Very long backup times

  m800afc 19:27 20 Aug 2008

Windows XP, Pro SP3, 2Gb RAM
ASRock 775VM800 Motherboard.

This is an ongoing problem, and it has yet to be solved. I apologise in advance for repeating myself.
I currently use Acronis True Image 10 to perform three separate backups of three separate discs. It takes a very long time, about 72hours, to do a full backup. Currently I have 550Gb of data spread over three discs. Disc C/D an internal drive containing 247GB, disc L, external USB2, containing 149gb and disc M, external USB2, containing 154gb. They are being backed up to disc L, external USB2, containing 931gb free space, when empty. I have no free bay in my tower, so cannot install an internal drive.
I have found that having done a full backup, the incremental backup takes even longer, about 90 hours. I have checked and one backup.tib is 137Gb, however after adding about 5Gb of data, and doing an incremental backup, I have the original backup.tib at 137Gb AS WELL AS Backup2.tib occupying 141Gb. Correct me if I am wrong, but shouldn't the incremental backup be smaller, than the original?
Is there an affordable way to dramatically reduce these times, as I cannot afford to spend this amount of time doing backups? I am of the impression that my motherboard does not support SATA AND IDE, it supports SATA OR IDE.
BTW, I have tried Acronis, but no answer yet.

  mfletch 19:50 20 Aug 2008

Hope this is some help,

click here

Differential backups were the next step in the evolution of backup strategies. A differential backup backs up only the files that changed since the last full back. For example, suppose you do a full backup on Sunday. On Monday you back up only the files that changed since Sunday, on Tuesday you back up only the files that changed since Sunday, and so on until the next full backup. Differential backups are quicker than full backups because so much less data is being backed up. But the amount of data being backed up grows with each differential backup until the next full back up.

  m800afc 19:56 20 Aug 2008

Thanks for the explanation, it confirms what I thought. It would appear that althogh I have requested a differential backup, I am simply getting an additional, full backup. I shall wait for the answer from Acronis, and take it from there. Odds on they will say "uninstall and reinstall Acronis TI10". I have already tried this.

  DieSse 19:57 20 Aug 2008

The external drives will be slowing you down. USB2 performance depends on :-

How many devices are connected to the same controller - working or not.

How good the conversion to USB is inside the drive enclosure.

Reported measured USB2 sustained speeds seem to vat from 10MBs up to 30MBs.

Lets assume you're averaging 20 MBs - then 300GB (the external data) should take around 15,000secs, which is 4 hrs. Pro rata if you're running slower.

The internal drive at approx 250GB should take less - say 2 hrs.

Them you got to write this all out over USB2 - writing is usually slower - so say 8 hrs. Add this all up and it makes 14hrs of drive transfer times alone. If you're doing a verify - then more than double the time.

My 55GB or so of backup from an internal source to an external source takes over an hour - so that would tie in.

Are any of your boxes running at USB1?

Are the drives fragmented?

Are the drives running on the same controller?

Are you using high compression - this is slower.

You would go faster on Firewire - faster still on Firewire800.

esata should be faster if you have sata external drives and could change the enclosures.

As for the incremental backups - yes they should be much shorter - but if the file size of the .tib file is bigger summat odd is going on. Perhaps the drive letters are changing (as they may do when swapping external drives around, so an incremental backup actually is backing up everything again?

Hope this gives you a few ideas to try.

  m800afc 13:32 01 Sep 2008

I believe I have found the reason for the incremental backups taking so long.
Having done a complete backup, Acronis will only do an incemental backup if the files on your pc still match exactly the files on your original backup. In practical terms, if you defrag a drive then Acronis does not match the original backup with the hard drive, and so will not do an incremental backup. Acronis does not inform you on screen of this. Acronis can only be used for incremental backups if you do not defrag.

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