No longer doing FULL IMAGE backups

I originally had all 7 of my computers set to do various full/increment backups for files or images.
Everything seemed fine (even the full image backups).
I then started feeling I was doing too many FULL IMAGE backups. So I changed the “every 20 days” to “30 days”… and then to “40 days”.

I just noticed that none of my machines have done a FULL IMAGE backup in about 6 months. All the files backups seem fine. All the incremental backups seem fine. But no FULL IMAGE backup in 6 months.

Also, the GUI makes it difficult to even tell WHEN my last FULL IMAGE was done. Where should I be looking? (I currently try to manually search through the BACKUPS tab.)

Also, why did all my FULLs stop happening? I tried setting the “back up windows” with words… or with numbers. Mon-Fri/3-5 or 2-6/3-5.

I can manually do a FULL… but they are no longer triggered automatically.

I’m expecting you’ve already looked at the Logs for the Clients and do not see errors showing the backup was tried and failed instead of not tried at all, which doesn’t show any log entry. Your successful manual Full Image backups would also be evidence there is no error blocking your backups.

Let’s step through the settings then and see what we find. As usual with me the sequence and examples indicate what I would check given the stated symptoms, and will probably cover things you’ve already looked at. I’ll also include more detail than you – an experienced UrBackup user – will need, for the benefit of others on this forum.

My preference is to clear the check box on Allow client-side changing of settings (Settings: Permissions) and make all changes at the Server, mostly to simplify support of the offices I administer. If you change this you might want to restart UrBackup (or the entire computer) on both UrBackup Client and Server, just to be sure everyone has the latest settings. (Note that this applies to the 2.4 and earlier versions of UrBackup. The 2.5 series, in testing as I write this, will change how settings work.)

That’s what I do. (Maybe someone else has a better way, please?) You can also look at the Logs, select one Client of interest, and change the Filter to All. The Action column will then show what kind of backup was performed on that date.


My example shows both Incremental (marked Yes) and Full (marked No) File and Image backups. You may also notice the small system volumes for ESP and SYSVOL are always full backups.

That’s good. It eliminates the Server tab Do not do image backups checkbox as a cause, as do the recent Image backups you see in the Status, Backups, and Logs tabs.

On the Settings tab, please look at the Image Backups page. My example is in the Default group, but if yours is in a different Group or has Separate Settings, please select the proper Group or Client first.


Please verify the Interval for full image backups does not have Disabled checked, and that the value is reasonable. (For me, overlooking the obvious in search of the complicated is always a danger.) You might set the value here to 0.1 days (about 2.4 hours) and the Maximal and Minimal number of full image backups to low numbers as seen here, to get faster results while testing. Perhaps add one Client to a Testing group and make changes only there if these changes will annoy others. Save any changes.

If you have older backups you need to keep, please go to the Backups tab and check the box under Archived? to ensure they are not automatically deleted during testing.


Above I’ve included two examples, a simple one that’s the same every day, and a complex one that does full backups only on weekends. The complex example is created by clicking Show details in the default simple schedule. I use the numbers for days as I’m a lazy typist, but either will work. Here I would verify the Backup window for full image backups appears reasonable for your needs, and possibly set it to something simple like 1-7/0-23 during testing. This may also fix any invisible odd characters that might be hiding in the string.

Let us know how your testing goes.

Thanks for the detailed reply.

I don’t see anything in the logs that says:
Full image failed
Full image deleted
Full image completed
Full image attempted
Full image stopped
Nothing marked “full” at all… except the manual ones I do… that work 100%.

I only allow clients to “do a full image” or “do an incremental image”. Both work, manually.

Nothing is turned on for “over the internet backups”.

I’ve never used the “archive tab”. The docs are FAR too confusing/vague.
The GUI is terrible. (We shouldn’t have to memorize what ;;;*;1,3,5 means.)

I do manually lock/unlock some of my prior full image backups. (Now, more than ever,
since any ‘fulls’ that get deleted will never trigger themselves again.)

What happens if I tell UrBackUp to “save 2-5 full backups”… and I manually
lock 2 full backups? Will it never do another full backup? I have NOT manually
locked 5 backups… but if I did… what would happen? No new full backups ever?

“Do not do image backups” is unchecked
(Just to test… I disabled them… then saved… then enabled them… and saved)

Interval for full image backups is NOT set to “disable”
(Just to test… I disabled them… then saved… then enabled them… and saved)

I changed my Client’s full backups from “2-6/3-7” to “1-7/0-23” and I’m still
not seeing any “full image backups” getting triggered today.

It’s really strange.

Here are some recent lines from the Windows server log. I have no idea how to fix any of this.
I’ve already run cleanup_database.bat and remove_unknown.bat. None of these countless warnings/error ever appear in the GUI. Shouldn’t they?

2021-12-16 15:24:22: WARNING: Reading from parent hash file failed (may be caused by a volume with increased size)
2021-12-16 23:25:39: WARNING: Deleting D:\UrBackUps\BCKUP\211027-1539_Image_SYSVOL\Image_SYSVOL_211027-1539.vhdz.bitmap failed. The system cannot find the file specified. (code: 2)
2021-12-16 23:25:39: WARNING: Deleting D:\UrBackUps\BCKUP\211027-1540_Image_ESP\Image_ESP_211027-1540.vhdz.bitmap failed. The system cannot find the file specified. (code: 2)
2021-12-16 23:25:39: WARNING: Deleting D:\UrBackUps\BCKUP\211027-1540_Image_C\Image_C_211027-1540.vhdz.bitmap failed. The system cannot find the file specified. (code: 2)
2021-12-16 23:25:39: ERROR: Cannot delete image because incremental image backup referencing this image cannot be deleted
2021-12-16 23:25:39: ERROR: Cannot delete image because incremental image backup referencing this image cannot be deleted
2021-12-16 23:25:39: ERROR: Cannot delete image because incremental image backup referencing this image cannot be deleted
2021-12-16 23:25:39: WARNING: Deleting D:\UrBackUps\BCKUP\211027-1543_Image_E\Image_E_211027-1543.vhdz.bitmap failed. The system cannot find the file specified. (code: 2)
2021-12-16 23:25:39: ERROR: Cannot delete image because incremental image backup referencing this image cannot be deleted
2021-12-16 23:25:39: ERROR: Cannot delete image because incremental image backup referencing this image cannot be deleted
2021-12-16 23:25:39: ERROR: Cannot delete image because incremental image backup referencing this image cannot be deleted
2021-12-16 23:25:39: ERROR: Cannot delete image because incremental image backup referencing this image cannot be deleted
2021-12-16 23:25:39: ERROR: Cannot delete image because incremental image backup referencing this image cannot be deleted
2021-12-16 23:25:39: ERROR: Cannot delete image because incremental image backup referencing this image cannot be deleted
2021-12-17 10:22:41: WARNING: Error: Unknown action [login]
2021-12-17 10:22:44: WARNING: Error: Unknown action [progress]
2021-12-17 10:22:50: WARNING: Error: Unknown action [progress]
2021-12-17 11:23:00: WARNING: Deleting D:\UrBackUps\RB\211005-0109_Image_SYSVOL\Image_SYSVOL_211005-0109.vhdz.bitmap failed. The system cannot find the file specified. (code: 2)
2021-12-17 11:23:00: WARNING: Deleting D:\UrBackUps\RB\211005-0109_Image_C\Image_C_211005-0109.vhdz.bitmap failed. The system cannot find the file specified. (code: 2)
2021-12-17 11:23:00: WARNING: Deleting D:\UrBackUps\BB\211026-0804_Image_SYSVOL\Image_SYSVOL_211026-0804.vhdz.bitmap failed. The system cannot find the file specified. (code: 2)
2021-12-17 11:23:00: WARNING: Deleting D:\UrBackUps\BB\211026-0805_Image_ESP\Image_ESP_211026-0805.vhdz.bitmap failed. The system cannot find the file specified. (code: 2)
2021-12-17 11:23:00: WARNING: Deleting D:\UrBackUps\BB\211026-0805_Image_C\Image_C_211026-0805.vhdz.bitmap failed. The system cannot find the file specified. (code: 2)
2021-12-17 11:23:00: ERROR: Cannot delete image because incremental image backup referencing this image cannot be deleted
2021-12-17 11:23:00: ERROR: Cannot delete image because incremental image backup referencing this image cannot be deleted
2021-12-17 11:23:00: ERROR: Cannot delete image because incremental image backup referencing this image cannot be deleted
2021-12-17 11:23:00: WARNING: Deleting D:\UrBackUps\RB\211005-0144_Image_D\Image_D_211005-0144.vhdz.bitmap failed. The system cannot find the file specified. (code: 2)
2021-12-17 11:23:00: ERROR: Cannot delete image because incremental image backup referencing this image cannot be deleted
2021-12-17 11:23:00: ERROR: Cannot delete image because incremental image backup referencing this image cannot be deleted
2021-12-17 11:23:00: ERROR: Cannot delete image because incremental image backup referencing this image cannot be deleted
2021-12-17 11:23:00: WARNING: Deleting D:\UrBackUps\RB\211005-0144_Image_E\Image_E_211005-0144.vhdz.bitmap failed. The system cannot find the file specified. (code: 2)
2021-12-17 11:23:00: ERROR: Cannot delete image because incremental image backup referencing this image cannot be deleted
2021-12-17 11:23:00: ERROR: Cannot delete image because incremental image backup referencing this image cannot be deleted
2021-12-17 11:23:00: ERROR: Cannot delete image because incremental image backup referencing this image cannot be deleted
2021-12-17 11:23:00: WARNING: Deleting D:\UrBackUps\RB\211005-0145_Image_I\Image_I_211005-0145.vhdz.bitmap failed. The system cannot find the file specified. (code: 2)
2021-12-17 11:23:00: ERROR: Cannot delete image because incremental image backup referencing this image cannot be deleted
2021-12-17 11:23:00: ERROR: Cannot delete image because incremental image backup referencing this image cannot be deleted
2021-12-17 11:23:00: ERROR: Cannot delete image because incremental image backup referencing this image cannot be deleted
2021-12-17 11:23:00: ERROR: Cannot delete image because incremental image backup referencing this image cannot be deleted
2021-12-17 11:23:00: ERROR: Cannot delete image because incremental image backup referencing this image cannot be deleted
2021-12-17 11:23:00: ERROR: Cannot delete image because incremental image backup referencing this image cannot be deleted
2021-12-17 13:19:43: WARNING: Error: Unknown action []
2021-12-17 22:04:01: WARNING: Error: Unknown action [progress]
2021-12-17 22:04:02: WARNING: Error: Unknown action [progress]
2021-12-17 22:04:07: WARNING: Error: Unknown action [progress]
2021-12-17 23:06:24: ERROR: Cannot delete image because incremental image backup referencing this image cannot be deleted
2021-12-17 23:06:24: ERROR: Cannot delete image because incremental image backup referencing this image cannot be deleted
2021-12-17 23:06:24: ERROR: Cannot delete image because incremental image backup referencing this image cannot be deleted

That one is pretty easy, but the answer depends on your available storage.

During the backup schedule for each Client, UrBackup performs backups which fall within the time restrictions for each type of backup, regardless of minimum or maximum considerations, performing an emergency cleanup if available storage falls too low.

At cleanup time (either system or emergency) UrBackup will automatically delete older backups to maintain

  1. the configured maximum number of backups of that type, or
  2. the soft storage quota for that Client or the system,
    but not at the expense of archived backups or the minimum number of backups of that type.

I haven’t tested it lately, but I believe UrBackup would create a scheduled backup and then delete it during cleanup if the latest backup was the only one which was eligible for deletion. This should happen only if archived backups or storage limitations prevented automatically keeping the most recent backups, as in your “5 archived and 5 maximum” example. If automatic reporting is enabled you should get a message that the number of days since a good backup has been exceeded, but this edge condition (immediately deleting the latest backup) might fool UrBackup’s freshness checking.

The backup admin is expected to maintain high enough maximums to allow UrBackup to keep storage nearly full, only deleting backups when necessary, and enough storage to allow minimum retention to be satisfied.

I’d certainly expect them to show up in the Logs tab for that Client. The errors should show up even at the default filter setting.

Before getting too drastic, please look at Settings: Advanced and make sure both full image style entries are set to Full image backup #1. This avoids a possible issue where the previous backup is damaged or absent and cannot be used to create the next full image.

After that I’d start looking at disk errors on the Server or shadow storage issues on the Client. For the first I use Parted Magic or System Rescue CD and run a full disk read test on the Program and UrBackup storage drives using the S.M.A.R.T. support, for the second I generally just nuke the whole shadow storage on the client computer with VSSADMIN and let it rebuild automatically. I’d also use CHKDSK with appropriate switches during a time each computer was not needed for anything else, and maybe DISM and SFC to check for Windows component damage. (These topics are well covered online so I won’t expand this reply further.)

If that doesn’t work, I’ve sometimes had to delete all the backups for one, several, or all Clients in order to purge whatever file corruption is preventing normal operation. I do this by turning off the failing kind of backup and setting the Maximum and Minimum values to zero so cleanup will purge them. This can take quite a while, so test the purge with one Client and consider if your maintenance window will allow the full purge to complete in the available time. Weekends when no computers are needed can be good for this; Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV).

Happy Hunting!

Full image backup #1

All my computers have always had that setting. Back in April 2021 when the backups worked…
and today (Dec 2021) when they never even start.

Wouldn’t it be very unlikely to be a SMART/VSS/CHKDSK/DISM/SFC issue since:

  1. ALL the computers are having the same “no full backups” issue.
  2. UrBackUp doesn’t even start, attempt, error-out, time-out while even thinking about doing a full backup.
  3. Manual full backups can be done without any problems.

I’ll try the “set min/max values to 0” tomorrow. I hate to delete the full backups I DO have… since it looks like it will be a very long time (if ever) before UrBackUp is going to do another one. (I guess I can just do them manually, forever.)

It’s as if the “never do any full backups on any computer” is turned on. (It’s definitely not)

I’ve tried rebooting various computers… as well as the 1 UrBackUp computer we have.

I set my full backups to retain a min/max of 0-0. Waited 24 hours. (I have my cleanup-window set to run 24/7.) I then changed it back to my normal setting of min/max of keeping 2-5 full backups.

Still no “full image backups” being run on any machine.

Should I try anything else?

Perhaps the Client settings on each computer have become damaged and for some reason are not being updated when you change the schedule on the the Server. I always turn off Permissions: Allow client-side changing of settings, even on my personal workstation, because Client settings are not exposed in a GUI. That way I can be fairly sure what I see on the Server is what the Client is using. Let’s try to look at the Client settings anyway.

Please copy C:\Program Files\UrBackup\urbackup\data\settings.cfg from one of the affected workstations to the Desktop or another easy to find location, and rename it settings.txt. Use Notepad++ or Wordpad to delete any lines without the word “image” in them, and also purge any lines with personal information like your alert email address. Post it if you feel comfortable, otherwise just compare it to my settings.cfg. You should readily see if the Client settings match what you expect from the Server side.

Note: the update_freq values are in seconds; divide by 86,400 to get days. This file was created in Notepad++ by searching for lines containing “image”.

settings.txt (1.9 KB)