Maximum Recommended Partition Sizes

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by arlen, Mar 6, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. arlen

    arlen Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2007
    Posts:
    20
    Is there a maximum recommended partition size for efficient nightly imaging? (incremental or differential)

    If I partition my 250G drive into 2 partitions ... system / data ... are these 2 partitions too large for efficient imaging?
     
  2. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2004
    Posts:
    3,710
    It's only the used sectors, less any hibernation and paging file, that get put into an ATI image. So a full image will be smaller than bytes used on the drive. Figure a transfer rate of roughly 1GB per minute.

    With incs and diffs, it'shard to say -- it depends on how many sector will be written to between backups -- e.g., yo defrag, every sector might get touched, which means a big inc or diff file.
     
  3. arlen

    arlen Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2007
    Posts:
    20
    OK, that makes sense, thanks.

    Tell me this then: If I partition my primary 250G drive as noted, half for system and half for data, and the images are stored on an external 250G drive, should the external be partitioned as well, or am I better off leaving the external image storage as a signle partition? I'd guess the size of the destination drive is not a factor in speed of imaging, and allowing it to remain one partition would provide the most usable space for incrementals ... eh?

    I expect to do a full image, then nightly incrementals. Most likely I'll actually do a full image of the system partition and a separate full image of the data partition, then schedule separate incrementals for each partition. If time to image nightly becomes an issue, I will schedule the system to happen only weekly, but I want the data imaged nightly.

    FYI, I've got a new download of ATI Workstation 9.1 w/ Universal restore.
     
  4. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Posts:
    4,751
    I have my external USB drives for storing images or other backups as one large partition and use folders to categorize the contents.

    On splitting your HD for system and data, I fully support partitioning the OS from the data but I wonder if your partition size for the system is rather large. On the XP Pro system I am using right now the C drive is less than 8GB. I think I would look at a system partition around 50GB maximum at least for XP but only you know how many apps you have loaded with your OS.

    I also have a third partition for large games like Flight Simulator etc. Once all the games are installed to this partition the contents rarely change so it is useless imaging them over and over such as if you had them installed on C. I just make one image of the partition and only update it when I add or do something major. Also, since you have the installation CDs, it is not a major disaster if you lose it.
     
  5. arlen

    arlen Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2007
    Posts:
    20
    You make a good point, it may be worth splitting the drive up more.

    Currently I'm using 32G for software, and 16G for Data.

    I'm not a gamer, and don't really see a good line for splitting out programs, though that's worth some thought. I know I'll be adding additional programs, and need to maintain swap space, so perhaps I can scale back the system size a bit ... though several years of work still only occupy 16G Data, so it's probably a non-issue.

    Part of my business is contracted CAD work and part is web-based retail. The web stuff is small so far, but I anticipate it will eventually become my primary work (currently it only occupies about 1G, but that will grow a lot over the next few years).

    I may be wise to separate each from the other and from personal files, however in the past I've had some difficulty keeping to that line. The web stuff is very easy to separate, but the rest gets tough as I use the same programs for personal and business. It's doable, I should do it, but I get sloppy towing that line.

    I could however separate data into 3 partitions: Web / CAD / Everything else. That may make sense. I don't expect that will mean anything gets imaged less often, but it could possibly speed up each image session.
     
  6. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Posts:
    4,751
    If you are dealing with relatively small amounts fo data and what you have is probably in that categore (as opposed to somebody who has 150GB of mpegs or mp3s) then it doesn't matter much.

    Normally, I'd say leave it as a big data partition and categorize with folders - the real advantage is getting the OS/apps seperate from data and you have done that. If you are imaging partitions then there can be an indirect advantage to partitioning - there is less chance a bad image will impact all of your data.
     
  7. arlen

    arlen Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2007
    Posts:
    20
    Thanks,

    I'm thinking it may be wise for other reasons to split my data up as noted ... and yes, that would also ensure not all data is affected by a bad image, which sounds like a good idea.

    Are images in any way specific to partition sizes? In particular the boot (system) image. My guess is no but I want to be sure.

    I ask because though resizing a partition 'could' be handled w/ Disk Director, I'd rather image the existing drive, set up a new drive w/ my desired partition sizes, then restore the image to the new drive. (If I need to change partition sizes down the road, I would probably follow a similar procedure)

    Is this the best way to move an existing system to a smaller partition on a new drive?
     
  8. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Posts:
    4,751
    Images are based on the amount of in-use sectors not the total size of the partition although I think the original partition size "number" is recorded with the image.

    You can resize a partition when restoring the image and as long as the new partition size is large enough to hold the uncompressed in-use sectors it will work.

    When setting up a new drive my method is not the quickest method. I install the new drive and boot up the XP install disk and start the install procedure. I then use it to set the desired partitions up and I also format each partition even though it will be deleted if an image is restored to the partition. I like to format it to gain confidence the drive is good and working properly. When XP then wants to start copying files I just kill the setup. I then restore my C drive to the appropriate partition and restore the data partitions. This procedure is not necessary since TI should restore images to bare-metal.
     
  9. arlen

    arlen Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2007
    Posts:
    20
    Does TI allow you to specify partitions and partition sizes if they don't already exist on the drive and differ from the original though? Your 'system' allows you to determine partition sizes prior to using TI, which makes sense to me, and I assumed I'd have to do similar.

    If TI lets you determine partition sizes before restoring an image, then as you say it's probably not necessary, but verifying the integrity of the drive before restore makes tons of sense. I'd install and mess w/ it but I'm waiting on a drive I ordered to arrive so I figured I'd get my research out of the way now.
     
  10. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Posts:
    4,751
    AFAIK (but I haven't done it) yes. It would take the partition from unallocated space and you would adjust it when given the option in the wizard.
     
  11. arlen

    arlen Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2007
    Posts:
    20
    I'll probably test that when I do my 1st restore, but after formatting and checking the HD for issues. You've been a big help, thanks.
     
  12. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Posts:
    4,751
    You're welcome. BTW, you are in an ideal postion to do some testing and discovery since you have an operational HD that you can put aside and do your tests. Should your tests fail, you still have the original HD.

    I don't know your plan for the old drive but you might consider putting it in the PC (after you finish your testing) and using it as a backup disk. It is very quick to image and restore from an internal HD compared to external HDs. I do all my images to a second internal HD and then copy using XP, selected images to an external drive and even fewer images to DVD using Nero as a third level backup.
     
  13. arlen

    arlen Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2007
    Posts:
    20
    Well the additional drive is destined to be used in a removable drive bay and act as a mirrored drive for the internal via a pci card. So, I actually hope to never need the Acronis image to recover from hardware failure, as in theory I'll always have an exact copy in the removable drive bay.

    Acronis is basically covering me if I have a viral issue and have to wipe the mirrored drives and rebuild, or if I accidentally overwrite something and need to go back a few days or possibly even weeks to find it. I think nightly incrementals while I sleep will work fine, as my current BU software launches at 2am and really only takes a short time. Full images will of course take much, much longer, but that will only happen occassionally in comparison.

    The main reason I like externals is that I can take them off-site when I'm out of town. I had a break-in a few years ago and lost a PC w/ years of work on it, absolute catastrophe which I won't ever allow to happen again.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2007
  14. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2004
    Posts:
    3,710
    Once you have readily useable backups, you might find your "needs" growing to fit your resources. E.g., Sometimes when I install a program and it behaves badly or won't uninstall properly, I just do a disk restore because it's sometimes easier and sometimes even faster.

     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.