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What's the proper way to restore a backup to a SSD?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I installed Win7 64bit on a Plextor 64GB SSD and was installing some application software. I decided to uninstall one program but it left folders in the programs X86 folder and I suspect it left junk in the registry also.

I had done a Win7 "System Image" backup (about 30GB) just prior to installing that program so I decided to restore the "System Image" backup to the SSD. The restore is in progress now but it's going VERY slowly! My best guess is that the restore is probably going to take about 5-6 hours.

What am I doing wrong? Was I supposed to erase the SSD prior to doing the restore? If so, would the restore then take less than one hour?

Thanks for any advice,
Sky
post #2 of 12
I've never used anything for creating images except for Acronis True Image which has worked well for me in the past and has never let me down.

One thing to check before installing any OS to is ensure that the offset is properly set. For SSDs and mechanical drives that use an advanced format system, the offset should be 64, not 63.

After your system has been restored, make sure the offset is correct. If the offset is anything other than 64, the performance of the drive may degrade over time.

Have a look here to determine the offset of your drive: http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials...alignment.html

What mechanical drives are in your system? If you're using a Seagate or WD, go the manufacturer's website and download either Seagate's DiscWizard or WD Tools to create an image of your drive. Seagate and WD use a customized version of Acronis True Image for creating and restoring images.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by audit13 View Post

I've never used anything for creating images except for Acronis True Image which has worked well for me in the past and has never let me down.

One thing to check before installing any OS to is ensure that the offset is properly set. For SSDs and mechanical drives that use an advanced format system, the offset should be 64, not 63.

After your system has been restored, make sure the offset is correct. If the offset is anything other than 64, the performance of the drive may degrade over time.

Have a look here to determine the offset of your drive: http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials...alignment.html

I read about the SSD alignment thing after I started the restore but never really understood it. Your info and link really cleared it up for me.

Quote:


What mechanical drives are in your system?

The spinner in my system is a Samsung but the external spinner that I'm using for the backup is a Seagate.

Quote:


If you're using a Seagate or WD, go the manufacturer's website and download either Seagate's DiscWizard or WD Tools to create an image of your drive. Seagate and WD use a customized version of Acronis True Image for creating and restoring images.

I just read that Acronis TI 2010 did not support SSD alignment so I guess I'll need to verify what version the Seagate or WD versions of Acronis TI are.

PS: The Win7 system image restore is only about 3/4 done now which is about 7.5 hours in. Pretty ridiculous.

Thank you very much for your help!
Sky
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Audit13,

The Win7 "System Image" restore finally finished. It took about 10.5 hours to restore about 30GB on a 64GB SSD!

Thanks to your info and link, I ran DiskPart and found that the SSD alignment is GOOD!

Partition 1 .... Primary .... 100 MB .... 1024 KB
Partition 2 .... Primary ...... 59 GB ..... 101 KB

Just like the example in the link you gave. Whew! What a relief!


THE PLUSES ARE:
---------------------
1. At least I now verified that Win7's "System Image" restore works, even if it did take 10.5 hours to restore about 30GB on a 64GB SSD.

2. Win7's "System Image" restore does restore with the correct partition alignments.


THE CONS ARE:
-------------------
1. It did take 10.5 hours to restore. Even a battery backup UPS wouldn't have been able to sustain power to complete the restore if there was a long power outage in the first 9.5 hours of the restore.

2. I'm going to investigate using a different backup software that can restore MUCH faster with correct partition alignment.


SUMMARY & QUESTIONS:
------------------------------
Doing the "System Image" restore using "Backup and Restore" from Win7 would not find the backup external HDD. I had to load from the Win7 "Repair Disc" (CD) which took a while to load but did find the backup and do the restore. While Googling "not finding the backup", I found that many people had the same problem but no one suggested booting from the Repair Disc to do the restore. Hope this helps someone that has to do it.

I already have a subscription to Terabyte's "Image for Windows" and from what I've been reading (while waiting) is that it can restore with correct alignment if a parameter is set to 2048. I need to find out exactly how this works and how long a 30GB restore on a 64GB SSD will take.

Anyone with actual experience with how long Acronis True Image 2012 takes to back up a SSD and if the partition alignments are always correct for a SSD?

Finally, should a SSD always be erased prior to a restore? If so, can DiskPart do it and what command line function does it?

Thanks soooo much,
Sky
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylark View Post

I read about the SSD alignment thing after I started the restore but never really understood it. Your info and link really cleared it up for me.


The spinner in my system is a Samsung but the external spinner that I'm using for the backup is a Seagate.


I just read that Acronis TI 2010 did not support SSD alignment so I guess I'll need to verify what version the Seagate or WD versions of Acronis TI are.

PS: The Win7 system image restore is only about 3/4 done now which is about 7.5 hours in. Pretty ridiculous.

Thank you very much for your help!
Sky

It is true that Acronis True Image 2010 does not maintain proper alignment for SSD drives; however, the versions included with the Seagate and WD version's should be fine. I tested both with my 60gb Corsair SSD and the alignment was kept.

Acronis True Image 2009 and 2010 do maintain alignment if your SSD is a single partition and you restore the entire disk, not just the partition. If you restore only the partition, the alignment will go to 31.
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by audit13 View Post


It is true that Acronis True Image 2010 does not maintain proper alignment for SSD drives; however, the versions included with the Seagate and WD version's should be fine. I tested both with my 60gb Corsair SSD and the alignment was kept.

Acronis True Image 2009 and 2010 do maintain alignment if your SSD is a single partition and you restore the entire disk, not just the partition. If you restore only the partition, the alignment will go to 31.

I just did one today using Acronis. Restored both the Windows 'hidden system' partition and the C partition and the alignment ended up just fine.

By the way, for the OP, restoring about 35gb from a USB hard drive to a new 64gb ssd took about 20 minutes using Acronis.

And that laptop is really delightful with that ssd!
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by audit13 View Post

It is true that Acronis True Image 2010 does not maintain proper alignment for SSD drives; however, the versions included with the Seagate and WD version's should be fine. I tested both with my 60gb Corsair SSD and the alignment was kept.

Thanks for this valuable info. Do you remember about how long the restore to your 60GB Corsair SSD took, and was it a new or used SSD?

Quote:


Acronis True Image 2009 and 2010 do maintain alignment if your SSD is a single partition and you restore the entire disk, not just the partition. If you restore only the partition, the alignment will go to 31.

Info will be very helpful to owners of those versions.

Thanks,
Sky
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

I just did one today using Acronis. Restored both the Windows 'hidden system' partition and the C partition and the alignment ended up just fine.

By the way, for the OP, restoring about 35gb from a USB hard drive to a new 64gb ssd took about 20 minutes using Acronis.

And that laptop is really delightful with that ssd!

20 minutes is very acceptable. Since the restore was to a "new" 64GB SSD, I assume there was little to no "erase before write" necessary. Ever do a restore to a used 64GB SSD?

Thanks,
Sky
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
I upgraded my paid copy of Terabyte's "Image For Windows" to the latest version and backed up my 64GB SSD to an external eSATA HDD.

The backup of 36GB took 4 min 38 seconds!

That's hugely faster than Win7's backup of about 32GB. I suspect that the restore will be hugely faster than Win7's restore that took 10.5 hours.

Lesson I learned from this experience is that Win7's "Backup & Restore" is definitely NOT the way to go when backing up and restoring a SSD. Unless one is willing to wait 10.5 hours to do a restore. I have no idea how it performs backing up a spinner HDD.

Sky
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylark View Post

Thanks for this valuable info. Do you remember about how long the restore to your 60GB Corsair SSD took, and was it a new or used SSD?

With high compression and 20 gb used, it takes about 20 minutes.

Glad you got everything working. I used to use the free version of DriveImage XML but I find it to not be as user friendly and versatile as Acronis.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by audit13 View Post

With high compression and 20 gb used, it takes about 20 minutes.

Glad you got everything working. I used to use the free version of DriveImage XML but I find it to not be as user friendly and versatile as Acronis.

Thanks for your info. If Image For Windows can restore in 20 minutes, I'll be very happy.

I'm not sure whether it's better to erase the SSD to all 1's before doing a restore or not. Anybody tried it?

Best regards,
Sky
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylark View Post

Thanks for your info. If Image For Windows can restore in 20 minutes, I'll be very happy.

I'm not sure whether it's better to erase the SSD to all 1's before doing a restore or not. Anybody tried it?

Best regards,
Sky

I restore quite often since I'm constantly installing and trying new programs. I never erase the drive before restoring an image. SSDs have a limited number of writes and erasing the drive before restoring the image doesn't make sense to me.
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