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Release 77

Mar 07, 2017

Release at a glance

⦁    Log viewer improvements, including an errors-only mode

⦁    Added support for upgrading from Personal to Professional license
⦁    Added "Symantec" mode for built-in update checks

⦁    Added support for Windows Image Container reparse points
⦁    Added support for vendor quirks to the device tracking module
⦁    Added support for using pre-backup commands as conditions

⦁    Added new "Welcome" mini-guide for the first-time users
⦁    Revised UI wording in several places for clarity

⦁    Resolved an issue with scanning empty locations at a device root
⦁    Resolved an issue with timestamp and attribute matching filters

Important changes from later 76.xx releases

⦁    Added preliminary support for media and device ejection

⦁    Changed the engine to run under its own account in service mode

⦁    Added support for retrying on errors during the scan phase

⦁    Added support for pre-seeding and migrating backups

Mar 07, 2017

Log viewer improvements

⦁    Log viewer can now be switched to show just the errors and their immediate context. May not sound like much of work, but it maps onto a lot of complexity behind the scenes.

        Details are here -

⦁    It's now possible to hover over longer log entries to see more of them. Again, you'd think it'd be something simple, but - no. This. Is. Windows.

        Details are here -

Mar 07, 2017

License upgrades

As you likely know the main difference between two license types is the permitted type of use for the software. Personal license is strictly for backing up personal data on your home computer, no exceptions. All other cases require a Professional license.

This release add the "Upgrade to Pro" option that allows those who need to rectify their Bvckup 2 licensing to do just that.

This options also acts as a stepping stone for the upcomin licensing changes that will introduce *functional* differences between license types. See this post from October last year for details -

Mar 07, 2017

"Symantec" update mode

Norton Security line of Symantec products has a very poorly thought-through feature whereby they silently remove an .exe file IF it hasn't yet been seen by a sufficient number of Symantec's users.

This is their take on "reputation-based" white listing, but I am frankly not sure how many half-brains they needed to pool together to design it this way. The only workaround is to send them an explicit request to whitelist a new version before it's made available to anyone using their security products.

Note that Microsoft does something similar with its SmartScreen service, *but* they also correctly respect the presence of EV Digital Signatures on the files and whitelist these automatically.

Long story short - as of this release Bvckup 2 will check if there exists HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Symantec registry key, and if it does, it will include a note to that effect in its request for updates. Upon seeing such note our update server will withhold new versions from them until these versions go through the Symantec's whitelisting process, which is something that we'll try and do shortly after each release.

You can turn this feature off by setting

        updates.conf.av_aware    0

in bvckup2-engine.ini (making sure, of course, to stop the app before editing the INI).

Mar 07, 2017

Additional functional changes

⦁    Added support for Windows Image Container reparse points - these are now simply ignored as per

⦁    Added support for vendor quirks to the device tracking module - this has to do with external drive enclosures made by Icy Dock (and, no, I haven't heard of them before either).

These little fellas override drive serial number (from ATA/IDENTIFY) when it's reported to the computer and they also *randomize* it on every plug/unplug. No idea why, but as of this release device tracking is NOT automatically enabled for removable devices IF they have a device ID in RANDOM_<hex-number> format.

⦁    Added support for using pre-backup commands as conditions - that is, it's now possible to use a pre-backup command to quietly cancel a backup run if certain conditions aren't met. The app will execute the command, look at its return value and if it doesn't match specified value, it will abort the run without logging an error.

This is set up by setting the following two entries in settings.ini for a job:

        conf.command_post_crit    2
        conf.command_post_rc      <expected return value for the command>

The key here is the value "2" in the first line which stands for "advisory".

The other two possible values is "1" for "critical" (which abort the backup with an error if the return code doesn't check out) and "0" for "ignore" (which merely executes the command and doesn't do any return value checking at all).

Mar 07, 2017

Additional UI changes

⦁    Added new "Welcome" mini-guide for the first-time users


        Design notes on /wip -

⦁    Revised UI wording in several places for clarity

        Reworded description of the "Archive" option:

        Re-labled timestamp fields in the Filter Details window:

        In dialogs with "More..." button its label now changes to "Less..."
        when it is in depressed state.

Mar 07, 2017

Issues resolved

⦁    Resolved an issue with scanning empty locations at a device root - that is, the app would refuse to run a backup to the root of a drive, e.g. X:\, if the drive was completely empty. Typically, even freshly formatted drives have at least _something_ on them (System Volume Information folder, for example), so it took a while for this issue to surface.

⦁    Resolved an issue with timestamp and attribute matching filters - just what it says, in some cases exclusion/inclusion rules that were set to match on attributes/timestamps weren't triggering as they should.

Mar 14, 2017

Release 77.2 is out

⦁    Added support for using source scan filters for destination scan.

      This feature is enabled by setting

              conf.dst.filters.as_source   1

      in backup's settings.ini (see the FAQ on where to find and how
      to work with INI files).

      For the context see this thread -

⦁    Resolved an issue with log viewer not handling correctly log rotation.
⦁    Resolved an issue with upgrading from older licenses.

Apr 11, 2017

Release 77.3 is out

⦁    Speeded up the scanning of remote shares.

As you may or may not know Bvckup 2 implements a multi-threaded file tree scanner, whereby it can enumerate files in several directories in parallel. The thread count was set to the (number of CPU cores - 1), which is a reasonable default for scanning _local_ drives. However when scanning over-the-network locations the bottleneck is with the network, not CPU, so as of 77.3 a new default for scanning remote locations is to use 8 threads.

As per usual, both thread counts can be overriden in settings.ini for the job using "conf.scan_threads.remote" and "conf.scan_threads.local" variables.

⦁    Added new mode for email alerts - "on changes and errors"

That is, it's now possible to suppress email alerts for blank runs with no changes.

⦁    Added support for periodically sending "I am alive" alerts - this is a complimentary feature for the above change. It allows forcing an alert after a backup every N time units *regardless of the alert mode*.

This is OFF by default and it can be enabled by setting the following settings.ini variable to desired time interval:

        conf.alerts.post_backup.keepalive    24 h

⦁    Added support for loading, unloading and deleting backup
jobs from the command line. For example,

        bvckup2.exe --command delete "Backup of C"

will delete a backup job called "Backup of C" just as if it was right-clicked on in the UI and the Delete option was selected.

"Unload" is a non-destructive version of "delete" - the job is removed from the app's backup list, but all on-disk configuration is preserved. The job will also be picked up and loaded on the next app launch.

Finally, "load" tells the app to pick up and start servicing a new backup job from the Bvckup2\engine\ directory. is now updated to reflect these changes, see there for details.

⦁    Resolved an issue with move/rename detection - this has to do with the case when Bvckup 2 is used to take over an existing backup (for example, made by copy-pasting files with Windows Explorer). In this case, renaming a file that was a part of the original file set was not recognized by Bvckup 2 and it ended up recopying the file.

⦁    Fixed a log viewer issue triggered by deleting 2+ backups - that is, with the log panel closed, select 2 or more backups, delete them, open a log panel and the app would whoops. No more.

⦁    Fixed a log viewer issue with not showing on-hover tooltips
when a running backup generates a lot of activity.

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