Backup speed to external USB drive: NTFS slower than FAT32 ???

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by tuttle, Jan 4, 2008.

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  1. tuttle

    tuttle Registered Member

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    Quick summary of issue: imaging to NTFS drive takes twice as long as imaging to FAT32 drive. Why?

    Using True Image Home 11 build 8053, I create a full image of the internal hard drive to an external USB hard drive. System is Windows XP with USB 2.0. Internal system drive being imaged is 149GB, 36.6GB in use, formatted NTFS.

    When imaging to the fast 3.5" NTFS drive, using Normal compression the resulting image is one single 32.8GB file. When imaging to the slower 2.5" FAT32 drive, using Normal compression the resulting image is 9 files totalling 32.8GB (each file maximum 3.99GB).

    For some reason, imaging to a fast 3.5" NTFS drive is much slower than imaging to a slower 2.5" FAT32 drive. (I've listed the specifications of each drive at bottom of this post.) Imaging times were similar whether I ran the backup from within the True Image Windows application, or from the bootable recovery CD. In all cases, it took 2 hours to create the image to the fast 3.5" NTFS drive, but only 1 hour to create the same image to the slower 2.5" FAT32 drive.

    Comparison of the drive specifications would appear to suggest that backup to the 3.5" NTFS drive AcomData drive should be faster, or at least not slower, however it takes twice as long to image to that drive.

    Why would it take twice as long to image to the faster drive? Is this some issue of NTFS versus FAT32, or is there some other factor at work? If I reformatting the 3.5" AcomData drive to be FAT32, would the imaging times then be faster and similar to those of the 2.5" drive?


    Specifications Of External Drives Used

    AcomData Hybrid 3.5" External Hard Drive
    NTFS
    500 GB
    7200 RPM
    8 MB buffer/cache
    16-bit RISC processor
    Average seek time: 8.5ms
    Latency (average): 4.2ms

    Western Digital Passport Portable 2.5" External Hard Drive
    FAT32
    120 GB
    5400 RPM
    2 MB buffer/cache
    Average seek time: 12ms
    Latency (average): 5.5ms
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2008
  2. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    State College, Pennsylvania
    Both of your times seem out of line. With fairly modern hardware it should take TI about 30 minutes to create a backup image file of 32.8 GB to an external USB 2.0 hard drive.

    Before suspecting the file system type (NTFS vs. FAT) I would be suspicious of some other hardware cause. Are both drives connected to the same USB port? Are either of them connected to a USB hub?

    You could do a test. Take one of your 3.9 GB image files and copy it to your internal hard disk. Then time how long it takes to copy this file to each external drive. Use the same USB connector for both tests.
     
  3. tuttle

    tuttle Registered Member

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    They used the same USB port directly on the PC (no hub).
     
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