the following options are available:

Click Next.

Retention Policy

Specify retention settings for the backup plan. To read more about retention, refer to the Retention Policy chapter.

The following settings are available:

  • Use default options specified for the whole project. Select this option to use the predefined retention policy settings. To view and edit them, click the options link in the legend.
  • Specify custom retention policy for backup plan. Select this option to use custom retention settings for this backup plan
    • Delete versions older than. Select this check box to delete old file versions in cloud storage, then specify the period and the criteria of this action applying: whether the counting starts from a modification date of an object or the last backup date
    • Always keep the last version. Select this chеck box to keep the last versions of objects in cloud storage regardless of other settings
    • Keep number of versions (for each file). Select this check box to specify the number of versions of files that are kept in backup storage, then, in the Number of versions field, specify the number
    • Delay purge for. Select this check box if you intend to keep objects in backup storage after deleting them in a backup source, then, in the Delete after field, specify the purge delay period.
    • Do not show warning for files to be deleted. Select this check box to skip the warning about files to be deleted in cloud storage.

Click Next.

Schedule

Specify the schedule settings for the backup plan.

The following options are available:

  • If you plan to run the backup plan manually, select No schedule option
  • If you intend the backup plan to run on a particular date and time, select the Specific date option, then specify the date and time you want your backup plan to be run
  • If you want the backup plan to run on a constant periodic basis with the use of templates available in the Backup Agent, select Recurring (predefined templates) option
  • If you want the backup plan to run on a constant periodic basis using custom settings, select Recurring (advanced schedule) option
  • Real-time Backup. Select this option to allow Backup Agent to detect object changes in selected folders and back them up to the cloud storage (this occurs every 15 minutes)
  • To stop the backup plan in case if it continues suspiciously long, select Stop the plan if it runs for check box, then specify the backup plan maximum duration
  • To run the backup plan after the computer is on in case the backup plan run has been missed, select Run missed scheduled backup immediately when computer starts up check box.

Click Next.

Simple Recurring Schedule

In case you selected the Recurring (predefined templates) option, specify the recurring schedule settings.

  • In the Start backup field, specify the date and time of the first backup plan run
  • Select the required schedule from the Select schedule template drop-down list. The following schedules are available:
    • Incremental backup every week, block-level backup every day
    • Incremental backup every day, block-level backup every hour
    • Incremental backup every day
  • In case you want to customize the schedule templates:
    • Select or deselect the Incremental backup every: check box, and, if the check box is selected, specify the period of an incremental backup run in hours and minutes
    • Select or deselect the Block-level every: check box, and, if the check box is selected, specify the period of a block-level backup run in hours and minutes.

Note that block-level feature applies to files with a size more than 1 Mb due to block size limitations

Click Next.

Advanced Recurring Schedule

In case you selected the Recurring (advanced schedule) option, specify the recurring schedule settings.

  • Select or deselect the Incremental backup: check box, then click Edit schedule and specify the period of an incremental backup in the Recurring Schedule Options dialog box. Once you are finished, click OK
  • Select or deselect the Block-level backup: check box, then click Edit schedule and specify the period of a block-level backup in the Recurring Schedule Options dialog box. Once you are finished, click OK

Click Next.

Pre / Post Actions

Starting from Management Console version 5.0, pre- or post- actions for Backup Agents can be restricted by provider. To learn more about the pre-/post action settings, refer to the Global Agent Options and Companies chapters

Specify actions to be executed before and/or after the backup plan run.

  • To specify the action that will be performed before the backup plan starts, select Pre-backup action check box, then, in the field below, specify the path to the script to be executed before the backup plan run
  • Specify the conditions of the script's execution:
    • Exit backup if pre-backup action fails option if you do not want the backup plan to run if the pre-backup script fails
    • Select Continue backup plan if pre-backup action failed option if you want the backup plan to launched regardless of the pre-backup script execution result
  • To specify the action that will be performed after the backup plan is completed, select Post-backup action check box, then, in the field below, specify the path to the script to be executed after the backup plan terminates
    • Select Execute post-backup action if backup has been successfully completed option if you want to run it only if the backup plan is successfully completed
    • Select Execute post-backup action regardless of the backup result option if you want the script to execute regardless of the backup plan execution results
  • To chain the backup plan with another plan, select Backup chain check box, then select the plan name in the drop-down menu
    • Select Execute the specified plan only if backup has been successfully completed option if you want to run the specified plan only if the backup plan has been successfully completed
    • Select Execute the specified plan regardless of the backup result option if you want to run the chained backup plan regardless of the current backup plan execution results.

Click Next.

Summary

Review the backup plan settings, then click Next.

The backup plan is created. Select the Run backup now check box to run the backup plan immediately.