I'm running Windows 2012, using the built in Backup to perform backups.

I want the first backup to be full, and then incremental thereafter.

I have the following test scenario set up:

  • Backup Location is to a mounted VHD disk with no automatic shadow copies.

  • I have 4 drives, and copied a Test folder which contains exactly the same files into the root of each of the 4 drives.

  • All 4 drives are NTFS

  • C, and E are MBR partitions, and the disk is Basic.

  • D and F are both GPT partitions, and the disks are dynamic (both are RAID arrays using RAID5)

  • I have set up a scheduled VSS Full backup, and cherry picked my test folder on each disk.

  • In the backup performance, I have set ALL disks to be Incremental

  • I DO NOT have the Windows Media Player Sharing Service installed, or running.

The Problem: When the first backup runs, all 4 are FULL backups, which is correct.

When I run subsequent backups without touching the files, the backup on C and F are Incremental as it should be. The backup on D and E are full again.

I have also tried to manually delete ALL volume shadow copies to make sure something wasn't funky. This didn't help at all.

I have also made sure that Shadow Copies are enabled on all 4 drives being backed up.

EDIT: It's also none of the reasons listed in this article: https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windowsserver/en-US/7820edc7-18ef-4f6e-bb50-f87f4a728597/control-incremental-vs-full-backup-on-w2k8-r2?forum=windowsbackup

I'm NOT touching the files, no other Volume Shadow Copies are created which could delete my source set, it's not 14 days since the last Full.

ANY help would be GREATLY appreciated.

p.s. Yes it's easy to say let's jump to another backup solution, etc, but this really does everything I need, and I like using it since it's built in, it's free, and it has worked very well for me in the past. So please, no suggestions about using other backup software...

  • 1
    Have you analyzed the backup log files? Anything interesting inside them? – shodanshok Jun 13 '15 at 13:00
  • Usually when this happens on my servers, it's "churn." I'd noticed but hadn't seen an exact threshold number until now. The link you gave says 50%, but it seemed more "sensitive" than that to me, which may be a hidden file/system thing. Especially if there isn't a lot of data on D and E. 50% of a small amount of data is a small change. – Katherine Villyard Jun 13 '15 at 14:02
  • Thanks Katherine, E: ONLY contains the test folder, and nothing is touching that. D: is a 4TB volume with about 2.5TB worth of Data on it. Hence me really wondering about this. Very random. – Albert Jun 13 '15 at 22:19

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