Acronis 10 transfer time changed for the worse

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by dneilson, Aug 19, 2007.

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  1. dneilson

    dneilson Registered Member

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    Hello,

    Recently installed Acronis for image backups. Got it working ok and did some backups. 29 gigs transfered in about 14 minutes which I thought was great. Tried several of them and it repeated. Today I tried one and it took about an hour. Tried again and it was going to take and hour so I cancled. Just tried again and it said it was going to take 3 hours so I cancled. Computer is exactly the same--no software or hardware changes. Running 2 Maxtors and they are in UDMA 6 mode. I uninstalled and re-installed the software--no change. I ran chkdsk /r--no change. It worked well once so I think it should work well again but I don't know what to do to try and correct this. Sure would like to get that original transfer speed back. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
     
  2. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    I've never seen a time change the magnitude of what you are reporting. Times repeat, give or take 20%, unless there is a significant change in the amount of data on the disk.

    Did you actually time the "about an hour" backup or was that what was estimated. Estimates are often too long initially and then come down as the backup proceeds.

    Could you have changed the priority of the backup or the compression level?
     
  3. dneilson

    dneilson Registered Member

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    jmk94903--Thank you very much for the prompt reply. To answer your questions:
    The time I got one hour that's what it said and that's what I got.
    The time it said 3 hours I just cancled.
    Did not change backup priority or compression level--I just take the defaults.
    No change in data on disk--it's been the same 29 gigs for all backups.
    I should also mention that I don't use the computer at all during the backups.
    Yes, Ive noticed the times start out a bit high and come down as backup proceeds. When I was getting 14 min. backups it would start out at 20 or 25 and end up just about 14 repeatedly. I wouldn't mind +/- 20% at all but why I get 1 hour and then 3 hours and who knows what next is a real mystery when I've changed nothing and do it the same way each time. Something is causing it and I sure don't know how to find it. Would welcome any ideas you have.

    Thanks again--your effort is appreciated.
     
  4. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    Well, I hoped that you might have canceled that one too.
    Well, there go the other hopes.:)

    What version of TrueImage (TI) are you using and which build. You can get that from the Help / About menu. For version 10, build 4942 is the latest. You should have that one if you have version 10.

    Have you made the Recovery CD? If not, make one and boot from it. Make an image of the same drive to the same location and let me know how long that takes.

    Assuming the Linux drivers on the CD are a good match for your system, the time should be fairly close to the Windows time or perhaps 30% longer. If you get 15-20 minutes, then something has changed in Windows even if you didn't knowingly make a change.
     
  5. dneilson

    dneilson Registered Member

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    jmk94903--Am running version 10.0 Build 5028.
    Yes, I made the boot CD when I was getting this all set up--wanted to verify that I could do a restore to a bare drive and a system drive so did both--in each case it took just about 1 hour and everything worked ok so I felt good about that. The 1 hour didn't bother me as you really don't do restores all that often.

    As before--thank you!
     
  6. GAN

    GAN Registered Member

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    The latest version is 10.0 Build 4942 so if your version really is 10.0 Build 5028 i'm curious where you downloaded that version of TI.
     
  7. dneilson

    dneilson Registered Member

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  8. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    Are you backing the source on the same hard disk/partition?
     
  9. dneilson

    dneilson Registered Member

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    schieber--No, I'm using two independent drives.

    Thanks for the reply.
     
  10. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    OK, I caught that you are using the Seagate DiscWizard. It's TI 10 with some features disabled, but that shouldn't affect backup time.

    The one hour from the Recovery CD is acceptable if you don't restore often, and that should represent the slowest TI will ever backup since the Windows drivers are always as good or better than the Linux drivers.

    The original 14-15 minutes sounds like the right amount of time, so the questionis what has changed that slowed down the backup in Windows.

    Is it possible that you have picked up a virus/trojan/spyware that is running in the background?

    Has any software been updated since the good time with TI?

    If you watch the Task Manager (Ctrl-Alt-Del) what is the CPU usage when you aren't doing anything? Are any processes using CPU time when nothing should be going on? (Click the CPU heading so that the highest uses are at the top.) Is System Idle Process (the doing nothing process) steady at 99%.

    Since you are backing up one internal drive to a second internal drive, I don't see how any peripheral on the computer could affect the time unless it's driver software were running in the background.

    Does it make any difference if you run the backup immediately after rebooting.

    Unfortunately, TI won't run in Safe Mode, so that can't be used as a test.

    You have already uninstalled and reinstalled, so that's been tried.
     
  11. dneilson

    dneilson Registered Member

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    jmk94903--good to hear form you, you sure are tenacious! OK, here we go:

    I run AVG, Spyware Blaster and AdawareSE and update them daily--have also done a couple of online scans and as far as I can tell the pooter is clean.

    No hardware or software changes since the install.

    Idle CPU usage is steady at 99%. The performance graph shows the same. Apparently no virus or driver is running in the background.

    Makes no difference whether after a reboot or later in the day--same results.

    I sure appreciate the effort you're putting into this--maybe there is no solution--there are other backup programs out there--I may try something else or just learn to live with this.

    Thanx again!!!!
     
  12. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    Sonds like the system is clean and at a steady 99% idle, there's nothing sucking CPU cycles.

    Whey this happened is a definite mystery, and I can't think of anything else to try.

    There will be a new version of TI, version 11, out in the next few months. It might be worthwhile watching for it and seeing if the trial version runs fast for you.
     
  13. dneilson

    dneilson Registered Member

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    jmk94903--I ran a few additional tests just to see what would happen--rather than taking the default Backup Priority (Normal) I tried a couple of tests each with LOW and HIGH--absolutely no difference--it's like the program just ignores the setting. Does that trigger any further ideas from you? I'm finding that now I usually get either around 30 min., 40 min. or about an hour--that 3 hour thing never showed up again. I guess I'll just live with this for now--the program is accurate, works well and is very easy to use. When Version 11 comes out I'll try that and see what it does. If you or anyone else has any more ideas I'll sure try them.

    Thanks again for all the time and effort you put into this.
     
  14. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    dneilson,

    You mention in Post #1 that your drives were running in UDMA 6 mode. Have you verified that they are still in that mode? Sometimes Windows will "kick" them down a level if it detects transfer problems.

    One other thing you could try is to copy the 29GB TIB file from the D: drive to the C: drive and time it. Then copy it back to the D: drive and time it. The results may be interesting. (Your drive letters may be different, of course. In this example I'm using C: as the drive you're backing up and D: as the drive the image is being saved to.) If you don't have room for the 29GB TIB file, then you could use a smaller file (5GB or so). This will give an idea of direct drive to drive transfer rates without TI being involved.
     
  15. dneilson

    dneilson Registered Member

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    MudCrab--thanx for jumping in here. I'm aware that the UDMA rate may kick down with drive errors so have occasionally checked it--just checked it again and both drives are still in UDMA 6 mode.

    Just copied the 29GB TIB file (on my drive F) to the C drive.
    I took 46 min. -- I didn't copy back the other way as I can't believe it will be significantly different. If you think it's important I can do it and let you know. That looks like a transfer rate of approx. 1.6GB/min.--I don't know, is that good bad or indifferent? The mystery then is still why I got quite a few 14 min. backups when I first installed the program--that's about 2GB/min. Any comments will be appreciated.

    Thanks for your time!
     
  16. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    It is important to do the copy both directions, especially since the C: -> F: is the way TI is doing it. You only tested the reverse. Sometimes the results can surprise you.

    If it took 46 minutes to copy 29GBs then that's only 0.63GB/min. (not 1.6GB/min.)

    If TI previously created a 29GB image file in 14 minutes that would be 2GB/min. 2GB/min is quite fast, even with SATA-II internal drives. I'm surprised you got that with IDE drives (even in UDMA 6 mode).
     
  17. dneilson

    dneilson Registered Member

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    mudCrab--you're certainly correct on the .63GB/min--I did the math bass ackwards--old age is truly hell.

    I just did the C to F copy and it took 30 min.--if I did the math right (?) that's about .97 GB/min.

    Why I got the 14 min. backups I don't know, but a 30 min. backup would be acceptable--however as I've mentioned in previous posts the times are all over the place. It's consistently inconsistent. Any ideas why this foolishness should happen?

    Appreciate your help!
     
  18. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    If you repeat the copy 5 or 6 times and get the same results (approx. 30 minutes), then the problem lies with TI.

    If you repeat the copy and get different results then the problem is most likely hardware related.
     
  19. dneilson

    dneilson Registered Member

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    MudCrab--did as you suggested, 6 copies from C to F (hard to have more fun that that):

    1 30 min.
    2 20 min.
    3 26 min.
    4 20 min.
    5 27 min.
    6 47 min.

    Didn't use the computer at all during the copies. So, from what you say it looks like a hardware problem. I checked the S.M.A.R.T. of both drives and there were no problems. I ran the Maxtor Diagnostics on both drives and they both passed. Any ideas on how I can pin the problem down?

    Thanks
     
  20. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    For these copy tests, did you erase the copied file before doing the next copy? (This is what I assume, so the copy would be saved to the same place on the destination drive every time.)

    Perhaps if you have the Task Manager open and watch the CPU usage during the copy you could tell if any other process was running part of the time that was slowing it down. You'd have to keep repeating the copy until it showed up. As your results show above, the first five were normal and the sixth was 50% longer. If you did another 6 copies, would they be normal or mixed?

    If an automatic Anti-virus program update or a Windows update check, etc. starts running in the background it can have a drastic effect on your hard disk access depending on your hardware.

    What are your computer specifications? Are you using a dual-core cpu? How much RAM?
     
  21. dneilson

    dneilson Registered Member

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    MudCrab--thanx for the quick reply. Yes, I erased the copied file each time.

    A while back I had Task Manager open a couple of times and didn't find anything out of line. I absolutely respect your advice--but--I spent almost a week before posting here and I've been here for 4 days so I probably have about 10 days working on this and I'm wearing out, right now I just can't do another agonizing 6 copies.

    I do not have my Antivirus (AVG)set for automatic updates--I do it manually. Same with Windows updates--I do them manually so I can see what they're trying to dump on me and I can choose to accept what I want. Here are my computer specs:

    Mach Speed MSNV-939 MoBo.
    AMD Athlon X2 A64 4400 CPU.
    2 Gig DDR 400MHZ Dual Channel Memory.
    XFX GeForce 7600 GS 256 MB PCIe Video.
    Creative Audigy 2 Sound
    450 Watt P.S.
    BenQ FP931 19" LCD
    ViewSonic VA721 17" LCD
    Envision 17" LCD
    Maxtor 80 Gig
    Maxtor 120 Gig
    Windows XP Home

    If you have any other ideas that don't involve 6 more copies
    right now I sure would like to try them. If not I guess I'll just have to live with this for now.

    Still really appreciate your effort!
     
  22. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    I can certainly understand the time you've put into this. Your system is fast enough to handle this without problems (that's why changing the Back Priority doesn't make a difference -- the hard disk is the bottleneck).

    I suspect it's just something going on with Windows. Maybe just use it as it is for a while and see how it goes.

    You don't have to use the 29GB file for the tests. A smaller file may work just as well (3-5GB). The main thing is to see if anything shows up in the CPU percentages while the copy is taking place. Even a 1GB file transfer would tell you quickly; 30 seconds = 2GB/min., 1 minute = 1GB/min., 2 minutes = 0.5GB/min.

    If you ran straight transfer tests and tracked the results, it would problably show the rate going up and down over time. Don't forget the computer is still doing stuff in the backup. "Idle" tasks are still "running" they're just not getting priority access to the cpu. Anything accessing the hard drive will cause delays.
     
  23. dneilson

    dneilson Registered Member

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    MudFlap--Yup, for right now I think I'll take a breather and just live with it. When my head feels better and the aggravation goes away I may try the smaller file idea, I'll take a deep breath and spend a day with it and see if anything shows up. You sure gave it one helluva shot!

    Thanks again--I'm off your back!!!
     
  24. dneilson

    dneilson Registered Member

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    To the people who tried to help me and to anyone who may have this problem the problem is resolved. After spending a lot more time on it I was sure I had eliminated every possible cause---except---the IDE controller. Got a Promise Ultra 133TX2 controller card, put my drives on it and Bada Bing Bada Boom--backups are 100% repeatable and FAST. I backup 52 Gigs in 22 minutes (+/- 1 minute). It was indeed a flaky controller.

    Thanx again for everyones effort.
     
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