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Windows 7: Imaging with free Macrium

04 Nov 2013   #740
kado897

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1
 
 

From the size of the image I am guessing that you are imaging a lot of data. If this data is pictures or video then since they are already highly compressed they don't compress during imaging.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Nov 2013   #741
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

4 hours for an image is a lot of time and quite unusual. Either your disks are very slow or there is a hickup in the system.

For a test, make the same image with the WinPE disc. That is possible and then you exclude any problems you might have with the installed OS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2013   #742
Scoop

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kado897 View Post
From the size of the image I am guessing that you are imaging a lot of data. If this data is pictures or video then since they are already highly compressed they don't compress during imaging.
Thanks for the info. I had previously read about the video/compression issue. I moved my video files over to another HDD a few weeks ago to prepare for imaging.

I do have pictures that are still on my C drive so that may explain the large image size. I did a rough total estimate of my picture sizes and the total on my C HDD is about 120 Mb of picture data.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
4 hours for an image is a lot of time and quite unusual. Either your disks are very slow or there is a hickup in the system.

For a test, make the same image with the WinPE disc. That is possible and then you exclude any problems you might have with the installed OS.
Thanks. I used the WinPE CD when I imaged. I used the link that you had previously posted here. I don't have Macrium Free loaded onto my HDD.

I wonder if my RAM may be the limiting factor with imaging? If I have this understood right --> When I boot from the WinPE (or any other bootable media), I'm loading all of the software/tools into my RAM since I'm booting outside of Windows.

I have 8 Gb RAM in my PC,

Corsair 8GB DDR3
Memory Speed: 1600MHz
Memory Size: 4096MB



Generally, my PC seems to be running well. I haven't observed sluggish response times, etc, in my browser or running programs.

I periodically check "Process Explorer" (Sysinternals) and look at the CPU usage for abnormalities (high usage items).

It's possible that my PC's performance is being affected by some intrusion item, malware, etc, but I don't see any observable signs of intrusions and I run overnight full scans with MBAM Pro and Norton AV.

My C Drive is a SATA III Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM.

The image Target HDD is a SEAGATE GoFlex USB 2.0 Portable HD 500GB 5400 RPM

One thing that may be affecting my imaging time is that I'm using my USB 2.0 port for the Target HDD. I have USB 3.0 capability but I don't have any 3.0 HDD's.

Another thing that may affect my HDD speed is that I'm still running in "IDE" mode in my BIOS. The BIOS wasn't initially set up for AHCI mode when Windows was installed and I haven't tried the tutorial that's available at this site, to change the HDD mode in BIOS to AHCI mode.

As I mentioned earlier, when I clone with Acronis, it takes about 35-40 minutes to complete the cloning operation.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2013   #743
kado897

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1
 
 

I image to the same target drive type as you. It takes about 50 minutes to image a partition with 80GB of data so that is in the same time range as you. Interestingly it only takes 30 minutes to restore so it seems to be the target disk performance that is the issue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Nov 2013   #744
Scoop

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kado897 View Post
I image to the same target drive type as you. It takes about 50 minutes to image a partition with 80GB of data so that is in the same time range as you. Interestingly it only takes 30 minutes to restore so it seems to be the target disk performance that is the issue.
Thanks for the info. I'm wondering a couple of things:

- Since this was my first image and it was a full-disc image, would that have affected the elapsed time total for the operation? I've read elsewhere, generally speaking, that a full-disc image, depending on the size, takes a long time to run the operation. After completing the initial full-disc image, subsequent images require considerably less time to complete.

- I think you have a point there about my Target HDD. That's an old Seagate Goflex HDD and it was my "workhorse" for a few years, serving as my Target HDD for my daily Acronis backups (not imaging, just 1:1 copies using the Acronis Scheduler). Perhaps it's performance speed has degraded and that's affecting the Macrium inaging operation time total.

I also recall that I wasn't able to format that HDD within WIndows. I got a strange error that I can't recall at the moment. When I tried later with my "Gparted" CD, the HDD formatted without problems.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2013   #745
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

1. If you image with the Macrium that is installed on the system (not the WinPE disc), you can let the imaging run in the background and do other things with the PC in the meantime. That way the 4 hour timespan is not lost.

2. A good option would be to move all your user data to a seperate partition. Then you can image the OS only which should be rather fast. For backing up of the data there are other options that are a lot faster than imaging - e.g. sync programs.

3. As an example : I image my OS partition (23GB) from a SSD to an internal 7200RPM disk in less than 5 minutes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2013   #746
kado897

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1
 
 

Subsequent images are only faster if they are incremental or differential. This is not available with the free version. I agree with whs concerning the separation of data and backing it up with a sync program. I use FreeFileSync for this.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2013   #747
Scoop

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
1. If you image with the Macrium that is installed on the system (not the WinPE disc), you can let the imaging run in the background and do other things with the PC in the meantime. That way the 4 hour timespan is not lost.

2. A good option would be to move all your user data to a seperate partition. Then you can image the OS only which should be rather fast. For backing up of the data there are other options that are a lot faster than imaging - e.g. sync programs.

3. As an example : I image my OS partition (23GB) from a SSD to an internal 7200RPM disk in less than 5 minutes.
Thanks again for the info

1. That's a good point. I guess I've always been in the habit (due to my periodic cloning) of running backups like imaging while my PC is idle and from the bootable media.

If I recall something I read recently, you're referring to the "shadow" technology in Windows that allows the PC to remain in use while cloning or imaging but I may have that terminology confused with something else.

The actual imaging time isn't an issue for me since I have another PC (Laptop) that's a close mirror to my Desktop PC and it's connected to my peripherals with a KVM Switch so I can use the Laptop while imaging on my Desktop.

2. Custom partitioning: You're so right . It's one area where I've not spent time to learn it and install like most of you all here do, OS in a separate partition, etc. I know it makes sense and is more efficient and my plan is to get up to speed with it soon. I know that I can manipulate partitions easily with my "Gparted" boot CD but I haven't spent time with that part of HDD customization.

3. That's amazing, speed. I'm still running the old platter HDD's in my PC's. I've been reading about the SSD's but haven't made the jump yet to the SSD market.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kado897 View Post
Subsequent images are only faster if they are incremental or differential. This is not available with the free version. I agree with whs concerning the separation of data and backing it up with a sync program. I use FreeFileSync for this.
Right. I had considered upgrading to the paid version but since I already have Acronis 2011, I decided to wait a while on that decision.

Thanks whs and you for the "FreeFileSync" tip. I bookmarked that for reading later.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2013   #748
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Scoop View Post
...You mentioned the 2 advantages with cloning vs imaging, one being that the clone is bootable. Since I ran my image selecting both partitions (Sys Reserved/MBR) and the main partition, my image will also be bootable after I run the Recovery pocess...
True, an image is bootable after the recovery process (otherwise, why bother with imaging?) but a clone is bootable as is; you can boot directly from the disk the clone is on without having to do anything to or with it.

To use a photographic analogy, think of an image as a photo negative and a clone as a photo print. You can use the photo print as is but you have to use the image to make a print to be able to use it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2013   #749
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Scoop View Post
...Thanks. I used the WinPE CD when I imaged. I used the link that you had previously posted here. I don't have Macrium Free loaded onto my HDD...
That might be the problem. I've used the WinPE disk to restore images but never to actually make one. I suspect using the disk to make an image is going to be slower than doing it directly from the installation of Reflect on your computer. It would also be more convenient than using the disk when making an image.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Imaging with free Macrium




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