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Judy G. Russell
February 6th, 2006, 12:17 PM
Hey folks... I finally decided to move my backup system from a series of CDs to a nice big shiny external hard drive. And then discovered that the software that came with that nice big shiny external hard drive (Retrospect Express) is soooooo slow with its USB 2 connection. (How slow, you ask? Well, let's see here... I started a backup of 47 Gb of programs and data at 6 p.m. yesterday. It was 27Gb into verifying the backup as of 10:30 a.m. today. And there's a second drive that's twice as big yet to go...)

So... with a Win2K system, what else could I / should I use? My office IT folks suggest Vice Versa and I'll test that, but is there something else out there that's better... and fast?

Gary Maltzen
February 6th, 2006, 01:00 PM
Restrospect *should* be faster than that. It can help to disable your A-V program while performing the backup. Using a firewire/1394 connection I was able to backup about 400MB/min (that would be about 2 hours for 47GB) but the speed varied based upon something about the files.

Did you try an un-compressed backup - as compression can sometimes slow down and sometimes speed up the process.

fhaber
February 6th, 2006, 02:16 PM
I'm with Gary. Go into Task Manager and kill everything you can.

Judy G. Russell
February 6th, 2006, 02:24 PM
I'm sure it should be faster; I'll certainly try an uncompressed backup when I get home tonight since it won't even be close to being finished with drive D by then.

Still, the question is whether it will ever be fast enough and whether there's anything better. Remember this is the express version of the program and not the full Retrospect.

Judy G. Russell
February 6th, 2006, 02:24 PM
Will do... but isn't there anything better than this program?

Jeff
February 6th, 2006, 02:57 PM
I have the same Retro Express, via USB 2 to a WD 160gig external, and have F-PROT AV active, and have disabled nothing else.

35,712 files; 5.1gig; 36 minutes; 253MB/min; with both compression and verify on.

That was Sunday, and is SOP for "backup" every week. "Duplicate "; copy without compression, but with verify on, took an 1:45 for the same. I do both so I can cherrypick files from the copy if I need to.

- Jeff

Ooops, it's also running on XP Pro...

fhaber
February 6th, 2006, 02:58 PM
Better? In today's software business? Gresham rules; we are damned as buffs and enthusiasts, and thus dismissed.

Retrospect-anything drives me nuts. They redefine "folder" to suit themselves. Subdirectory trees are treated as objects of some strange nether-world between Mac and PC (Retrospect has apps for both).

Retrospect full will not be appreciably faster.

Are you dead-sure your port is really working as USB2? Have you tried a simple drag of a huge folder to the backup drive, to make sure Retrospect isn't concealing retry errors? Do you have the option of using firewire on this unit? And finally, are you sure, if it's a Maxtor, that you reformatted the drive to NTFS? FAT32 tweaked for hundreds of gigabytes ain't fast (but it's much better for thumb drives, if you occasionally forget and pull them instead of unmounting them).

Judy G. Russell
February 6th, 2006, 03:02 PM
I'm going to have to see what the heck is going on that's slowing it down to this degree, Jeff. No matter HOW slow it is usually, this is ridiculous.

Judy G. Russell
February 6th, 2006, 03:04 PM
Are you dead-sure your port is really working as USB2?Nope. And I'm not sure how to test it.

Have you tried a simple drag of a huge folder to the backup drive, to make sure Retrospect isn't concealing retry errors?Not yet, but was going to do that tonight.

Do you have the option of using firewire on this unit? Nope, I don't have firewire on the computer or the external drive.

And finally, are you sure, if it's a Maxtor, that you reformatted the drive to NTFS?Yep, that one I did right away.

Jeff
February 6th, 2006, 03:08 PM
I'm going to have to see what the heck is going on that's slowing it down to this degree, Jeff. No matter HOW slow it is usually, this is ridiculous.

I just edited my noise. Go back and look. Are you doing "backup" or "duplicate"? Oh, as we play musical edits, my WD is FAT 32 too.

- Jeff

Judy G. Russell
February 6th, 2006, 04:10 PM
I was (am?) doing an initial backup and verify, and it's definitely NTFS. I'm thinking something is definitely not set right somewhere...

douglaswmartin
February 6th, 2006, 04:18 PM
Judy,

I have a Freecom external hard drive to which I've been backing up files for about a year. Recently, it's begun to take a long time to "warm up" and it's making a noise like a bronchitic stag during the rutting season.

I was considering either going back to discs (DVDs) or using an online storage facility. I just wonder how secure an online service would be.

- Douglas.

Judy G. Russell
February 6th, 2006, 05:33 PM
I suspect that the security of an online service would be directly proportional to the cost: the more it costs, the more likely the service will pay some attention to security. (At least that's the way it should be, on a "you get what you pay for" basis...) My problem is the length of time it would take to upload 100+Gb of files!

fhaber
February 6th, 2006, 06:34 PM
>Nope. And I'm not sure how to test it.

Computer documentation? Presence of a USB2 hub in DevMgr? 99% of the time a USB2 hub will be listed as "USB2 Enhanced." 1% of the time, it will say just "enhanced." This usually works as USB2. You should have gotten a message from Windows saying "this USB2 device will work better if you use a fast port," or some such.

Yes, the above uncertainty certainly sucks. USB2 cards are only $20.

Gary Maltzen
February 6th, 2006, 06:35 PM
using Retrospect Express 6.0

Note that I store Catalog files on the external Maxtor
in subvolume "G:\Restrospect Catalog Files"

'Disk' backup from Win2K via USB to Maxtor 250 formatted NTFS
43,054 files, 5.6 GB, 601.9MB/min - 00:10:35 duration
Result: G:\Retrospect\Disk\1-Disk\AA*.rdb (9-600MB, 1-32MB files)

'File' backup
43,054 files, 5.6 GB, 931.1MB/min - 00:06:37 duration
Result G:\Retrospect Catalog Files\File.rdf - 5.8GB

'Duplicate' backup to subvolume on Maxtor
43,054 files, 5.6 GB, 334.9MB/min - 00:16:52 duration
Result G:\Silver2K-C-Feb\*
tree duplicating contents of C:\

Judy G. Russell
February 6th, 2006, 11:51 PM
Sigh... some idiot set up the backup program to backup the C and D drives to the C and D drives. When I got home, I discovered that that idiot's mistake had reduced the total available space on the C drive (some 80Gb work) to 128Mb and on the 120Gb D drive to about 20Gb. (Why it kept doing the backup over and over is another question.)

I have everything set (I think) to work properly and put the #$%#$ backups onto the new G drive. I'm testing it now and will let you know.

Lindsey
February 7th, 2006, 12:06 AM
Oooooops!

--Lindsey

Judy G. Russell
February 7th, 2006, 01:21 AM
Yeah... but even when the idiot isn't running things, it's still slow. I'm beginning to wonder if the USB port on the front of the computer could be a slower port than the ones on the back. I just tested and it takes about 20 minutes to do a plain ordinary copy of 1 Gb of data from the C drive to the G drive. If my math is right, that's 750,000 bytes per second (give or take a few). Even USB 1 should be faster than that.

Sigh... more work to do to figure this out, I think!

Gary Maltzen
February 7th, 2006, 12:54 PM
I tried to force USB 1.1 by inserting an older hub in the path to the external; apparently it is a USB 2 hub as it only slightly affected the backup speed (750 instead of 900). Note BTW that all my tests were run with the A-V enabled.

Judy G. Russell
February 7th, 2006, 01:37 PM
Okay... here's what I don't understand. I moved the drive to what I'm sure is a USB 2 port and I changed the settings so that it's now backing up properly from C to G. I started the backup of the C drive at about 1:30 this morning and toddled off to bed.

Now... You're backing up 5.6Gb in 10 minutes. I have 47Gb on the C drive. Presumably, it should have taken no more than nine times as much time to do my backup as yours, so it should have completed in roughly an hour and a half, right?

But it had not finished the backup and verify even by 10:30 this morning -- nine HOURS later.

Sigh...

Karl Semper
February 7th, 2006, 04:07 PM
Even at USB 1 speeds you should be done faster than that. I back up my laptop data just copying it to an external USB 2 connected drive much faster than that. Unfortunately the only USB 1 connection that I have won't recognize the USB 2 hard drive so I can't test that. My backup speeds are on the order of Garys.

Judy G. Russell
February 7th, 2006, 04:23 PM
I'm really baffled, Karl. I can't imagine what other settings I should play with to try to get something more on the order of what you and Gary are getting. I may try again tonight turning verification OFF and seeing what that achieves.

Karl Semper
February 7th, 2006, 08:10 PM
Its got me wondering also. Verification usually slows things down if something on the drive changes between the back up and the verification step.

Gary Maltzen
February 7th, 2006, 08:40 PM
Karl mentioned "...drive changes..." and got me thinking.

1) You have MS file indexing disabled?
2) You don't have a complete A-V scan scheduled overnight?
3) You don't have an automatic defrag scheduled?

What speed CPU?
How much RAM?

Judy G. Russell
February 7th, 2006, 10:57 PM
Karl mentioned "...drive changes..." and got me thinking.
1) You have MS file indexing disabled?Yep. It's turned off by default in Win2K Pro and I never turned it on.

2) You don't have a complete A-V scan scheduled overnight?I do but it shouldn't even have started until after the backup was finished.

3) You don't have an automatic defrag scheduled?Nope.


What speed CPU?2.53GHz

How much RAM?1Gb

That seems like it should be more than enough. So just now I tested it again:

2/7/2006 10:32:23 PM: Copying New Volume
2/7/2006 10:39:09 PM: Snapshot stored, 17.7 MB
2/7/2006 10:39:11 PM: Comparing New Volume
2/7/2006 10:43:03 PM: Execution completed successfully
Completed: 667 files, 564.1 MB
Performance: 147.7 MB/minute (148.4 copy, 147.1 compare)
Duration: 00:10:40 (00:03:00 idle/loading/preparing)

Keep in mind (and this may be the sum total of the answer): what I'm using is a version called Retrospect Express HD for the Maxtor One Touch.

Gary Maltzen
February 8th, 2006, 01:11 AM
The same "Retrospect Express 6.0" came with both Western Digital and Maxtor external drives.
Here - WD 80 Dual-Option (USB/FW), Maxtor 250 One-Touch (USB), WD 160 NetCenter (NAS)
Client - WD 250 Dual-Option (USB/FW), Maxtor 300 One-Touch (USB/FW)
Client - WD 160 (USB)

Help -> About
Retrospect Express Backup
OEM Express
Version 6.0.222, OEM Edition

Judy G. Russell
February 8th, 2006, 10:44 AM
This is Retrospect Express HD 1.0.196. It seems to be doing everything (or something) over a TCP/IP connection!

Edit: I just read the following: "the Express HD software does use Microsoft .net software which does use the TCP/IP loopback interface (IP address 127.0.0.1) to communicate internally on your computer."

Jeff
February 8th, 2006, 02:33 PM
Sigh... some idiot set up the backup program to backup the C and D drives to the C and D drives. When I got home, I discovered that that idiot's mistake had reduced the total available space on the C drive (some 80Gb work) to 128Mb and on the 120Gb D drive to about 20Gb. (Why it kept doing the backup over and over is another question.)

I have everything set (I think) to work properly and put the #$%#$ backups onto the new G drive. I'm testing it now and will let you know.

Oooo, you were about to blow your C drive...

- Jeff

Judy G. Russell
February 8th, 2006, 02:38 PM
Oooo, you were about to blow your C drive...Fortunately, not quite. Instead of being truly evil and overwriting something, it politely informed me that there wasn't enough space for the backup.

Sigh... it's still ridiculously slow, and I'm still looking for an alternative.

Gary Maltzen
February 8th, 2006, 06:55 PM
...does use Microsoft .net software which does use the TCP/IP loopback interface (IP address 127.0.0.1) to communicate...Your loopback interface does not use any hardware device, so other than taking the long way round it should be about as fast. I'm not enamored, though, of using .NET software.

Judy G. Russell
February 8th, 2006, 10:34 PM
Sigh... I'm at a loss here.

fhaber
February 9th, 2006, 10:13 AM
NT is a bit better about that than 98 was, but you still lucked out. I'll spare you the gory details.

Judy G. Russell
February 9th, 2006, 11:49 AM
NT is a bit better about that than 98 was, but you still lucked out. I'll spare you the gory details.Thanks. Gory details are not necessary. I've learned my lesson!

Judy G. Russell
February 9th, 2006, 11:51 AM
It turns out it wasn't the software at all (and I'd already eliminated the issue of the drive itself by connecting it to another computer). So...

It was the chipset drivers.

I downloaded and installed the new ones from Intel, and the speed increased from 150MB/MIN to 777MB/MIN.

I'm testing a full backup today to see how it goes.

fhaber
February 9th, 2006, 03:36 PM
Noted, with some puzzlement. A speedup from USB 1.1 to 2.x should provide more like a 14x speedup rather than your 5x. There may have been something going on with Win2k SP4 and USB, but I forget, and I think I may have reached my gory detail saturation point for the day (lots of idiotic user calls).

Never thought you'd hear me say that, did you?

Judy G. Russell
February 9th, 2006, 03:59 PM
Aren't all user calls from idiotic users?

I think basically the system was working USB2 but not optimally. (I can't for the life of me figure out Mbps and MBps.) In any case, I'm getting a much faster performance, more in line with what Gary was seeing with an earlier version of the same software. I've got a full backup of my C drive to look at when I get home (I hope!) and should know more then.

Gary Maltzen
February 9th, 2006, 08:31 PM
... with an earlier version of the same software...Interestingly enough the apparent difference between v6 and HD is that the latter/newer version only works with local drives; v6 will backup network drives as well (BTDT). Apparently I have a "Maxtor One-Touch", not a "Maxtor One-Touch II".

The local Micro Center has been unloading the WD160 USB-only externals (with DRv6) for $100 a pop. I may have to get one or two; if nothing else use them to extend my WD NetCenter 160.

Judy G. Russell
February 9th, 2006, 09:14 PM
This sucker is a 300Mb baby. I keep thinking "I'll never fill it up." Then I look at the image files I want archived...

rlohmann
February 10th, 2006, 07:29 PM
Sigh... it's still ridiculously slow, and I'm still looking for an alternative.As much as I hate to recommend a Symantec product, Norton Ghost, although buggy, seems to work well enough,

earler
February 11th, 2006, 08:25 AM
Image for Windows is far better than ghost.

-er

Judy G. Russell
February 11th, 2006, 10:42 AM
Thanks. I finally figured out what was causing the slowness and, for the time being at least, I'm satisfied with the Retrospect Express that came with the drive.

ndebord
February 14th, 2006, 10:09 PM
Thanks. I finally figured out what was causing the slowness and, for the time being at least, I'm satisfied with the Retrospect Express that came with the drive.

Judy,

Glad to hear it is finally working out. I have opted for either XCLONE in a dos window, or Ghost for the initial backup and then I use XXCOPY for incremental backups. Not as automated as real backup software, but it does the trick nonetheless.

Judy G. Russell
February 15th, 2006, 12:07 AM
I'd look at Ghost were it not for the degree to which the last incarnation of Norton AV trashed some stuff on my system. I used to trust Norton without question. Now I really don't trust it at all.

earler
February 15th, 2006, 07:18 AM
Take a look at image for windows. It's very reliable. Ghost was good in the past, but no more.

-er

Judy G. Russell
February 15th, 2006, 10:42 AM
Thanks, Earle. I will look at that.

ndebord
February 15th, 2006, 09:23 PM
I'd look at Ghost were it not for the degree to which the last incarnation of Norton AV trashed some stuff on my system. I used to trust Norton without question. Now I really don't trust it at all.


Judy,

Ghost worked just fine in my 2001 Norton Systemworks. I've not trusted them since that date. As for XCLONE and my XXCOPY routine, it works real nice...on my legacy system. Not having NT is a blessing in some respects (as is having a floppy disk drive).

ndebord
February 15th, 2006, 09:24 PM
Take a look at image for windows. It's very reliable. Ghost was good in the past, but no more.

-er


Earle,

Couldn't agree with you more. I have SystemWorks 2001 and the Ghost then works just fine. From posts here and elsewhere, can't say the same now. Never tried Image for Windows, any details you'd care to share?

Judy G. Russell
February 15th, 2006, 11:28 PM
I can't remember whether it was 2001 or a later version (something makes me think it was 2002), but Systemworks really trashed my computer. Sigh...

ndebord
February 16th, 2006, 01:00 AM
I can't remember whether it was 2001 or a later version (something makes me think it was 2002), but Systemworks really trashed my computer. Sigh...

Judy,

I don't let Systemworks do as much as I did say with Norton 8. Don't trust it either, but keep it around as the omnibus tool, perhaps out of intertia.

Gary Maltzen
February 16th, 2006, 01:40 AM
Just for reference - the last thing I installed on my laptop was Retrospect 6 and the Maxtor One-Touch driver -- and now NIS 2005 locks up trying to do a full AV scan.

earler
February 16th, 2006, 08:12 AM
Image for windows comes from terabyte, which also offers bootit next generation, which includes the former as well as a disk partitioner. The program runs without having to boot from a floppy and you can put the image onto a usb or a firewire external drive. There are frequent upgrades, gratis of course.

-er

Judy G. Russell
February 16th, 2006, 10:42 AM
I keep the tools (don't use them so much any more) but NOT the AV. I use NOD31 from Eset (http://www.eset.com/home/home.htm) for AV.

Judy G. Russell
February 16th, 2006, 10:42 AM
Geez... Norton just ain't playing nice with other folks any more.

ndebord
February 16th, 2006, 10:58 AM
Image for windows comes from terabyte, which also offers bootit next generation, which includes the former as well as a disk partitioner. The program runs without having to boot from a floppy and you can put the image onto a usb or a firewire external drive. There are frequent upgrades, gratis of course.

-er

Earle,


Gratis upgrades are always appreciated!

The ability to put the backup on external HDs looks good. I would hope that includes PCMCIA, along with the USB and Firewire you mention. I have all 3, but only the PCMCIA is reliable on my aging PC laptops. The FireWire and USB work on my iBook.

I see you mention it does full image backup. How does it handle incremental backups?

earler
February 16th, 2006, 11:05 AM
I've never used it for incremental backups, but for system ones, in case of a nasty crash. Backups of data, even of the incremental sort, are easier than system backups, so there is a wider choice of tools for that. Unless one has a humongous amount of data I find full backups better and more reliable, too. I backup my necessary data, less than 500 megs, every couple of days, to two different places........just in case. Harddisks are quite cheap nowadays.

-er