1.    02 Mar 2016 #1
    Join Date : Nov 2015
    Posts : 299
    Win-10 Pro x64

    Imaging Question (Macruim & AOMEI)


    Hi and thanks for taking the time to look over my question.

    I was hoping to solicit some opinions in reference to whether or not defragging a HDD can cause a system image to become corrupted.

    When I create image back ups using both Macrium and AOMEI, I store them on a second internal HDD. I have wondered for years whether or not defragging that same drive poses any 'real' risk to those images?

    I am aware that I can go back and re-check the integrity, but I was curious to see if this is something to even be concerned about.


    Regards,
    b1rd
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    02 Mar 2016 #2
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,552
    Windows 10 Pro

    Defragging the hard drive always involves some risk. Lose power and the file being written at the exact moment of the power loss might get corrupted. Since the image files are huge single files there is more chance of them getting corrupted than a little 1MB file. For really important "cannot lose" data it's always good to have two backups - with only one in use (connected to the computer) at a time and preferably one of those stored or networked off-site to protect against fire/other physical disasters.

    I just ordered one of these for my backup use:
    KINGWIN KF-255-BK Stainless steel Black SATA Internal Tray-Less Hot Swap Rack for SATA HDD - Newegg.com

    I have not received it yet, though, so can't comment on it's actual performance. My images are stored on internal hard drives (which will become removable with the hot swap rack) and a second copy on a NAS in my basement.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    02 Mar 2016 #3
    Join Date : Nov 2015
    Posts : 299
    Win-10 Pro x64
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for the speedy reply.

    Yes, I am aware of the more common risks of defragging drive such as you described, but I guess I was curious about what, if any, relationship that might have on the image itself.

    The reason that I ask is that I create images pretty much daily. I also like to create them weekly, after I've updated everything, scans, etc. (My pre-image tune-ups).

    The weekly ones are the ones I want to make sure are more secure as far as their integrity. I normally run a defrag the night before on the second drive for those back ups, however there are times that I forget to. So, I've often delayed the back ups until after a complete defrag has been completed on the receiving drive, just in case it does matter.

    Years ago I was a user of TrueImage, which I liked. However, one time when I needed it, I learned that the back up was corrupted. This was before we were able to verify the images through the program. TrueImage had a small separate utility that they sent to me after I complained about the image not working.

    After that experience I became a but hypersensitive with keeping my back ups safe, so I use a few different programs. I do back them up to an external HDD, as well as a USB 3.0 drive too, however those are only monthly.

    Anyhow, thanks again. This was more out of curiosity then anything else.

    b1rd
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    02 Mar 2016 #4
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,552
    Windows 10 Pro

    Just curious, why run defrag so often on a hard drive that appears to only be used for backups? It's just creating extra wear and tear on the hard drive. Defragging provides a performance boost for a hard drive that is providing files for the operating system and I just don't see the benefit to running it on a hard drive that is only storing backup images.

    What difference does it make if the image file is fragmented on the hard drive when it is only going to be written once and maybe read once?
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    02 Mar 2016 #5
    Join Date : Nov 2015
    Posts : 299
    Win-10 Pro x64
    Thread Starter

    Just curious, why run defrag so often on a hard drive that appears to only be used for backups? It's just creating extra wear and tear on the hard drive.
    With 20-25 GB of data per image file, and perhaps 3-5 image files deleted and replaced with newer files each week, I thought the drive might have become pretty fragmented. I was also hoping to keep the image files more continuous, rather than have them scattered. I was also under the impression that a drive with less fragmentation is easier to recover data from if there's big problems.

    However, I think some (most) of it is out of habit, as I made the leap to Win-10 from XP. Yeah, perhaps I need to step away from old way of thinking.

    Thanks,
    b1rd
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    02 Mar 2016 #6
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,552
    Windows 10 Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by b1rd View Post
    I was also under the impression that a drive with less fragmentation is easier to recover data from if there's big problems.
    I suppose that would probably be true, but that would be for forensic recovery when the hard drive fails. Personally, I would rather pay less than $100 for a second drive for a second backup than waiting for the single backup drive to fail at the same time my operating primary drive failed and hoping forensic recovery could get my backup image back.

    But really, I think defragging the backup drive at least weekly would be contributing more towards it's earlier failure than contributing to the chances of retrieving that backup image when it does fail.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  7.    02 Mar 2016 #7
    Join Date : Nov 2015
    Posts : 299
    Win-10 Pro x64
    Thread Starter

    I agree, thanks. I just need to ween myself off of the old habits.

    I remember when doing defrags was all the rage. I was always in search of the best (free) one.

    The comparison studies, which made me wonder and even think, that if I switched to their band of program, then I would notice a vast improvement in performance. I never did. I even remember the defrag programs that would run continuously in the background, however I never used them myself.

    Anyhow, thanks again. At this point I do plan on reducing the defrags.

    b1rd
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    02 Mar 2016 #8
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,552
    Windows 10 Pro

    Oh yeah, I remember those days too! All those little squares on the Windows 3.1 screen that would turn from red to green :-)
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 


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