Multi-BOOT imaging using Reflect v6.3.1849


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Froggie
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For those that image EXT4 partitions using REFLECT while running in Windows...

Recent changes in my new Linux System (Mint)... doubled the size of my /home partition using GParted (a Linux partitioning tool)

I'm noticing a serious anomaly when I image Mint's EXT4 partitions while in Windows using REFLECT. Although Linux tells me that my new 100gB EXT4 partiiton has about 39.9gB in use, Reflect is telling me that 60gB is in use prior to its imaging operation.. My alternate imaging software tells me that there's 39.9gB in use in the same partition.

Also, all of a sudden, when imaging that same EXT4 partition with Reflect to another partition on the same physical disk, the bandwidth has dropped from appx. 104mB/s to 2-5mB/sec. The same imaging operation using my alternate imaging software only drops slightly in bandwidth (due primarily to disk head positioning).

Has anyone seen anything like this before?  I've seen older posts in the Wilders Security Forums about the exact same problem with Reflect v5 & early v6 (not the speed issue, just the size issue).  I'm a little uneasy that Reflect may not be interpreting the EXT4 space allocation table correctly, and as such, I'm worried about those images.  Due to the massive slowness of the imaging operation (40gB  2.5mB/sec), I have yet to create an image to test with.  This problem did not exist until the above mentioned partition was expanded.

Any guidance...?
Froggie
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In addition, the above scenario used the same SOURCE and TARGET disk for its imaging operation.  I switched it to use a different SOURCE and TARGET disk and the speed results were basically the same (eventual speed raised to 10mB/sec from 2-5mB/sec).  All disks are internal.

Edited 9 December 2017 1:49 AM by Froggie
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I also tried a couple of other tools to look at used space (Gparted LIVE & Minitool Partition Wizard) besides my alternate imaging tool and all agree with the Linux System except REFLECT... in my best Yoda voice, "Scared I am! w00t"
jphughan
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If you have a Pro version of Win8 or newer, you may be able to viBoot to your Linux partition to validate your image. Hyper-V supports Linux, but I don’t know how the viBoot wizard would handle this scenario and I don’t have a Linux setup to test with.
Edited 9 December 2017 2:52 AM by jphughan
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JP, the Linux partition is not the issue, it's the separate DATA partition (/home) that is the issue.  It was the only one that was expanded.  Prior to the partition expansion, all was well.

The Linux Mint System BOOTs just fine as a multi-BOOT option and Linux is very happy with the expanded DATA partition.  This appears to be an issue as to how REFLECT views the expanded EXT4 partition following the expansion, especially in the area of  "Intelligent Sector Copy" (used sectors only) which Reflect claims it supports under EXT4 formatting.
Edited 9 December 2017 3:18 PM by Froggie
Nick
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Froggie - 9 December 2017 3:18 PM
JP, the Linux partition is not the issue, it's the separate DATA partition (/home) that is the issue.  It was the only one that was expanded.  Prior to the partition expansion, all was well.

The Linux Mint System BOOTs just fine as a multi-BOOT option and Linux is very happy with the expanded DATA partition.  This appears to be an issue as to how REFLECT views the expanded EXT4 partition following the expansion, especially in the area of  "Intelligent Sector Copy" (used sectors only) which Reflect claims it supports under EXT4 formatting.

Hi Froggie,

Thanks for posting. We're looking into it.

If you mount the imaged partition is the file system intact?

https://knowledgebase.macrium.com/display/KNOW7/Browsing+Linux+EXT+File+System+Images

Kind Regards

Nick - Macrium Support

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Thanks for stopping by, Nick!  Due to the speed issue in creating that image, I'll have to go off-line (using the Recovery Media) to generate the image in a timely manner.

I should have your answer before the end of the weekend, at the earliest, later today sometime.
Edited 9 December 2017 6:24 PM by Froggie
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OK, the compressed size of image taken came out to be 36.4gB... about the size it should be if it was imaging a partition with 63gB of used space... the wrong partition size Reflect thinks it is.

When that image is mounted under Windows using the ex2fsd (v.069) driver, Windows says its used space is 39.1gB (not 63gB which Reflect thinks it is) which is exactly the same size as Linux and all the other ext4-enabled tools say it is.  What we appear to have is an image which is way too large, but mounts properly under Windows for viewing.

I also noticed a speed anomaly during this process which I will investigate using previous versions (prior to Build 1849) of Reflect and report back if I find anything...
Edited 9 December 2017 7:18 PM by Froggie
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I went back (2) versions in build and see the same speed anomaly in the (2) earlier versions... NTFS partitions image as expected, created but unchanged EXT4 partitions image as expected... it just seems to be this created AND changed EXT4 partition that creates this speed AND size anomaly I documented above.

Edited 9 December 2017 10:08 PM by Froggie
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Froggie - 9 December 2017 10:04 PM
I went back (2) versions in build and see the same speed anomaly in the (2) earlier versions... NTFS partitions image as expected, created but unchanged EXT4 partitions image as expected... it just seems to be this created AND changed EXT4 partition that creates this speed AND size anomaly I documented above.

Hi Froggie. 

Linux partitions are copied in exactly the same way as any other partition on your system, that is, the blocks backed up are copied sequentially and written to the image file.  Have you ruled out Anti-Virus software interfering? Though I guess that if it only happens on the /home partition then this does seem odd. 

Please also check out this KB article on reported used space of Linux ext partitions in Reflect:

https://knowledgebase.macrium.com/display/KNOW7/Linux+ext+file+systems+used+and+total+space+in+Reflect


Kind Regards

Nick - Macrium Support

Edited 10 December 2017 4:32 PM by Nick
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