Can I defrag partition drive where keeping all the backups files?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by iSkywalker, Aug 8, 2006.

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  1. iSkywalker

    iSkywalker Registered Member

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    Can I defrag partition drive where keeping all the backups files?
     
  2. dobbelina

    dobbelina Registered Member

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    No, It will chew up all the files and spit it out in un-readable pieces !!
    He he, only joking :D
    Sure you can defrag, no problem.
     
  3. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    Yes. I do this fairly often to make room for new backups after deleting old ones.
     
  4. mark3

    mark3 Registered Member

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    Then again, there have been some posters here who have stated that defragging corrupts the files. The only way to find out would be to restore after defragging, but, if you are going to do that then restore to another disk, just in case. TI wipes the disk before restoring and if the file had been corrupted due to defragging, then you would end up with no OS.
     
  5. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello iSkywalker,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Please accept our apologies for the delay with the response.

    Please note that if you defragment the hard disk drive that contains a *.tib file, there should arise absolutely no issue with this. You can successfully restore or explore (mount) such backup file. In no way does defragmentation affect an Acronis True Image backup archive.

    Also please note that it is not recommended to carry out defragmentation of the hard disk drive before creating incremental/differential backup because of the following:

    Once you create a full backup of a whole hard disk drive or a partition and perform defragmentation after the full backup was created, then if you choose later to append and incremental or differential backup to the full backup, the size of the resulting incremental or differential archive file will be approximately as big as the size of the full backup.

    The main objective of creating an incremental or a differential backup is to reflect the changes that have been made to the hard disk drive since the last full backup was performed. Defragmentation changes hard disk drive structure significantly.

    So, to avoid this, it is recommended to perform defragmentation before a full backup is created.

    Thank you.
    --
    Aleksandr Isakov
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2006
  6. J-Mac

    J-Mac Registered Member

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    Aleksandr,

    If I may ask for a bit of clarification here:

    You say that I should defragment a drive before I perform a full backup, or subsequent incremental backups will be about as large as the full backup, correct?

    What about after the full backup? What happens if I defragment a drive after a full backup? Won't that still have an effect on the incremental backup?

    I should say that I have performed one full backup and three or four incremental backups since then. Everything seemed to go fine. I have not tried to restore, so I don't really know if my backups will work.

    But I do worry about what defragging does to my backup files.

    Other than defragging right before a full backup, what other advice or rules are there regarding defragmentation and Acronis backups?

    Thank you!
     
  7. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    I'm not Aleksandr but that won't stop me from giving my take on the situation. :)

    It is the ideal time to do a defrag because you clean up the structure and you won't be affecting any backups because they haven't been created yet. See the next answer.

    Yes. Imaging programs look at changed sectors and defragging changes the in-use sector map so TI considers it as new data; it doesn't matter if the files are the same as before. The in-use sector map will be very different after defragging compared to what it was when the Full backup was made. This is true at any time when making an incremental backup immediately after defragging, not just the first one after the Full.

    You have only done half the test if you haven't done a restore. Don't wait until your disk has died to see if it works. Validating will give some confidence but it is NOT the same as restoring.

    The backup files are just that files although they tend to be large. If your HW is working properly and your defrag program works properly there will be no problem. The real thing is whether or not it is worth it. Backup archives are rarely if ever accessed unlike other files on your PC which may be accessed very frequently every day. They take a long time to process, minutes not a second or two, so what is the benefit if they can be accessed marginally faster? Even though there should be no problem defragging on a solid system why run the risk of something going wrong for no real benefit? Why waste the time?

     
  8. J-Mac

    J-Mac Registered Member

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    I guess this is still very unclear to me (maybe I'm just thick! ;) ) - are you saying that defragging itself, any drive that I backup, is not worth doing? At all?

    Or are you referring only to defragging the drive where the backup files are?

    If I stop defragging altogether, won't that have a negative impact on my drive performance? That's the reason I purchased Diskeeper in the first place - and I have noticed a difference in speed since I started defragging regularly. If it's just a fact of life that defragging a drive after making an image of it renders the backup image useless - or even less apt to be able to restore successfully, then I have a problem.

    If it is just the backup files that should not be defragged, I can easily exclude the drive where I keep my backups.

    As for testing the backup by restoring, it's just that same fear that I am sure everyone has to an extent - if the restore doesn't work, then all is lost, correct? I realize that I can use another backup solution and make another backup just in case, but of course I have no way of knowing if that backup will restore either.

    I can't think of a way to test a restore safely. If I test it and it fails, then I have simply hastened the very situation that I was hoping the backup would save me from! For example, my last desktop PC ran for four years, with heavy usage, without failing - I had backups with Dantz Retrospect but never has to use one. If I decide to test an Acronis backup on this PC and it fails, then I have lost data that perhaps I would never had lost otherwise (if I was lucky and, like the old PC, it never failed). I realize that it is a matter of insuring that IF there is a failure - and it is very possible that there could be one - I have a backup that SHOULD put me back at the point where I was before the failure... IF it works. I guess what I'm saying is that I'm too chicken to test the darned backup!!

    Is there any safe way to test it? Maybe backup a smaller piece of data that I can make a full copy of first, and see if that works? Not a test of the full backup, but it would give me an idea. Or am I just kidding myself with that?

    BTW, I do appreciate your help! Even though I still sound nervous about restores!
     
  9. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    The way I originally tested my TI installation was to pretend that my Hard drive had failed. So I removed it and replaced it with another hard drive and ran the restore. I adopted the same procedure whenever I installed a new build or version.
    So for the cost of an extra drive and a few minutes fiddle with a screw driver I could test my restores in perfect safety.
    I have now evolved this swapping of drives method to become the basis of all my backups. Having installed a drive rack in my PC and having two removable drive drawers makes life very simple indeed.

    I have never defragged the partition where my archive images are stored. I think that it is a waste of time. Each .tib file is written to once and only very occasionally is it ever read before it is eventually discarded.
     
  10. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    My view is same as Xpilot's.

    Also, if you use the partition for your backups right after formatting you are dealing with large files so deleting a file opens up a large contiguous block of available space. So if you only store backups there the space will not get overly fragmented for some time.

    The defrag process on your other drives really only affects incremental and differential backups of those partitions. It shouldn't cause them not to work but will cause them to be larger thus negating the size advantage of them. I always do Fulls so I don't care.

    You can do a restore of an image to an unused partition if you don't have or want to get a spare drive. Be sure you do this restore with the rescue boot CD since it is what you have to use if your disk goes bad. The common problems with TI are validating an image and the not being able to run TI off the boot CD for various reasons. If you can run the program on a validated image bad restores are not common.
     
  11. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    My take on Aleksandr's statement is that by defragging the source drive just before you create a full image of it there will be less in-use sectors shuffled about during any subsequent defrags. Hence there will be less affect on the resultant size of an incremental or differential image.

    Regards
     
  12. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Good point and it seems plausible. Adjust your hat size up one notch. :D :D :D
     
  13. J-Mac

    J-Mac Registered Member

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    OK. I do have a separate drive where all I have is backups. Not only my Acronis images, but ACDSee photo database backups, plus anytime for example if I need to edit my registry I export it as a backup first and store those here also. Any kind of backup at all goes on my E: drive. That's what I got it for.

    I think that's what I'll do from now on: only full backups. The E: drive is an onboard SATA Seagate 500 GB drive, so it can take quite a few full backups.

    How many images do you keep? The most current plus the one before that? Or do you keep more?

    OK, so say, partition my D: drive and restore my C: drive there using the rescue CD?

    BTW, my C: drive is an 80 GB Western Digital with only the OS - WinXP Pro - and all program files. No data is stored there. All data, plus the paging file, is kept on the D: drive. So the C: drive is small enough that I could test the image on a much smaller drive than my D: or E: drives. Actually I also have a 250 GB Maxtor firewire external drive, but I left it connected to my older HP PC. I could even try restoring to that as a test. Of course I'd then have to try to run my system from there, right?

    Thanks for the help, folks.
     
  14. J-Mac

    J-Mac Registered Member

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    Xpilot, while I am fairly handy, I am reluctant to swap out a hard drive on my new PC for testing purposes. If there were a catastrophic event of some sort, I would have no choice. But barring a real problem, I think I'd prefer to use an added or external drive instead of getting in there with a screwdriver just yet!

    Thanks.
     
  15. J-Mac

    J-Mac Registered Member

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    Plus, above and beyond all else, I always shut down my AV, AS, and FW before working with Acronis at all.

    That should be standard procedure, but I have seen where folks have problems because they didn't think to shut them all down.

    That should probably be in bold, red letters in the manual!!
     
  16. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Hi J-Mac

    I can relate to your concerns relative to restores. On my old machine I was the same way, just because of the time to recover. So when I bought my new machine, first thing I did was do an image and restore it. Now it's to the point when I image, what I do is Image and verify. Then I try and extract a file or two from the image. If those are sucessful, and then last thing I do is restore from the image. Now I know I have a good image. Restoring has become as common place as the imaging itself.

    Pete
     
  17. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    Well I differ by 180 degrees on that as far as imaging is concerned, I leave everthing that is loaded alone and let the image run by schedule within Windows with absolutely no problems.
    Restores are a different kettle of fish as I always run them from the rescue CD and virtually nothing else is running so again no problems.
     
  18. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    I totally disagree with this. In fact, any app that requires me to run unprotected does NOT run on my systems.
    Like Xpilot, all my backup images are created with everything as it normally is and I have had no problems.
     
  19. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    I also run my AV,FW,AS, OE and whatever network stuff is happening when I backup. No problems. I don't usually keep using the system though since it is fairly fast and "I like watching" :D
     
  20. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    I told my parents I wanted a watch for Christmas ... so they let me.

    Sorry ... :p
     
  21. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    OOhh! You are awful but we like you just the same [​IMG]
     
  22. J-Mac

    J-Mac Registered Member

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    Well, I used to leave all protection up and running no matter what I was doing. But almost every single time I have a process of some kind fail it turned out, after much troubleshooting, that the root cause was one of the background scanning apps - AV, AS, or FW - interfering in the process.

    I disagree, Weaz, with your comment, "...any app that requires me to run unprotected does NOT run on my systems..." in that no app here is REQUIRING that anyone run without protection. But KAV6, for example, has that Proactive Defense that will stop just about any process in its tracks until it is either given permission or KAV is disabled. Sure, after running a process several times you can eventually train KAV to allow it with rules, but it seems that every time I run something KAV finds another reason to block it even though I have set up rules.

    The PC security apps nowadays have become extremely intrusive - to the point of making it almost impossible to schedule tasks when they are up and running. I don't like it, but there doesn't seem to be much I can do about it.

    I just abandoned Zone Alarm SS because it never remembered trusted apps anymore and their support just keeps having folks delete and rebuild the database.

    I now use COunterspy, Kerio PF, and KAV6 on one PC, and NOD32 on two others. And I'm having all kinds of conflicts with them. Easier for me to go offline and shut them down for operations like disk imaging.

    If I ever get to the point where all are well-covered by rules, I'm certain that they'll change it all just to annoy me!! :O
     
  23. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    “I disagree, Weaz, with your comment, "...any app that requires me to run unprotected does NOT run on my systems..."”

    I’m afraid you CAN’T disagree. It’s not my opinion, it’s a fact. :D

    “The PC security apps nowadays have become extremely intrusive - to the point of making it almost impossible to schedule tasks when they are up and running.”

    Like I said, it’s never been a problem for me and I’m locked down pretty tight. There are too many security choices out there to allow an “extremely intrusive” one to stay on my systems.
    Sorry you’ve had troubles, but I believe you’re in the minority. I cannot agree “That should be standard procedure”.
     
  24. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello J-Mac,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Please accept our apologies for the delay with the response.

    I'm sorry for not being accurate enough in my explanation in the previous post. I have corrected it appropriately. What I meant is that if you would like to defragment your hard drive it is better to do so proir to the full backup creation. And the reason is very good described by Menorcaman in his post #11.

    As I already said in my first reply if you defragment the hard disk drive that contains a *.tib file, there should arise absolutely no issue with this. You can successfully restore or explore (mount) such backup file. In no way does defragmentation affect an Acronis True Image backup archive.

    Thank you.
    --
    Aleksandr Isakov
     
  25. J-Mac

    J-Mac Registered Member

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    Thank you Aleksandr.

    Presently I am just performing a complete full backup each time. I do have the disk space to do that, and it's not taking that long to do. Plus, I expect that restoring a full backup is always less prone to errors than a full backup with subsequent incremental backups. Correct?

    Thanks again, Aleksandr.

    BTW - One more quick question: Since there is no "Remove" function within Acronis, do I just delete all files with the dates of the previous backup job when I perform a new full backup?
     
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