Copying Macrium backups to USB drive. Starts slow, finishes fast.


Buddy

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I run a daily Macrium incremental backup, saving it to a new (subjectively fast) external desktop USB drive. Once a week, I copy that week's incrementals to a Samsung T7 Shield SSD drive that lives offsite. The daily incrementals are usually about 3 to 5 GB.

Starting about a month ago, each individual incremental file starts copying REALLY slowly, so the predicted copy time is 10+ hours. Then, after several minutes, it speeds up dramatically and finishes the daily in maybe 2 or 3 minutes. Next file, same thing.

I've tried different cables to no avail.

Ideas, anyone?
 

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I responded to your other post and then saw this one. IMO you are making your backup routine unnecessarily complicated. If you want to rotate backups on and off site, that's fine, but copying is not the best way to do it. Any blip in a full backup copy would make the backup and all it's incrementals useless. Rotating your backup disks would make more sense.

Also in the other post I asked for more information regarding exactly how you use your computer and what you do that generates so much change on a daily basis. Once we know more about your computer use, we can advise a more appropriate backup scheme that would make more sense in your particular situation.
 

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@glasskuter My desktop backup drive has quite a bit of stuff on it other than the backups. If I rotate it offsite, I'd have to do more copying to bring the incoming drive (formerly offsite) up to current contents. Compared to my current routine, that sorta seems like six of one and half dozen of other, unless I do a rethink of my file organization. Right now, it's pretty easy. Almost everything kicks off from scheduled jobs. Once a week, I bring in the offsite drive and run a FreeFileSync batch job to bring it up to date. I'm not terribly worried about the offsite drive being several days behind at mid-week, because I keep current data backups (not full image) on Google Drive. So, there's some redundancy offsite.

The original question still stands. When I copy the week's Macrium incrementals (or whatever I start doing after thinking through everyone's input in the other thread), the copy starts really slowly, then picks up and goes faster after a minute or two.
 

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    CalDigit TS4 dock for all my USB stuff, speakers, and connect to Android phone
    HP MFP M277dw laser printer/scanner
@Buddy


You might want to check out Karen's Replicator (free).
You set up copy "jobs", then you can manually or on a schedule, run the program, and it will run "all" the jobs with one click or no clicks...




I use it manually to copy one storage drive to another storage drive. (Disk 1 to Disk 2)
Actually, I have it set up to copy each partition on Disk 1 to the similar partition on Disk 2.
So, it's really running four "jobs" with one click.

It also has a built in scheduler in case even one click is too much hassle. :cool:

000000 Disk Management.png



This is one of my "jobs". It copies the Media partition to the Media 2 partition...

Image1.png




I'm not sure it will work with an "offsite" drive that you keep disconnecting.
You'll have to try it. I guess if the drive letter doesn't change, it will work... but I'm not sure.
It's also a very small program. It's installation directory is only 1.84 MB.
 

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Mine does the same thing when copying large files. If I understand it correctlly, when a copy first starts, cache is empty so you have an initial boost in speed. Once cache gets full and data is moved into and out of cache, speed will drop dramatically from it's initial boost. Added to that, you also have to consider the read/write speeds of the source and destination drives as well as how the drives are connected.
 

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  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 23H2 22631.3296
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    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Optiplex 7080
    CPU
    i9-10900 10 core 20 threads
    Motherboard
    DELL 0J37VM
    Memory
    32 gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    none-Intel UHD Graphics 630
    Sound Card
    Integrated Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Benq 27
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1tb Solidigm m.2 +256gb ssd+512 gb usb m.2 sata
    PSU
    500w
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    MT
    Cooling
    Dell Premium
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    Logitech wired
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    Logitech wireless
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    so slow I'm too embarrassed to tell
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender+MWB Premium
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro 22H2 19045.3930
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Optiplex 9020
    CPU
    i7-4770
    Memory
    24 gb
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Benq 27
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    256 gb Toshiba BG4 M.2 NVE SSB and 1 tb hdd
    PSU
    500w
    Case
    MT
    Cooling
    Dell factory
    Mouse
    Logitech wireless
    Keyboard
    Logitech wired
    Internet Speed
    still not telling
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender+MWB Premium
What you are describing sounds like the opposite of what I would typically expect. As glasskuter described, the typical scenario is that you start off really fast and then it slows down. You are describing the exact opposite.

A couple of thoughts:

1) Is it only Macrium Reflect Images that behave this way when copied? If so, then I wonder if Macrium Image Guardian could possibly be having any effect on the copies. Try disabling Image Guardian (just as a test) and see if that makes any difference.

2) Is it possible that this is only a reporting problem? As a check for this, you might try kicking of Performance Monitor and monitor the disk activity both on the source and destination to see if it also indicates the same thing.

3) Are you copying anything else along with the actual Reflect backups, especially any sort of data that contains a very large quantity of very small files? Copy large quantities of small files is far slower than one file. Maybe you are copying small files first, then it gets to actual large reflect backup and goes much faster.
 

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@Ghot Thanks for the Karen's recc. I installed it when I was initially setting up the machine, but ultimately decided I liked FreeFileSync better. No, I don't remember why - that was a very busy, full, and stressful year ago. My recollection is that they were similar. FFS doesn't have a scheduler, but you can define a batch job and kick it off from Windows Scheduler.

@glasskuter It's actually the other way around. The copy of a Macrium image starts very slow, then speeds up after a minute or two. I know specifically which file, because the copying is being done by FreeFileSync and it reports the individual file name and percent complete on that particular file. So you can see the % completion progressing very slowly, like maybe 2 or 3% a minute, then suddenly going to maybe 1% a second. It's that dramatic. The odd thing is that this behavior just started maybe a month ago. Before that, it just chunked along.

@hsehestedt Thanks for the suggestions. 1) Yes, just Macrium images. I'll try disabling Image Guardian. To be fair, everything else that I copy is 50MB or smaller, so like 2 orders of magnitude smaller. 2)Worth a try. 3)Yes, copying other stuff. And yes, I'm aware the throughput rate is slower for small files. But like I said above, FreeFileSync displays the file name being copied and it's the Macrium image that's getting wadded up.

A thought - this might have started after one of the periodic Macrium updates. But I have no way of telling that for sure. I know when the updates were installed - I keep a log of that - but I don't know exactly when I first noticed this behavior.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 22H2
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon G10
    CPU
    i5-1240p
    Memory
    16gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    Whatever comes in it
    Sound Card
    Whatever comes in it
    Monitor(s) Displays
    No external monitor. Yet.
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1200
    Hard Drives
    Internal 512 GB SSD
    External 6 TB, 1 TB, 225 GB desktop HDD, 2TB portable HDD
    A whole army of USB flash memory sticks
    Mouse
    Logitech M317
    Internet Speed
    500 mbps
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    CalDigit TS4 dock for all my USB stuff, speakers, and connect to Android phone
    HP MFP M277dw laser printer/scanner

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