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  #1  
Old 10-20-2008, 04:46 PM
jonheal jonheal is offline
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Another Case of Slow Backup

Yesterday, I successfully invoked SuperDuper for the first time. I wanted to backup a partition on one external drive to another external drive.

Source:
One of four HFS+ partitions on a 3.5" SATA drive in a FireWire enclosure
(MacAlly PHR-S100SUA)

Destination:
HFS+ partition on a 2.5" PATA drive in a USB 2.0 enclosure
(SimpleTech Signature Mini)

The source partition contained about 65GBs, including a couple of giant items like 12GB VMware Fusion file.

The copying process took about 20hrs (SuperDuper! reported about .90MB/sec throughput). Is that right?? I feel like I might have been able to mark off all those ones and zeros on the disk a little faster with a refrigerator magnet.

Another note, the first time I tried to backup, I forgot to first quit the VM in Fusion. When SuperDuper! got to that file, the entire computer promptly and completely froze, no cursor movement, no nothing. Now that is a severe and unforgiving crash.

I'm running 10.5.5 on a 1.66GHz Mini.
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  #2  
Old 10-20-2008, 05:37 PM
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dnanian dnanian is offline
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Sounds like your USB drive was running quite slowly, Spotlight was indexing while we were copying, or you have an AntiVirus program running.

I don't have any idea why your mac would have frozen copying the Fusion file. We have you quit so it'll be fully written to the drive (and not changed while we're copying it), not because you'll crash. In fact, a user-level process like SD! can't really crash your Mac...
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Old 10-20-2008, 06:56 PM
jonheal jonheal is offline
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Slow Backup Follow-Up

Quote:
Originally Posted by dnanian View Post
Sounds like your USB drive was running quite slowly, Spotlight was indexing while we were copying, or you have an AntiVirus program running.

I don't have any idea why your mac would have frozen copying the Fusion file. We have you quit so it'll be fully written to the drive (and not changed while we're copying it), not because you'll crash. In fact, a user-level process like SD! can't really crash your Mac...
It looks like you're right. I just tried dragging the VM file straight to the SimpleTech drive and it started copying real slow -- told me it was going to take 11 hours, or something like that. I wonder what's going on. It's like the drive is operating at USB 1.1, or something.
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Old 10-20-2008, 07:38 PM
jonheal jonheal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonheal View Post
It looks like you're right. I just tried dragging the VM file straight to the SimpleTech drive and it started copying real slow -- told me it was going to take 11 hours, or something like that. I wonder what's going on. It's like the drive is operating at USB 1.1, or something.
Now this is odd. Is only one of the USB ports on my Mac high-speed?
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Old 10-20-2008, 08:06 PM
jonheal jonheal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonheal View Post
Now this is odd. Is only one of the USB ports on my Mac high-speed?
I'm almost positive I'm using the cable that came with the drive. Are some cables USB 1.1 and others USB 2.0?
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Old 10-20-2008, 08:59 PM
jonheal jonheal is offline
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I tried another cable.

I've come to the conclusion that my SimpleTech drive is either defective or a piece of crap or both.

I know that the drive has power issues in that it falls back to 1.1 speed if it doesn't get enough juice. I have a power supply plugged into it, though.

I'm going to try moving the disk to a no-name enclosure I have laying around and see if it makes a difference.
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Old 10-20-2008, 09:49 PM
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You also have an *awful lot* of USB devices attached. Maybe try disconnect everything you can, and plugging the drive - and only the drive - directly into the Mac?
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Old 10-21-2008, 07:28 AM
jonheal jonheal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dnanian View Post
You also have an *awful lot* of USB devices attached. Maybe try disconnect everything you can, and plugging the drive - and only the drive - directly into the Mac?
But I *need* my USB devices.

The SimpleTech drive actually came with two cables. One was a plain old USB cable and the other was kind of a Y-cable where one of the jacks was not for data, but to simply draw another 500mA from the bus. It's possible, I suppose, that since I have devices on all four ports on the Mini, that the port the drive is to cannot supply enough current. But the power supply (optional) plugged into the drive is supposed to take care of that.

I'll try unplugging the other devices.

But I think I'm still going to get another case, probably another MacAlly. Afterall, it's a known fact that stuff works better when it matches.

As for the earlier freeze, there may be another app (Statoo) coming into play. I didn't mention my second backup attempt before. That one didn't freeze, but because it was moving so slowly, I figured it had hung. So I stopped the backup, and then I got the warning about how stopping might leave my destination disk in an unknown state. So I ran Disk Utility (Repair) on the destination disk. After a few moments, Disk Utitlity reported that it had encountered a problem and couldn't continue, then it hung with the eternal beachball. I had to Force Quit Disk Utility, and then I figured I'd better restart.

A minute or two later, restarting timed out because Statoo would not quit. One of the features of Statoo I am using is realtime display of disk usage. I'm guessing that Statoo got confused about the destination disk when I quit SD! in the middle of its backup process.

Anyway, for my third and successful backup attempt, I played it safe and quit everything.
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Last edited by jonheal; 10-21-2008 at 07:38 AM.
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Old 10-21-2008, 08:00 AM
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I'd suggest getting a FireWire case/drive instead. With the sheer quantity of USB devices attached, you're going to end up with problems. FireWire works better normally, and certainly better than this particular christmas-tree-extension-cord grouping of devices!
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Old 10-21-2008, 02:26 PM
jonheal jonheal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dnanian View Post
I'd suggest getting a FireWire case/drive instead.
I think I'll end up going with a macally firewire/usb combo case. Then all my cases match -- vitally important.
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