Fragmented

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by CatCall, Sep 20, 2006.

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  1. CatCall

    CatCall Registered Member

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    Why does true image 9.1 fragment the image file when it stores it on my HDD, at least it shows up as fragmented when I run diskeeper.
     
  2. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    First - Possibly, there is not enough contiguous space to store the file.
    Second - TI does not have any control over that anyway. It’s the file system.
     
  3. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    I am reading between the lines that you are storing your image file on your only internal hard drive . If this is so it is not the safest place since it is on the drive that it is protecting.

    INMHO defragging backup images is not necessary. If they are on a FAT 32 drive they will be broken up into 4 GB chunks anyway. A .tib file is normally written once and may never be read at all . So even if there was a high degree of fragmentation it would have virtually no impact on the system performance.

    Xpilot
     
  4. CatCall

    CatCall Registered Member

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    I have a 200 gig NTSF internal drive that I use just for backups, my question was why does true image store a fragmented image file on my drive.
     
  5. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    It ain't ATI, it's Window's file system that allocates the space when files are written. Because ATI uses Window's file system to write, it can operate in the background and Windows adjudicates multiple requests for file writes. Although, ATI juat needs to keep filter file changes during backup so it can maintain a single snapshot of the drive until the backup is fully written.

    The old Ghost used a version of DOS and its file system to write backups. No interference with Windows but you couldn't run Windows at the same time. Others ran Linuxm same deal.

    There are some ways around this, if it mattered enough to do it, I suppose. Some defraggers like Perfectdisk and probably others use Windows to write files blocks while windows is up and running and you are using other programs, so ATI presumably could do this and control which sectors get allocated when. But it would have much benefit. These are mostly use once files (you write them once and then never actually use them -- ifyou're lucky anyway).

    sh
     
  6. CatCall

    CatCall Registered Member

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    Ok guys you still have not answered my question which is why does true image store its image in a fragmented file on my HDD, its got to be the way it writes the file. Anyway no program should be writing a framented file to a HDD, and it does effect the peformance of the system, fragmented drives slow systems down thats why there are defraging programs.
     
  7. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    ONE LAST TIME ---

    It is not True Image - it's the file system.
     
  8. starsfan09

    starsfan09 Registered Member

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    TheWeaz, and Shieber explained it pretty darn good!

    It's Windows filing system (NTFS). Not Acronis.
    Doesn't matter that TI Images appear "Fragmented",... they're Ok.

    PS. You CAN Defrag TI Images. Will not hurt them at all.
     
  9. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Amen.

    But it isn't worthwhile to defrag them, CatCall. It'll take a long time and give you absolutely no benefit unless you're accessing the fragmented file itself.

    On my system I sometimes end up with a 7 GB .tib file that is broken into only 2 fragments. I challenge you to measure any performance gain from defragmenting this 7 GB file into 1 fragment. What are you going to save; a few milliseconds out of a 15 minute operation?
     
  10. CatCall

    CatCall Registered Member

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    Ok its not TI its the ntfs system thats causing the framentation.
    Anyone know why ntfs fragments it on file creation, I had a external drive drive that I converted over to fat32 and it didn't fragment, I tell you guys I just don't like my drives having fragmented files on them, and my experence tells me that if the drive is in the system and its fragmented it has to effect the systems performance, thats just the nature of the beast.

    Its easy enough for me to solve the problem though ,(the drive I'm referring to is only used to back up a bunch of partitions on some big drives that I consider critical.) i'll just convert it back to fat32.

    Thanks for everyones input in helping with this.
     
  11. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Why does fragmentation degrade disk R/W performance - because the heads can't read the data as efficently since they have to hop around the platter to assemble the bits. If the disk isn't being read (or written) it has zero bearing on system performance.

    I agree with the other posters who said defragging a backup drive just isn't worth the bother since you don't read it often if at all and adding a few seconds onto several minutes just isn't worth it considering the time taken to defrag the volume not to mention the small but finite risk that some data might get scrambled.

    I would like to see the NTFS rules on how it determines where to write a file given the parameters of the file.
     
  12. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    That's absolutely correct for your system drive with thousands or tens of thousands of files and constant disk access by the OS. Fragmentation will slow down the works if the disk has to hunt all over the place for sectors.

    It's only natural to think that this also applies to your backup drive; after all you have direct experience with defragmenting your system drive and seeing a noticeable performance improvement. However, this experience might lead you astray when applied to the drive containing your backup image file.

    If a huge file like the Acronis .tib file gets stored in 2 or 3 fragments instead of one it will have no effect on the other files on the drive. When the OS reads this fragmented file it will be slower than if it were contiguous in only 1 fragment, but if it takes 15 minutes to read back the entire file during a restore when it's not fragmented, then it may take 15 minutes plus a few milliseconds to read it back when it is fragmented. You'll never know the difference.
     
  13. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    Reading through this thread I remembered the one time when, for a test, I created an image running from rescue environment (normally I do it from Windows), storing it on the second internal HD which holds only images, as always. There was a horrible rattling noise and when I went into Defragmenter, Analyze, I saw that the last image file (about 4GB) was fragmented into several hundred parts, all the previous ones into 3 or 4 at most. I deleted that file and created another image, this time from Windows, and it came out normal.
     
  14. starsfan09

    starsfan09 Registered Member

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    Wow!!! That's odd. Did you ever find out what caused this, and how to avoid it happening again?? Enquiring minds want to know. :D
     
  15. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    I ran another test soon after posting #13, but the image was too small to get any indicative results. (I had imaged my "Sandbox" partition with just one folder in it - to make it quick.)

    I'll do it again today using a reasonably sized partition and report.
     
  16. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    So I did it again, a few runs in fact, but I was unable to reproduce the problem I mentioned in post #13. No fragmentaion of image file occurred, neither from Windows nor from Rescue CD. Each time I deleted the test-image after analyzing the fragmentation and before imaging again so as to restore the same state on the destination drive.

    I don't know of any special condition that would have made it happen that one time a few months ago. But it certainly was an exception, or those who always backup from the Rescue CD would have reported it.

    We will see if the problem persists with CatCall.
     
  17. starsfan09

    starsfan09 Registered Member

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    bVolk,
    I've used the Recovery Boot CD exclusively on 2 Dell PC's since May. Both have an Internal Spare HD. All together, I've made 50 or more TI Images on both machines... to 3 different Externals, and the Internal HD's as well. (A lot of Images were Tests).

    I haven't heard any kind of rattling noises. But that's not to say it won't happen. I'll definitely pay close attention from now on for noises. :ninja:

    ::NOTE::
    I have read about rattling noises being the first step in a Hard Drive going into early Retirement. If you start noticing Data loss, or files Not showing up ...then this particular HD you speak of, may be going out. :(

    To play it safe, I'd temporarily move all the data off it ...into a folder on your Desktop (C:/), and run a Diagnostics Test on it. If by chance it's a WD, then go H E R E to download the bootable .ISO file. Good luck.
     
  18. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    Hey starsfan09,

    I really hope your views are too pessimistic for may case. It happened only once, a few months ago and never again. Besides, the great amount of that single file fragmentation explained the noise IMO. Not to mention that the drive is only one year old.

    But yes, I have the diagnostic CD for my Seagate, although I never used it, only chkdsk. I'll give it a try. Ihope it won't tear the head off. :D
     
  19. starsfan09

    starsfan09 Registered Member

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    Sorry, don't mean to sound pessimistic. I would really call it "Paranoia". :D

    IMHO....running Diagnostics on a HD once-in-awhile is really good for it.
    However, one should take precaution running Diagnostics when Important Data is on it --that could possible get messed up when running the Tests. But you're a very experienced user of TI, you don't have anything to worry about because you probably have lots of reliable, and tested Backups.

    I have 7 WD HD's. (4 Internal; 3 External). I've run the Diagnostics on all of them, and it didn't hurt them. There was one time I had to run it on one of the Externals. The problem started when running "Defrag" on it. I canceled it a couple of times, and tried again. Eventually, I got a message that read something like:: "G:/ drive has been scheduled for Chkdsk on the next boot up". I basically had no choice to run Chkdsk. After running it, there was detailed information about 4 bad sectors. Running Chkdsk again probably could've solved the problem, but I opted to run a Full Diagnostics on it to clear things up. Problem solved! Didn't have anymore software related bad sectors.

    Different "Diagnostics" programs from different HD manufacturers may be designed for different things. I know that WD Diagnostics (pic below) has options to "Write Zeroes" to the HD before installing an OS. Since this option really cleans the old Data from the clusters on the HD, I like running it before installing Windows. Also, it scans for "Physical" Bad Sectors.
    My preference of order is to "Write Zeroes" to get all the Data off it. And then, run the Extended Diagnostics.
     

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  20. CatCall

    CatCall Registered Member

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    starsfan09 what are you doing with so many western giggle drives, most everyone has switched to seagate for the 5 year warranty, I have all seagate drives except for one which is a hitachi or ibm which has a 3 year warranty, I hate the drive its been nothing but problems from get-go, been replaced by hitachi once. Anyway I still stick to my previous statement that if you have a fragmented drive in your system it will effect performance of the system whether it a back up drive or not the system doesn't know that, its just a storage device to the system.
     
  21. starsfan09

    starsfan09 Registered Member

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    Some WD's have a 5yr warranty.
    Switched to WD because of the Raptor 10,000rpm HD. I love it. It's awesome!! Have not had one single problem with any WD HD's at all. I think they're reliable.
    I know some people may have different views. We all have our preferences. All manufacturers make a few "Lemons" (bad ones)... from time to time.

    I'm not to hip on Seagate because of the previous "Disc Imaging" software I used to use. I couldn't get the Backup Image to Restore on 3 different Seagate Berracudas. I tried everything, but no go! However, I never had problems on a WD or Maxtor.

    You have a valid point about a fragmented HD affecting system performance, but however, since you should be storing the TI Image you make on an External, (or Internal Spare)...it's Not going to affect your Operating System drive at all.

    There have been a few threads about fragmented TI Images in the past. But if memory serves correctly, they were about .."Can I Defrag TI Images"? The answer to that, is YES of course. Defraging TI Images will NOT hurt the file.
    But C'mon...most of these TI Images we make....are HUGE!! (4-20gb). That's a BIG file. Considering this, ...it seems logical to expect it be fragmented.
     
  22. Christopher_NC

    Christopher_NC Registered Member

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    And the most highly fragmented award goes to...

    Good morning bVolk,

    Sounds like the drivers TI Boot mode was using to access your HD were badly misbehaving (I'm assuming this was the Linux Full Boot Mode). While running TI under Windows is also my preferred method, you never know when you may also want Boot Mode to function smoothly with your hardware. Have you tried this again (understandably not something you'd want to repeat)?

    If there is some hardware that is not being supported correctly, Acronis support should be told, so the proper drivers can be found and included. Which make and model of hard drive did TI turn into a whirling dirvish? Which HD controller, etc? They will at least then be given a place of honor in the TI Hardware Incompatibility Hall of Fame. ;)

    Regards
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2006
  23. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    Re: And the most highly fragmented award goes to...

    Hi Christopher,

    Yes, it happened in the Linux Full Boot Mode. But as I mentioned above, I wasn't able to reproduce that behaviour after reading CatCall's post here. It was a one-time event, though I seldom image from Rescue CD, that's true.

    I'll try to remember and do my regular imaging from Rescue CD instead of from Windows for some time, to see if the problem reappears. Also, I should run the diagnostics starsfan09 recommended and I haven't done yet.
     
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