Introducing AX64 Time Machine - hybrid imaging/snapshot software

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by Isso, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. Isso

    Isso Developer

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    defconnect,

    Yes, that's an important task, thank you. I'll start working on it soon.

    Isso
     
  2. Masterblaster

    Masterblaster Registered Member

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    I an using AX64 on my "C" drive and using a second HDD "D" for the backup files.
    Can I defrag my "C" drive only and not cause my backup files (on "D" drive) to get bigger?
    I wasn't sure if defragging the main drive or the backup files caused that.
    Thanks in advance.
     
  3. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    MB, defragging the drive being monitored will cause the very next snapshot to be much larger, just like RBrx. Since AX64 TM monitors changes in disk space (block level) usage, a defrag will cause many changes to the disk block usage (with all that file block shuffling), thereby causing the next snapshot to be much larger.

    It doesn't bother anything to defrag the drive that the snapshots are being created on.
     
  4. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    In the years before I started using Rx I was using Roxio GoBack and at the time, if you did a defrag with GoBack installed it would cause GoBack to lose all its restore points since it was not able to handle the amount of changes that it had to track. To avoid this problem I used Diskeeper Disk Defragmenter which would actively monitor the drive and when it found any fragmentation it would take care of it during the next PC idle period.

    This might be a partial solution in this case. The amount of data being recorded by AX64 over all would be the same (all the data location changes), but the individual snaps would not get overly large. Of course the overall backup set size would still be larger than if defrags had not been done so if storage space is limited this would not likely be a good idea.
     
  5. atomomega

    atomomega Registered Member

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    Hi Isso,

    I can confirm that AX64 causes sytem hang at shutdown after taking a backup on Windows XP Pro SP3. Here's the description of the problem:

    1) Take regular backup manually
    2) Shutdown as usual
    3) Boot up
    4) Shutdown hangs
    5) Have to manually shutdown (pressing shutdown button)

    The thing is that for some reason AX64 keeps remembering that I had to manually shutdown, even if it's not precisely the next shutdown after the hang. So next time I create a backup it says the system was shutdown improperly, and thus, the backup size/time goes up.

    This happens randomly. So I haven't been able to identify what exactly causes it, sorry.

    I already tested the two machines with XP that I have with AX64 installed. Both show the same behavior. Please tell me if you need me to open the ticket at the website.

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2013
  6. Masterblaster

    Masterblaster Registered Member

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    TheRollbackFrog,
    Thanks for the explanation. I guess I will wait and uninstall AX64, do the defrag, then reinstall AX64 (like I used to do with RRX).
     
  7. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    If you feel you need to defrag your system (noticeable difference in performance between post-defrag and pre-defrag), the uninstall/re-install of AX64 TM is basically painless... very quick (no RBrx experience), BUT... following an AX64 TM uninstall/re-install, your disk tracking information for that tool is lost so the 1st snapshot will be a FULL system. If you just install on top of the existing version (update available) then that info is not lost and the next snap will be an incremental.

    Without getting into a discussion on HDD defragging (it'll never end :D ), I don't do it very often on my HDD-based system since I notice no appreciable loss of system performance over a pretty long period. Of course the SSD-based system never gets defragged.
     
  8. puff-m-d

    puff-m-d Registered Member

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    Hello everyone,

    I have a question. Do all imaging programs usually backup temporary internet files or are they usually omitted? I know the hiberfil.sys is usually omitted from most imaging programs and I thought most imaging programs also usually omitted temporary internet files. I ask because when I have been doing a lot of video streaming in IE in the previous hour, my snapshot size is usually extremely large for that hourly backup (sometimes even 1 GB or larger). I have also noticed that even in subsequent images that after these Files have been deleted, that merged backups stay extremely large also. Does the merging process not take into account these deleted files? If the temporary internet files are being backed up, is this really necessary? Could I do a restore without these temporary internet files being included in my backups without negatively affecting the state of my system? If these are not necessary, then it appears that the backup size would be substantially smaller. I would just like my images to be smaller when I have been doing a lot of video streaming and I see IMHO no need for these files to be backed up (much like hiberfil.sys). Any ideas or thoughts on this matter? Also, could this same theory apply to other temporary files or folders? Thanks for helping me try to understand the size of my incrementals while trying to keep them as small as possible...
     
  9. Isso

    Isso Developer

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    Hi atomomega,

    This is very strange. If I understand you right, then you basically do nothing after the first reboot - no backup, no restore, and still the PC hangs on shutdown? If it's correct, you might want to uninstall AX64 and re-check, because my feeling is this may have to do with something unrelated.
    I'll try to reproduce on my XP test machines.

    Isso
     
  10. Isso

    Isso Developer

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    Masterblaster,

    I think there is no point in uninstalling AX64 before defragmenting. Uninstalling will just result in another full (baseline) backup after you install it and run again.
    If that's what you want to do - just rename the existing backup folder (AXTM) to something else and make another backup - the result will be the same.

    For RollbacRX there is a distinct reason why you need to uninstall it before defragmenting the drive - i.e. defragmenting breaks the snapshots. For AX64 there is no such reason. Hope this makes sense.

    Isso

    PS Froggie, bgoodman, thank you for your help!
     
  11. Isso

    Isso Developer

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    Kent,

    Good questions, thank you. At this moment we don't support excluding separate files or folders, sorry. Hiberfile and pagefile are excluded, but the technique that we use for them doesn't work well with other files.
    Since we backup all files, the restore obviously does restore all of them too.

    For merged backup sizes after you delete the files - right now the deleted files are not removed from the merged backups, that's why the backup sizes remain big. However we'll fix it in one of the upcoming versions.

    Isso
     
  12. MerleOne

    MerleOne Registered Member

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    You could try using CCleaner before taking an image. That's what I do.
     
  13. puff-m-d

    puff-m-d Registered Member

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    Hello Isso,

    Thanks for your reply.

    I may be missing something, but by default I do not see any reason for backing ip the temporary internet files (and possibly other temporary files and folders). With most people, these temporary files are just being deleted when you close your browser anyway. I can see, however, sometimes the need to keep some temporary files around as in the cause when Microsoft needs them around through a reboot, but I see no reason IMHO and personally in my case, to back these up. I believe the temporary internet files fall into the same category as the hiberfil.sys, pagefile.sys and swapfile.sys, and should not be included in images by default.

    Just my two cents IMHO :D :cool: :ninja: .....
     
  14. puff-m-d

    puff-m-d Registered Member

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    Hello,

    That is not always a convenient thing to do to have to stop everything you are doing each hour before the automatic backup occurs and run CCleaner. With my memory, even if it was convenient, I would never remember to do it. In the case you are watching some streaming video when the hourly backup occurs, that would be even more inconvenient to have to stop in the middle of say a movie for instance, run CCleaner, wait for the automatic backup, then back to your movie...
     
  15. MerleOne

    MerleOne Registered Member

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    Yes, in case of automatic backup, it is not very practical.
     
  16. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    You could schedule ccleaner.exe to run every hour or two.


    "C:\Program Files\CCleaner\CCleaner64.exe" /auto
     
  17. The Shadow

    The Shadow Registered Member

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    Hi Isso,

    The very same thing occurs on my WinXP (SP3) laptop as atomomega reports. Although XP has had notorious shutdown issues throughout its history, I never experienced any until I installed and ran AX64 on that laptop.

    Taking your advice, I uninstalled AX64 from that laptop and it's still hanging on shutdown! ...no such issue on my w7 laptop.

    TS
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2013
  18. safeguy

    safeguy Registered Member

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    Tip: Use Incognito/Private Browsing modes of your browser(s) instead as much as possible if you can afford it. The temporary files mostly stay in RAM and even if pagefile is used, it's excluded by AXTM.

    @Isso

    Does AXTM work with FDE, esp BitLocker? I think it should work but then figured out I might as well ask 1st...
     
  19. Isso

    Isso Developer

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    Hi Kent,

    Thank you for advice, it makes perfect sense. The reason is mainly technical troubles, not that I'm unwilling to do that :) I'll see if we can find some workaround.

    Isso
     
  20. Isso

    Isso Developer

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    Hi The Shadow,

    Thank you for testing it. If the problem still persists after uninstalling AX64, then certainly it's a problem with the system. I'm sure after uninstallation there are no leftovers that can in any way affect the system operation, and the system is returned to the condition it was before AX64 was installed.

    Isso
     
  21. Isso

    Isso Developer

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    safeguy,

    Nice suggestion, thank you! For BitLocker - frankly I haven't tested it, but I don't see any compatibilty problem, it should work just fine. I'll test it as soon as I have some free time.

    Isso
     
  22. billwv

    billwv Registered Member

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    I'm not sure this would help in terms of backup size.

    Let's say I stream video, download a file, or do anything that causes a set of sectors to change. Now, if I delete the files, the sectors have still changed since last backup and would be marked for next backup.

    What am I missing? Is my understanding too simplistic?

    I have had this same problem with RBRx, often daily snapshots greater than 1.0 GB.

    Thanks,

    Bill
     
  23. safeguy

    safeguy Registered Member

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    Thanks for the that. I'm about to test it...maybe within these few days. I'll report back once done.
     
  24. Isso

    Isso Developer

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    Hi Bill,

    The sectors that are empty are not backed up, even if they have changed. So the backup will indeed be smaller in size if you delete the temporary files.

    Isso
     
  25. Isso

    Isso Developer

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    Thank you safeguy, looking forward to it.

    Isso
     
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