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Excluding folders from backup doesn't really, does it? RRS feed

  • General discussion

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    I've noticed a change in v.2 which may be a glitch or by design; but which I find inconvenient:

     

    In setting up a new backup plan for an individual computer, yes, there is an option to exclude files and folders; but I've noticed that when I search the tree and uncheck a particular folder from being backed up, all that really accomplishes is to exclude whatever files are in that folder at the time I uncheck it.  Should I add a file to that folder thereafter, OneCare backs it up.

     

    I tested this theory by excluding a folder from backup.  Then, after this, I went and put another file in that folder.  When I went back to my backup plan, everything that was in that folder before was still unchecked, but the new file was checked, meaning that it would be backed up.  I've also noticed that if a folder is empty at the time I set up my backup plan, it is not displayed in the tree for me to exclude!!!

     

    Thus, it seems that I cannot select a folder to be completely excluded from backup no matter what is placed in it or when.  So, in order to exclude everything in that folder regardless of when it was put there, I now have to open up OneCare and reconfigure my backup plan every time I add a file to a folder I want excluded.

     

    In other words, OneCare does not really offer exclusion of folders from backup.  What it calls excluding a "folder" is really nothing more than excluding all the files in that folder at the time you set up the backup plan; but anything placed in that folder thereafter is still scheduled for backup.

     

    So, how do I arrange for a folder (not just the files in a folder, but the FOLDER) to be excluded from backup regardless of what's there or when it got there?  It seems to be that this can't be done.  Is there anyone else besides me that finds this a problem?

     

    Balt

     

    PS: The FAQ in this thread makes the following statement: "Folder exclusion is still supported.  The link is located at the bottom of the file category page.  If you select folder exclusion the selected folder will not be scanned and NO files from that folder will be backed up."  But this is clearly not true, as noted above.

    Monday, December 17, 2007 7:32 AM

All replies

  • Interesting, Balt. I'll ask the Backup team to review this.

    -steve

     

    Monday, December 17, 2007 7:34 PM
    Moderator
  •  Stephen Boots wrote:

    Interesting, Balt. I'll ask the Backup team to review this.

    -steve

     

     

    Steve,

     

    Just so you don't think I'm crazy (which I may be, but that's beside the point), I went back and did it again just to make sure, and may have made a mistake.

     

    When I said:

    I've also noticed that if a folder is empty at the time I set up my backup plan, it is not displayed in the tree for me to exclude!!!
    ...this is true.  However, when I said:
    ...after this, I went and put another file in that folder.  When I went back to my backup plan, everything that was in that folder before was still unchecked, but the new file was checked, meaning that it would be backed up.
    ...this was not true.  Here's what I did to varify I made a mistake:

     

    1.  I have a folder, "Documents and Settings\My Documents\Bittorrent Downloads".  I began with some video files I had downloaded in this folder.  In configuring my backup plan, I unchecked this folder, then saved the plan.

     

    2.  I deleted the files from this folder, then went back to configure my backup plan.  In the tree which is displayed, the folder ""Documents and Settings\My Documents\Bittorrent Downloads" does not appear at all.  I saved the plan.

     

    [Here is where I made my mistake.]

     

    3.  I then went and put a file "New Text Document.txt" in the folder, and went to configure my plan a third time.  Low and behold, the folder was displayed, was unchecked, and the new file also unchecked.

     

    I guess I just freaked when I didn't see it displayed during step two, and made an assumption.  I'm sorry.  But there is, I believe, still a concern, to wit, if a folder is empty at the time one configures one's backup plan, that folder is not displayed in the tree and cannot be excluded.

     

    I should also like it to be noticed that, without the familiar "My Documents" link at the top of the tree as it is in Explorer, one needs to go hunting in "Documents and Settings" among the user names there to get to these folders, and a lot of people may get confused trying to find them.

     

    I hope this correction and clarification is helpful.

     

    Balt

    Tuesday, December 18, 2007 1:11 AM
  • Thanks for the update. I won't be back to the forums until late tomorrow, but I expect to hear from the backup team fairly quickly. Since I referred them to this thread, the update is good additional information.

    -steve

     

    Tuesday, December 18, 2007 2:44 AM
    Moderator
  •  

    Since somone from the backup team will be looking at this, I thought an explanation is in order as to why I consider this issue important:

     

    I have folders on my system which I use to temporarily store data files that contain sensitive information.  Once I'm done with the files, I delete them using an unrecoverable file shreader to make sure they can never be accessed again.  So, if, when I set up my backup plan, there happens to be nothing in those folders, I can't exclude the folders since the tree OneCare presents to me for this purpose does not display them.  Then, should something be in there at the time OneCare backups up, the files will be archived in my backup for someone to find.

     

    I'm guessing that the engine which generates this tree for OneCare is file based, not folder based; and, as far as OneCare backup is concerned, an empty folder does not exist.  Thus, if a folder is empty at the time the backup plan is set up, it does not appear on the tree for me to select as excluded, and anything I might put there afterwards would be scanned and its contents backed up, leaving that sensitive information for someone to recover from the backup.

     

    Somehow, a way has to be found for me to be able to exclude empty folders from my backup plan.

     

    I hope this makes sense to someone. 

    Tuesday, December 18, 2007 3:28 AM
  • Thanks for the additional information, Balt. Sounds like a good enough reason to me. :-) Oh, and it makes perfect sense to me!

    -steve

     

    Wednesday, December 19, 2007 1:18 AM
    Moderator