TI is creating fragmented data backups

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by ciaolorenzo, Jun 10, 2008.

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  1. ciaolorenzo

    ciaolorenzo Registered Member

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    I'm a new TI 11 user on Vista Home Edition, trying to get my first few backups running successfully.
    I have a few directories (~18 GB) on my R drive (500 GB, unfragmented) that I've tried to backup (in one backup operation) to my unused S drive (1.5 TB). When the backup finally ended, I looked at the S drive using UltimateDefrag. It showed that my backup was spread out in about 10 clumps over the drive (97% degree of fragmentation).

    Is there something I specified that may have caused this to happen ?

    I presume it's okay to defrag the S drive ('cause that's what I did).

    Any help will be appreciated.
     
  2. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    I guess that your S drive is formatted FAT 32. As this file system can only handle 2Gb sized files your 18Gb backup would have been saved as some nine or ten files.

    If your computer behaves itself there is no harm in defragging such a backup. However the operation is in fact rather pointless. The time taken for the defrag will exceed any possible time saved when restoring by an order of magnitude.

    If I am correct in my diagnosis you could always reformat the S drive to NTFS and each backup would then be a single large file.

    Xpilot
     
  3. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    The venerable Xpilot is correct except for the one typo.
    Max size for FAT32 is ~4GB.
     
  4. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    Also, just wanted to add – Since you are creating rather large files, the chance that they would be fragmented is greatly increased just by the nature of the beast.
     
  5. ciaolorenzo

    ciaolorenzo Registered Member

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    Thanks to All, so far....

    The S drive is formatted at NTFS and is completely empty. Why would there be any reason to believe the backup would be fragmented ?
     
  6. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    Ha you spotted my senior moment !

    Xpilot
     
  7. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    Only because I’m always on the look-out for mine!
     
  8. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    Are there any hidden files on the disk protected from the defragger? Whose defragger are you using.

    Yes, you can defrag ATI backups image files to your heart's content, although there is usually little to be gained from it. They are usually large files and even if in a dozen frags or so, defragging won't same any noticeable time when you use the files -- something like milissecs out of ten or 20 minutes or such.

    sh

     
  9. ciaolorenzo

    ciaolorenzo Registered Member

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    Thank you shieber, for your reply. There were no hidden files on the drive. The defragger is by DiskTrix (www.disktrix.com).
    Actually, as I thought about it, I realized that unless TI preallocated the whole file in its backup location, it would be unable to 'scatter load' the backup data it was creating. It has to be the work of the OS.... and this is probably not the appropriate forum for the question.

    Thank you anyway
     
  10. BeeCaveTX

    BeeCaveTX Registered Member

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    NTFS has issues with fragmentation. When files exist on your drive and then you delete them, the clusters used by those files are marked as free, however they are not listed with any other free clusters. When writing a file to a drive it starts with the first largest set of free clusters, then moves to the next largest set, etc.

    Fill an NTFS drive with lots of small files and then delete the files. Then copy a large file to the drive, and it will be fragmented.

    A decent defrager may regroup your free clusters, but the way to be sure is to perform a quick format on a partition any time you empty it. (Windows will also automatically add the System Volume Information hidden directory to a partition, which can result in some fragmentation.)
     
  11. ciaolorenzo

    ciaolorenzo Registered Member

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    Thank you, BeeCaveTx. I think you've hit the nail on the head. I had many files on the drive, then deleted them and thought new allocations would be made contiguously. I'll re-format the drive next time.
    Thanks, again;)
     
  12. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    Shucks, you beat me to it.

    Most every application creates fragmented files, especially when dealing with huge files.

    At best an app can buffer things befor writing to disk, but few PCs have enough memory to use this technique to allow for unfragmented large files.
     
  13. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    The first post stated that the backup was made to an unused drive and yet when viewed with a defrag tool it showed 97% fragmentation. I am not clear whether this was a partition/disk backup or if it was files and folders.
    However that degree of fragmentation to a new disk seems unlikely unless there is something else going on.

    A normal disk/partition backup is just one huge .tib file. How that can be seen as several "clumps" with an overall 97% fragmentation when it is written to a new disk? I just wonder if this is an artifact created by the defrag tool.

    As far as I am concerned the speed of restores is the most important thing whether or not the archive file is reported as fragmented or not.

    I have been using TI for a few years now and have never defragged the image storage area. Restores of full drive images in terms of GB per minute have remained consistent through out this period. If fragmentation, real or not, was having a detrimental effect I would have expected restore times to have got worse but this has not happened.

    An experiment would be to time the restore of an un-defragged image and compare with the time taken to restore the same image after defragging it.
    If there is some worthwhile gain then good luck. I for one will not be making any changes.

    Just a by the way. Changing the value of the compression used can make a great difference to both imaging and restore times. After many tests I have settled on not using compression at all, this gives the best performance and providing the backup drive is of sufficient size for the depth required there is no contest.

    Xpilot
     
  14. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    I also questioned, from the original post, why "about 10 clumps" would translate to "97% degree of fragmentation".
     
  15. GrayGhost

    GrayGhost Registered Member

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    I have a similar problem.

    Running Winxp home.

    My C drive is 18.1 GBs. I did a defrag on C drive and then a backup image to F drive.
    The F drive is a 100 GB external USB. Using Auslogics defrag it is showing 59.95 GB used of the 100 GB. Auslogics says the drive is 50.88 fragmented before and after defrag.
    I did a format on the F drive before doing the backup image. Both C drive and F drive are NTFS.

    The F drive shows three files, recycler, system volume information, 6-15-08-full.tib files

    What or should I do anything. Seems if I do more image backups I will not have enough space on the F drive.
     
  16. GrayGhost

    GrayGhost Registered Member

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    I have similar problem

    I have winxp home. Using TI11 and auslogics for defragmenting. Did a defrag of the C drive, it is 18.1 GB. I did a format of F drive to NTFS (100 GB) C drive is also NTFS.

    After making an image to F drive it shows 58.88 defrag and TI11 wrote to 50 % of it. If I try to do another image and then delete the first image, I will not have enough space to do that.

    The F drive has three files, recycler, system volume information, 6-15-08-full.tib
     
  17. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    How big is the 6-15-08-full.tib file?
     
  18. GrayGhost

    GrayGhost Registered Member

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    The three files.......

    Recycler.. 85 bytes

    System volume information 21.4 KB

    6-15-08-full.tib 50.8 GB
     
  19. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    Something's not right or you left something out.
    You said the C: drive was 18.1 GB, so how could the backup of C: be over 50 GB?
     
  20. GrayGhost

    GrayGhost Registered Member

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    Not sure what I could have left out. I did a ntfs format of the f drive. I did a defrag of the c drive. I then did an image backup to F drive of the C drive. The files sizes that I have posted, I doubled checked. The Auslogics defrag does not defrag the f drive, I know that would be auslogics problem and not helped here. But the question still remains why the image is so lagre.

    Is there something that I should do or look at?
     
  21. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    Is the 18.1 GB the size of the drive or the amount of data on it?
     
  22. GrayGhost

    GrayGhost Registered Member

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    This is a screen shot... hope it helps.
     

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  23. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    Now do that for the C drive.
     
  24. GrayGhost

    GrayGhost Registered Member

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    The C drive
     

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  25. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    Are you sure you didn’t check the ‘sector by sector’ option? That would backup every sector of the C: drive even if there’s no live data stored in them.
     
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