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CharadeUR
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Windows Softlinks and backup

Post by CharadeUR »

My observations are that if you have a softlink junction created with mklink in windows Veeam treats it like a normal directory and includes all the files under that softlinked folder. However that is not what I wish to do. I have these links pointed to other virtual drives and when I backup the guest vm I end up with the data being backed up twice. I also assume the restore process would not work too well because the files would attempt to restore to a drive that did not have enough space on it.

I have thought about running a script that kills the softlinks before backup then recreates them after the backup has finished but it is a 24 hour environment so that would not really be an option.

Gostev
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Re: Windows Softlinks and backup

Post by Gostev »

Hi, George. I don't really follow you here. Veeam is not a file level backup tool, we cannot backup some files twice. All we do is backup each virtual disk attached to a VM you have selected for backup... and, we don't really care what is stored inside of those virtual disks' file system... Thanks.

CharadeUR
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Re: Windows Softlinks and backup

Post by CharadeUR »

Hi Anton, Thanks for the reply. That is what I thought but when I do a file restore the softlink junctions appear as regular folders. Maybe this is just an appearance and a limitation of veeam to indicate the folder is a softlink?

veremin
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Re: Windows Softlinks and backup

Post by veremin »

So, you're saying that if you try to perform the Windows FLR, those junctions will be shown as normal folders and the data present inside them will be restorable? Thanks.

Gostev
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Re: Windows Softlinks and backup

Post by Gostev »

CharadeUR wrote:Maybe this is just an appearance and a limitation of veeam to indicate the folder is a softlink?
Yes, it's just how FLR engine treats them. Does not mean they are backed up twice or anything like that :)

yaroon
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Re: Windows Softlinks and backup

Post by yaroon »

So when I restore a userprofile on a W2K8 server, in v8, it restores the junction points as empty folders. v7 even got stuck in a restore loop, recursively restoring the ...appdata/Application Data folder.
Microsoft themselves state that ' backup applications must be able to backup and restore junction points' (https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/librar ... s.85).aspx). WSB correctly restores junction points.
It is not a big day to day issue for us, but it it got us into some serious and unnecessary downtime when restoring some accidentally removed user profiles which made the c: drive run out of space.
Will this be fixed?

CharadeUR
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[MERGED] How to handle Junction aka soft links

Post by CharadeUR »

I have a client that has a unique situation. He has shared drives that are running out of space. This drive has a ClientShare folder. Below this are folders named by state.

We moved the Michigan folder to another drive and created a junction point also called a soft link named Michigan to point to the new location. This makes it so they don't have to retrain users on a new drive letter and also any spread sheets that point to the Michigan drive will not need to be adjusted.

What appears to happen is Veeam backs up this twice now. Once for the junction point and once on the new drive. I am confused as to what the best way to handle this backup is. It seems like if I tell it to skip the new drive then if the whole vm needs to be restored it will not work. I know of no way to exclude just the Michigan directory on the old drive.

So what are your thoughts?

DeadEyedJacks
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Re: How to handle Junction aka soft links

Post by DeadEyedJacks »


CharadeUR
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Re: Windows Softlinks and backup

Post by CharadeUR »

Sorry it must be I asked this before and forgot. I am sure it is treating the softlink as it would any folder and backing up the files twice. When I do a FLR I see all the files under what should be nothing more than a softlink. Can someone at veeam test this and tell me a definitive answer? My concern is if I have to restore the whole drive it will be larger than the physical space given.

foggy
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Re: Windows Softlinks and backup

Post by foggy »

As mentioned above, actual objects are backed up once. You can see them in FLR browser though and on attempt to restore the link, its content will be restored.

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Re: Windows Softlinks and backup

Post by Frieder_ »

Sorry for reactivating this old thread but I have another question about restoring symlinks:

Is it possible to restore the symlinks when using FLR? As I understood so far, the symlink is actually saved as a link. But when I restore it using FLR, the content will be restored as you already pointed out.

Is there any way to not restore the content but the link itself?

Dima P.
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Re: Windows Softlinks and backup

Post by Dima P. »

Hello Frieder,
when I restore it using FLR, the content will be restored as you already pointed out
Can you please elaborate what type of of restore you are referring to? Restore with overwrite/keep option or Copy to different location? Thanks!

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Re: Windows Softlinks and backup

Post by Frieder_ »

Hello Dima,
Can you please elaborate what type of of restore you are referring to? Restore with overwrite/keep option or Copy to different location? Thanks!
I tried it with keep, override and also copy to another location with more or less the same result.

Sorry for not mentioning this in my first post

Dima P.
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Re: Windows Softlinks and backup

Post by Dima P. »

Thanks! Based on the review of existing functionality can confirm that:

- Restore option should restore symlink as symlink only when you are overwriting existing symlink
- Copy to option restores symlink as folder and it's all content

I'll discuss this behavior with RnD folks.

christophe.niel
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Re: Windows Softlinks and backup

Post by christophe.niel »

Hi

I just encounter this issue as one on the our client server with lots of Windows profiles (an old RDP serveur) had a ransomware and the VM was taken offline

we tried to restore the c:\users folder with a Guest File Restore and using the "copy to" option as we wanted to extract the profiles and recover via some script any useful data in "my documents" for the dozens of user profile in it (not wanting to make restore for each folder individually)

well the serveur had around 150GB of data, and the restore folder ended up getting full at 4TB with millions of folders and files duplicated, like described above with nested appdata more than 20 times or "my documents" being a link to "documents" getting restored twice

we finally tried to do a restore for each user individually selecting the relevant folders manually, it worked for 1 user, we are still doing it as I write this about 150 more to go…
(also there was an issue while cancelling the job that is still cancelling after 4 hours, there was another post I replied to on this matter but that was before realising that a few thousand files/folders turned into millions, probably provoking some issues I guess)

where are you on this subject that you pushed to R&D

(oh Veeam 10.0.0.4461 P1 here)
Best regard
Christophe

Dima P.
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Re: Windows Softlinks and backup

Post by Dima P. »

Hello Christophe,

Thanks for updating this thread with your issue. This behavior remains expected but I'll discuss your case with RnD folks. Cheers!

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