Defragmenting Backup Location?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by seekermeister, Sep 15, 2007.

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  1. seekermeister

    seekermeister Registered Member

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    Intuition tells me to leave it alone, but after performing a backup and verifying it, I opened the defragmenter to analyze the backup partion, and there were two blocks of solid red. Should I defrag it or not?
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2007
  2. Long View

    Long View Registered Member

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    No - why bother ? You are unlikely to be actively working with this drive. You will add other images ? removes images ? and mount images to restore individual files. I just don't think it is worth the effort.
     
  3. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    More important is that you restore the backup (to a spare drive) to make sure it is okay.
     
  4. seekermeister

    seekermeister Registered Member

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    The primary reason that I was considering this, is because I shall be adding other images in the future, and the fact that the image is not one continous block, means that eventually it will cause those future images to fragment even more. I guess that I need a larger partition to store images on, but that is something that I need to postphone for a while. Actually, the question is not whether it is worthwhile, but whether the defrag would adversely effect the image in any fashion?
     
  5. seekermeister

    seekermeister Registered Member

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    That sounds wise, but isn't the verifier function reliable? A question relating to this, the OS that I backed up is on a 50GB partition, but since TI only copies used space, the image is 21.7GB, while the original used space is 29.94GB. Which of these would the test partition need to be sized for?
     
  6. Long View

    Long View Registered Member

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    what is the size of the drive ? size of image ? and how many will you keep ?
    Have just looked at one of a number of drives that I have with images. it currently has 28 system and data images taking up about half of the 300 gig drive. Perfect Disk suggests a defrag but not doing so causes me no problem.

    If you do decide to defrag anyway I can't see a problem - tibs will defragment and be fine.
     
  7. seekermeister

    seekermeister Registered Member

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    This is my first run with TI, so I may change things considerably as I go along. As things stand, I have 4 harddrives, but they are not all that large...1x40GB, 2x80GB and 1 x250GB. The latter is divided into about 50GB partitions, and the only one left I have reserved for Linux. X64 is on one half of the 80GB drive, and the TI image is on the remainder. The other 80GB drive is full of video. This leaves only the 40GB drive available...as it is now. I'm in the process of restoring a triple boot system, so none of the existing partitions are large enough to backup all of them. I can make some more room by resizing 3 other partitions that contain audio, files and zip archives and I can probably increase that 50GB to 100GB, which should be plenty large enough.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2007
  8. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    In three words .. no, no, no. However once you get a good verification, AND a good restore you can probably rely on just the verification.

    Size it for the used space plus - so use a 40 Gb drive or greater.
     
  9. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Yes it will, but here's where our past experience with Windows causes us to do silly things. If you have a fragmented file, then when it is read back the heads on the disk have to jump around to find the next fragment. Each seek adds a few milliseconds to the file access time. This can noticeably impact performance when running a normal Windows program when there are tens or hundreds of disk seeks occurring simultaneously.

    Consider now what happens when you restore an image from TI. An image file is huge and takes a long time to restore (many minutes). If your tib file is fragmented into 4 or 5 fragments then you'll add maybe 50 extra milliseconds to the restore time. In the grand scheme of things this is completely insignificant.

    I sometimes look at the fragmentation on my backup drive with PerfectDisk and see that the tib files are broken into a few fragments each and think about running the defragmenter, but then I wake up and slap myself. While you could do it, it is a complete waste of time compared to the few milliseconds that you'll gain when restoring an image.
     
  10. seekermeister

    seekermeister Registered Member

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    Such useful responses...I'll try one more. If I understood correctly, the default backup...which is what I used, doesn't produce a bootable system. But when restoring the image...especially to a location that is not the original, will the restored system be bootable? I'm concerned about the test having an adverse effect on how the current system operates. I'm thinking in terms of it overwriting the MBR. If I use the 40GB drive, that wouldn't really be a problem (if I disconnect the boot drive first), but if I used the 50GB partition on my current boot drive, it would.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2007
  11. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    The safest test is to disconnect or remove the original boot drive. Install or just connect another drive that is large enough for the restored image (If the original drive had 20GB used, the substitiute drive should be 30GB to be safe. The size of the image is not a good indiactor since it is compressed.)

    Restore the image to the substitute drive and confirm that it boots.

    When the substitute works correctly, replace the original drive and continue making backups.
     
  12. Long View

    Long View Registered Member

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    Fortunately when I started with Acronis 6 I had not read any threads on Wilders and it never occurred to me that Acronis might fail so I simply made an image of C: and changed the desktop as a test and then restored. Worked Perfectly out of the box. Had I been one of a small minority with hardware problems this would have caused me problems and I would probably have had to reinstall and start again.

    Having made and restored hundreds ( if not more) of images over the years on a number of machines I would say that once you have a hardware combination that works it will work every time without fail. Until enough images have been made and restored to the real drive alternative methods like validation make sense but later I think that validating may be dropped if for no other reason than people have reported images which have validated one day and failed the next. The only real test is a restore to the intended drive.
     
  13. seekermeister

    seekermeister Registered Member

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    Long View,

    Your comment about having a hardware combination that works, makes it sound as though this is more of a factor in failed backups than some kind of TI failure. If that is so, could you explain what you mean by combinations?
     
  14. seekermeister

    seekermeister Registered Member

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    This is sort of what I was thinking, but I feel better hearing you say it. One more point of confusion for me is that if TI doesn't copy files like NTLDR, then how is it going to make a bootable drive...does it make it's own?
     
  15. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    seekermeister,
    There has been numerous postings of attempted defragmentation that supposedly caused the backup archives to be useless. As stated above, there is little to be gained by defragging your archives. Why take the chance, I would not defrag the drive containing my backup archives.
     
  16. seekermeister

    seekermeister Registered Member

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    Thank you. This is more to the point of my original question, than something about it simply being a waste of time...I shall not defrag.
     
  17. Long View

    Long View Registered Member

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    If Acronis has to work with every known motherboard, Hard drive........ etc then
    it could be said that TI fails sometimes. In the real world programs don't always work with a particular mouse, they fail if you try to image to one brand of external USB, or they fail if you try to compress too much and so on.

    all I'm trying to say is that if your particular pc, external drive etc is compatible with a particular version of Acronis all will be well every time.

    With an earlier version of Acronis I did make a few full images which failed intermittently when being made and again when being restored. The culprit was a bad USB cable. A new cable and everything was ok.

    More recently I bought a wireless logitech keyboard and mouse. They worked fine from within windows but the emergency cd did not work. I needed to get a fix from Acronis. So again it either worked perfectly or not at all.

    So if you can make a full image and then restore that image to the same drive
    my belief is that until you change something like a mouse, memory, cables etc
    you will find that it works everytime.
     
  18. seekermeister

    seekermeister Registered Member

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    Long View,

    I now understand what you meant. I don't suppose there is any kind of list of hardware that TI doesn't like...is there?
     
  19. Long View

    Long View Registered Member

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    Not that I know of But if such a list did exist it would be very long I'm sure. One of the great things about the pc compared with other machines is the way it encourages 3rd party development which leads to ever lower costs. It must be a nightmare for software writers though. Buy a slightly off beat motherboard, install the latest sata drive and so on and then complain when Acronis doesn't work.
     
  20. seekermeister

    seekermeister Registered Member

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    After alot of procrastination, I finally got around to trying to test the restore...it did not work. I got to the screen where it says that Acronis is loading, please wait, and nothing happened. Is this some kind of compatibility issue, or is something else wrong?
     
  21. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    If you were using the Full Mode version of TI from the TI CD, did you try the quiet acpi=off noapic option detailed in Section II of the PLEASE READ BEFORE YOU POST thread?

    Also, how long did you wait? Depending on the hardware on your computer, this screen can be shown for 2 to 15 minutes before TI finishes booting. It shouldn't take that long (under two minutes is more normal), but some users have reported longer times.
     
  22. seekermeister

    seekermeister Registered Member

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    Reading instructions...this will be a new experience.
    No, I did not wait that long. I never imagined that it might take that much time, especially when there is no sign of activity of any kind.
     
  23. seekermeister

    seekermeister Registered Member

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    It gets better an better. I didn't mention the fact that when I tried to boot to the OS, that I couldn't, because it kept complaining about a Grub error. I know that the only harddrive that has had Grub on it, is the SATA drive that x64 is on. Before starting to try the test, when I started to set the boot priority, it had already set the 40GB spare drive when I disconnected the normal boot drive. Now, the only way that I can boot normally is to disconnect all drives except the MCE drive that I've been using. I cannot accesss the BIOS except when this is the only drive.

    I suppose that this could be some kind of coincidence, but I'm one of those that do not believe in coincidences. Therefore, it would seem that the TI failure and the booting issue are connected. I could sure use some suggestions.
     
  24. seekermeister

    seekermeister Registered Member

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    It took over 5 minutes for the GUI to appear, which surprised me. However, I'm having a problem with the mouse working properly. The cursor appears, but the mouse can only move it up or down...not left or right, and even the vertical movement is very bad...something like I might expect with a dead mouse battery.

    Long View,

    You said that you got a fix from Acronis for a mouse problem. Was it anything like this? If so, what was the fix? I would rather not have to wait for support to respond.
     
  25. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    It does copy these files and that's how it makes a bootable drive.

    When something goes wrong and NTLDR isn't copied, it turns out that it was on a different drive or partition as a result of an unusual installation. It's often not something that a person would be aware of. However, if you simply installed XP on a bare/new drive, you won't have this problem.
     
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