Too slow to be useful

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Kritker, Sep 21, 2007.

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  1. Kritker

    Kritker Registered Member

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    First my recently installed version 10 build 4942, and now version 11 build 8027, are too slow to be useful. The archive creation is slow but the time required for backup verification/validation is ridiculous. I left the priority set at "low:.

    It took 1.5 hours to create a 46 GB backup with version 10. The verification/validation took 11.5 hours. It took 2.5 hours to create a 50 GB backup with version 11. The estimate for the backup validation stood at 17 DAYS when I cancelled it.

    Why does Acronis use two terms for the same thing: "validation" and "verification" - poor technical writing. Acronis should pick one and stick to it.

    The log doesn't give the name of the backup archive being created although version 11 seems to give its name as part of the line "Backup Archive Validation Location". Version 10 only gave me the folder name.

    I am running Win XP Pro SP2 with two switches between my computer (CPU: E6400) and my network disk, a D-Link DNS-323.

    I had heard good things about Acronis s/w. I am disappointed.

    The biggest problem is that if one can't trust ones backup s/w then it is useless. I cannot trust Acronis s/w at this point.
     
  2. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    What is your network speed to the drive 100Mbps, 1000Mbps? For a 100Mbps network to a drive hosted by another PC I can make an image at about 330MB/min of compressed archive. For the 1000Mbps network, I think it is about 2.5 times faster.

    Have you made an image to an internal partition on your PC? What speed did it provide?

    Acronis used to use the term verify but around TI9 changed it to validate and I don't think all of the documentation has had the "verify" word adjusted. Validate is probably a little better term considering how the archive check is done.
     
  3. Kritker

    Kritker Registered Member

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    100Mb/s
    At 330MB/m a 50GB archive would take 2.5 hours - which is what it was taking me to create a 50 GB partition, using the default priority - low, and standard compression.

    After reading another thread https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=139716, I tried Terabyte's Image for Windows (http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/imagew.html) and it took about 30 minutes (although it ran at normal priority and maximum compression) to create an image of the same partition. I think it's time for me to try True Image again, at normal (rather than low) priority and maximum compression to see how it fares.

    Validation will be another story entirely I fear - Image for Windows wants to take forever to validate too. The current "estimate" is 17 - 18 hours. Obviously validating from a network disk with either program is too inefficient to be useful.

    No.

    I used PowerQuest's Drive Image & PartitionMagic quite successfully for many years. The versions I have are getting a bit long-in-the-tooth but since Symantec now owns these products I had to look elsewhere and thought I'd try Acronis. After having experienced a hard disk crash, with an archive on only an internal partition, I invested in the D-Link DNS-323 network drive for some additional protection. I still intend to use internal images as the first line of defence but really wanted to evaluate the s/w's ability to backup and resore both images and files from the network drive.
     

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  4. themidge

    themidge Registered Member

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    Those speeds are perfectly reasonable! I wouldn't expect anything lower. The verification speed is a little long but how often are you going to do a full backup like this?
     
  5. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Kritker,

    I don't have a NAS (yet), but in my backups and restores from network shares the speeds have been consistent. If the backup takes 30 minutes, the validation takes about 30 minutes.

    What happens if you copy a large file (like a TIB) using Windows? Does it copy quickly to the NAS and then take a long time to copy back to the computer?
     
  6. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    I agree, the validation should take roughly the same time as the create. I would wonder if it is doing "retries" over the network if there is a huge difference.
     
  7. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

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    I've never done a verification/validation, as long as it backups without errors it's good. I've done numerous restores to new hard drives and they all have worked.

    My recommendation is just mount the image you've done, and browse through it to see if it has everything as the original. It's quicker than trying to verify it.

    From what other people here in the forums have said, even if the image checks good on the verification check, that's no guarantee that it's going to work. (until you actually restore it "trial by fire" so to speak)

    I've use it enough times, that I'm confident it will work everytime. I could do a verification but from my expierence, it's not needed.

    With windows xp, you need to be more worry about the drive letters changing, than about the verification. That's the only problem I ever encountered.
     
  8. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    If your computer is fast, the transfer over the network will be the slow point. In that case, the high compression will take less time since there are fewer bytes to move over the network.

    Obviously, high priority will give the process the best chance to be faster.

    In my experience, mirroring others here, validation takes no more (and usually quite a bit less time) than the time to create a backup. That's reasonable since the image is read and not written to the external drive.
     
  9. Kritker

    Kritker Registered Member

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    You seem to be right.
    Before any program installation so I have a good "before" image to restore to in case I want to reverse, completely, the attempted installation.
     
  10. themidge

    themidge Registered Member

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    Great, sounds like a good idea. How long did your verification actually take in the end?
     
  11. screamer

    screamer Registered Member

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    It was taking ATI 9 2.5hrs to image my 33GB worth of data to an external HDD w/o verify. With verify it was closer to 5hrs. I wasn't happy but I was able to live w/ this since I stopped verifying images and considered the true verification test a restore. This never failed me. The real issue was w/ a restore. This took +6hrs. This is totally unacceptable.
    I un-installed ATI and I'm in the process of trying Shadowprotect. Imaging to external HDD 30min's, restore 30min's. This is not to say this SW is perfect. It has it's hiccups and a few bugs, what SW doesn't. It certainly has a way to go, but for now, at least I can restore my box w/o having to make it an overnight affair.

    ...screamer
     
  12. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    I belive the issue there is that although it might validate while in Win, it might not be readable (validate and/or restore) from the Boot CD. So you have to check both if yo want to be sure it you can restore. ONce you've done this on your hardware, if it works the first time you shouldn't have to test the Boot CD again.


     
  13. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    It is not uncommon for the Linux environment which needs to run if the active partition, typically C, is being restored to take about twice as long as the Windows time.
     
  14. foghorne

    foghorne Registered Member

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    Hi seek.

    I accept one can argue this either way, but for me "Verify" is the more correct term especially from the users point of view. If the function is concerned with obtaining confidence that the image was correctly produced. This is for me, quite simply verification.

    Having said that, the really important thing for a user interface is consistency and whichever term they choose they really need to stick to it IMHO.

    F.
     
  15. screamer

    screamer Registered Member

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    OK seekforever, I learn something every day here. It makes sense then that SP runs under Windows.

    ...screamer
     
  16. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Apparently, version 11 can't make up its mind. Validate under Tools. Backup Archive Validation Wizard in title bar. Archive Verification in the wizard window AND Backup Archive Validation.
    validate01.jpg

    Then, when the Validation/Verification begins... Archive Verification and Verifying backup archive.
    validate02.jpg
     
  17. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    I totally agree with you on consistency and unfortunately for new users a lack of consistency usually triggers another support question/issue. Acronis never seems to catch on that by fixing some of the little details they could save themselves and everybody else a lot of work.

    While I have no doubt we both have much more important things to deal with such as, what's for lunch, I'll give you my rationale why I think "validate" is a bit better than "verify". This assumes you really care! :D

    In many applications such as CD burning, some file backup programs the term verify is used and these programs will indeed read the backup, re-read the source and do a file comparison of sorts.

    TI and probably any other app that does what is often called "live-imaging" on a Windows disk does not do that type of verification since it is virtually impossible because the disk is continually being changed as the PC runs. You must have a static disk to do a bit-to-bit comparison.

    As you know, TI's method is to write a checksum value for each 256K bytes of data that are written to the archive file. This results in 4000 checksums to be written for every GB of archive. The validate process opens the archive file and reads it and re-creates the checksums. The re-created checksum must match the one stored in the archive at creation time and if it doesn't the archive is declared corrupt. An advantage of this method is that an archive can be checked for internal consistency and proper reading at any time even on a different PC.

    You said, "If the function is concerned with obtaining confidence that the image was correctly produced. This is for me, quite simply verification.". If we want to get into details, the function actually doesn't provide that much confidence the image was correctly produced. If for some reason the original disk was improperly read or a memory error caused incorrect data to be included in the archive, the checksum will just be based on the incorrect data and it will validate properly. The mismatch of data with the original disk data will not be detected. This is why I think that "validating" is more appropriate than "verifying" - the archive contents are valid but they are not verified as being true to original disk. Fortunately, if you can read it you can usually restore it and all is well. If you got this far, you must have cared.
     
  18. Kritker

    Kritker Registered Member

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    You've asked exactly the right question. With my network drive (a DLink DNS-323) connected as I had it, through two switches (one a DLink DI-704UP router used as a switch (uplink not used) and the other an SMC SMCBR14UP router used as a switch (uplink not used)), a Windows (XP Pro SP2) copy TO the network drive worked just fine but a copy FROM the network drive back to the computer did not.

    I am now exploring more direct connection configurations, but, in the end, I will have to go through one or two switches.

    Right now, connecting the network disk directly to the computer (usin Gigabit Ethernet at a nominal 1 Gb/s) the estimated copy time is about 1 hour for a 50GB archive, which translates, roughly, into 140Mb/s.
     
  19. Kritker

    Kritker Registered Member

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    I didn't let it run to completion.
     
  20. Kritker

    Kritker Registered Member

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    Well now, do I have egg over my face or what? o_O

    In going back to first principles and checking absolutely EVERYTHING about my home network setup, I discovered that the router (used as a switch) to which I had attached the network disk (D-Link DNS-323) for testing had been set to 10 Mb/s. That, of course, changes everything.

    Also, running a restore (under Windows XP Pro SP2) of a 5,5 GB maximally compressed (14.5 GB uncompressed) archive back to a hidden system partition took about 10 minutes over a computer to network disk Gigabit Ethernet link. Now, I am not going to leave these directly connected, but Acronis True Image 11 does not seem to be responsible for my current over-the-home-network speed problems.


    My apologies to everyone concerned. :doubt:
     
  21. Kritker

    Kritker Registered Member

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    The validation of this file, under Windows, succeeded in 7 minutes.
     
  22. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Glad you uncovered the speed problem.

    Try it with the boot CD version. This is a good test because if you are doing a restore due to HD failure, this is the version that must run. Doing the validate will at least show that your DNS-323 device is recognized and the Linux drivers can read the archive sucessfully. Still not a complete test restore for total confidence but a good start.
     
  23. Kritker

    Kritker Registered Member

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    Turns out I was wrong about this. This particular router-used-as-a-switch (a D-Link DI-614+ Rev. B) was in a completely different part of the network and, except for having its link speed mis-set, was working just fine.

    Replacing the actually offending router-used-as-a-switch, a D-Link DI-704UP, with an old Lynksys hub (Anyone remember those?) solved my slow-validation problem. I had already removed this router-used-as-a-switch from the network because it wasn't talking to my daughter's new Vista laptop and I had just dropped it back in to allow me to test the network disk. Foolish of me! :mad:

    The (smaller than the 50GB file that was to take 14 days to validate) 5.5 GB (compressed - 15GB uncompressed) archive took 12 minutes to verify over a 100Mb/s network, through one router-used-as-a-switch, one router's integrated switch and one hub.

    I'm running the 50 GB validation/verification right now. The time estimate for it just under two hours which, I understand, isn't unreasonable.
     
  24. Kritker

    Kritker Registered Member

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    Oh yes, the Bootable Rescue CD booted this time but couldn't see the network drive directly connected to one of my two Marvell motherboard-integrated Ethernet NICs. The CD saw the two NICs and saw the computers attached to the first NIC but it couldn't see the network drive attached to the second. Then it crashed (the Bootable Rescue CD, that is). I haven't yet tried it again.
     
  25. foghorne

    foghorne Registered Member

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    :D

    I did read that far, thanks for your comments. You make some interesting and particularly valid points, and I could be swayed either way on which term is more correct. However I think the fact that this is a term for end user consumption, where the user does not necessarily need to know everything about the internals puts this more in the verification area as far as he/she is concerned. If I were programming it however I probably would consider it as validation.

    I think we are probably far too deep into semantics already :D . I just wish they'd pick one term and stick with it.

    F.
     
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