Backup (clone) twice as slow since new drive/BIOS

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by XIII, Mar 16, 2009.

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  1. XIII

    XIII Registered Member

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    About 2 weeks ago, around the time BIOS 1.7 was published for my MSI P45 Neo3-FR mainbord, my internal SATA drive (a Samsung HD642JJ) revealed bad sectors. Since I installed a replacement drive (Samsung HD642JJ as well) and upgraded the BIOS to 1.7 I did not make a new backup. When I made the backup today I noticed that it took almost twice as long! In the past it was 45 minutes, while it was now about 1,5 hours... Really strange, because I cleaned up stuff on the drive, so there was actually less to backup than the previous time! It's really annoying because now I'm no longer able to start the backup when I wake up and shut down the PC (with a successful backup finished) before I go to work. I would really like to get back the old performance!

    What would you advice me to start investigating?
    - the BIOS (change log states "Update chipset module")
    - the drive (which makes more noise than the old one, so I suspect it not to be in an slower acoustic mode)

    I backup by cloning the internal HD642JJ to an external HD642JJ. The internal drive is connected via SATA to the Intel ICH10R controller of the P45 board and the external drive is connected via eSATA to the eSATA connector of my Antec Sonata III 500 case, which is in turn connected via SATA to the same ICH10R controller.

    Any advice on how to get the old performance back?
     
  2. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Did you check the BIOS settings for the controller and make sure it's running in the same mode as the previous version? Sometimes a BIOS update will not keep existing settings and instead reset to default values or only keep some of the settings.

    Was there a particular problem you had that required the BIOS update? It's usually recommended that the BIOS not be updated unless it's needed.
     
  3. XIII

    XIII Registered Member

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    Yes, I checked (XP does not start if the ICH10R is not set to RAID mode).


    Yes, poor DPC latency. MSI has made a custom BIOS that fixes it and this would be available in a future release, but apparently not yet in this one...
     
  4. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello XIII and MudCrab,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Please accept our apologies for the delay with the response.

    Unfortunately, we are unable to determine the exact cause at this step of the investigation. XIII, please clarify the following:

    1.The build number of the product, which you can find in the Help (for Acronis True Image Home 2009 please hold ALT key to show the menu) -> About dialog (it should be a 3 or 4 digit number)

    2. You mentioned cloning and backup of your drives. But which one do you perform? Is it an entire partition\hard drive backup or cloning (data transfer from HDD 1 to HDD 2)?

    3. Are you operating from within Windows or from Acronis bootable Rescue Media?

    4. Is it possible for you to attach your eSata external drive via internal Sata interface and check the backup performance?

    Thank you.
    --
    Alexander Nikolsky
     
  5. XIII

    XIII Registered Member

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    Sorry, seems like I missed the post by Acronis... (so many updates on this forum...)

    I'm happy to report that cloning my drive (that's my backup procedure) is at normal speed again with a beta BIOS provided by MSI (the manufacturer of my mainboard).
     
  6. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello XIII,

    Thank you for using Acronis True Image

    Could you please share the solution? It can be useful for all.

    Thank you.

    --
    Oleg Lee
     
  7. XIII

    XIII Registered Member

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    I already posted the solution: my problem was solved/gone by installing BIOS 1.80 Beta 2 for my MSI P45 Neo-3 FR mainboard.

    This suggests to me that the problem is probably not TI-related...

    If there are other users having this same mainboard which are experiencing similar problems (with BIOS 1.70?) they should contact MSI to get this (non public) beta BIOS, or wait for public version 1.80 to arrive.
     
  8. XIII

    XIII Registered Member

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    Unfortunately, the return to normal backup times seems to be just a coincidence... (single lucky shot)

    The next two backups both took more than 1.5 hours again (more than twice as normal!), while the data stored on the drive is roughly the same...

    I really don't know where to start to investigate (except trying a few more times with BIOS 1.60). Any suggestions?

    (this PC is running since August 2008; weekly backup times have always been around 45 minutes until the week that I upgraded the BIOS from 1.60 to 1.70 and my original drive broke down - in no particular order)
     
  9. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello XIII,

    Thank you for using Acronis True Image

    Are you able to connect the destination hard drive directly and check the performance? This will help to localize the issue.

    Thank you.

    --
    Oleg Lee
     
  10. XIII

    XIII Registered Member

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    Yes, I'm able to do that (technically) but not right now (time ain't on my side).

    This will be my next action (on this "project").
     
  11. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello XIII,

    Thank you for using Acronis True Image

    Please let us know the results at your earliest convenience.

    Thank you.

    --
    Oleg Lee
     
  12. XIII

    XIII Registered Member

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    I did not have the time to connect the destination drive internally yet (I need to completely dismantle the external case and it has a stupid design that is far from optimized for such an operation), but I did perform one more regular backup (=clone) which once again took 1,5 hours.

    Next, I did find the time to downgrade the BIOS to 1.60, but even with that the backup (=clone) took 1,5 hours as well. So much for my theory that the BIOS might be of influence...

    I'm really baffled by the fact that it was 45 minutes in the past, but takes twice as long now (but has been 45 minutes once in a series of recent backups).

    If you clone a drive, it doesn't matter how much data is actually used on it, is it?
     
  13. XIII

    XIII Registered Member

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    I had a friend over who has TI2009.

    That version (build 9709 I believe) predicted 10 minutes for the entire backup, but ran about 1.5 hours (saying it would need 5 more seconds about 90% of the time) and finally crashed when accessing the ext4 Linux partition at the end...
     
  14. XIII

    XIII Registered Member

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    Tried BIOS 1.8 beta 3: still 1.5 hours!

    And finally found the time to dismantle the case and connect the destination drive directly to the mainboard; cloning the source now even took a little bit more than 1.5 hours!

    I'm out of ideas... Anyone?
     
  15. XIII

    XIII Registered Member

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    Is the amount of space actually used on the drive of influence on the clone speed?

    This weekend I tried to clone the drive of my father's PC which is identical to mine as far as hardware is concerned (except for the CPU cooler, but that should not matter). His drive contains about 370GB of data, were mine is only filled with 200GB. Yet cloning his drive is faster than mine (1 hour and 15 minutes on his PC versus 1 hour and 30 minutes on mine)...

    o_O
     
  16. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello XIII,

    Thank you for your feedback.

    You can try to increase the performance in the following way:

    - First of all please check if DMA for a certain channel/controller is enabled in BIOS.

    - Please do the following to enable DMA mode using Device Manager:

    1) Open Device Manager (Click Start -> Run and type "devmgmt.msc");
    2) Double-click IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers to display the list of controllers and channels;
    3) Right-click the icon for the channel to which the device is connected, select Properties, and then click the Advanced Settings tab;
    4) In the Current Transfer Mode drop-down box, select DMA if Available if the current setting is PIO Only.

    If the drop-down box already shows DMA if available but the current transfer mode is PIO, then toggle the settings:

    - Change the selection from DMA if available to PIO Only, and click OK.
    - Then repeat the steps above to change the selection to DMA if available.

    Please let us know if DMA cannot be enabled manually.

    Thank you.

    --
    Oleg Lee
     
  17. XIII

    XIII Registered Member

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    I'm running the standalone full (Linux) version, so Windows settings won't change anything I guess...

    Is there a similar procedure for Linux?
     
  18. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello XIII,

    Thank you for using Acronis True Image

    I really glad to know that we are speaking about Acronis Booting rescue media. Therefore, we can start the investigation from the very beginning. There is no the same procedure for Linux environment.

    Thank you.

    --
    Oleg Lee
     
  19. XIII

    XIII Registered Member

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    Oh I'm really sorry. It was so obvious (for me, myself & I only) that I forgot to mention this... :oops:

    Is there anything I can do on my side to speed up the investigation?
     
  20. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello XIII,

    Thank you for your interest in Acronis True Image

    Please provide us the serial number via PM so we could give you ISO image of Acronis bootable disc which should solve the issue.

    Best regards,
    --
    Dmitry Nikolaev
     
  21. XIII

    XIII Registered Member

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    The special build of TI2009 provided by Acronis did unfortunately also not help.

    Next, I reverted to a very old BIOS (1.30) and this is what I observed:
    - TI seemed to hang for quite a long time after clearing the second drive
    - TI predicted 45 minutes (my sweet spot!) when cloning the first partition! (recently it always predicted 4 hours)
    - TI decreased the remaining time in a normal fashion
    [I went eating]
    - TI predicted 8 minutes left after those 45 minutes
    - TI needed a whole additional hour after those initial 45 minutes passed
    - TI in total needed 1 hour and 45 minutes, more than ever before!

    This is so frustrating! Maybe I can even live with the clone process being a factor 2 slower than it used to be, if only I had a valid explanation for it (that I can understand)...

    Is there any log file I can inspect (in a separate console) when TI standalone (Linux) is running?
     
  22. XIII

    XIII Registered Member

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    This weekly backup I tried using the ICH10R controller in AHCI iso RAID mode.

    Now the clone took 1 hour and 45 minutes...
     
  23. XIII

    XIII Registered Member

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  24. XIII

    XIII Registered Member

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    BTW: where does my math go wrong?

    70MB/s -> 4GB/m -> 150 minutes for 600GB.

    This is even more than the 1.5 hours I currently get... ?
     
  25. XIII

    XIII Registered Member

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    Since the BIOS upgrade to 1.9 I have made two backups and both took only 45 minutes again!

    I really hope it stays this way!
     
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