Question for Shadow Defender users

Discussion in 'sandboxing & virtualization' started by Acadia, Apr 27, 2009.

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  1. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

    Hope that I can word this so it makes sense and I hope my question isn’t too dumb. I’ve been trialing SD for several days now, so far working real smooth. I’m just trying to picture in my mind how this program is functioning. I know that it creates a file upon entering Shadow mode where it stores all the changes to your system, then deletes it when you reboot. SD, in its GUI, allows you to observe the size of this file. If I’ve been using my pc for several hours the size usually hovers somewhere between 150-200mb. But I’ve noticed that the size can go DOWN as well as up. The size usually goes up and down like a yo-yo.

    Does anyone know what is happening when the size of this cache file actually drops? Does SD delete the file and immediately create a new one of smaller size or can NTFS actually allow a program to decrease the size of a file without having to create a new one? Does SD always use the exact same file until it is time to reboot, then the process starts anew? Hope my question makes sense.

    Thank you,
  2. Saraceno

    Saraceno Registered Member

    Good question Acadia.

    I can't answer your question, but just for interest, when I enable Shadow Defender on both drives (300GB - Vista SP1), SD uses about 2GB of space and slowly climbs to about 2.5GB after several hours of use. 150-200MB, I'm jealous now! ;)

    I haven't kept close track of it to notice if it actually drops. If no reply, you'll find if you email Tony (the developer of SD) he usually replies within 24 hours.
  3. ruinebabine

    ruinebabine Registered Member

    I'm also jailous because I am more in Saraceno's range! :(

    And I'd like as well to know of what would be Tony's answer to your question, Acadia.
  4. Saraceno

    Saraceno Registered Member

    ruinebabine, you using Vista or XP? I'm thinking it's Vista related.
  5. ruinebabine

    ruinebabine Registered Member

    I am using XP pro SP2, I exchanged some emails with Tony about this matter some months ago. This problem made me using SD more and more sparingly and on demand only for special occasions...
  6. Osaban

    Osaban Registered Member

    Saraceno and ruinebabine's big starting file depends on how they defragment their drives. I also used to have about 1.5 GB starting the shadow volume, which was a bit puzzling. After defragmenting using 'consolidate' (Disktrix Ultimate Defrag) the shadow volumes starts with 0 MB to 30 MB.

    Acadia, your volume going down is most unusual, it's never happened to me using Shadow Defender or even ShadowUser. I think you ought to send a query to the developer, if anything to make sure whether the shadow volume is actually inadvertently writing to disk.
  7. ruinebabine

    ruinebabine Registered Member

    Yes, I do remember now that it was what Tony told me when I exchanged with him. But it did not work to my satisfaction at that time, I am not sure exactly why, and it also puzzled him. He suggest that it was maybe caused by my particular setting (with many partitions of various sizes and on various internal and external HDs) and I just gave it a rest at that time (...bad, bad me! Go to the corner now!)!

    And what did push me off was that I have a real dislike with using defragmenters (I think it's probably kind of genetic deficiency). But, yes, I think I should give a real thorough test to all this, maybe with that Distrix' consolidating method. It could be what would do the trick for me... Does their free old version also have it? Or do you know if PerfectDisk have a similar feature?

    Thanks for your useful post Osaban :thumb:
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2009
  8. Osaban

    Osaban Registered Member

    When I was testing defragmenters, I've noticed that defragmenters offering the consolidate option (which IMO means putting all the files on the outer edge of the disk, leaving 'small free spaces') achieved the same results. I don't know if PerfectDisk has this feature though, and I couldn't get the same results with free defraggers.
    I've just remembered: I tested consolidate with Ultimate Defrag and Puran, both giving me the same results. I ended up buying UD as it has more features, but I found Puran excellent as well.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2009
  9. bman412

    bman412 Registered Member

    Yes. :)
  10. Saraceno

    Saraceno Registered Member

    Thanks Osaban for the info.

    This may sound 'stupid', but if you test out one of the programs mentioned, then reverted back to say something free like jkdefrag, do you think the shadow volume will slowly start to increase again?

    Anyway, here's the express version:
    Version sells for $12

    Ultimate defrag:
    Version sells for $24

    And Puran:
    Version sells for $20

    I've got some defrag trying to do. :) :thumb:
  11. Osaban

    Osaban Registered Member

    I've also had the same thought: You consolidate it once (by the way the first time could take a good hour to finish) and then by using the system always virtualized, basically you don't need to defragment it anymore. I can't be sure about reusing jkdefrag what would happen, but generally a normal defragmenter will scatter blocks of files all over the disk. With the consolidate function basically two big blocks are created: the files and the empty space on disk. I remember reading on the ShadowUser's help file (which is very similar to Shadow Defender), that ShadowUser wouldn't slow down the system provided the hard drive was well defragmented.

    Attached Files:

    • UD.JPG
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  12. Saraceno

    Saraceno Registered Member

    Thanks for that. Does sound appealing, kind of like using higher grade engine oil. It's good for the V8. ;)

    I noticed the Disktrix express version does the same (consolidate - with less features), did you try that as well?

    Also, without asking a million questions, what were your thoughts on Puran?

    Even if I didn't have SD, I've been looking for a good defrag program for awhile.
  13. ruinebabine

    ruinebabine Registered Member


    And just to be sure, you mean this one: "free UltimateDefrag 1.72"?

  14. Osaban

    Osaban Registered Member

    You are welcome. I don't usually go for fancy interfaces, but I must admit that UD did a good job giving you a sort of 'picture' of your disk. No, I haven't tried Disktrix express. I liked the simplicity of Puran (nonetheless having the most important functions) and speed (from memory it was slightly faster than UD. The reason I picked UD is probably due to its popularity here. I should also mention that I only got a paid defragmenter because of Shadow Defender, as I use my system virtualized most of the time.
  15. bman412

    bman412 Registered Member

    Right :)

    Attached Files:

  16. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    I've done a bit of playing, and I think the answer partly lies in that the indication is some measure of disk space used, but not an actual file size.

    I activate shadowmode in my VM machine, and SD create it's two files one on each disk, both about 11Mg.

    The GUI only showed a usage of a couple of Mg. Then I did a copy/update with FDISR. Worked fine and the usage jumped to about 50mb.

    Then I copied a 9MB file from c: to D: and then a 4.5gb file from D: to C: While the copy took place the disk space usage was blank. After the copy it was at 64MB. Finally I deleted the 4.5gb file from D: SD still showed about 64mb in use.

    Rebooted the VM and everything was back like it was supposed to be. But this leaves me to believe that the measured disk usage is something more arbitrary, then a file size.

  17. Saraceno

    Saraceno Registered Member

    Just a question with that free version of UltimateDefrag, by selecting the consolidate option, should you not later use, say the 'recency' or 'auto' option?

    Do you stick to the one option, I think I'm trying to say? :)
  18. ruinebabine

    ruinebabine Registered Member

    I am giving a go to the UltimateDefrag free version and I like the feel of it, lot of defrag methods and setting options to play with! And, all in all, this also gave me the oportunity to educate myself about defragmenting HDs/partitions. And for this the UD's quite thorought PDF Help File is a real enlighter! Lot of good info in there, be it general or specific to the UD program functionning and features.

    First, if I read it right, this Consolidating feature is about the only function that is by no way unique to UD, in fact I'd say the oposite, this is what most if not all defraggers are already doing:
    However, with UD you have some options like placing the Archive in the inner tracks & Hight Performance files in the outer:
    BTW, of the many given possible different ways of performing a defrag with UD, it seems to me that their one called Auto is an already well balanced and optimal method enough for the majority of our usual PC settings. I only decide adding the "Put directories close to MFT" option to it for this first testing here.

    But this K partition (on a second internal HD) that I will talk about here was so an messtop 74% full 115GB that I made the choice to first perform a Recency defragmentation pass on it [Last Accessed + "Place Oldest Data Most Inner", Archive (75%, Include file types with .ZIP extension + Fast Archival ON) and Hight Performance (10% of Most Frequently used files)]. The goal of that job was to place all old and rarely accessed data to the inner tracks and all recently accessed files to the faster outer tracks. It takes a while and the partition should be ready shortly to go for an Auto final pass on it.

    Before to start using UD, I first temporary put this same K partition in Shadow mode to check how much space Shadow Defender does need to begin with:
    !! So i will see tomorrow what this'll give...
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2009
  19. ruinebabine

    ruinebabine Registered Member

    ...after first UD's defrag pass (Recency mode):
  20. ruinebabine

    ruinebabine Registered Member

    ...well, now, it has already climbed to the same amount as before:
    !! I will now unshadow and start the second UD's defrag pass (Auto mode)...
  21. Saraceno

    Saraceno Registered Member

  22. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

    Nearly 24 gigabytes!! GOOD GRIEF!! What in the world do you do with your hard drive that creates such a big SD file? Edit video and then save it somewhere else?

  23. ruinebabine

    ruinebabine Registered Member

    ...after the final UD's defrag pass:
    ...and climbing (all by itself!)!!

    Downloaded and shall try it shortly to compare results with UD but, well, I do begin to believe that the solution is not in that direction...
  24. ruinebabine

    ruinebabine Registered Member

    Would you beleive it: nothing at all, zilch modification. It's a depository data backup partition, build by SyncBack from some weeks ago, on a second internal HD! Music, zipped installers, and varied other stating data...

    EDIT: o_O
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2009
  25. Saraceno

    Saraceno Registered Member

    I don't think ruinebabine is doing anything, as I've seen one system hover around 1GB and another around 6GB.

    Only thing to do is try a few defrag programs.

    Even if you don't find a solution right away, there is obviously some correlation between the SD's virtualisation size and how files are stored on your hard drive.
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