Size of Archives

Discussion in 'FirstDefense-ISR Forum' started by beethoven, Feb 2, 2014.

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  1. beethoven

    beethoven Registered Member

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    I created an archive of my primary twice this afternoon. I wanted to have a backup on 2 separate drives. As I ran into some errors along the way (related to VSS not being available), I looked at the logs carefully.
    While I finally managed to get two archives created, I don't quite understand the size information provided.

    Both are from my primary snapshot and while I did make an upgrade to one program, I don't think the size should vary a lot.
    These are the details:

    archive A: from log copied 48.73 GB - 163399 files, 31464 directories - 1h 31 min

    archive B: from log copied 58.41 GB - 186691 files, 34444 directories - 1 h 42 min

    looking at my explorer the size of archive A is 83 GB and for Archive B 61 GB and I checked twice against the time stamps to ensure I am not mixing these up

    The size of my OS drive is (used) about 107 GB - which I thought would be roughly 70 gb for my prime snapshot plus 35 gb for my stripped down secondary - the Gui gives these sizes as 56 gb for primary and 59 gb for secondary o_O

    Can someone explain these varying sizes?
     
  2. jwcca

    jwcca Registered Member

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    It's probably the method used, i.e. you're likely using RSS, because VSS wasn't available. You didn't say what your OS is, but VSS was available in XP and later OSs so you should have it (I think, unless someone else wants to comment). It can't be due to drive speeds alone.

    You thought that the size of your primary was ~70GB.
    Your smallest archive of ~49GB is ~3 times bigger than mine at ~16.5GB so from that I could guess that your primary was ~84GB, leaving ~23GB for your stripped down secondary, which seems reasonable, depending on the OS. But a ~10GB jump in archive size, if created from scratch seems excessive, but you didn't say which program you installed between making (creating or updating?) the two archives and whether it came with a 'bunch of data' such as an AV suite.

    My figures are obviously different than yours, but they should illustrate the relative sizes which are Used space (not Capacity of the disk):

    C: 64GB contains: two snapshots + an 8GB pagefile

    Primary Snapshot:.....28.5GB
    Secondry Snapshot:..28.5GB
    Pagefile....................8.0GB
    Total......................64.0GB

    The size of the archives of primary snapshot are, on:
    G: 16.57GB 2014-02-01 (these are all compressed)
    H: 16.50GB 2014-02-01
    I: 16.58GB 2014-02-01
    J: 16.60GB 2014-02-01
    K: 18.90GB 2013-10-02 (quite old, with junk that was cleaned up later).

    Any size differences are due to date/time they were created/updated and what was in the primary at that point in time.

    If I had deleted the archive on K: and then created a new archive on K:, it would have been ~16.50GB

    It takes ~11 to 13 minutes to create an archive from scratch, depending on drive characteristics, I have a mix of (C:)Sata3 SSD, (G:&H:)Sata2 SSDs, (I:&J:)Sata2 HDDs and (K:) external Sata3 via USB3 (slowest drive due to USB).

    It takes ~1 minute to update recently updated archives, it would take longer to update the older one on K: as it exists right now.

    I only keep programs on C: and all my data is on G: which is 41.0GB including the FD archive of 16.57GB. If I kept my data on C: (excluding the FD archive) I'd have to 'anchor' my data or I'd have a bit of a nightmare losing updates to data should I need to restore an archive or the secondary snapshot...:thumbd:
    I also synchronize the data on G: with the other drives.

    I only update the secondary snapshot and archives just prior to adding a new program or updating an old program and I boot to the secondary and use it to update the primary if I don't like the adds or changes, effectively deleting the adds and changes completely, without trace.

    I keep an 'old' archive and old & new Macrium images 'just in case'.

    My Macrium image was 27.19GB 2014-01-29 (both snapshots using highest compression with verification) took ~30 minutes to K: external Sata3 via USB3 (slowest drive due to USB). Using this for a comparison, my ~56GB took ~30 minutes, your ~107GB should take ~56 minutes, actually less because FDs compression isn't as aggressive as Macriums and you might have written to a faster drive).

    You need to get VSS working.

    If you're using the 'original' FD from Leapfrog, there was a command to switch between using RSS & VSS, but I've forgotten what that was.
     
  3. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

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  4. beethoven

    beethoven Registered Member

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    thanks Acadia for the links - I now have a better understanding on the VSS stuff - wondering what happens when two programs are using VSS at the same time?

    JW - thanks for your comparison data. I am a bit envious about your smaller sizes - not sure where I went wrong.
    Like you I keep data on a separate drive - maybe it's because I am using Win 7 - 64 bit. I do remember I crossed 30 gb with Windows alone before installing anything else. Adding Office, AV and a some other programs got me to 69 gb (just ran space sniffer to get more details) though looking at it carefully, there are some files I could move. Some big ones I don't dare to touch ( pagefile and hiberfil are about 14 gb alone) . Btw, where would the secondary snapshot be? It must be on my c/drive but I don't think it is shown - is that in a hidden partition that my space sniffer cannot access?

    I also note that you used compressed archives and read in Acadia's link about compressed snapshots - never tried that before. As for VSS, I did not choose to do anything special and eventually my archives were created but the prior errors may have been due to either Shadow Protect or Cobian running an incremental just at the same time using VSS. I guess next time I should make sure that any manual updates to either archives or snapshot is done when nothing else is scheduled.
     
  5. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    It is best to avoid letting to programs try and use VSS at the same time. You can have collisions with bad results.

    Pete
     
  6. jwcca

    jwcca Registered Member

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    I'm also running W7-64 SP1.
    You can free up space by running the MS Disk Cleanup Wizard once you download a new plugin using IE (not FF or Chrome, etc.), and you must have W7 - SP1, from:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2852386
    The MS app works by detecting the files to be removed working in Administrator mode, and the actual deletion is done at shutdown or reboot. Read more at:

    https://blogs.technet.com/b/askpfepl...edirected=true



    After you install this update, follow these steps to clean up Windows update files.

    Click Start, type cleanmgr in the Start Search box, and then click OK.

    Select the Windows 7 system drive, and then click OK.
    and you should have no trouble following the steps from here.


    I also run Privazer to get rid of temp files that I used to do by hand.
    I still have to delete dump files that add GB pretty fast.
    And occasionaly I clear log files, some had data from when I first installed W7 :rolleyes:.


    Snapshots are multiple 'copies' of the C: drive that you see, you just don't see any except the one into which you booted. I don't mean exact copies, but each one is bootable. Use Explorer to look at the folder $ISR. Inside it you'll see $APP, $LOGS and at least a "0" and a "1" assuming you have only two snaps. FD keeps track this way and that's part of what you see when creating, updating snaps or archives, the "Indexing...".


    When I was running an AV I kept the sigs on the data drive, because that's what they are, data. I don't keep anything in My Documents, I have my own folder structure on the Data drive (G:).
    Same for e-mail, FF profiles, etc.


    We may have different programs installed, that have different sizes, but you should be able to get your primary way down from 84GB.


    And yes, multiple copies of VSS are bad, lots of disk thrashing if you have an HDD. Run the backups at a different time-of-day.



    J
     
  7. jwcca

    jwcca Registered Member

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    You should exclude the following files in FD's Options > Tasks tab:
    *.tmp,*{3808876b-c176-4e48-b7ae-04046e6cc752},pagefile.sys,hiberfile.sys

    You can just Copy/Paste the string. The weird one is the Systems file folder I think if I recall what Pandalouk said many, many moons ago. But even if I'm remembering wrong, it works.

    I do use a pagefile.sys (8GB) but I never use Hibernate so I deleted hyberfile.sys to save space.

    And, I run FD snap & archive updates manually, as I do Macium, so I never have any conflicts or problems.

    J
     
  8. beethoven

    beethoven Registered Member

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    Thanks JW - very useful info :thumb:
     
  9. jwcca

    jwcca Registered Member

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    You're welcome Beethoven,

    After cleaning up, post back and let us know your new primary size... just for interest and maybe to help others do the same.:)
     
  10. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    The string "*{3808876b-c176-4e48-b7ae-04046e6cc752}" excludes all the volume shadow copies (e.g. the temporary vss shadow file created when the partition is being "locked" for imaging/backup, system restore files, etc.)

    For Windows 8.x you can also exclude "Swapfile.sys"

    And for those that want to trim down further you can check the files/directories that are excluded from the registry keys "FilesNotToBackup" and "FilesNotToSnapshot" and add those that you do not want in Instant Recovery/FD-ISR exclusion list.

    Panagiotis
     
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