VolumeShadowCopy


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hurricane51
hurricane51
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What exactly is a VolumeShadowCopy and do I need it in a F&F backup? It adds a LOT of time to the backup.
jphughan
jphughan
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It’s a snapshot of the volume that contains the files you’re backing up. Its purpose is to allow Reflect to capture data in a consistent state. Without a snapshot, if a file were to be modified while Reflect was copying it into a backup, the resulting copy in the backup would be corrupt. The Windows VSS engine that creates snapshots also gives applications an opportunity to tidy up their data on disk prior to the snapshot being captured, which can be important for applications like databases.

So yes it’s important, and to my knowledge Reflect cannot be configured to make backups without a snapshot, except for the Rescue Media environment where snapshots aren’t used because everything is offline anyway.

That said, the snapshot creation itself shouldn't take very long. The log has a line specifically for creating a snapshot. How long does that take on your system?
hurricane51
hurricane51
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So it's created during the first part of backup when the Determining which files to backup is the message from Reflect? Both that stage and the Backup (thus the Verify) take up the bulk of the time. Backing up my C: drive (170 GB used) takes about 10-12 hours (with Verify enabled). The transfer rate for most of the VolumeShadowCopy is under 1MB/s, often under 100 KB/s. I've been watching the progress of the backup and for the last 10 minutes the transfer rate has been 8.9 KB/s, time remaining estimated at 651 hours. Oops, just dropped down to 2.9 KB/s. Just finished copying at about 6 hours.

Windows 10 Pro
Reflect v. 8.1.7638
System Drive: 1 TB SSD NvME
Target: 4TB hard drive (about 6 months old, used only for Reflect backups)
jphughan
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The snapshot is created before “Determining files to back up”. The latter stage can indeed take a while depending on how many files are involved. But the snapshot should typically only take a few seconds.

The slow transfer rate is because F&F backups incur per-file processing overhead — including that “Determining files to back up” phase — so if your total data footprint has a small average file size as can occur with a C drive, it will take much longer than backing up the same quantity of data made up of a smaller quantity of large files.

But you shouldn’t be using a File & Folder backup for your C drive in the first place. Use an image backup. It will run much more quickly since it won’t have the per-file processing overhead that’s slowing down your F&F backup, and the image backup will be much more useful when dealing with the C drive. And you can still extract individual files and folders from an image backup using the Browse feature.
Edited 1 October 2023 2:13 AM by jphughan
hurricane51
hurricane51
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I thought I couldn't restore individual files with an image backup? I've posted that question here in the past.
jphughan
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You absolutely can. There’s a Browse feature that allows you to mount any partition(s) within an image as a virtual drive. From there you can use Windows Explorer or any other tool to copy data out of it just as you would if it were an external hard drive. Test it yourself, since that’s the best assurance.
Edited 1 October 2023 4:01 AM by jphughan
hurricane51
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jphughan - 1 October 2023 4:00 AM
You absolutely can. There’s a Browse feature that allows you to mount any partition(s) within an image as a virtual drive. From there you can use Windows Explorer or any other tool to copy data out of it just as you would if it were an external hard drive. Test it yourself, since that’s the best assurance.

That's the best news I've had. I always make an image backup of C: first, then I do a F&F backup. Thanks again!
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