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Norton Ghost 14 (Read 85447 times)
Bill Wood
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Re: Norton Ghost 14
Reply #30 - Mar 1st, 2008 at 9:30pm
 
Using NG14, I tested compression on "standard", "medium", and "high".  The sweet spot was "medium" - compared to "standard", "medium" saved a few gig and shaved a 104 minute backup of my 3 drives down to 99 minutes, without overtaxing the CPU.  "High" pegged both my Core 2 Duo cpus while taking slightly longer than "standard", although it did save a few gig over "medium".  Since I like to keep working while backing up (that's why I bought V2i Protector originally and have been buying Ghost since Norton bought Powerquest), I'm going to use "medium".

Here are the figures for my "C" drive which contains 28,729,524 KB:
Standard: 24,454,xxx KB - 19 minutes
Medium: 23,835,593 KB - 17 minutes
High: 22,712,479 KB - 21 minutes
 
 
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Re: Norton Ghost 14
Reply #31 - Mar 1st, 2008 at 10:47pm
 
Bill Wood wrote on Mar 1st, 2008 at 9:12pm:
Its odd that the option to back up the shadow storage is disabled by default.  One would think that by default your average user would want a complete backup including system restore points and file versions.


Its also odd that this option would even show up on an XP machine like mine where presumably there is no VSS storage to back up.
 
 
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Re: Norton Ghost 14
Reply #32 - Mar 2nd, 2008 at 1:11am
 
Bill Wood wrote on Mar 1st, 2008 at 10:47pm:
Its odd that the option to back up the shadow storage is disabled by default.  One would think that by default your average user would want a complete backup including system restore points and file versions.

Its also odd that this option would even show up on an XP machine like mine where presumably there is no VSS storage to back up.


Since the option doesn't exist in NG12, my guess is that is the reason it is off as a default in NG14.  Plus it saves considerable backup space.  In Vista, you might restore back to your last full image backup, but doubtful that you would then want to further restore to a Vista system-restore-point beyond that.

In XP, creating a restore point merely creates a backup of the registry fiiles which can then be rolled back to previous point.  Other files stay the same.

In Vista, restore points track critical system files as well, so rolling back to a previous restore point, may undo system file changes, driver changes, etc.  Very nice Vista enhancement.

Still my personal opinion is that backing up vss is beyond the need of most consumer users, but since it was added, I guess someone asked for the new (optional) feature.

NG14 seems to be heading into a general direction of lots of more complex options way beyond simple guaranteed system image backups.  In a way it is like dumbing it down with options that are complexed up in design.
 

Ghost4me  Ghost 9, 10, 12, 14, 15.  Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7
 
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Re: Norton Ghost 14
Reply #33 - Mar 2nd, 2008 at 10:03am
 
John. wrote on Mar 2nd, 2008 at 1:11am:
...

In XP, creating a restore point merely creates a backup of the registry fiiles which can then be rolled back to previous point.  Other files stay the same.

In Vista, restore points track critical system files as well, so rolling back to a previous restore point, may undo system file changes, driver changes, etc.  Very nice Vista enhancement.

NG14 seems to be heading into a general direction of lots of more complex options way beyond simple guaranteed system image backups.  In a way it is like dumbing it down with options that are complexed up in design.


Agreed, NG seems to be getting more and more bloated.  My favorite version of this technology was V2i Protector - simple and to the point.

XP restore points do contain more than just registry backups though.  EXE, DLL, and other files are also backed up.  Its not nearly as robust as VSS though.  See http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb490854.aspx

Could you please point me to any links on how NG tracks what to back up during an incremental backup?  It doesn't seem to use the archive bit.

I'm really seeing the effects of auto defrag in Diskeeper today - yesterday I disabled Diskeeper and backed up my C, I, and V drives, then re-enabled Diskeeper.  Now today the incremental backup of my C drive is about the same size as the original full backup!
 
 
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Re: Norton Ghost 14
Reply #34 - Mar 2nd, 2008 at 12:07pm
 
Bill Wood wrote on Mar 2nd, 2008 at 10:03am:
XP restore points do contain more than just registry backups though.  EXE, DLL, and other files are also backed up.  Its not nearly as robust as VSS though.  See http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb490854.aspx

Could you please point me to any links on how NG tracks what to back up during an incremental backup?  It doesn't seem to use the archive bit.

I'm really seeing the effects of auto defrag in Diskeeper today - yesterday I disabled Diskeeper and backed up my C, I, and V drives, then re-enabled Diskeeper.  Now today the incremental backup of my C drive is about the same size as the original full backup!


Thanks for the correction re XP restore points. 

For Ghost, don't forget that it is an
image
backup program.  So, incrementals are based upon what sectors have changed, not what files have changed.  So if you took a Ghost full image backup, then did a full defrag and rearranged/moved all your sectors around, the next "incremental" backup of Ghost will be quite large.  Not sure about NG14, but all the previous versions (NG10,12,9) had a mind of their own with incrementals:  if enough sectors changed, then Ghost would take a "full" partition backup, even though you only asked for an incremental.  I assume that a full backup was over the threshold of changed sectors.
 

Ghost4me  Ghost 9, 10, 12, 14, 15.  Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7
 
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Re: Norton Ghost 14
Reply #35 - Mar 2nd, 2008 at 12:28pm
 
Bill Wood wrote on Mar 2nd, 2008 at 10:03am:
Now today the incremental backup of my C drive is about the same size as the original full backup!

Is that backup a .v2i or .iv2i?

I never defrag during a Ghost series. I defrag before the weekly base recovery point but not while Ghost is doing daily incrementals. With Ghost 12, my incrementals are about 1 to 2% of the base size. If I defrag daily the incrementals are sometimes 4%. This is with WinXP.

I don't think you need to defrag daily. Subjectively, I've only seen defragging make a difference to computer speed on one occasion. And that computer hadn't been defragged for two years.


 
 
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Re: Norton Ghost 14
Reply #36 - Mar 2nd, 2008 at 3:42pm
 
Its an iv2i file.

Diskeeper defrags automatically and rearranges the files on your partitions so the most accessed files are near the front for fastest speed.  I just leave it on automatic.  It used to take 20 seconds or so to open my folders in Documents and Settings - since I installed Diskeeper its instantaneous.  I'm very happy with it.  I have the "2008 Pro Premier" version.

How does Ghost determine which sectors have changed?  Does it somehow keep a bitmap of changed sectors?  Does it hook into the file system?  If so, what ensures it hooks in early enough to detect changed sectors on boot and stays late enough to detect changed sectors on shutdown?
 
 
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Re: Norton Ghost 14
Reply #37 - Mar 2nd, 2008 at 4:34pm
 
Bill,

Out of interest could you keep an eye on your Diskeeper graphic of the C: drive. I think you can save .bmp images of the graphic. Is it much the same every day or does it change? Is all the data squashed to the start of the drive or are there areas of free space within the data?
 
 
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Re: Norton Ghost 14
Reply #38 - Mar 2nd, 2008 at 4:50pm
 
Brian wrote on Mar 2nd, 2008 at 4:34pm:
Bill,

Out of interest could you keep an eye on your Diskeeper graphic of the C: drive. I think you can save .bmp images of the graphic. Is it much the same every day or does it change? Is all the data squashed to the start of the drive or are there areas of free space within the data?


It puts frequently used files at the front of the drive and infrequently used ones at the end.  So there's a gap in the middle.  On one of my drives it even puts some files in the middle so there are two gaps.

I think it saves information over the course of a week or so about file access patterns and then reorganizes the drive based on that.  So its not constantly reorganizing the drive.  It does constantly keep the drive defragged though.
 
 
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Re: Norton Ghost 14
Reply #39 - Mar 2nd, 2008 at 8:03pm
 
Bill, could you estimate (roughly) the size of those gaps in GB? Do those gaps change over the course of a week?
 
 
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Re: Norton Ghost 14
Reply #40 - Mar 2nd, 2008 at 8:51pm
 
OK here's a screen shot showing the file structure on each of my 3 partitions.  At the top you can see the size of each drive, then below are the C, I, and V drive file structures, in that order.  Its a 1400x1050 image so you may have to scroll to see it all.

I probably should do a boot-time defrag of the C drive to consolidate the paging file.

The structure of the drives does not change that often.  I think Diskeeper tweaks the file structure about once a week.  Why are you so interested?

- Bill
 

Diskeeper.jpg (Attachment deleted)
 
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Re: Norton Ghost 14
Reply #41 - Mar 2nd, 2008 at 9:16pm
 
Bill, your graphic looks like my old Diskeeper graphic. Large areas of free space within the data. I didn't defrag between weekly Ghost images but I noticed that these spaces would change every few days and it wasn't Diskeeper that was doing it. Whenever there was a change, the next incremental image would be large. Changed sectors.

Could you check the Diskeeper help file. I recall Diskeeper needing at least 15% free-space for proper defragging. You have 12%.

I changed from Diskeeper to PerfectDisk and I no longer have the areas of free space. And I no longer get large incrementals. Just an observation.
 
 
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Re: Norton Ghost 14
Reply #42 - Mar 2nd, 2008 at 10:08pm
 
Brian wrote on Mar 2nd, 2008 at 9:16pm:
Bill, your graphic looks like my old Diskeeper graphic. Large areas of free space within the data. I didn't defrag between weekly Ghost images but I noticed that these spaces would change every few days and it wasn't Diskeeper that was doing it. Whenever there was a change, the next incremental image would be large. Changed sectors.

Could you check the Diskeeper help file. I recall Diskeeper needing at least 15% free-space for proper defragging. You have 12%.

I changed from Diskeeper to PerfectDisk and I no longer have the areas of free space. And I no longer get large incrementals. Just an observation.


I have 12% but its still defragging fine.  Diskeeper says in its recommendations for this disk, "Also, free space on this disk is running low.  Consider actions to free more disk space."

I believe that PerfectDisk operates on a different principle than Diskeeper.  PerfectDisk puts all files at the beginning of the disk.  New or changed files must go after existing files, even if they are frequently accessed, until the next time that PerfectDisk reorganizes the disk.  Diskeeper puts infrequently used files at the end of the disk (or in the middle), allowing new or changed files to be written in the gap(s) for better performance.  This makes a lot of sense to me, although it may lead to larger incrementals as you experienced.  Since I am not backing up that frequently, this isn't an issue for me, and I generally just do a full backup anyway.  I don't really trust incrementals because I don't understand how they work, and I saw a case in NG 10 where the incremental did not properly reflect my files.

- Bill
 
 
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Re: Norton Ghost 14
Reply #43 - Mar 3rd, 2008 at 11:41am
 
Bill, it is a matter of personal preference, but the approach I have adopted is the same as you describe:  use Diskeeper 2008 Pro Premier and only create full (base) image backups, avoiding the issues with incremental backups.  Running a full image backup is so quick on my system (about 4 minutes – even with AES 256-bit encryption and high compression) that the use of incremental backups isn’t especially attractive.

Quote:
I believe that PerfectDisk operates on a different principle than Diskeeper

You are correct.  Diskeeper actually optimizes the placement of frequently used files on the hard disk to speed performance, a function not performed by PerfectDisk.  On my old Windows XP system, this resulted in a noticeable and pleasant performance gain (about 18%).  On a Windows Vista PC with VSS enabled, however, the “Intelligent File Access Acceleration Sequencing Technology” doesn’t appear to be supported, unfortunately.

By the way, the 2008 edition of Diskeeper can defragment a volume that has as little as 1% free space.

Quote:
It used to take 20 seconds or so to open my folders in Documents and Settings - since I installed Diskeeper its instantaneous.

Yes, that was my experience, too.
 

ple • o • nasm n. “The use of more words than are required to express an idea”
 
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Bill Wood
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Re: Norton Ghost 14
Reply #44 - Mar 3rd, 2008 at 3:11pm
 
Wow!  4 minutes to backup - must be a small system?  NG14 can write about 1300MB/minute (compressed backup files) to my Maxtor OneTouch external USB drive, so it takes about 100 minutes to back up my stuff.  Are you writing to a faster drive or do you just not have much to back up?
 
 
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