Image for Windows PHYLock taking 10minutes

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by WYC999, Jun 4, 2013.

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  1. WYC999

    WYC999 Registered Member

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    Hi there,

    I'm testing IFW on Win7 64-bit machine. Started making image from system partition c. But the program always waits 10 minutes (which is the default setting for wating before the program forces the creation of image) and then starts the image. It says somethings like "Waiting for PHYLock to lock partition".

    From manual i understand that PHYLock is a programm that is used to image partitions that are used and is some alternative to VSS. So I don't really get it what i am doing wrong?

    P.S. I have AXTM installed on my machine which works supossedly fine with IFW. But to make sure i ended the program - same result...
     
  2. moontan

    moontan Registered Member

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    i only had to wait 30 seconds or so.

    your best bet is to use a boot disk.
    no need for Phylock there. :)

    you can even use a Windows Command Prompt at boot times to run the IFW exe (imagew.exe) if you don't want to run a boot disk.
    faster than to wait for a WinPE disk to load.
     
  3. puff-m-d

    puff-m-d Registered Member

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    Hello,

    Phylock waits for an X amount of time for disk activity to stop and then flushes its cache before proceeding to backup (the way I understand it). This time out usually happens when some process is causing disk activity. You can try to lower the write free time gradually under settings (if you cannot figure out which process keeps doing disk writes and stop it) until it does not time out. The other option is you can change the settings to use window's VSS instead of phylock...
     
  4. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    What version of IFW are you using?

    Is the current version of PHYLock installed? Should show the version in the IFW.LOG file.

    Are you using the default PHYLock settings?

    Are you excluding files/folders?
     
  5. aladdin

    aladdin Registered Member

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    This is the biggest failing for me for IFW, that it takes at least 10 minutes most of the time for IFW to do anything due to PHYLock (default). Sometimes, it locks in less than 10 minutes other times it doesn't.

    People has suggested to use VSS instead of PHYlock, but I don't like as all my other imaging programs use VSS. Therefore, I have reduced to the default 10 minutes to 3 minutes, but I don't know it is good or not.

    I did the above a long while back.

    Best regards,
     
  6. WYC999

    WYC999 Registered Member

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    For the questions here:

    - latest version of Software (2.82) with PHYLock installed
    - yes standard settings are used.
    - no no folders excluded just want to make image of C.


    If i just use VSS instead. What is so good about PHYLock. As far as i undestand it, it allows to create images while system is running. But judging from my experience and aladdins comment it is not really capable of JUST doing that.

    So are there disadvantages if using VSS?

    @puff-m-d: Did you try this? What suggestion would you have for the write-free-time? How could i find out which program causes this. I mean any program could be writng to c right?
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2013
  7. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    PhyLoc was developed back when VSS didn't exist or was callable. Terabyte wanted a way to collect a point in time image that was complete and locked (no partial files active) just like VSS eventually did. With the more modern OSes, VSS should be sufficient, although M$ still has a few glitches with VSS occasionally.

    If your IFW backup is waiting the full 10-min then your system has way too many disk write accesses going on during that time (could be anything including Windows indexing of file content). My system typically waits about 2-15 sec. before it takes off with PhyLock. If PhyLock times out then I believe it starts with a fractured point in time (open files will not necessarily be complete in the backup if they were being written at the time of the failed lock).

    What you should do is try and find out why some task is writing all over your system for that amount of time (open file READs don't make the lock fail)... that's a bit much unless you're running something purposely to write on the disk. I disabled file content indexing as soon as I built the system... for me it's of very little use.
     
  8. aladdin

    aladdin Registered Member

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    I have changed the default setting of PHYLock from 10 minutes to 3 minutes, since then I don't have to wait for 10 minutes before IFW starts imaging.

    Now in less than 3 minutes it start to imaging.

    Try to change the default 10 minutes setting to 3 minutes and see what results you get.

    Best regards,
     
  9. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Using PHYLock will back up some areas of the drive that VSS won't. For most backups that isn't a problem.

    My normal PHYLock "lock" times are usually just a few seconds. It does tend to take a bit longer (a few minutes) on my main Windows partition due to my raising the "quiet time" value a bit. However, I've only seen it go the entire time-out period when something is wrong or blocking the lock.

    It's possible that the other snapshot driver is causing a problem. It's not uncommon and does pop up from time to time -- even with drivers that worked well together previously (new version, for example).
     
  10. puff-m-d

    puff-m-d Registered Member

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    Hello,

    Write free time is set to 4250 (4.250 seconds) by default. You could try lowering this by 250 at a time (>4000 lowered by 1/4 of a second) and then try a backup. See if it times out still and if so lower by another 250 to 3750 and try again. You would not want this value so low that the backup starts immediately but you would not want it to keep timing out either. It is pretty much a trial and error and a balance of lowering the value as little as possible until you get the result you want. Also note I leave the max wait time set to 10 minutes to balance out if something is doing an excessive amount of disk writes. Some people like to lower the max wait time and others the write free time. It is my personal opinion and preference to lower the write free time. For me it is the best balance.

    I have been able to keep these set at default on my system even though I previously have had problems. Usually my backups will start in 10 to 15 seconds with the default settings. I do not remember what program/programs that I have issues with excessive disk writes, but I used apps like Process Hacker or Process Explorer to monitor disk writes in real time as my system sat idle. It just takes a bit of time and patience to troubleshoot it.

    MudCrab gives a good point here as I have seen this issue occur with other snapshot drivers also. Other programs to look at while you are troubleshooting are any programs that do logging, especially a lot of logging. Programs such as AV's, firewalls, and other security programs for instance. If you see these doing a lot of logging, see if there are settings in the program to limit or turn off the logging as usually you do not need it unless you have program that you need the logs to troubleshoot. Another place to look are at programs that run in a debug mode. You see this a lot especially in alpha and or beta software (and yes, security programs in the alpha/beta stages can be notorious for creating a lot of debug logging). If you are alpha/beta testing any software, check these for doing excessive debug logging and if the case, and you are not have any issues at that point in your alpha/beta testing, see if the program has settings to reduce or turn off the debug logging.

    Also note that for me personally, I would try troubleshooting the actual disk write issue first, before changing the default setting of phylock. I would change these only if I could not determine the issue causing the problem first. Another thing to consider if you do change these default settings is, over a period of time as you add, remove and update programs on your system, what has been causing this issue may just go away. You may want to go back if you change the default values, and from time to time just reset them back to default. I have seen this issue just mysteriously disappear over time as your system changes, so IMHO it is a good thing to revisit the default setting from time to time.

    These are just a few ideas and things I have done and looked at in the past when I have had these issues with phylock. I hope they may also help you...
     
  11. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    Do you have a gigabyte motherboard?
    PHYLock - Waiting Issue with Gigabyte's GEST Service
    The "PHYLock is waiting..." Message Appears for an Extended Period of Time

    Panagiotis
     
  12. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    MudCrab,

    Are these UseFilesToNotBackup/UseFilesToNotSnapshot or others? Thanks.
     
  13. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    Hi Brian,

    in versions before 2.82 the "FilesToNotSnapshot" where automatically excluded from the image. With 2.82 IFW added the ability to instract vss to exclude/ignore those registry keys when creating the shadow copy.

    Panagiotis
     
  14. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Panagiotis,

    I'm having trouble with the double negatives in this...

    I have Win8 and don't have either of those keys. I gather you have to manually create them but I thought they were present in Win7. So as I don't have the keys, is a VSS backup the same as a PHYLock backup?

    Edit.... My mistake. I do have those keys
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2013
  15. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Brian,

    Also, byte-for-byte validation can fail with VSS because it doesn't cache everything that gets backed up.
     
  16. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    The option names are from the VSS names (though "ToNot" is reversed). It's just whether or not they are excluded. My understanding is that they have to be manually configured if you want to use them. Possibly mostly custom/server setups.

    I haven't run any comparison tests between them, but there are differences. Both create valid backups. Each method has its own set of potential problems so having both available usually allows backups to be made (if one doesn't work, try the other one).
     
  17. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    It's slowly sinking in. As I've done nothing to those keys does a VSS backup contain the excluded files mentioned in the keys?
     
  18. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    Brian,

    the main difference with those keys (at least for sector based image as ifw) is the following:
    a) the "FilesNotToBackup" are not excluded from the image but are/should be deleted when restoring.
    b) the "FilesNotToSnapshot" are excluded from the image when vss creates the shadow volume. In this case the backup is significatly smaller in size but it does have problems when excluding small files.

    for best results always put the files/folders you want to exclude in both "FilesNotToBackup" and "FilesNotToSnapshot" reg keys (so after the restore those that could not be excluded they will get deleted)

    more info here
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/bb891959(v=vs.85).aspx

    Panagiotis
     
  19. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Panagiotis,

    Thanks, good info. The IFW userguide mentions "If you have configured the VSS FilesNotToSnapshot registry key". I haven't done anything to the key so does that mean no files are excluded when I do an IFW VSS backup? Assuming I don't use /uftns.
     
  20. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    Yes, if you don't use /uftns IFW instructs vss to ignore the "FilesNotToSnapshot" key when creating the shadow volume and the backup should be an exact replica of your volume.

    Panagiotis
     
  21. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Thanks. My double negative problem has been resolved.
     
  22. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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  23. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Panagiotis,

    I prefer to not exclude files. I've tried the exclusion method in IFW and it works well. I make sure my data files aren't in the OS partition in the first place so I don't have anything to be excluded from the backup image.
     
  24. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    A question about my wife's Asus tablet, Win8 32-bit UEFI. If I try to do an IFW backup of the OS I get an immediate "Unable to obtain a lock on drive C:"

    I've tried two different IFW versions.

    Same problem if I try to backup a non OS partition.

    I've been through the TeraByte knowledge base but can't find an answer. VSS works fine.
     
  25. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Brian,

    Did you check that PHYLock was installed correctly and was being used? You could try uninstalling it and reinstalling it (make sure to reboot afterwards).

    Does the IFW log show anything (e.g. not installed, wrong version, etc.)?
     
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