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Discussion Starter #21
I have used the Windows image backup for a long time. On Win10 Pro it has slowed down. Switching to a 3rd party app has issues if your PC uses secure boot. A number of 3rd party apps are not able to create startup CDs or USB drives that work with secure boot. I found the solution to the issue was managing priority of the image backup run. Using task manager to set priority to high solved the problem. Performance impact using other apps while running the image backup in high was noticeable but not worth concerns. Usually I run the image backup in the evening after finishing work. It now runs in 3.5 hours in a 3 partition setup of roughly 500gb. I will stay with Win10 for the image as the Win10 startup disk does work in secure boot mode.
I'll try your suggestion to set whatever backup software priority to high.

Right now I'm using Macrium to create a clone hard drive installed in an external USB-3 docking station with some relatively fast sucess. For example, yesterday evening it took only 1 hr and 14 minutes to create the clone. Backup and Restore (Windows 7) was never able to match that. The next time I do this I'll set Macrium priority to high and see if that speeds things up.

BTW, I'm creating a clone rather than an image in order to produce a hard disk that I can use to just replace the PC's hard disk when, not if, it inevitably fails. (I presume with a clone that no recovery disk or thumb drive would be necessary; just install the new clone of the original drive and hit the power button.)

To just exactly WHAT are you backing up -- an external hard disk, an internal disk, what?

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Again, I back up our system hard disk to TWO hard disks - a "green" WD10EADS, 7200 RPM 1-tb drive and a "red" WD20EFRX, 5400 RPM, 2tb drive.. I select which of the two to back up to by the dates that they were last backed up to. Yesterday I used the 7200 RPM, 1-tb disk which was backed up to on Jan 22 rather than the other disk which was backed up to on Feb 16.

Again, the backup on Feb 16 to the 5400 RPM, 2-tb drive took about 1 hr. 11 minutes. That was with Macrium priority set at "normal". Yesterday evening, March 13, with Macrium.exe priority set at "high", the backup to the 7200 RPM, 1tb disk took 2 hrs 11 minutes -- exactly one hour more than the backup to the other 5400 RPM disk, which is IMO rather strange.

I have no idea why the very-much-older WD10EADS, 7200 RPM 1-tb took one hour longer than the WD20EFRX, 5400 RPM, 2tb, but I will eventully know the answer to that question because the variables are pretty simple, except for one -- the latest version of Windows 10 at the time of each backup (for example, I updated windows 10 after last night's backup just in case the update screwed up everything, which, luckily, it did not, so the next backup will take place with the latest version of windows 10).
--amount of data to be backed up, which does not change much over time because stuff is added and stuff is deleted all the time
--size/capacity of the drives
--rotational speed of the drives
--priority setting of Macrium

After the next four backups I should know with a fair degree of certaintly what the best priority setting is for each drive.
 

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Again, I back up our system hard disk to TWO hard disks - a "green" WD10EADS, 7200 RPM 1-tb drive and a "red" WD20EFRX, 5400 RPM, 2tb drive.. I select which of the two to back up to by the dates that they were last backed up to. Yesterday I used the 7200 RPM, 1-tb disk which was backed up to on Jan 22 rather than the other disk which was backed up to on Feb 16.

Again, the backup on Feb 16 to the 5400 RPM, 2-tb drive took about 1 hr. 11 minutes. That was with Macrium priority set at "normal". Yesterday evening, March 13, with Macrium.exe priority set at "high", the backup to the 7200 RPM, 1tb disk took 2 hrs 11 minutes -- exactly one hour more than the backup to the other 5400 RPM disk, which is IMO rather strange.

I have no idea why the very-much-older WD10EADS, 7200 RPM 1-tb took one hour longer than the WD20EFRX, 5400 RPM, 2tb, but I will eventully know the answer to that question because the variables are pretty simple, except for one -- the latest version of Windows 10 at the time of each backup (for example, I updated windows 10 after last night's backup just in case the update screwed up everything, which, luckily, it did not, so the next backup will take place with the latest version of windows 10).
--amount of data to be backed up, which does not change much over time because stuff is added and stuff is deleted all the time
--size/capacity of the drives
--rotational speed of the drives
--priority setting of Macrium

After the next four backups I should know with a fair degree of certaintly what the best priority setting is for each drive.
If you haven’t already, I suggest looking at the “slow” drive’s error counts, perhaps in its SMART numbers. It might be that the drive is starting to fail. Error recovery can make a backup take a lot longer. If you increased the compression significantly, that’d slow it down a lot, too.
 

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I just made my bi-weekly Windows Image of my C:. It took 14 minutes to make an exact copy. I'll store it next to my other previous images on various HDD's which are 5400 rpm fwiw. When I need to restore my PC, I'll retrieve the image I want into the root of the drive, reboot Windows, load the restore environment, and let it install.

Applying the image to overwrite my current install takes the same amount of time as it did to create it - 14 minutes. If my HDD fails, I'll simply install the same image to the new drive which will also take the same amount of time. I've done this hundreds of times without fail. Nice that Windows provides this built-in easy to use tool.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
I just made my bi-weekly Windows Image of my C:. It took 14 minutes to make an exact copy. I'll store it next to my other previous images on various HDD's which are 5400 rpm fwiw. When I need to restore my PC, I'll retrieve the image I want into the root of the drive, reboot Windows, load the restore environment, and let it install.

Applying the image to overwrite my current install takes the same amount of time as it did to create it - 14 minutes. If my HDD fails, I'll simply install the same image to the new drive which will also take the same amount of time. I've done this hundreds of times without fail. Nice that Windows provides this built-in easy to use tool.
14 minutes! I'm envious and curious.

How much data on your C drive?

How is the back-up drive (the destination drive) connected to your computer and what is the potential speed of that connection?

Thanks.
 

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57GB of data used of 237GB.
The image itself is 55.3GB.
The C: drive is an SSD on a SATA3 6Gbps port. (This motherboard is circa 2008ish)
My 10 backup data drives are local on other SATA3 6Gbps ports.
There is always the option to use a USB external drive or network drive but I've always used my local drive(s) so don't know the particulars. These options would probably be slower but just as efficient.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
57GB of data used of 237GB.
The image itself is 55.3GB.
The C: drive is an SSD on a SATA3 6Gbps port. (This motherboard is circa 2008ish)
My 10 backup data drives are local on other SATA3 6Gbps ports.
There is always the option to use a USB external drive or network drive but I've always used my local drive(s) so don't know the particulars. These options would probably be slower but just as efficient.
Well, now I don't feel so bad.:) Thanks for the information.

Our old dell computer's C: is on a 1 gb, SATA HDD that has just over 600 gb of data on it -- so about ten times as much as on your SSD. I'm backing that up to those two HDDs I previously mentioned which are installed in a USB3 docking station which, in turn, is connected to one of the computer's USB3 ports. Considering this arrangement, I think that 1 hour and 11 minutes is reasonablbe.

Thanks again.
 

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I see. Yes, that sounds very reasonable. Something you might want to consider, and what I do is keeping the C: as small as possible. For me, 256GB is more than enough. Usually when/if things need to be reverted or the drive needs replacing, only the C: is what you're after. This only contains your small program installs and whatnot. Then keep your large data on a different drive and back that data up to another drive using copy and paste. You could also partition the C: but I wouldn't recommend it in the event the entire drive failed.

This way, reverting is quick. Data is never under threat of being lost including a bad image or other backup method. You always have a 1:1 backup. Much easier to manipulate portions of data vs an image of the entire data. I test and try new things a lot. Sometimes I'd rather my PC was in the state it was in before I tried them. Either because uninstalling these try-its takes longer than reimaging or uninstalling doesn't necessarily remove residual elements like registry entries. If it was me, I'd shuck your external drives and add them local in your Dell provided you have a couple extra ports. I'd use one of those shucked drives to hold the data and the other as an exact copy/paste backup.

I have my little SSD C: I have 80 TB's of data local and another 80 TB's of that data backed up externally. I wouldn't consider backing up that kind of irreplaceable or time consuming data (RIP's) using any kind of RAID array or any kind of image. Read testimonies long enough and you'll see that complaints of complete failures occur. That or moving your data to another PC needing to use a different RAID or backup program because the original can't be recovered.

Because you're in the Home Theatre forum, I suspect you're backing up music/TV shows/movies mainly. Put that stuff on a drive separate from your O/S C: imo. If the C: fails, install your image. If the data drive fails, copy and paste it back in to the new drive from your backed up drive. Many times I only want to change one small thing about my backed up data which would be a matter of seconds compared to reimaging. 1TB of data would take about a couple hours to paste into a 5400 local drive but I know it's perfect 1:1 data. Mine transfer about 80 - 150MB/s via port duplicated eSATA (enclosures) and USB 3.0 Windows Storage Spaces JBOD.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
I see. Yes, that sounds very reasonable. Something you might want to consider, and what I do is keeping the C: as small as possible. For me, 256GB is more than enough. Usually when/if things need to be reverted or the drive needs replacing, only the C: is what you're after. This only contains your small program installs and whatnot. Then keep your large data on a different drive and back that data up to another drive using copy and paste. You could also partition the C: but I wouldn't recommend it in the event the entire drive failed.

This way, reverting is quick. Data is never under threat of being lost including a bad image or other backup method. You always have a 1:1 backup. Much easier to manipulate portions of data vs an image of the entire data. I test and try new things a lot. Sometimes I'd rather my PC was in the state it was in before I tried them. Either because uninstalling these try-its takes longer than reimaging or uninstalling doesn't necessarily remove residual elements like registry entries. If it was me, I'd shuck your external drives and add them local in your Dell provided you have a couple extra ports. I'd use one of those shucked drives to hold the data and the other as an exact copy/paste backup.

I have my little SSD C: I have 80 TB's of data local and another 80 TB's of that data backed up externally. I wouldn't consider backing up that kind of irreplaceable or time consuming data (RIP's) using any kind of RAID array or any kind of image. Read testimonies long enough and you'll see that complaints of complete failures occur. That or moving your data to another PC needing to use a different RAID or backup program because the original can't be recovered.

Because you're in the Home Theatre forum, I suspect you're backing up music/TV shows/movies mainly. Put that stuff on a drive separate from your O/S C: imo. If the C: fails, install your image. If the data drive fails, copy and paste it back in to the new drive from your backed up drive. Many times I only want to change one small thing about my backed up data which would be a matter of seconds compared to reimaging. 1TB of data would take about a couple hours to paste into a 5400 local drive but I know it's perfect 1:1 data. Mine transfer about 80 - 150MB/s via port duplicated eSATA (enclosures) and USB 3.0 Windows Storage Spaces JBOD.
Brazen, thanks for all the advice. You are apparenty one lean, mean, backup machine! I like the all-in-one clone creation. The only problem with that that I can see is if the motherboard, not the HDD, fails on our Dell. That actually happened a few years ago on a Dell Slimline, Windows Vista OS!, HTPC, but I didn't have much on that system's HDD, so I just replaced it with another tiny Dell PC.

Of course you're right about putting more vital data separately on another backup drive, so I've copied most of that to another PC in our office. I'm pretty old now and can't have much time left in the sun. I'm far from certain that our grand kids will have any interest in keeping any of what my wife and I have accumulated over our lives -- whether that's furniture or photos or anything else. To bad we can't take all of it with us to the purported aftelife we're purportedly going to "live in" from death to eternity. :)

What's really important to us is having continuity in "a" computer so that we have all our emails, account information, programs, etc. always instantly available, regardless if there's a hiccup in time because of a failed component. If the MB on our Dell fails, I understand that there a ways that that HDD or one of the backup HDDs can be installed in new computer, but I don't know how this could be done. Maybe you know about this and could educate me. Do I give Bill a call and have him help me through it?

I don't do much storage of any media any more. I have a library of movies, some of which I haven't seen in years, but they are available should I so desire to see them.

Thanks again.
 
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