1.    24 Apr 2017 #1
    Join Date : Mar 2016
    Posts : 22
    win 10

    How to confirm external hard drive function


    This seems an incredibly basic question but I'll ask anyway. I've finally decided to do a system image backup of ~250 Gb to my old external hard drive and confirmed there's sufficient space. It's been running for almost 24 hrs. but the length of the progress bar has barely budged. I've checked the properties of the drive but don't see any evidence of any data downloaded but windows says the hard drive is OK. The drive light is flickering away, the drive feels warm but how can I confirm the thing is doing what Windows says it's doing-"saving the the backup"?
    I know this can take many hours but there's no indication the progress bar is changing.

    Thanks for your help
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    24 Apr 2017 #2
    Join Date : Aug 2016
    S/E England
    Posts : 4,516
    10 Home x64 (1709) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)

    You can monitor disk activity in Task Manager. Click on the Performance tab (if you don't see one, click 'more details'). Your external hard drive will be listed there. Click on it and you can see the write speed and '% active' time. If data is being written and the % disk activity is high then it looks like it's still working on it.

    24 hours is a very long time to write a system image, whatever you are using to make the image. Are you using the built-in Backup & Restore (Windows 7) 'make a system image' option? If so, did you click 'make a system image' or did you make a backup and include a system image?

    Making a backup is not really necessary if all you want is a system image - it backs up all your user data first, then makes the system image (which will also include your user data). The advantage of a backup is that you can restore individual files, the disadvantage is that (especially if you tick C: to be backed up) you're going to end up with most (or all) of your data being written twice to the external drive, once in the backup and again in the system image.
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  3.    24 Apr 2017 #3
    Join Date : Mar 2016
    Posts : 22
    win 10
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for responding. Using "make a system image" from Win 7 backup. Task manager shows performance of drive at 2 GHz and 3% utilization. I do normal backup on another hard drive but thought I had to do a system image to do a full restore . My PC is about 10 years old, crashes on occasion and, though no indication of C drive problems, though the PC is on borrowed time.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    24 Apr 2017 #4
    Join Date : Aug 2016
    S/E England
    Posts : 4,516
    10 Home x64 (1709) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)

    Quote Originally Posted by arnnad View Post
    Task manager shows performance of drive at 2 GHz and 3% utilization.
    Those would be the performance figures for your CPU. Below that is 'Memory', then your 'Disk 0 (C:)' drive. Your external drive should appear as 'Disk 1' just below the C: drive. Click on the small graph of activity for the external drive in the left pane to see its active time and read/write performance.

      My ComputersSystem Spec
  5.    24 Apr 2017 #5
    Join Date : Mar 2016
    Posts : 22
    win 10
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for responding. Using "make a system image" from Win 7 backup. Task manager shows performance of drive at 2 GHz and 3% utilization. I do normal backup on another hard drive but thought I had to do a system image to do a full restore . My PC is about 10 years old, crashes on occasion and, though no indication of C drive problems, though the PC is on borrowed time.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    24 Apr 2017 #6
    Join Date : Mar 2016
    Posts : 22
    win 10
    Thread Starter

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	image.png 
Views:	8 
Size:	40.7 KB 
ID:	131850Don't know if this is readable. Sorry I don't know how to include a larger attachment. The write speed is very erratic at maximum of 350 Kb/sec. Active time is 100%.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  7.    24 Apr 2017 #7
    Join Date : Aug 2016
    S/E England
    Posts : 4,516
    10 Home x64 (1709) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)

    Well, data is certainly being written to your G: drive, so it looks like the system image is progressing. The average response time and write speed look slower than I get, though. Your WD drive's specs are OK, but as it's a 3.5" drive are you using it in a USB enclosure? Is it a USB 1 spec?

    Your speeds would suggest you are using a USB 1 connection. I get 460ms response time and 25MB/s write speed making a system image on a drive connected to a USB 2 port. If yours is USB 1, that could explain why the system image is taking so long. It looks like it's working, you'll just have to be patient, I'm afraid.
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  8.    24 Apr 2017 #8
    Join Date : Mar 2016
    Posts : 22
    win 10
    Thread Starter

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	image.png 
Views:	8 
Size:	40.7 KB 
ID:	131850Don't know if this is readable. Sorry I don't know how to include a larger attachment. The write speed is very erratic at maximum of 350 Kb/sec. Active time is 100%.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  9.    24 Apr 2017 #9
    Join Date : Mar 2016
    Posts : 22
    win 10
    Thread Starter

    I'd have to research the specs on the hard drive, which came with my HP PC and fit in via a slot in the front. However, the program allowing backups died after a year as did the internal USB connection. When you ask if it's USB 1 are you referring to USB ports on the PC, which is 2, or the hard drive connection itself. Anyway, this certainly explains the laborious download. You also answered my question of whether the hard drive was actually functioning

    It raises an interesting question. If my PC dies does it mean uploading this data will also take forever. I'm 83 and forever is getting closer.

    Thanks for educating me,
    Arnold
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  10.    25 Apr 2017 #10
    Join Date : Aug 2016
    S/E England
    Posts : 4,516
    10 Home x64 (1709) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)

    Quote Originally Posted by arnnad View Post
    I'd have to research the specs on the hard drive, which came with my HP PC and fit in via a slot in the front....

    It raises an interesting question. If my PC dies does it mean uploading this data will also take forever...
    I've looked up the specs of the HP Pavilion Elite m9500t you list in you computer details https://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c01657233#AbT1 and can see how the hard drive is fitted (as the optional HP Personal Media Drive). The drive itself is capable of much faster speeds, so the limitation is in the hardware or settings of the computer. There may be a BIOS setting for the drive type you could change to get a faster rate, but I haven't been able to find any details on your BIOS.

    It appears your external USB ports are USB 2. One possible way to get higher speeds could be to buy a USB 2 (or USB 3, it's backwards compatible) drive enclosure for 3.5" drives, mount the drive in that and use the USB 2 ports on the front of your PC.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

 


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