UGH! Mirror backup deletes backup if source drive failed

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DahlgrenS
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2011 7:22 pm

UGH! Mirror backup deletes backup if source drive failed

Postby DahlgrenS » Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:48 am

The log for my nightly FBackup "mirror backup" job reported a warning that the drive with the source files was unavailable. I discovered that if the source drive is unavailable during a mirror job, then FBackup will delete all of the previously backed up files from the destination drive! This means Fbackup is extremely unreliable. It wipes out the backup copy if the source drive has failed!!!

I presume FBackup deleted the files because of the option to delete files from the backup that were deleted from the source. If the source drive is unavailable, this does not mean the files on the source drive were deleted; it means the source drive has failed and the backup copies are precious and must NOT be deleted.

If I am correct, please fix this immediately. Thanks.

Softland
Posts: 1664
Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 7:57 am

Re: UGH! Mirror backup deletes backup if source drive failed

Postby Softland » Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:34 am

Hi,

This is how FBackup was designed to work. It considered the missing drive was a drive you wanted to remove so the corresponding files from destination were deleted too.
In our commercial application (Backup4all) there is an option to remove excluded or deleted files from destination only if the source drive is available. You can try Backup4all to see if it fits your needs.

DahlgrenS
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2011 7:22 pm

Re: UGH! Mirror backup deletes backup if source drive failed

Postby DahlgrenS » Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:37 pm

Softland replied: "This is how FBackup was designed to work. It considered the missing drive was a drive you wanted to remove..." [snip]

That was a terrible design decision. No one should ever assume a missing drive was intentionally removed by the user, because a drive also becomes missing when it fails or is stolen. The purpose of backup software is to protect against failed (or stolen) drives, so it is shameful and malicious not to warn users about this destructive behavior. You may also want to reconsider your potential legal liability, because a "hold harmless" clause in a software license agreement may not be a strong shield given that you intentionally designed your product to delete files that users will expect will not be deleted, and you did not make this counter-intuitive behavior obvious to users.

Please confirm that a (desirable) side effect of unchecking the "Remove excluded or deleted files from backup" checkbox (in the Mirror tab of the job's properties) would be to protect the backup when the source drive is inaccessible. I did a quick test of this a few minutes ago: I created a new mirror job where the source drive was a USB flash drive (containing a few hundred MBytes of files) and I unchecked the "Remove excluded or deleted files..." option. I ran the job to create the backup copies, then removed the flash drive and ran the job again, and the copies still existed.

People should not need to purchase Backup4All just to correct this terrible design decision in FBackup. Please add an option to FBackup (in the Mirror tab of each job's properties) so that the user may choose whether or not to consider a missing drive to be a drive the user intentionally removed. That's not how I would word the option, though, because the dire consequences of "Consider an unavailable source drive intentionally removed" would not be as clear as "Delete backup if source drive cannot be accessed. (WARNING: THIS IS DANGEROUS!)" To protect the files, the default setting for this option should be NO. (The log produced by the job could warn the user that s/he may want to delete the backup if the source drive was intentionally removed.)

Thanks for considering this.

Softland
Posts: 1664
Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 7:57 am

Re: UGH! Mirror backup deletes backup if source drive failed

Postby Softland » Fri Jun 28, 2013 3:01 pm

Hi,

Your accusations are false as that option is not checked by default but it was checked by you.
Of course the backup files in destination won't be deleted if you uncheck that option back as it was by default.

The application is much complex than you consider and many other ideas were involved in the decision of implementing that behavior.
No other client complained about that behavior until now.
I did not ask you to purchase Backup4all in order to correct a problem in FBackup as you assumed. I suggested you to use Backup4all if you want to have one more feature.

DahlgrenS
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2011 7:22 pm

Re: UGH! Mirror backup deletes backup if source drive failed

Postby DahlgrenS » Fri Jun 28, 2013 4:19 pm

I have continued this topic in the General forum, using the same Subject. See you there!


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