Macrium Support Forum

slow file/folder backup

https://forum.macrium.com/Topic7739.aspx

By JoeZ - 19 June 2016 1:37 PM

I used Acronis True Image backup for several years but that program is rapidly going downhill with bugs and other problems - so I switched to Macrium Reflect. I much prefer Macrium. Except for one thing that Acronis seems to do better.

I mostly use Macrium to do full disk backups- both to an internal 2nd drive and to an external drive. I only do file/folder backups for my Documents folder- which has something like 10,000 files.

I still have Acronis on my system. I've noticed that file/folder backups done by Acronis on that large Documents folder are much faster that the same with Macrium. When Macrium does it- I see it lists files that it's looking at, file after file after file. I don't see a need for the program to list the file names- that almost seems to slow it down. If I've added/changed only several files- Macrium file/folder backup often takes up to half an hour while Acronis will do it in a few minutes. This is the only reason I keep Acronis on my PC.

Any thoughts on why Macrium is so much slower? It's not a big deal to me- I can get up and do something else- as I work at home and usually do this file/folder backup when I'm done with the PC for the day- so it's not holding me up.

Joe
By wags1 - 19 June 2016 2:09 PM

One thing to keep in mind is that you can just do image backups of all of your disks and you will have backups of all of your user files and folders. With MR it is very easy to mount and browse the image backups to restore individual files/folders. I never even bothered with using file/folder backup as I found the image backups to be all I need and they are fast enough that I do them every day (full backups every Sunday with incrementals Monday thru Saturday keeping 4 full sets). I do use Carbonite for real time user file/folder backups to the cloud in case of local disaster.
Interestingly enough I used to use ATI as well and one of the benefits I found switching to MR was that the speed/performance was much better. But again, that is only with image backups as that is all I use MR for in my implementation.
By JoeZ - 19 June 2016 3:03 PM

wags, yuh- I agree it's probably not needed to do file/folder backups if we're also doing full disk backups- which I do very frequently- almost every day and after any major file creation or MS updates

I think it's more about being curious why Macrium's file backups- at least with a huge collection of files- is so much slower than Acronis- it might be something the Macrium's programmers ought to look at.

Regarding Carbonite- is that in your opinion the best software for backups in case of disaster? As long as I have my Documents folder, it won't be a catastrophe. I like to have multiple backups to multiple systems. I often backup my Documents to a flash drive- just direct copies if leaving the house empty for a few days.

Joe
By Arvy - 19 June 2016 3:03 PM

In general, I would agree with wags1's suggestion about using comprehensive imaging backups and selective recovery.  However, file and folder backups certainly do have their uses and, if you're finding them sometimes slower than you think they should be, it may be attributable in large measure to the change detection part of the process involved in differential and incremental backups of files and folders.  In that case, you'll be interested to know that Macrium is working on some "super fast" performance improvements (currently at beta test stage) as announced in this blog item:
[W]e [Macrium] are also developing a genuine, real-time, super fast file system change block tracker that also requires no propriety VSS component, handles all the goodness of the VSS framework (including VSS Writers), and above all, is 100% reliable.

__
P.S.: For your further information, since you seem curious about technical factors that may underlie some issues, ATI has always loaded its own proprietary drive and volume device class filters into the Windows operating system -- something that I personally try very hard to avoid in my OS installations -- and they're not easy to get rid of even when the application itself is uninstalled.  They'll certainly be loaded with ATI still active in your setup.
By Nick - 19 June 2016 3:23 PM

Hi All

Thanks for your posts.  Unfortunately, the 'Change Block Tracker' implementation mentioned by Arvy is for disk imaging only and doesn't affect 'File and Folder' backup.  

A common cause for slow File and Folder backups is Anti-Virus software screwing with Windows file system FindFirstFile/FindNextFile API.  There is no quicker way to traverse the file system than using these API's, so any slow down may be due to an injection of 'sludge' into Windows.  Most AV software uses unfathomable/random rules to determine when to inject the 'sludge' and it's possible that it's taken a dislike to the Macrium Reflect executable.  In case this is the problem, try adding Macrium Reflect to your AV software exclusion list, or try running in safe mode or after a 'clean boot': https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/kb/929135 to see if performance improves. 
By Arvy - 19 June 2016 3:34 PM

Unfortunately, the 'Change Block Tracker' implementation mentioned by Arvy is for disk imaging only and doesn't affect 'File and Folder' backup.

Oops.  Sorry.  The name should have told me that.  Obviously, I'm not very wide awake today. Doze
By wags1 - 19 June 2016 3:54 PM

JoeZ - 19 June 2016 3:03 PM
Regarding Carbonite- is that in your opinion the best software for backups in case of disaster? As long as I have my Documents folder, it won't be a catastrophe. I like to have multiple backups to multiple systems. I often backup my Documents to a flash drive- just direct copies if leaving the house empty for a few days.

Joe

Joe, I use Carbonite to protect against a "house burning down" disaster scenario. I like it due to the fact that it is relatively inexpensive ($60 per year/unlimited storage), has very little system/performance impact, integrates nicely with Windows, and runs unobtrusively in the background. Once you get it setup you pretty much forget about it. It is also nice if you just "accidentally" delete or change a file as it always keeps up to 5 previous versions available.

My current backup/disaster recovery setup includes: Daily image backups of all disks using MR - Full backups every Sunday with incrementals Monday thru Saturday keeping 4 complete sets, written to a Synology NAS using 2 - 2TB HDD in RAID 1 (provides constant HDD monitoring and provides "hot swap" capability in case of problems or even degraded HDD performance). Carbonite for real time user file and folder backups to the cloud. Also, weekly I copy the latest full MR image backup file to a 1 TB USB HDD that is only connected during the file copy process and stored on-site (Ransomware protection).
By YKhan - 2 July 2016 8:08 AM

Hi JoeZ, I had an almost similar question about a specific folder hierarchy that was on my system that had very little actual amount of data (only a few gigs), but had lots and lots of little files (approximately 500,000 of them!). I've done many optimizations to speed this one up. I've excluded this folder from being scanned by my anti-virus, and then I've made a separate backup definition for just this folder tree, excluding it from my main backup definition file. Another optimization I did for it is to only do full backups on it, no incrementals: this saves it the time and effort needed to scan the file system looking for changed files. It saves it a couple of hours. But still the whole backup takes over 8 hours no matter what! So I only do this one backup once a month.
By JoeZ - 2 July 2016 11:13 AM

YKhan, you say you exclude it from your main backup file- do you mean your full disk backup? If so, I didn't think you can exclude any files from a full disk backup.
Joe
By Arvy - 2 July 2016 1:52 PM

@JoeZ -- There is a way to exclude things from backup imaging "snapshots" by using the FilesNotToSnapshotMacriumImage registry key, but it's not recommended and not supported by Macrium.  See Nick's final reply at the end of this v5 forum thread.  For File & Folder backups, on the other hand, it's just a matter of using the available exclusion filters.
By YKhan - 3 July 2016 9:29 AM

JoeZ - 2 July 2016 11:13 AM
YKhan, you say you exclude it from your main backup file- do you mean your full disk backup? If so, I didn't think you can exclude any files from a full disk backup.
Joe

No, it's a file/folder backup, so I excluded it from that. If this were backed up through a disk image backup, then it wouldn't have been nearly so slow, and wouldn't need excluding. Disk imaging is faster than file/folder backups because Reflect directly reads the disk, rather than going through the OS's slow file system access method.
By chrcoluk - 21 March 2021 9:15 AM

I noticed it is way slower to run in Windows 10 vs Windows 8.1.

There is a folder I backup, full backup once month, incremental rest of month, and most of the incrementals there is no changes so no new backup made, but the scanning for changes is way slower than it was on Win 8.1.

To make this even more of an eye opener, the Win 8.1 setup had Nod32, the Win10 setup currently has no running a/v,  (defender realtime is off).