Why does a imaging restore, restore a fragmented drive?

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by nteca, Aug 15, 2010.

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  1. nteca

    nteca Registered Member

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    I did a normal backup of my system drive with Drive Snapshot 1.4, all option at default. Then follow by a boot time restore, it complete without errors.

    As I want to do this to defrag the system drive C:, I followup by checking with a defrag tool and was surprised to see my drive as fragmented as before.

    I have always thought that as long as a imaging software is not using a dumb sector based imaging mode, then when it restore, it should lay down the files neatly one after another. Or is this assumption only true only for some imaging software?
     
  2. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

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    Mirror image programs are exactly that: whatever you took a picture of is what you're going to get back.

    Acadia
     
  3. wtsinnc

    wtsinnc Registered Member

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    defragment before you create the image and you will have a defragmented image upon restore.

    Imaging is a snapshot of the install;
    what you image is exactly the sum of all installed programs and the system state at the time the image is created.
     
  4. acuariano

    acuariano Registered Member

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    in fact chkdsk before defragment
    then make your copy
     
  5. nteca

    nteca Registered Member

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    My understanding of imaging software is probably rusty but I recall they often have 2 mode - A dumb mode that is not filesystem-aware backing up every sector and restoring likewise, and a smarter mode that only backup the data of actual files and skipping unused and deleted areas.

    I doubt all image restores are sector for sector accurate; most can restore and expand the partition at the same time, so that in itself will imply the original layout of the data sectors won't be the same as the restored layout.
     
  6. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Even in the mode where you are just imaging the files that are there, most imaging programs do work at the sector level. Your disk will pretty much look as it did when you imaged.

    Defrag prior to image is really the way to go.
     
  7. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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    My understanding is that normally a restored partition is not exactly a physical mirror of the source, unless the options to make it a mirror are selected when the image is created. Functionally, the two are identical.

    Defragmenting is another process altogether. Imaging and restoring do not involve defragmenting the partition.
     
  8. SourMilk

    SourMilk Registered Member

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    Robin A. is correct. You might try imaging in sector mode without any exclusions. Not sure that would keep the integrity of a defragged disk, though.

    SourMilk out
     
  9. MerleOne

    MerleOne Registered Member

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    There is only an imaging software that defrags the destination that I know of : HDClone V3.9. It's powerful but quite expensive and it lacks one USEFUL feature: image exploration.
     
  10. dantz

    dantz Registered Member

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    It's far safer to image your drive before you defrag, run chkdsk or make any other significant changes to the drive. These types of operations can screw up sometimes, you know! I've seen it happen more than once. My advice is to image first and then make your desired changes, whether it involves cleaning up the drive or installing a major piece of software.

    The purpose of imaging is to create a safe fallback position, not to store the neatest possible version of your OS. If you want to have both safety and neatness then you can make two images, one before and one after you make the changes.
     
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