Incremental Speed Really Slow

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by florida_guy, Aug 5, 2007.

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  1. florida_guy

    florida_guy Registered Member

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    I'm thinking this may have been discussed before. If someone can suggest some key words to search. I got too much to sort through with the stuff I tried.

    I did a full backup. Then I did a Windows Update. Then I did an incremental. It took three hours.

    I thought there is no way there should take that long so as a test as soon as that incremental finished I started another one. I did nothing on the computer during the first incremental yet the estimate for the second one is two hours. What is up with that?

    I'm backing up to a brand new 500GB USB external drive.

    Any help on this?
     
  2. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Are you doing the backup from Windows or from the CD?

    What version of Windows are you using?

    What version and build of TI are you using?

    What size is the full backup and the first incremental backup?

    How long did the first full backup take to complete? (If the time includes Validation, then state that too.)

    Do you have the option set to automatically Validate the image after its creation? (If so, then that time is included in the estimate.)

    Also, some computer specifications may help. CPU, RAM, Motherboard brand/model, etc.
     
  3. florida_guy

    florida_guy Registered Member

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    O.K. My incremental backup of no changes has completed and it took 1 Hour and 25 minutes/

    I am using the latest version of Windows XP.

    I am using Acronis True Image Home version 10.0 build 4,942

    I'm not using validation at all.

    The full backup is 47.9 GB using "Normal" compression. I'm not exactly sure how long it took. The time stamp on the first file is 7:56 am and the time stamp on the last file (devided to fit on a DVD) is 10:20 a,m.

    The first incremental is 2.48 GB using "Normal" compression which took 2 hours and 36 minutes. (All I did to cause these changes was Windows update.)

    The second incremental is 711 MB using "Normal" compression which took 1 hours and 25 minutes. (All I did to cause these changes was an incremental backup and surf to the Acronis site to look for help with this problem.)

    I am using a Dell XPS 8300 (circa 2003)
    2.6 GHZ CPU
    1535MB RAM
    I'm not sure about the Motherboard. Whatever came with the Dell 8300.
    Anything else you need to help?

    Thanks.


     
  4. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Just to be clear... are you doing an image backup or are you doing a files & folders backup? (Backing up drives/partitions as opposed to backing up selected folders/files.)

    I assume your external drive is USB 2.0 and your computer supports USB 2.0. How long does it take to copy a 1GB file from your computer to the USB drive?

    Also, you didn't answer the question as to whether you were running the backups from Windows or if you booted to the TI CD.
     
  5. florida_guy

    florida_guy Registered Member

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    I am doing an image backup from Windows.

    My new external drive is USB 2.0 and my computer supports USB 2.0.

    A 1,363,840 KB file took 7 minutes and 47 seconds to copy from my C: where True Image is installed to my external drive I:.

    The process produced some interesting results. I first copied from my F: to the external and then realized that wasn't a good test because F: is on my second internal drive not the same drive as my C:. F: to C: only took 1:05 to copy.

    It took just over 8 minutes to copy the drive from F: to C: so I could do the test to the external drive.

    I copied the same file from F: to the external and that took 1 minute and 50 seconds.

    I have to go to work now. What do I need to tell you about the drive that my C: partition is on so you can help me.

    One thing I can say is that I have a Paging File set up on C: and on the external drive but not on the drive that F: is on.
     
  6. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Okay. Thanks for the info.

    That is really a long time. Usually the transfer rate is in the 1GB-2GB per minute range (I usually get 1GB or a little faster and internally, drive to drive, with SATA-II I get 3GB/minute).

    I don't understand this. Here you say it only took 1:05 to transfer from drive F: to drive C:, but below you say it took just over 8 minutes.

    As above, I'm not clear on what the "real" time was for the copy from the F: drive to the C: drive.

    This time is closer to normal. It seems your F: drive will transfer much faster.

    Can you please post what kind of drives you're using? IDE, SATA, SATA-II, etc. If IDE are they 66, 100 or 133? Is F: a slave with C: being the master? What are the ages of the drives? Is the C: drive a lot older than the F: drive?

    If C: is a lot older (several years or more), then that may be part of the problem. Newer drives tend to be quite a bit faster even if the interface hasn't changed.

    I assume you are talking about the Windows swap file. This can't be on two drives as far as I know. If the swap file is on the external, why would you want it there? The performace would be terrible.

    ---

    If you haven't booted to the TI cd and run a backup and validate (as separate steps), you should. Just for testing, it would be nice to now what the times were when you aren't in Windows. Note the size of the finished image file and the time it took to create it and the time it took to validate it.
     
  7. florida_guy

    florida_guy Registered Member

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    Sorry for the confusion. I was in a hurry to get to work and made a typo.

    I did another test and the results were worse than the first test:
    C: is on the original 80 GB ATA IDE drive that came with my Dell 8300 in Fall 2003.
    F: is a slave to it - it is 240 GB ATA IDE that I added not too long after buying the system
    I: in on my brand new 500 GB External Seagate Free Agent

    1,363,840 drive image file
    F to C - 8 minutes 52 seconds
    F to I - 2:40
    C to I - 11:31
    C to F - 10:11

    I booted from the True Image CD and did an incremental
    A 4,533,945 KB file took 19 minutes
    I then did an immediate additional incremental
    A 6,734 KB file took 1 minute

    A validate of 16 files (I size them for DVD) totalling 55.4 GB took somewhere between 2.5 and 3 hours (I had to leave and did see it finish)

    I then booted to XP and did an immediate incremental
    A 178,010 file took 59 minutes
    I then did another immediate incremental
    A 65,327 KB took 54 minutes

    Is there a way to find this out without researching the specific drive?

    I read somewhere that it was good to have the swap file on a separate physical hard drive. I don't know why I didn't put it on my F:. I will fix that. I did have this problem with just one swap file on my C:. I added the second one to try to improve the performance.
     
  8. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Place the swap file on either C: or F:, it can't be split between two different drives. It can only be on one drive.

    I suspect one of two things: 1) Your C: hard drive is just a slow drive OR 2) It's being run at a slower speed (detected incorrectly)

    All of your tests indicate extreme slowdowns any time the C: drive is involved.

    To check the drive, look in the Device Manager. I've posted an example screenshot below:
    ide_mode.JPG

    To reach it do the following: Click the Start button, then right-click on My Computer, then click on Properties. The System Properties window will come up. Click on the Hardware tab, then click the Device Manager button. You can also directly open the System Properties window by holding down the Windows Key and pressing the Pause/Break Key.

    Once Device Manager is open, scroll down to the IDE Controllers section and expand it by clicking the plus sign. Then right-click on the Primary IDE Channel and select Properties. The Advanced Settings tab will show the current mode of the drive connected to that channel. If your drives are connected elsewhere (Secondary Channel, for example) then look there.
     
  9. florida_guy

    florida_guy Registered Member

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    I will be putting it on F: right after sending this message.

    Thanks very much for the clear instructions. My advanced settings tab says

    Device 0
    DMA if available
    PIO Mode

    Device 1
    DMA if available
    Ultra DMA Mode 5


    What does that mean?
     
  10. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    This is your problem. The PIO mode is very slow by today's standards. There are several things that can cause this.

    1) The drive is too old and does not support a faster speed (such as Ultra DMA Mode 5) --- Get a new hard drive

    2) There is a setting or jumper on the drive to limit the speed to PIO mode --- Check the drive. Usually jumper settings are on the drive sticker or printed on the back of the drive on the circuit board.

    3) There is an option in the BIOS that is setting the IDE mode to PIO mode (or disabling faster modes) --- Check the BIOS shows settings correctly. I doubt this is the case as the 2nd drive is running in Ultra DMA 5 mode.

    4) The settings/driver just got screwed up and need to be reset

    To fix #4, I usually do the following: In the Device Manager, right-click on the IDE Controller and Uninstall it. The Primary and Secondary entries should go away. If they don't then Uninstall them too.

    ide_mode_uninstall.JPG

    Then reboot the computer. Windows should redetect the controller, install the drivers and redetect the hard drives. It may then want to reboot again. After this, check the settings again and see if it's still in PIO mode.

    In my experience, #4 is what ususally causes this problem.

    You may also want to check if there are any newer drivers available for your computer. If there are, they should be listed in the Support section of Dell's site for your computer model.
     
  11. florida_guy

    florida_guy Registered Member

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    I dug out my invoice. The date is 8/6/2003. This is what I found out about my C: hard drive:
    80GB 7200 RPM Ultra ATA Hard Drive (420-1922)
    HARD DRIVE, 80G, I, 7.2K, 60G/P, HIT-VAN2
     
  12. florida_guy

    florida_guy Registered Member

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    I didn't see your reply before posting my drive information. I will try your suggestions. Thanks.
     
  13. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    The drive should be running faster than PIO mode. At least Ultra DMA Mode 3 and probably 5.
     
  14. florida_guy

    florida_guy Registered Member

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    I did as you suggested for #4. When I rebooted after deleting the Primary IDE Channel it set my Current Transfer Mode to Ultra DMA Mode 5.

    Then I ran another test:

    1,363,840 drive image file
    F to C - 0 minutes 46 seconds
    F to I - 1:15
    C to I - 3:18
    C to F - 1:23

    So this was a ridiculously good technical support experience! What is your story? Are you an outstanding representative of Acronis or a generous genius who just likes to share his gift?

    Thank you very much for your help with this. I'm sure it will enhance my computing experience with everything not just my backups.

    One more thing; Both before and after taking your suggestion I had two 82801EB Ultra ATA Storage Controllers in device manager. I wasn't able to delete the second one following your instructions. Any thoughts on that?
     
  15. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Your motherboard probably has two IDE ports and you're only using one of them.

    FYI, Paul is just a volunteer who generously helps people out. His advice is generally right on-target.

    One thing that can cause a controller to "downshift" from UDMA mode 5 to PIO mode is if the disk drive is failing. When Windows detects too many read errors it "downshifts" the transfer rate of the controller to the next slowest speed. If the errors continue it may go all of the way down to the slowest speed as in your case.

    I'd keep an eye on this. Check the transfer rate setting again in a few weeks. If you find that it's reverted back to PIO mode then start thinking about getting a new hard drive.

    Then again, the exact same thing happened to my daughter's laptop and I reset the controller just like you did to get her back to UDMA mode 5. That was 3 years ago and it hasn't happened since.
     
  16. florida_guy

    florida_guy Registered Member

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    Before:

    After:

    XP
    3,039,037 KB incremental 19 minutes 49 seconds
    immediately after that completed I did another one
    75,366 KB 10 minutes 36 seconds

    MUCH better than before but slower than I would expect particularly the last one. I'm surprised by the size of the first one. I haven't done much at all on this thing since my last incremental... email, a little browsing, updating a couple of documents... that's about it.
     
  17. florida_guy

    florida_guy Registered Member

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    Will do. Thanks. I hope I have the experience that your daughter had.
     
  18. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    You're welcome. I'm glad you have it working now. I think you should notice an overall improvement in your computer's performance.

    I've had this problem happen on several computers I've worked on as well as my brother's computer. Both were solved with the #4 procedure.

    In the case of this happening with a DVD drive, you can't even play a movie. That's how slow PIO mode is.

    As Mark said, keep an eye on it and see how it goes. Hopefully you're set.
     
  19. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    For what it's worth, I never bother with incremental images. If you defrag your drive then a whole lot of sectors get moved around, and to an incremental image they all appear as changes from the original image, so often the size of the incremental image is as large as a full image.

    On a modern PC with fast hardware TI should create a full backup image at a rate of about 1 GB per minute to an internal hard drive and slightly slower to an external USB 2.0 hard drive. So if the size of your .tib file turns out to be 8 GB then it should take roughly 8 minutes to create the image using normal compression and high priority settings.
     
  20. florida_guy

    florida_guy Registered Member

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    Strange results. I switched from low priority (in case I needed to use the computer for something while it was running) to high priority to see if it improved the speed.
    847,278 KB incremental 6 minutes 50 seconds
    immediately after that completed I did another one
    124,809 KB 14 minutes 07 seconds

    What is up with that?
     
  21. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Have you done another Full backup image?

    What is the time on that?
     
  22. florida_guy

    florida_guy Registered Member

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    No. I didn't think it would change the incremental times. I'll do that next and report back.
     
  23. florida_guy

    florida_guy Registered Member

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    Oops! I started a full backup. It ran for 9 minutes producing one 4,555,820 KB file and starting another. Then I got the error message:

    E000101F4: Failed to read data from the disk.
    Failed to read from the sector 37,950,101 of the hard disk 1

    I have Acronis Disk Director Suite and Norton System Works if any of those programs will help with this... Or is it it time to stop screwing around and replace the hard drive?

    If so do you have drive any recommendations?
     
  24. florida_guy

    florida_guy Registered Member

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    I started it again and received the same results. This time instead of cancel I said ignore all just to see what will happen.
     
  25. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    I'd run chkdsk /r on your disk to see if it finds any bad sectors. Also check the Windows System Event Log to see how many of these errors have been logged. If you find a bunch of bad sectors and/or see a lot of disk error events in the log then yes, it may be time to replace the disk.
     
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