UrBackup Full System Images and Cloud Storage (e.g. OneDrive, Google Drive) - is this storage ignored, or can it be ignored?

In reading the Server Admin Manual, this is not clear.

Typically, if I’m using a machine that has no associated cloud storage, if I do a full system image I want everything, lock, stock, and barrel, to be part of a full system image backup. At the same time, and as is becoming increasingly more common, if I have a great deal of user data stored in cloud storage, I do not want that to be included in a full system image backup; I’m really only concerned about what’s actually “on board” for the full system image.

How does UrBackup handle this? Given that both Windows 10 and 11 now want to put your classic user libraries on OneDrive by default, and particularly if you’re an M365 user who has 1TB (possibly more) of cloud storage, there will likely be no actual user data on the local box itself other than what’s there from syncing, which still does not need to be backed up.

Can you tell UrBackup to ignore cloud storage when taking a full system image backup and, if so, how?

You could experiment with adding those to FilesNotToSnapshot ( Excluding Files from Shadow Copies - Win32 apps | Microsoft Learn ). For file backups just exclude them.

Problem is, it needs to delete them from the snapshot and depending on many files you have this might increase the time it takes to create a snapshot.

It’s good to have such an option/choice, personally I’m not a huge fan tho.

You are making a very bold assumption that cloud sync is actually active and working fine just before the incident.
Also, cloud synchronisation is what it says - it will happily propagate “damaged” data, wipe the data out of the other side etc. Now if your service or plan doesn’t have the equivalent of file history feature, you are screwed up big time.

Actually, I’m not.

In Modern Windows configurations, OneDrive is the primary storage, and heaven knows that OneDrive content is backed up more ways than I could ever hope to on Microsoft’s end.

I have, on rare occasions when I’m being insanely conservative, also backed up content saved on OneDrive to local media, but as of yet have never once needed to avail myself of that local media.

One of the beauties of “cloud-based default storage” for things like Documents, Music, etc., is that your machine can be blown up, literally, but if you get a brand new one and set it up with the same Microsoft Account, all of your data “automagically” reappears because it’s not actually stored on your machine. Even if you use the sync option for certain items so they’re available if you’re offline, the primary copy is still the cloud-based one, and any changes will be synced up to that primary copy the moment internet connectivity is re-established.

There are a very great many backup and recovery tools these days that are “cloud sensitive” and will not back up cloud-based drives as part of a full system image and that’s because the data is at safe remove from the actual physical box that’s using it, as well as being backed up by the data centers themselves. I once knew how many redundant copies MS was keeping, in multiple data centers, so that if one went offline for any reason another could be switched over to within moments. It’s way more redundancy that I have ever created with any local backup protocol.

Right, and these come with how much of cloud storage by defult? Five gigs, well over what people usually keep in Photos etc. And then, when they happily backup your infected or simply corrupted data to hundreds of cloud servers, you can get previous versions. right? Wait, you can’t by default.

I once knew how many redundant copies MS was keeping, in multiple data centers,

And then you have lost that wisdom together with memories of how MS lost hotmail files on big scale, how OVH burnt with all these ultra secure cloud copies end so on.

OK I’m being a bit sarcastic. But seriously - if you are mistaking cloud sync for a backup solution then well… it is very common but also cardinal error. I’m not able to convince or even educate you on that matter.

I’m thinking here not about the default home Windows user, but M365 subscribers, whether Personal, Home, or Business that get 1TB of OneDrive Storage (actually managed behind the scenes by SharePoint) per user, and can buy more.

And, yes, I do consider OneDrive storage to be very well backed up. File versioning is built in to all of the Business subscriptions, including Basic, and I think it may be in Family, too, but I haven’t looked recently.

I trust Google, Microsoft, Dropbox, and all the other “big data entities” as far as backup robustness more than I’ll ever trust myself, even when I’m taking a “belt and braces” approach and backing up cloud content locally. (And I have, in specific instances).

I’ll focus on the reasonably probable disasters, not the remotely possible ones, and Microsoft or any of the “big boys” losing data, permanently, is only very remotely possible.