Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE: Ad-hoc versus scheduled backup

Read the full series:

Ch.1 – Architecture & Requirements
Ch.2 – Creating recovery media
Ch.3 – Backup modes in depth
Ch.4 – Backup targets more explained
Ch.5 – Scheduling backups
Ch.6 – Administration
Ch.7 – Additional restore options
Ch.8 – File level Recovery

Ch.9 – Volume recovery
Ch.10 – Recovery media in depth
Сh.11 – Ad-hoc versus scheduled
Ch.12 – Support for Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE
Ch.13 – Working with exclusions
Ch.14 – Moving your backups to a different location
Ch.15 – BitLocker support
Ch.16 – Metered connection support

In one of the previous posts we discussed backup scheduling on windows-based laptops and desktops with Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE. In todays’ post we are going to explain the difference between ad-hoc backups and scheduled backups. Actually, there are three different types: scheduled backup, the ad-hoc backup, and the ad-hoc standalone full backup, all of them have different characteristics so let’s take a closer look.

Scheduled backup

A scheduled backup is performed automatically according to the job schedule you specified in configure backup wizard: it can consist of a periodic schedule and / or triggers. The first job run will create a full backup, all the following ones are incremental.

We like to call it “set it and forget it” option. Restore points will be removed according to the chosen retention and as long as backup destination is up and running the backup will be performed.

Important to understand is that Veeam Endpoint Backup’s retry logic. If the scheduled backup job fails for whatever reason, it will be restarted every 10 minutes within the next 23 hours. After that – the backup job eventually fails with an error.

At the backup repository, you can see the following backup files:

Scheduled backup for Laptops and PCs

  • .VBM – the metadata file that contains all the information about the backup chain
  • .VBK – the full backup file
  • .VIB – the incremental backup files

Ad-hoc backup

One of the useful options you get with Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE is the ability to create a backup anytime you need one by simply going to Control Panel and clicking Backup Now button. As a result – a new incremental backup (.vib) is created in the existing backup chain (unless it is the first backup job run). You can ‘Backup Now’ any time you want, for example before software installations or system upgrades. The only difference with a scheduled backup – it won’t start to retry if the job fails.

Ad-hoc laptop and PC backup

Standalone full backup

A standalone full backup is a different story – it creates a full backup (.vbk), separated from the existing chain and not affected by the retention settings of the backup job.

You can start a standalone full backup by right-clicking the tray icon and selecting Backup > Standalone full backup. Since it is also a manual backup action, the process won’t be retried. When the job is completed the backup file is placed in the same location as the backup chain but in the separate subdirectory.

Standalone full backup for Laptops and PCs

Inside you will find .vbm and .vbk files: please keep both files safe in order to perform a successful restore and bare it in mind while moving the backup files to another location.


For most people, the scheduled backup will do the job just fine, but of course we provide additional options. Taking an incremental ad-hoc backup when you are installing new software, upgrading or patching can be a very smart move to do from time to time. If necessary, an independent standalone full backup can be used.

For more information, watch the video.


Read the next chapter:

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