Puran Defrag and VSS

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by JDGILL, Aug 25, 2010.

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  1. JDGILL

    JDGILL Registered Member

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    Hi,

    Anyone know if Puran defrag has a VSS compatible mode? I couldn't find anything on their website.
    If not any suggestions as a small lightweight alternative. I know PerfectDisk and Diskeeper support VSS but they seem a bit 'heavyweight' just for a defragger.

    Thank.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  2. layman

    layman Registered Member

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    Puran's help has configuration recommendations to prevent the loss of shadow copies on disks formatted with a cluster size less than 16K. You have to disable many of the normal defragmentation features. Vopt has an optional vss-compatible defrag mode that is very speedy.
     
  3. JDGILL

    JDGILL Registered Member

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    Thanks for the info.
     
  4. MerleOne

    MerleOne Registered Member

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    You may also want do ask Puran Developers, they usually respond quickly ! And report here if you feel like it, that would be great.
     
  5. JDGILL

    JDGILL Registered Member

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    Hi,

    I did fire off an email to the developers - I've copied the reply below.

    "You can uncheck all additional operations in Puran Defrag to run it in VSS compatibility mode. However it is recommended that you format your disk with cluster size > 16K. Please read Puran Defrag help VSS Compatibility section for more info."

    Changing the cluster size on the Windows partition (Win7 64bit) sounds a little risky to me and I'm not sure of any performance gain of larger clusters on the C: drive as there are lots of small system files.

    Instead I decided on using ShadowProtect to do a weekly baseline backup with daily incrementals and schedule Puran to run with all the options on before the weekly baseline was made rather than worrying about Windows system restore.

    Defragging between incrementals can cause very long backups (although it does seem OK with all options off) but I didn't think I'd get the benefit of Puran unless I turned the options on.

    I think this setup should give me the Puran benefits as well as system security.

    John
     
  6. MerleOne

    MerleOne Registered Member

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    Thanks for the update !
     
  7. Franklin

    Franklin Registered Member

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    Check cluster size through cmd:

    fsutil fsinfo ntfsinfo C:
     
  8. majoMo

    majoMo Registered Member

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    @ Franklin, thanks a lot for the info!

    BTW, with Puran instead to disable system restore, you must exclude "System Volume Information" folder from defragment. To avoid VSS annoyances.
    [Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) Compatibility mode]
     
  9. Siamese Dream

    Siamese Dream Registered Member

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    Sorry for my stupidity, but I'm trying to do just that: exclude System Volume Information so I don't lose my restore points when I fragment. What steps do I click to find it (Additional Operations/exclude files/etc...)?

    Also, I read in another thread to use PIOZR when doing an offline fragment and unclicking it when doing an online fragment, or something to the effect. How do you find/determine for both?

    Thank you
     
  10. Siamese Dream

    Siamese Dream Registered Member

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    Just letting you know I did get an email back from support...

    Hello,

    Thank you for your email.

    Simply excluding "System Volume Information" wont help. Here is the text from Puran Defrag help file "VSS Compatibility" section -

    · It is highly recommended that you format your drive with cluster size of 16K if you want to defrag it and also do not want to loose Shadow Copies.

    · If above is not possible for you then to configure Puran Defrag so that data movement is minimum and shadow copies are not lost or the loss is minimum, uncheck Additional Operations including Fill Gaps, Optimize Drectories, Free Space and PIOZR.
     
  11. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

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    A 16K cluster size is fine for larger logical units, but for those who prefer a relatively small C-partition (as I do) a 16K cluster size would result in very inneficient use of disk space (compared to the default 4K size).
     
  12. Siamese Dream

    Siamese Dream Registered Member

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    So do an image backup instead?
     
  13. Arkham

    Arkham Registered Member

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    16k cluster size would be highly inefficient if you have lots of small sized files that do not completely utilize each cluster, isn't it? If the drive is utilized for large files (eg. HD videos etc) space wastage shouldn't be much of a problem.

    For the defraggers, DK does have VSS support; resource usage is not an issue at all..there's just one service that runs in the background and it doesn't eat up cycles. You don't even notice it's running. Haven't tried Puran defrag so can't comment on that.
     
  14. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    When does the issue of VSS support come into play? If it is for Imaging, then I should not have any issues since I use Image for Windows?

    Thanks in Advance.
     
  15. Arkham

    Arkham Registered Member

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    I believe (I am not 100% sure) that VSS comes into play only if you have system restore enabled. In such a situation *and* when cluster size is < 16kB, a 'normal' defrag operation resulting in file movement makes the VSS go nuts (it thinks the file is modified) and it starts creating new shadow copies/restore points thus deleting old ones. AFAIK the Windows default defragger does not get along too well with the VSS, especially when the drive needs a thorough defrag.

    Defraggers like DK that have a VSS aware mode defrag by using minimal file movement to stay below the VSS's radar..this results in a 'less than perfect' defrag, but with a high chance of preserving restore points. Coupled with the 'fragmentation prevention' feature in the latest version of DK which reduces the need for a defrag, you have fewer VSS/defrag issues.

    If you have that SR disabled, then VSS is disabled and no shadow copies will be created.

    The above is my understanding.
    I could be wrong.

    Someone kindly correct me on this if I am wrong.:oops:
     
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