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Kudos0

Norton Ghost 14 - Incremental either taking or extended time or failing to complete

I've been using various editions of Norton Ghost on XP and Vista for many years.  Recently NG 14 has developed intermittent failures whilst trying to take incremental backups.  Either the incremental has been the same size as the base, within a few percent, or the incremental process has taken so long, several hours rather than the usual few minutes, that I have given up. 

I tried reinstalling NG 14, no improvement.

After tearing out my hair, I evenyually came upon this forum.  Reading through, I have come to the conclusion that for some reason or other, probably MS Update, my C drive is now being defragmented on a regular basis.

My plan, that I have implemented today, is to schedule the defrag to run after the final incremental of the month and before the next month's base.

I'll send an update in January, to let you know if my plan has succeeded.

Replies

Kudos0

Re: Norton Ghost 14 - Incremental either taking or extended time or failing to complete

I turn off any automatic defragging and just run it manually before a new baseline backup starts.

Kudos0

Re: Norton Ghost 14 - Incremental either taking or extended time or failing to complete

Thanks for the suggestion.  My background is in supporting overnight batch runs on an IBM mainframe.  My preference is to automate housekeeping tasks, so that I can forget about them and get on with other things.

Kudos0

Re: Norton Ghost 14 - Incremental either taking or extended time or failing to complete

You should be able to tell if it worked if it has made an incremental in the last 2 days since your changes.

I do the same thing but on a weekly schedule.  Mine makes a new base image every Monday morning and I have a scheduled defrag with perfectdisk in between the last incremental on Sunday and the new base image on Monday.

Dave

Kudos0

Re: Norton Ghost 14 - Incremental either taking or extended time or failing to complete

Following further problems, I decided to give it a clean start.  Last defrag was 7 December, next scheduled defrag 1 January.

Date TimeActionElapsed Time Backup Size/GB 24/12/201218:00Uninstalled NG14, deleting backup jobs etc. Reinstalled NG14 and ran Live Update  25/12/201208:00Base Backup01:00                       49.025/12/201211:00Incremental00:02                         0.326/12/201211:00Incremental00:50                       30.127/12/201211:00Incremental00:55                       31.928/12/201211:00Incremental00:04                         2.9

Dell Inspiron 530, Vista Home Premium 32bit, 4GB ram.

Any ideas why the incremental should be so variable?

Kudos0

Re: Norton Ghost 14 - Incremental either taking or extended time or failing to complete

Are these really incrementals or did Ghost make a new base image? What is the file extension, v2i or iv2i?

Are you experiencing dirty shutdowns?

Kudos0

Re: Norton Ghost 14 - Incremental either taking or extended time or failing to complete

I've attached a screen shot of Windows Explorer view of the backup location.

Shutdowns have been normal.

File Attachment: 
Kudos0

Re: Norton Ghost 14 - Incremental either taking or extended time or failing to complete

Bizarre. The last ones are incrementals. Something must be changing a lot of data on the drive. Other than defragmenting, I'm not sure what else would cause such a change other than applying a service pack or something like that.

Kudos0

Re: Norton Ghost 14 - Incremental either taking or extended time or failing to complete

Do you use Diskeeper?

Even when it is not being used for defragging it is doing something in the background that is making changes to the files.

Dave

Edit- Norton products like Antivirus, internet security, and 360 also have a built in defragger called "optimiser" that needs to be disabled.

Kudos0

Re: Norton Ghost 14 - Incremental either taking or extended time or failing to complete

Thanks.

Not using Diskeeper.

Running Norton Internet Security.

Not heard of "Optimiser" before.  How do I disable it?  Internet Security Help did not provide any clues.

Kudos0

Re: Norton Ghost 14 - Incremental either taking or extended time or failing to complete

I'm not using the most recent version so the setting may be in a different location.

For me it's under "Miscellaneous Settings" and it's called "Idle Time Optimizer".

It actually uses the windows defragger.

If you like to use a third party defragger then they will have different file placement strategies, one will put all the files in a certain placement and then the other will want to change everything around into another placement.  That would explain the huge changes your system is showing.

Dave

Kudos0

Re: Norton Ghost 14 - Incremental either taking or extended time or failing to complete

If you click the "performance" screen you may be able to see when it last run.  I'm not sure because I never use it.

From the performance screen you can click "Norton Tasks" and it is shown on that screen as "Insight Optimizer".

Perhaps the last time it ran will correspond with one of your large incrementals.

Kudos0

Re: Norton Ghost 14 - Incremental either taking or extended time or failing to complete

1)  I'm not knowingly using any third party defragmenter.

2) I've scheduled Microsoft Defragmenter to run early on first day of month, before the Norton Ghost Base.

3) Internet Security reports that Insight Optimiser last ran on 20th December at 14:21.

Incrementals were fine at 11:00 on 21st and 22nd. 

On 23rd, Incremental was reporting 1% complete after one hour, so I killed it, deleted backup job, defined new backup job, ran a new base,

On 24th, Incremental failed again, so I uninstalled, reinstalled, as mentioned earlier in this chain.

Kudos0

Re: Norton Ghost 14 - Incremental either taking or extended time or failing to complete

Thats bizzare.  If you ran into a problem that Ghost could not reconcile the changes since the last image it would create a new on but that would be the size of the base image 49GB instead of the huge 30GB incremental.

I been assuming that 30-40GB of data was not added to the system, that seems like a lot and I'm sure you would notice that.

Even if it was a runaway temp folder or something it would be hard to miss your C drive getting that much bigger overnight.

I'm not sure if this will help you but I'll mention it anyway.

I was curious as to why my incrementals were the size that they are and wanted to see what changes between them on a daily basis.

I installed this free tool called WinMerge.

http://winmerge.org/

Under the settings I set it to compare by file size.

Then I mounted as virtual drives 2 images as different drive letters and used the program to compare them and show only the files that were changed in size or were new.

I got it to filer out everything that was the same and it was easy to see what chnaged on a daily basis.

I'm not sure if it will help you because I doupt that much data is really being added or changed, defragging would only be moving the data to another physical location and I'm not sure if it would even change the file access date.

But if it did you may be able to compare by access time.

Sorry but I don't have the time to try it myself right now.

Dave

Kudos0

Re: Norton Ghost 14 - Incremental either taking or extended time or failing to complete

Dave

Thanks for this.  I had not thought of mounting recovery points and then comparing them, to see what had been backed up in an incremental.

Tried winmerge and it has given me some clues, pity it doesn't report the file size.

I've recently written some Excel VBA code that trawls through a volume and creates a workbook listing every file, including file name, path, file size and date last modified.   Text File Attached

I'll run this against (before and after)  mounted recovery points and write my own compare routines.

I'll provide an update, when I've finished my analysis.  Don't hold your breath!

File Attachment: 
Kudos0

Re: Norton Ghost 14 - Incremental either taking or extended time or failing to complete

WinMerge will compare by filesize, thats why I chose it over windiff.

Go to Edit > Options

On the left select "Compare" then on the right change the drop down box to Size or Modified Date and Size.

Dave

Kudos0

Re: Norton Ghost 14 - Incremental either taking or extended time or failing to complete

Dave

Sorry, I didn't delve deep enough.

Richard

Kudos0

Re: Norton Ghost 14 - Incremental either taking or extended time or failing to complete

I actually had a hard time finding it too.

Kudos0

Re: Norton Ghost 14 - Incremental either taking or extended time or failing to complete

Dave

Mounted Recovery Points from

25th & 26th December - Incremental Size was 28.6GB

29th & 30th December - Incremental Size was 0.5GB

In both cases, Winmerge reported differences (files different + files present on second day, but missing on first day) of 5.4GB.

In both cases, PAGEFILE.SYS had changed its last-update date, size 3.5GB.

Clearly, the logical file compare approach is getting us nowhere.

I suspect that to make any real progress, we would need to explore the sectors in the mounted restore points.

Anybody got any ideas?

Richard

Kudos0

Re: Norton Ghost 14 - Incremental either taking or extended time or failing to complete

After further failed incrementals, eg reporting 5% complete after 4 hours, I've given up on the "base + incremental" approach. 

(On a good day, the incremental takes 3 minutes.)

Fortunately, I have a large external drive, so I'm now taking daily bases with the limit set to 20.  

20 x 50GB = 1.0TB.  My drive has a capacity of 1.5TB. 

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