The support forum

Release 76

Jul 15, 2016

Release at a glance

⦁    Support for auto-updates in headless (service) mode
⦁    Support for silent and scripted installation

⦁    Support for locking down command line control
⦁    Support for activation via command line

⦁    Support for private update channels
⦁    Support for inventory tags

⦁    Support for switching the app mode from command line

⦁    More robust switching between desktop and service modes
⦁    A bit more visible update notifications

⦁    Revised version of system IDs as used for license binding
⦁    New email alert for when the app becomes unlicensed

⦁    Formal support for HFS+ volumes
⦁    Assorted smaller changes, bugfixes and UI tweaks

As you can see this is an enterprise-oriented release, focused primarily on changes that make Bvckup 2 easier to deploy and manage at scale. More interesting features, e.g. [1], are in the pipeline and they will follow shortly.

[1]  Parallel copying -

Jul 15, 2016

Support for auto-updates in headless (service) mode

Prior to this release all update checks and app updating were driven by the UI. This meant that in the service mode closing the UI effectively disabled all update-related activity. In particular, there was no way to auto-update headless installations like those running on unattended servers.

As of this release all guts of the update module have been moved to the engine, so the app will check and (if configured) auto-install updates regardless of its operational setup.

Jul 15, 2016

Support for silent and scripted installation

It is now possible to fully script the app installation and have it do the installation without showing a single bit of UI. You can basically do this:

        bvckup2-setup.exe --install foo.ini

whereby foo.ini contains all the data that the installer needs.

For details, see -

Jul 15, 2016

Support for locking down command line control

Prior to this release any logged in user could issue commands to Bvckup 2 when it was running in a service mode. This release adds an option of locking down this access.

The way it's done is exactly the same as with the UI access lock-down in service mode [1] - create a dummy file, configure its access permissions as needed and then tell the app to use it as a template for the command line connection point.

The following line in engine/bvckup2-engine.ini takes care of this:

        ext_control.sec_file    c:\foo\bar\sec-info-template.txt

Additionally, it is possible to disable external command control completely by using the following configuration line:

        ext_control.enabled    0

As per usual - make sure the app's not running before editing INI files.


Jul 15, 2016

Support for activation via command line

It is now possible to activate a running instance of the app from the command line:

        bvckup2.exe --command activate <code>

For details, see -

Jul 15, 2016

Support for private update channels

It is now possible to tell Bvckup 2 to use specific "channel" when checking for updates by setting the following line in engine/bvckup2-engine.ini:   <channel-id>

Each channel has its own "latest version", which is controlled by the channel's owner. When we release a new version, it stays hidden from the apps on private channels until channel owners explicitly approve it. When combined with the auto-update option, this allows to perform staged updates of large installation pools in controlled fashion.

More on this feature is to follow shortly.

Jul 18, 2016

Support for inventory tags

Inventory tag is a short string of text that gets sent to the licensing server with a license activation request, which records it alongside the license details. Its main purpose is to provide a context for each license and help identifying which license was used for which computer when viewing the license list on dashboard.

The inventory tag is read from the following line in engine/bvckup2-engine.ini:


A couple of notes:

⦁    By default, the app will initialize it to the computer name. It will NOT re-initialize it if the computer name changes further down the road.

⦁    At the moment the tag is used only when sending an activation request. If the tag is changed for an already activated installation, this change will NOT be propagated to the server. Not at the moment.

Jul 18, 2016

Support for switching the app mode from command line

It is now possible to switch the app between desktop and service modes through the command line:

        bvckup2.exe --set-mode <service|desktop> ...

For details, see -

Jul 18, 2016

More robust switching between desktop and service modes

As of this release the switch-mode operation no longer deletes any folders if it runs into any issues, but rather moves them aside by renaming into "(backup)" versions of themselves.

Additionally, switching to the desktop mode now does a more careful job of resetting security attributes on the configuration and log files that might've been created while the engine was running as a service.

For details, see -

A bit more visible update notifications

Previously, when the app checked for an update and found one, it would display a systray notification and then consider its mission done *even if the notification balloon simply timed out*.

This release makes things a bit more persistent - the app will keep on showing the notification every now and then until the notification is clicked on.

Jul 18, 2016

Revised version of system IDs as used for license binding

Bvckup 2 installation license is bound to a dozen of system parameters, including things like Computer SID and Windows Install Date, all of which are supposed to remain static on any given computer.

That's in theory.

In practice however Windows updates that are pushed through the Microsoft's Insider Preview Program change Windows Install Date, thus invalidating Bvckup 2's license and requiring the reactivation. So as of this release the Install Date is excluded for the installation fingerprint.

If you are on the Insider Preview program, you will still need to reactivate once more after the next Windows update, but that's it.

New email alert for when the app becomes unlicensed

In similar vein the app will now dispatch an email alert when it detects entering an unlicensed state.

This obviously requires the alert delivery to be configured, so if you'd like to enable just this "unlicensed" alert, you will need to fully configure an alert for any backup job, OK the changes and then switch that job alert off. This will leave the delivery config behind so that the unlicensed alert could be sent.

This is a bit messy, but it will be reworked shortly.

Jul 18, 2016

Formal support for HFS+ volumes

This is a simple matter of adding default timestamp granularity and attribute information for HFS Plus disk volumes (which is a Mac disk format). These would typically be accessed through a 3rd party driver such as Paragon's.

Assorted smaller changes, bugfixes and UI tweaks

It's just that - smaller tweaks and such.

number_one :

Jul 18, 2016

What happened to the backup verification feature that was supposed to be in this release?

Alex Pankratov :

Jul 18, 2016

It got delayed. Still in the pipeline though and will be done.

Jul 22, 2016

Release 76.1 is out

⦁    Hidden files matching found.??? are now excluded by default - these are "lost" disk clusters recovered by chkdsk.

⦁    New log message for backup runs that are missed due to the
computer being asleep or hibernating - the app now differentiates between missing a backup because it was not running and because the computer was asleep. Former is due to a check for missed backups that is run when the app is started and latter is when it is running and detects computer waking up from a sleep.

These alerts can be suppressed by setting respective entry in engine/bvckup2-engine.ini file to 0:

        missed_runs.register_on_launch         0
        missed_runs.register_on_wakeup       0

See for details on INI file format and editing.

⦁    Disabling security information monitoring now also disables
querying this information during the scan phase - this has to do with how a backup is processed it is set to copy DACL/Owner/Group attributes.

Prior to release 75.9 the app would copy these attributes if the option was enabled, but only if a file needed updating for some other reason. It never monitored these attributes for changes.

With release 75.9 the app started also query and compare these attributes if a backup was set to copy them. This is a fairly expensive operation, especially when it's done at scale.

With release 75.10 we added an option to suppress *comparison* of security attributes, forcing the app to do the original "lazy" attribute copying. However, this did NOT suppress querying these attributes during the scan phase. This resulted in needlessly slower scanning, especially for over-the-network locations.

Now, starting with 76.1 suppressing attribute comparison now also eliminates their querying during the scan phase. The following line in backup job's settings.ini -

        conf.compare_sec_info       0

will effectively force the app to behave exactly as it did prior to 75.9.

⦁    Resolved an issue when de-elevation of the UI process fails - that's for an exotic case when "Run as Admin" is disabled in Preferences while bvckup2.ini is inaccessible for writing.

MWorthington :

Jul 25, 2016

[1]  Parallel copying -

Wow, that looks like a nifty update! Looking forward :)


Jul 31, 2016

Release 76.2 is out

⦁    Resolved an issue when the setup is run off a remote location

The issue was with running the setup off a network location. In this case, when the setup needed to elevate (UAC), it would copy itself to a local temporary directory and restart using this copy instead. This is done, because network shares accessible in a non-privileged Admin session may not necessarily accessible from an elevated version of the same (these are two different sessions and Windows doesn’t sync their share lists, at least not by default).

So this copy-to-temp-restart-from-there piece of code has been in the installer from the very beginning, but the latest version (76.x) has effectively disabled it when we added support for scripted installation. Hammered back in its place now.

⦁    Decreased log verbosity in service mode -- the Interrogate commands sent by Windows to the service are no longer logged. These are basically "are you alive?" pings and they do nothing more but pollute the logs.

Aug 03, 2016

Release 76.3 is out

⦁    Resolved an exotic issue with the setup being run under Wow64

Unlike the app itself that comes in both 32- and 64-bit versions, the setup is a 32-bit executable. When used on 64-bit machines, Windows runs it under WoW64 emulation. This has several side-effects including the setup having some of its file system requests redirected to pseudo folders [1].

So when the setup gets to extracting program files, it disables this redirection. The setup worked like this from the very first beta versions and everything was A-Ok.

Release 76 included a small change. Instead of disabling file system redirection when it was ready to extract files, the setup disabled it at the very beginning of its run.

In theory, this should've made no difference.

In practice, in some very rare cases this appeared to break something inside Windows Crypto module, so it just couldn't for the life of it locate setup's executable even though it was explicitly pointed at it. This caused the setup to fail at verification of its own digital signature, so it complained and bailed out.


Aug 10, 2016

Release 76.4 is out

⦁    Added new tray icon for the case when all backup jobs are disabled.

⦁    Added support for "Connected Standby" mode in Windows 8+.

⦁    Added support for clean ejection of removable drives that are used as a source in real-time backup jobs.

Internally the app is now listening for "Device removal" queries from Windows and stops monitoring the drive in response to these queries. If the eject request is vetoed by another application and ejection is aborted, Bvckup 2 will resume monitoring.

⦁    Added an option to start backups by double-clicking on them in main window. This is done by adding the following line to bvckup2-ui.ini file:

      start_on_dbl_click  1

      If you are new to changing Bvckup 2 INI files, start here -

⦁    Fixed an issue with backup jobs getting spontaneously disabled in some rare cases. This is directly related to the Connected Standby change from the above.

Doequer :

Sep 06, 2016

Hi, I'm just wondering why hovering the mouse over the system tray icon, doesn't inform about the program's current version anymore?

Alex Pankratov :

Sep 06, 2016

I took it out because it seemed like a superficial bit of information to show in a systray tooltip. Were you actually actively using it?

Doequer :

Sep 06, 2016

Well, as trifle  as it may look, I think hovering the mouse over the program's system tray icon is actually a quicker way of knowing the actual version/revision, than going the classic way of the about window. After all, how much performance loss or detriment would it suppose to have that additional little piece of information on it?

This situation gets particularly noticeable, when program's updates are set to manual mode, or turned off.

Alex Pankratov :

Sep 06, 2016

After all, how much performance loss or detriment would it suppose to have that additional little piece of information on it?

It has to do with not showing things that are of little value to majority of users, but I'll put the version back, you got a point re: manual/disabled updates mode.

Doequer :

Sep 06, 2016

OK, thanks for your understanding.

Sep 07, 2016

Release 76.5 is out

⦁    Added preliminary support for media and device ejection

Bvckup 2 now can eject media from fixed device (such as tape drive) and it can also "eject" a removable USB drive, which is the same as Windows' native "safe removal" procedure.

For the time being this can only be enabled by editing backup INI file, but full UI support for this is coming in the next major release (R77).

UI sketches are here -
Setup instructions -

⦁    Added support for pre-seeding and migrating backups

Previously if you modified source or destination location in backup's settings, the app would assume that you are merely recycling the job for a new, unrelated backup and it would discard all delta copying state.

As of this release Bvckup 2 asks whether this new backup is related to the original or not. If it is, because, say, you just renamed the backup folder, then you can tell it just that and all delta state will be preserved:

This also comes extremely handy when you are trying to pre-seed remote backup by first directing it at a removable drive, attached locally, and then taking this drive to a remote machine, exposing it as a share and re-pointing backup job at that share. Preserving the delta state in this case is essential, and that's exactly what this change now enables.

⦁    Added warning related to security information cloning, which backup is crossing machine boundary

⦁    Added an option to show app's version in systray tooltip - this is as per comment a bit higher up in this topic. Version information may now be optionally shown in the systray tooltip by exiting the app, adding the following line:

        tray_show_version    1



and then restarting Bvckup 2.

The default remains to not show the version, because upon sleeping on it I still think that the vast majority of people have no need or use for that information.

Sep 21, 2016

Release 76.6 is out

⦁    Fixed an issue with pruning files starting with . from $Archive

As per

⦁    Fixed an issue in the check-for-updates module

The app would very occasionally panic if a check for updates is triggered from the UI while a running backup would be in certain very specific state, leading to state de-synchronization between the UI and the engine. No more.

⦁    Fixed a display issue triggered by de-maximizing the window

This is a blind fix for a privately reported issue - the log panel will appear blank after the app window is de-maximized. Weren't able to reproduce this, but it's easy enough to force a window repaint, so that's what this patch does.

⦁    Added description for errors related to media/device ejection

In particular, the app now shows human-readable "removal vetoed" when trying to remove a volume that's in active use.

Oct 03, 2016

Release 76.7 is out

⦁    Fixed an issue with device tracking vs. network drives

Device tracking would erroneously and repeatedly run a backup job when a network share gets mapped to a drive letter that was previously used for a removable drive and that a job was bound to. This is now resolved, kudos to Maurice for the help.

⦁    Added an optional retry mechanism for network logons

When a backup job is run, the app may now be told to be a little more persistent establishing session to a network share. In particular, the following two variables in job's settings.ini control the retrying logic:

        conf.net_logon.retries    5
        conf.net_logon_pause    13 sec

Retries specify the number of RE-tries and Pause specifies the pause between them. Default for the retry count is 0.


The context of this change is this -


To change these values - right-click on the job, select Open Location > Configuration & Logging, exit the app (!), open settings.ini in any text editor (e.g. Notepad), make your changes, exit, start the app.

Dino :

Oct 04, 2016

Thanks for the updates - any (rough) idea when "Parallel copying" will be included as I think that would speed up my back up scenarios to some flash drives (lots of small files usually) - just curious to try and see if it will speed things up.

Alex Pankratov :

Oct 04, 2016

@Dino,  :-)

McBride :

Oct 05, 2016

I am confused a bit. The ini has
conf.net_logon.pause                               4:1

What does that mean and is the notation as you wrote it like
conf.net_logon.pause                               15 sec


McBride :

Oct 05, 2016

Maybe I am to stupid. Tried, failed, looked into the ini, old values there.

Alex Pankratov :

Oct 05, 2016

"4:1" is an alternative notation for the "time interval" values. The format is <time-unit>:<unit-count>, so here "4" stands for "seconds", so "4:1" is "1 second".

Tried, failed, looked into the ini, old values there.

Make sure to exit the app fully before editing the INI and saving your changes. Bvckup 2 recreates all INI files on exit, so whatever changes you make while it's still running (or lingering in the background), they will be lost.

McBride :

Oct 06, 2016

Generally it works. But it does not work for the cause. The correct Login never reaches the NAS, there is always the "guest" sitting on a stale session. Can send the NAS connection logs, but will not post them publicly. I am sure you got my email in your files from my purchase...

Alex Pankratov :

Oct 06, 2016

Can you email me settings.ini for the job first?

Oct 13, 2016

Release 76.8 is out

⦁    Fixed an issue with the DNS resolver in email alerts module - the app would whoops upon receiving a positive response for an A record query with zero records in the answer section

⦁    Fixed an issue with tracking mapped drives by volume labels - this is an issue introduced in 76.7. If device tracking by volume label was enabled for a mapped network drive, a job would never run.

⦁    Fixed an issue with netlogon retry/pause settings getting lost - net_logon.retries and net_logon.pause values from the INI were over-written with the default on any change to backup job's configuration.

      Kudos to Mr. McBride.

⦁    Improved device status logging for backup jobs - the app now logs the status of source and destination devices when a job is created, loaded or brought from a disabled state -

⦁    Changed the installer to detect corrupted installations - this is in relation to recent W10 updates silently and randomly ripping out installed app for reasons unknown -

With this change, if the installer finds a registry key for Bvckup 2 installation, but not the bvckup2.exe file, it will fall back to the new installation mode.

⦁    Changed the UI for the license re-activations - a minor change to allow entering alternative activation key when re-activating an installation license. There's one very specific and rare use case when this might be needed.

Nov 03, 2016

Release 76.9 is out

⦁    In service mode the engine now runs under its own account.

The account is called "Bvckup 2 Service". It is automatically added when the app is switched to the service mode and removed when the app is switched back to the desktop mode or uninstalled.

The account is made a member of Administrators and Backup Operators groups, which gives it the same set of privileges as provided by the LocalSystem account.

Ideally, it should've only needed Backup Operators membership, but in some cases this group lacks network access privileges, so the default is to add it to the Administrators group as well.  

It is still possible to install the service under the LocalSystem account - click the More button at the bottom left of the Switch Mode dialog and flip the Run service under option -

This change has been long coming as it's an altogether better and tidier setup. It helps isolating Bvckup 2 from the rest of the services, eliminating effects of any custom LocalSystem policies that might be in place and it also allows for a fine-grained control over its permission set. So if another Windows update comes out and (again) breaks things, it should be much easier to hammer it all back in place.

⦁    Reworked share and network drive monitoring module

Netmon is responsible for monitoring accessibility of network locations that are used by idle backup jobs. When locations are inaccessible, the job remains in a "no device" state, which shows up in the UI as "Waiting for the source location..." status.

Network locations come in two kinds - explicit network paths such as \\server\share and mapped network drives.

For shares, the app would periodically try and access the share. If it gets "logon required" error and if the respective backup job has a username and password configured, then it will retry with credentials. Default period is 5 seconds, but it can be adjusted using an INI edit.

For mapped drives, the app would also periodically try and access them. If it detects a disconnected drive, it would try an resuscitate them by asking Windows to restore the underlying connection.

* Prior to this release, mapped drives were monitored differently - the app looked up a network path behind them and then monitored accessibility of that path instead. However this doesn't work for drives that map onto an *administrative* share (the ones with $ at the end).

** If you have two jobs that use the same remote share but with different credentials, then... well... then you are in for a bit of circus. Bvckup 2 will monitor the share, but it will only try and access it using credentials from the first job to register with the netmon module. A better option in this case would be to suppress monitoring of shares altogether and let the backup job connect to them as required.

⦁    Resolved an issue with syncing of modified-renamed files

When planning module detects a renamed or moved file *that is also modified*, it schedules a move of its backup copy followed by an update. The clever bit here is that if it's a large file, then the delta copying state can be preserved with its move, so the update will still make full use of delta copying.

Well. That didn't work as planned (ha).

The file was moved, but the delta copying state was then reset and the app ended up re-copying file in full. It was due to file timestamps getting sync'ed after the move, invalidating the delta state - all in all, a flaw in the planning module logic.

Fixed now. So it should now be possible to delta-update those VBK files that I'm sure many of you have these days :)

⦁    Resolved an issue with some UI settings not being sticky

Minor thing, but mostly causing "Launch at logon" option getting reset under some unfortunate circumstances involving blue screens and hard resets.

⦁    Tidied up pruning of unused items from app's /deltas folder

Minor thing as well - this has to do with housekeeping of the folder where the app stores block hashes for files copied with delta copying. For every job that uses delta copying you will see a one-time "Running maintenance task..." entry as a part of your next backup run. This is normal. Don't panic and proceed as usual.


The release is now out and it will trickle out through in-app updates in the next day or two. But you can always update manually by grabbing the update from

Nov 03, 2016

Release 76.10 is out

⦁    A small patch to prevent Bvckup 2 service account from appearing on the Windows Login screen. Kudos to Peter for the heads-up.

Nov 14, 2016

Release 76.12 is out

⦁    Added support for retrying on errors during the scan phase

The scanning module is what builds file and folder lists for source and backup locations. It is now possible to instruct this module to retry retrieving file/folder information if the first attempt at doing that is failed by Windows.

More specifically, folders are scanned by repeatedly asking Windows "what else do you have in that folder?" and it would return the directory list, item by item.

Apparently, some devices may fail some of the "next?" queries, but retrying them in a second will resolve the issue. For example, this behavior was reported with LenovoEMC px4-300d NAS that would fail queries with "Invalid command length" error.

To support this case, the app now supports retrying "next?" queries when running into an error. As per usual, every aspect of this behavior is configurable, see this FAQ entry for details:

The default is to retry once after one second pause for all errors except for "access denied" failures.

Nov 20, 2016

Release 76.13

⦁    Resolved an XP-specific issue that was accidentally introduced in 76.12

Details are here -

⦁    Changed scheduler not to re-schedule real-time jobs if they are set to run and another change occurs in the source tree.

⦁    Restored support for configuring the delay between detecting a change at source and kicking off the backup job. The default is 5 seconds, but it can now be set to whatever. Kudos to 112233 for reporting this -

⦁    Added ui\backup-override.ini and ui\backup-template.ini to the list of exported configuration files. Kudos to MWorthington for the idea.

⦁    Removed all code and settings for trimming app's working set. This is purely vanity feature and it has been disabled by default since late betas. So this change is just pruning of dead code.

Dec 06, 2016

Release 76.14

⦁    Reworked how an account password is generated when switching to the service mode.

This is related to the change from 76.9, when Bvckup 2 started to use separate user account for running its bvckup2 service (when switched to the service mode). Prior to this release, this account was set up with a 32 character (unicode) password with each character randomly generated from 0x0001 to 0xFFFF range. However, not all 16-bit values from range are valid Unicode characters (see here for details - and, apparently, at least some Windows versions refuse passwords that contain them.

So, this issue is no more. As of this release the app makes sure that every password character falls exactly into either 0x0001-0xD7FF or 0xE000-0xFFFF range.

Moreover, it's now also possible to control password length and to force it into a prinatable ASCII range as well. If you need this - ask for details.

⦁    Resolved an issue with the backup planning module - a very rare issue that surfaced in very large backups *and* when the swap file used by the planner was corrupted by an external processes. Still not quite sure how they managed to corrupt it, but at least we can now handle that gracefully.

⦁    Resolved an issue displaying backup names that include & - a cosmetic UI issue as per

⦁    Several UI improvements - a couple of smaller changes to the UI for working with exclude/include rules in the Backup What section. First, it's now possible to select all rules on the rule list with Ctrl-A. Second, the "Filter details" dialog now understands "gigs", "megs", "kilos" as size units. That's in additional to "k/m/g/t/p" and "kb/mb/gb/tb/pb" notation that it already knew -

Dec 26, 2016

Release 76.15

⦁    Service account passwords now conform to Windows complexity requirements as per built-in security policy -- more specifically, the app now ensures that a randomly generated password for the bvckup2 service account contains an uppercase, a lowercase and one of digit characters.

⦁    DFS reparse points are now processed by default -- that is, reparse points of 0x8000000A type are now traversed during the scanning phase and generally handled as regular folders.

⦁    "No backups for 5 minutes after a reboot" option now supports Windows 10 reboots in Fast Start mode -- just what it says on the label, this option now properly works on W10 regardless of the reboot style.

   †  I will put the details on in a bit, because
       new W10 reboot mechanism is... just something else. Killed almost
       a week on this one.

⦁    Fixed an UI issue in the "Scanning the archive" phase -- oddly enough the UI was missing a human description for this phase. No more.

⦁    Fixed multiple UI issues with higher DPI display modes -- this mainly covers the appearance of comboboxes and droplists in secondary UI windows like Email Alerts. They appeared shorter in height than they supposed to be.

⦁    Fixed an UI issue with the How To Send window layout -- minor OCD cleanup with 2px misalignment of some controls.

⦁    Fixed handling of external "status *" command.

⦁    Improved handling of swap file failure -- largely internal thing related to how the app handles edge failures in very large backups.

Bamit :

Dec 29, 2016

Alex,  I noticed that (for me anyway) the Upgrade to Pro License... under Help does not function.

Dec 29, 2016

Release 76.16

Just a couple of small changes:

⦁    "Welcome" screen is auto-dismissed once the app is licensed

⦁    Removed prematurely released "Upgrade to Pro" option from the menu (as per Bamit's post immediately above) -- this is still coming up, but it's a part of the next major release (R77).

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