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Unexpected files are treated as system files

rlittletht
Level 3

I ran a backup where I selected specific files on the machine (one of the files was c:\program files\amd\ccc2\install\ccc2_install.exe - an installer for a video driver progaram). When the backup was run, the file was not backed up and there was no indication in the log file why it wasn't.

As it turns out, the file was deteremined to be part of the "system state" and was only included when I backed up the system state. (and could not be restored unless I restored the entire system state).

This is very concerning since there doesn't seem to be a way of predicting what files are system state and what files are not. (most of the files in the ccc2 subtree *were* backed up outside the system state, only one of them was considered to be "system state").

 

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Colin_Weaver
Moderator
Moderator
Employee Accredited Certified

As well as the information provided by VJware I belive we look at components of the registry (and possibly the MSI installer) to determine what makes up a System State and what is therefore silently excuded from a file system backup.

Unfortunately this then means that 3rd party software can be installed in such a way that Backup Exec then treats the files as part of the System State and does mean that the answer to what makes up a system state backup is kind of the same as "how long is a piece of string" as exactly what is installed and how the software vendor registers the install affects the answer.

BTW the reason why there is no warning for skipping some files in file system backups is because if we alerted on every file that is skipped because it is/should be backed up via a different method then you would never see a completely sucessful backup as the logs would be full of hundreds of warnings. Bear in mind we skip things like swap files, Exchange database files, SQL files etc as well as things in the system state.

Best practice for DR of course being backup the system state and critical volumes so this should not be a major issue.

Also best practice for software management is always maintain copies of the operating system and application installers independently of any backup processes

 

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3 REPLIES 3

VJware
Level 6
Employee Accredited Certified

Have a look @ the last reply on this post - https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/forums/backupexec-125-what-exactly-included-system-state

Colin_Weaver
Moderator
Moderator
Employee Accredited Certified

As well as the information provided by VJware I belive we look at components of the registry (and possibly the MSI installer) to determine what makes up a System State and what is therefore silently excuded from a file system backup.

Unfortunately this then means that 3rd party software can be installed in such a way that Backup Exec then treats the files as part of the System State and does mean that the answer to what makes up a system state backup is kind of the same as "how long is a piece of string" as exactly what is installed and how the software vendor registers the install affects the answer.

BTW the reason why there is no warning for skipping some files in file system backups is because if we alerted on every file that is skipped because it is/should be backed up via a different method then you would never see a completely sucessful backup as the logs would be full of hundreds of warnings. Bear in mind we skip things like swap files, Exchange database files, SQL files etc as well as things in the system state.

Best practice for DR of course being backup the system state and critical volumes so this should not be a major issue.

Also best practice for software management is always maintain copies of the operating system and application installers independently of any backup processes

 

View solution in original post

rlittletht
Level 3

Thanks for your answer - the MSI part is what I was missing. Yes, all of these unexplained parts (well, except for the IIS piece, but I can live with that) can be explained by the MSI installer relationship.