USB External ..Fragmented?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by starsfan09, Jun 21, 2006.

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  1. starsfan09

    starsfan09 Registered Member

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    This question mainly is directed to folks that Back-Up their files to a USB External HD.
    I just tried to "Defrag" my USB HD, ...AFTER ...doing a Back-Up, and saving the file to it. I see a big patch of Red ..which means the file Acronis put on it is Fragmented.

    Are your Acronis files "Fragmented" (Red) on your USB HD??
     
  2. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    Probably; why wouldn’t it be fragmented? It’s a BIG file. Very unlikely that there would be enough contiguous space on my external USB drive to hold it.
    I’ve never bothered to look since I see no need at all to defrag my backup drive. :)
     
  3. starsfan09

    starsfan09 Registered Member

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    I usually "Defrag" my External HD after awhile of moving stuff to it, and deleting it...with No problems at all. But when you save an Acronis Backup file to a USB External HD, you'll have a hell of a time running "Defrag" on it. I don't think Windows can Degrag Acronis files to good because of the Security features on the file.
     
  4. MrDada

    MrDada Registered Member

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    I was having the same problem until I figured out a workaround. Perhaps this will work for you. When I created a full image file, I would get that large block of red. Sometimes, this file would be visually broken up into two blocks of red. An analysis with Windows defrag would show 2 or 3 fragments.

    I then created a second full image with the same .tib file name as the first. This would overwrite the existing .tib file and create a nice blue .tib file in another location of my external USB drive with no fragments.

    Hope this works...
     
  5. starsfan09

    starsfan09 Registered Member

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    Yep...this is exactly what I'm referring to. Sometimes a big block of Red, or sometimes, 2 blocks of Red. After many attempts of starting & stopping the Windows Defrag....it eventually turns Blue.
    My main desire of getting Acronis was to back-up my Hard Drive... to my USB External HD's. I have Two Western Digital 120gb Essential's that I refer to as the "Twin Towers". I planned on writing to one, and coping the image over to the other one. But now with this new Defrag problem, ... I'm left to wonder if I can ever "Defrag" my Towers when I store Acronis files on them. I have about 20gb of data (installation files, Pics, Mp3's, and etc) on both, and they read exactly the same. There are NO problems Defraging either of them ....UNTIL...I put Acronis Backups on them. Then Defraging takes so long, I could pop some pop-corn and watch a movie! :ninja:
     
  6. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    My question would be - just what do you hope to gain by defragging?
     
  7. starsfan09

    starsfan09 Registered Member

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    What do I "hope to gain"? Um....that would be ...smoother Performance!!:blink:
     
  8. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    OK :rolleyes: I wish you luck.
    That notion is, well ... at best, outmoded.
     
  9. crofttk

    crofttk Registered Member

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    What do you care about smoother performance if you're in a situation where you have to restore an image, hopefully, only very rarely ? It just aint worth the wear and tear on an external hard drive to defragment a huge file like that.

    If you have some reason to restore every day and a few minutes difference in the speed of the operation are going to be that big a deal, get a huge extra internal drive or an external SATA drive to do it with.

    Your time would be better invested, if you insist on contiguity of the .tib files, to defrag the external drive BEFORE you write the .tib file(s) and then let the .tib lay where it falls at write time, which wouldn't be too terribly fragmented if written to a wide open space on the hard drive such as will exist just after a defragmentation.
     
  10. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    With the advent of NTFS, faster drives and large cache size, the difference, especially on a drive used to store backups, would probably be negligible.
     
  11. starsfan09

    starsfan09 Registered Member

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    I could really care less about Defraging the actual Acronis file. I know that file has security settings applied to it. Probably why it's a huge block of Red. My point is, when you have an actual Acronis back-up file on the External, ....Defraging is very difficult. You can almost forget about Defraging it!!! It shouldn't be that way though. I have other files, and progams on my Towers, and yes...I do want to Defrag both of them after a while of deleting, moving, coping, renaming, overwriting, and etc.

    I can see your point if this were a "Memory Stick", but it's not the same. External HD's are basically real HD's, but made for USB (with Automatic shutoff). Defraging them, is not "wear and tear". It's actually easier for the data to be written when it's Defraged. :)

    I'll try your suggestion about Defraging first, and then letting it fall in place.
     
  12. crofttk

    crofttk Registered Member

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    Aaaaah, OK you're NOT interested in defragging the .tib files. If you reread your sentence, perhaps you can see that when you said "you'll have a hell of a time running "Defrag" on IT", I took IT to mean the Acronis file itself.

    Yes, I agree that, if you have regular traffic of "normal" files in and out to your external drive, you may want to defrag it occasionally. And, I guess defragging the drive before putting a huge Acronis image on it is still the only suggestion I have.

    As far as security: actually (unless you mean the "Acronis Secure Zone"), although an Acronis .tib file can be encrypted, I've seen no security feature of them that would prevent defragging them. I know PerfectDisk, my favorite defragmenter, works on them fine -- I don't do that as a practice, I did this as part of some tests of Acronis itself earlier, when people were finding that just MOVING a .tib file would make Acronis think it was corrupted. (The suggestions at the time that bad RAM or bad USB drives might be to blame was a cop out, IMO)
     
  13. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    It has been stated by Acronis that there is no problem defragging an image file, it is the same as any other file on the drive except it is much larger than a typical file.

    There is little if anything to be gained by defragging a large image file. So it takes an extra 10 seconds to restore an image once in awhile; it is not like some files that get read 100 times a day.

    Defrag the drive before making the image if you want to get some improvement in performance. This applies to the source primarily but will also work for the destination.
     
  14. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    Some of you might recall that I performed an experiment a few month ago.

    I did a backup to a drive that had been totally defragmented with Perfect Disk.
    Then I deleted the backup, scrambled the clusters, and did another backup.

    In effect, there's little (or no difference) in the time it takes to do an initial full backup.

    Fragmentation does come into play after you add a few incremental backups as those may be fragmented, and will affect the time needed for validating a backup and for a restore.

    Windows built-in defragger is brain dead anyway. Get a real defragger such as Perfect Disk, makes a big difference.

    Note that I do not usually defrag the USB drives, but I did so twice yesterday. Once before a TI backup and once before a GHost backup.

    Although recent updates to TI have impressively improved performance of incremental backups, performance of full backups has deteriorated significantly.

    Used to be that a TI backup would take only about 10 minutes more than a Ghost backup. Now, TI takes 60-90 minutes longer.
     
  15. starsfan09

    starsfan09 Registered Member

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    No sir. Acronis makes the file. There's no need to Defrag that particular file. However, my discovery is trying to run Defrag on the Drive takes forever, that is...AFTER...you've put an Acronis Back-up file on it.


    Howard,
    Since "Defragin" the primary HD is such a vital roll in preparing the HD for Back-up, I'll take your advice on "Perfect Disk", and give it a try.
    I strongly think one should run "ScanDisc" and "Defrag" on the primary HD ...BEFORE...making a Full Back-Up with Acronis, or any other disc imaging program. I actually run "Defrag" 7 or 8 times before hand. It may not make a significant difference by repeating it, but it makes me feel better and more secure. Some people actually never Defrag at all, and then wonder why their Disc Imaging program doesn't work. I think its very, very important to prepare the HD before hand.
     
  16. crofttk

    crofttk Registered Member

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    If defragging before a backup makes you feel better, then knock yourself out. Saying that defragging before creating a backup or image is VITAL is a BIT over the top, IMO.

    There is NO WAY I would have anything to do with nor am I aware of any imaging or backup program that requires that a defrag of either the source or target drive be performed beforehand in order to function properly !
     
  17. starsfan09

    starsfan09 Registered Member

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    I Did Not mean to imply that Acronis, or other Disc Imaging programs REQUIRE Defragging BEFORE using.

    Look, it's a known fact "Defraging" a Hard Drive helps it run smoother, and increases the Perfomance because it "Organizes" the data on the Disc. It does increase Seek, Read, and Write performance! So...with this in mind,.. I do think its essential to run Defrag BEFORE you run a Disc Imaging progam.
    If you don't want to Defrag, then don't! I personally do, and will continue to.
    I"m new to Acronis, but Not to Disc Imaging Programs. It's always best to Defrag on the Source...before running the Back-Up procedure.
     
  18. crofttk

    crofttk Registered Member

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    It's called the point of diminishing returns. Coming soon to a neighborhood near you.
     
  19. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    Hi starsfan 09,

    If you do your backups to a new patition on your external drive you could then leave that partition alone and defrag the remainder till it goes "blue" all over. That way you could have the best of both worlds.

    Xpilot
     
  20. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    I really wonder just how much defragging the source drive before a TI backup would help.
    TI does not backup files, therefore, it would not be jumping around the drive from file cluster to file cluster. I suppose that once TI builds its list of “in use sectors” that it would just start at the beginning and, in a linear fashion, continue to the end. No jumping from cluster to cluster other than to read the next sequential one.
     
  21. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    “Look, it's a known fact "Defraging" a Hard Drive helps it run smoother, and increases the Perfomance … “

    Yeah, and it’s a “known fact” that you should set the page file size to 1.5 times the amount of RAM. And if you plant half a potato in the light of a full moon …

    Once upon a time, regular defragging made sense. Those days are gone.

    This is just rehashing the same old arguments. Time to move along, nothing to see here. :D
     
  22. crofttk

    crofttk Registered Member

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    THIS is the operative phrase here and the root of much of the contention. I don't dispute that defragging both the source drive and target drive before imaging will have SOME FINITE POTENTIALLY MEASURABLE benefit. The question is: "Is the amount of that benefit meaningful to you ?". If that particular amount of benefit is meaningful to you, then more power to you. (in general, not you Weaz). My perception of how beneficial these actions are don't motivate me to perform them -- period.

    We're confusing the issue because we can't hit a moving target.

    HOWEVER, people who don't choose to defrag ANYTHING before OR after imaging or backing up and want to point to that as a potential reason for their backups or images failing are barking up the wrong tree if the backup or imaging program is worth what was paid for it. There's no logical reason that defragging or lack thereof should impact the CORRECT FUNCTION of these programs.

    The question of imaging or backup performance with or without defragging is purely a value judgment and therefore it's difficult to construcively debate.
     
  23. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    It does make sense to periodically run scandisk.

    Defragging with a good defragger, like Perfect Disk, reduces the fragmentation that wil loccur. And the algorithms are so much more sophisticated that multiple passes helps little, if any.

    Not to mention, after you defrag, your incremental back ups will be much larger.

    If you like. Perfect Disk has a Trend Analysis option that you can set to run at various times. And Raxco provides a prebuilt Access database to create reports, do querys, etc.

    Such analysis can give a good idea of how often, and which drives, need to be defragmented.
     
  24. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    THat is still true.

    That's easily demonstrated by using http://www.standards,com/index.html?PageFileUsageMonitor

    That's NOT true.
    Nothing has changed.
     
  25. Bubba

    Bubba Updates Team

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    A couple of OT\Personal attack posts removed. Let's Please stick to the thread topic subject matter.

    Also a reminder that this is the Acronis support Forum and not a forum to discuss the ups and downs of fragmenting programs. Feel free to take that discussion to one of our other appropriate forums.

    Thanks,
    Bubba
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2006
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