Image backup using Drive SnapShot?

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by Izettso, Oct 1, 2007.

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  1. Izettso

    Izettso Registered Member

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    I've started using Drive SnapShot for disk image backups. Previously I used Acronis True Image (with no complaints about ATI). I do my backups at night using Windows Task Scheduler running a batch file to create an image of disk C to disk E.

    I like the idea of the small size of Drive SnapShot, but I have a few questions on which more knowledgeable people here may be able to advise.

    First, although I use the -L0 parameter to create a single sna image file, the result comes out as a number of sna files each of whose size is 1.45GB. (Upon closer inspection, the sna filesizes actually are not exactly the same, if one counts the filesize in bytes.)

    Part of my batch file is:
    What am I doing wrong?

    My second question is, why does the verification testing of the backup take so long to do? For a backup of 58GB, completed in about 34 minutes, the verification took about two hours to complete.

    My third question has to do with the difference between incremental and differential backups. I read the explanation given in Drive SnapShot's website about the advantages of differential backups compared with incremental backups, but I would be interested to hear other people's views as well.
     
  2. dja2k

    dja2k Registered Member

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    Re: Image backup using Drive SnapShop?

    First what you may be doing wrong is backing up such a big amount of data, 58 GB. Try to keep your Windows Partition as small as possible. Do another partition if you can for programs and games if you have it. For example, my windows partition actual size is 9 GB only. The rest is in my second partition, that way my regular backups are small and fast plus the verification doesn't take long.

    I have no clue as to why your files are different, when I used Drive Snapshot, I had them all the same plus one small I think.

    I would use incremental backup but thats just me. Hope this helped out.

    dja2k
     
  3. Izettso

    Izettso Registered Member

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    Re: Image backup using Drive SnapShop?

    Your advice is good and I wish I had done that when I first installed Windows. :oops:
    The only way to do that now is by starting from scratch, and I don't have the stamina to go through such a process, unless I'm forced to do it, for example, after a hard disk crash (God forbid!).

    My only safeguard is to backup everything on another hard disk (my E drive). That's why I don't mind having a big backup file.
     
  4. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Re: Image backup using Drive SnapShop?

    Izettso,

    I don't think it's too late to separate your OS from your data files. Is your used space 58 GB or is the image 58 GB? How big are your HDs?

    My batch file is a lot simpler than yours. All switches are on the same line (I don't know if that matters) and I finish up with a single 4 GB image. My verify time is about 2/3 the image creation time.
     
  5. spm

    spm Registered Member

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    Re: Image backup using Drive SnapShop?

    Use -L100000 instead - this will allow file sizes up to 100GB, so your backup job will consist of a single .sna file. I don't think -L0 is a valid option.

    You are probably better off asking Tom (the developer) about this. I'd start by turning off bytemode (just omit the -s switch) and trying again. One effect of this is that your backup images will be a little smaller too.

    Well, Drive Snapshot only supports differential backups anyway.

    All of this said, might I ask why you backup to another (internal?) hard drive on the same machine? If you should lose your machine (or it becomes severly damaged, say), you'll have no way to restore. If it becomes infected, your image may also become compromised. Give some thought as to why, specifically, you are imaging your drive(s) in the first place, and to how you might restore your hard drive image(s) when needed. Think about imaging to an external drive (which you can keep separate from your computer). Think also about how you are going to get into your machine should, for instance, it's hard drive fail. The best way would be to create yourself a UBCD4Win or BartPE CD, so you can boot into a copy of Windows and use Drive Snapshot's graphical interface to restore (believe me, this is a lot easier than trying to use Drive Snapshot's command line interface to restore).
     
  6. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Re: Image backup using Drive SnapShop?

    I just tried your batch file. It's the problem. Image creation time doubled and verify time increased fivefold. I also got multiple 1.46 GB files, each slightly different in size.

    I suggest

    Any better?

    The -L0 switch works in my batch file.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2007
  7. Izettso

    Izettso Registered Member

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    Re: Image backup using Drive SnapShop?

    Thank you for the replies.

    I checked the Properties of my C drive. I have 59.6GB used and 50.2GB free space. Should I decide to separate the OS and programs from the rest of the data, would I have to include only the Windows and Program Files directories in the partition, or would I have to include something else too?

    What partition software would you suggest I use for this task?

    Brian K I'll try your suggestion for the batch file, changing it for the differential backup, to start with.

    As regards the restore process using BartPE or UBCD4Win CD, I have a question or two to ask before I actually use this facility, but I should best first search the forum for possible answers. If I don't see the answers to my questions I should start a new thread.
     
  8. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Re: Image backup using Drive SnapShop?

    Izettso,

    Just a few more questions. How large is your My Documents folder? Do you have jpg, mp3 or video files outside of the My Documents folder? Basically it's only data files and the files mentioned in the second link that are moved.

    Have a read of this while we are sorting out what to do next.

    http://www.goodells.net/multiboot/notes.htm#13

    http://www.windowsbbs.com/showthread.php?t=49222

    I agree that restoring an image using the BartPE plugin is a dream. Restoring from DOS is a pain.

    I write images to a second HD. It's fast and convenient. I copy occasional images to an external HD for redundancy but my external HD is only connected when it's being used.
     
  9. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Last edited: Oct 2, 2007
  10. spm

    spm Registered Member

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    Re: Image backup using Drive SnapShop?

    I can vouch for GPartEd, too, but...

    1. Why would you want to partition your hard disk? Are you intending to image just your system partition, or would you still want to image all files? If you want to image everything there's no benefit whatsoever in partitioning, in your case.

    2. Before attempting to re-partition any disk make sure you have one (preferably more) verified backup image, that you know how to restore.
     
  11. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Re: Image backup using Drive SnapShop?

    A good point. I only image the OS partition. My data partition is backed up as data. Native format with SecondCopy.

    A full Ghost backup image takes 10 minutes. An daily incremental Ghost image of my OS takes 30 seconds. A daily backup (changed files) of my data partition takes 2 to 3 minutes and there is 70 GB of data in that partition.

    Both backups are scheduled so no effort on my part.

    Yes. Yes. Yes.

    I should have mentioned that I probably restore my OS partition every few weeks. Whenever I have a software quirk that I can't easily fix. My restore takes about 3 minutes as I only have to restore the OS partition and not the whole HD.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2007
  12. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    Re: Image backup using Drive SnapShop?

    Hey Brian, perhaps you wouldn't mind revealing which disk-imaging program you favor. I ask because I've seen you comment knowledgeably on ATI, DS, Ghost, and IFD/IFW (have I missed any?). ;)
     
  13. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Re: Image backup using Drive SnapShop?

    Yes, you missed the very best one : ShadowProtect Desktop v3.0 and Paragon, which is also good, but not my choice.
    Paragon is overloaded, too much information on their screens, ATI is bloaty, Terabyte needs a good GUI designer, Ghost has the Norton Tattoo.
     
  14. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    Re: Image backup using Drive SnapShop?

    Eric, actually I'm aware of those but I was trying to find out if I missed any which Brian actually uses or has used!
     
  15. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Re: Image backup using Drive SnapShop?

    Oops ... sorryyyyy :oops:
     
  16. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Re: Image backup using Drive SnapShop?

    appster,

    I have used ShadowProtect 3 and I like it very much. Apart from looking at the GUI, I haven't used Paragon. I've used all of the Ghosts from 2003 onwards, Drive Image 2002, Drive Image 7, v2i Protector, DriveImage XML, BING.

    My favourite? Depends on the month. Currently I have Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery (a slightly enhanced Ghost 12) on my computer. Actually it is very similar to ShadowProtect 3 (both use snapshot technology developed by StorageCraft). The kids use Ghost 12, IFW and TI on their computers.
     
  17. Izettso

    Izettso Registered Member

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    Re: Image backup using Drive SnapShop?

    My Documents takes up 44.7GB and that includes some photos and jpgs.

    By the way, I also have an external drive that I intend to use for backups, but my main backup drive is an internal drive which is physically separate from C drive.

    What I was thinking to do with data backup was to backup "My Documents" using Second Copy and update the copy version with new files (if any), every couple of days. Apart from the photographs, My Documents mainly contains newer versions of programs that I download. It has only a very small number of word processing documents and spreadsheets. I am thinking of doing a full disk image backup once a month plus three weekly differential backups between the full backups.
     
  18. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Re: Image backup using Drive SnapShop?

    Izettso,

    Without discussing specifics at present, my approach would be to have a C: drive of around 30 GB containing your 15 GB of OS files. The next partition, your data drive of about 80 GB, would contain 45 GB of My Documents.

    This makes for simple and effective backup as discussed above. I run SecondCopy twice daily. Automatically on a schedule. If it's scheduled you can run it as many times as you like as there is no computer slowdown while it's copying files.

    I like that setup.
     
  19. Izettso

    Izettso Registered Member

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    Re: Image backup using Drive SnapShop?

    Thank you for the advice. I like the idea of making an image and a data backup as you suggest.

    I already have a small logical drive (D drive) of 2GB size. What I should do is increase its size to accommodate my data and reduce the size of C drive accordingly. Any ideas as to how to do this in a non destructive way? However, I fear this is going off topic. I should start a new thread... :doubt:
     
  20. lucas1985

    lucas1985 Retired Moderator

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    Re: Image backup using Drive SnapShop?

    What's your opinion of DriveImage XML?
     
  21. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Re: Image backup using Drive SnapShop?

    lucas1985,

    I've created and restored images with this app. Restoring is done from BartPE.

    It's free as you know and that's a big advantage for those who prefer not to buy imaging software. It works fine. My only criticism is the speed of imaging and restoring. It runs at half the speed of other products. If you aren't in a hurry that may not be a problem.
     
  22. EASTER

    EASTER Registered Member

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    Re: Image backup using Drive SnapShop?

    That's one opinion. ;)

    It's not really overload because Paragon is far from bloated, never has been IMO, still isn't, what is does have are very useful features, some of which are meant to pull a user's tail out of a pickle.

    I am but one of many completely satisified avid Paragon Drive BackUp Pro users, and even though with it some could use the CD Recovery CD to perform actions like imaging/restore etc.; i prefer instead to play it safe and carve up my HD's into at least 2 bootable partitions, then even though i regularly backup using Paragon's HOT PROCESSING whilst in windows, i always restore from that alternate partition. There is also a Capsule as it's called, which is a small partition made just for storing a good image if something happened preventing a bootup, it wouldn't be of much use if that partition was disabled, thats why i prefer to create my own or even use another Hard Drive (slaved but bootable) to perform imaging/restores with Paragon. It's not let me down yet.
     
  23. lucas1985

    lucas1985 Retired Moderator

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    Re: Image backup using Drive SnapShop?

    I use it since some time and my findings are the same as yours. It works fine and it's reliabe, but it isn't a speed demon. Also, it won't restore an image to a partition smaller than the partition imaged.
     
  24. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Re: Image backup using Drive SnapShop?

    I don't think I tested that aspect.

    Drive SnapShot is probably similar. Also, DS won't restore an image to unallocated space. You have to restore to a partition.
     
  25. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Re: Image backup using Drive SnapShop?

    Izettso,

    Everything OK with the batch files?
     
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