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Hello! I have question regarding how to speed up backup with partimage on my slackware box.
Like many others, I have tasted partimage by using Knoppix Live CD to backup my Linux partition. However, it is too slow to backup a 7GB partition with about 1 hr with my 1st attempt! After searching, I know a script hdparm can improve the performance of harddrive speed. Fortunately, the speed is improved by half. However, I would like to ask:
1.Is it the limit of the backup speed of partimage?
2.As long as I remember,I have enabled DMA,32bit,multicount and other parameters. What parameters would I miss out if I am using a 80GB Maxtor hard drive (7200RPM,ATA,133MHZ)
Finally, do you guys have similar experience like me regarding the speed of backup?Please kindly drop me a line if you also have some solution on this one. Thanks a million.
I usually get about 300 to 400MB/min to image and nearly 1GB/min to restore with partimage using gzip. If you use bzip, it is much slower. 7GB takes about 20 minutes to image. Also, I do not have to make any hdparm adjustments to get those speeds. I generally do not use knoppix, but rather kannotix or a custom livecd I made based on slax. The image file is located on a different hard drive than the hard drive of the imaged partition; this speeds things up significantly as the hard drive head does not have to go back and forth to read and then write to the same drive. Try kannotix and see if that helps your speed. The main hdparm parameter is dma which should always be enabled to get those speeds; I believe dma is enabled by default in kannotix.
kilgoretrout ,thanks for your help. Your speed is much more faster than me regarding backup time.
However,where can I download this nice livecd?I seldom heard of kannotix. By the way, I use gzip as the backup compression option. The speed is not acceptable even I make several changes by hdparm.I also make the image file to my secondary hard drive (I have 2 hard drive). So,same situation as you,but the speed is much more slower.
I would be appreciated if you would kindly provide a link for me to download this nice LiveCD.
If you are using an external usb hard drive to back up to, one thing I remember about knoppix is that it would write to the usb drive at usb 1.1 speeds instead of the much faster usb 2.0 speeds. That resulted in about 60MB/min speed with partimage which is dog slow. Kannotix runs the external drive at usb 2.0 speeds resulting in a partimage transfer rate of about 300MB/min. That was the main reason I switched to kannotix.
If you want a slackware based live cd, take a look at slax:
It doesn't have partimage on it but they have a "module" system that allows you to add it fairly easily. I made a module for partimage and uploaded it to their site(go to modules>other on the slax site).
Another nice live cd which includes partimage and many other useful utilities is Insert:
Right now,I have a slackware linux partition waiting for me to backup to my secondary IDE hard-drive. I will try out Kannotix as it has already included partimage. If all goes well, I will do the same to my server but back hard drive up to an external hard-drive. (Because as you said,Kannotix would support USB 2.0 to speed things up.
No matter what distribution,what I care about is "SPEED".It's frustrating for us to wait 1 hr just backup 7GB partition with normal compression.
Using the same drive undoubtedly slows things down as the drive head has to move back and forth but what you are getting seems extreme. Have you tried checking your hard drive speed using hdparm while running slack? Just run:
# hdparm -t /dev/hdx
I'm wondering if this is a hardware problem. The above will tell if you are getting abnormally slow read/writes from the drive. You should be getting around 40MB/sec or better. Did you build this box yourself or is it factory prebuilt? Does your motherboard support ATA 133 speeds? If you put this drive in an old box that only supports ATA 66, the hard drive will operate at the slower ATA 66 speeds.
If you have looked at my P.S, the speed is faster than 40MB/sec. I built my desktop 4 years ago which I think it is using ATA 100 but not ATA66.When you haven't review the specification of your computer,you will forget about that. My bad. Moreover, I will try to back it up to my secondary hard drive. I hope this will speed things up.
P.S. Before, I was excited because I can use SLAX with partimage module with just 177MB in a CD. However,the speed didn't improve drastically or even on hold. Anyway, I will try to figure it out. Because it is the trial of partimage. If it is successful, I will do the same with my server,which "also put on hold" after I bought it last December. I have no time to manage it,indeed.
Again,thanks for your continuous help,kilgoretrout. I will drop a line if I tried again.
kilgoretrout,I got most of the answers from your post.
Firstly, I found out that my motherboard will only support UDMA 100 as my hard drive is UDMA 133.
Anyway,this background information cannot be changed. After I backup my linux partition to "another" hard drive,the speed is 130-140MB per sec, which also takes about 40 mins to backup 7GB partition. Obviously, the speed doesn't even change after I used Slax with partimage. So, the hard drive factor is eliminated.
I am trying another LiveCD,Kanotix as you suggested. I hope this will speed things up...
Those speeds look like ATA 66 or 33 to me. My ATA 100 drives can do 300 to 400MB/min in partimage. Check your hard drive cable. Is it an 80 wire or 40 wire cable? ATA 100 and above requires an 80 wire cable. If you connect it with a 40 wire cable(the ones commonly used on optical drives), you will be limited to ATA 66 or 33 speeds IIRC. You can tell the difference because the bumps on an 80 wire ribbon cable are much finer than on a 40 wire cable.
Also, please post the output of:
# hdparm -tT /dev/hdx
where 'x' corresponds to the slow drive device file. I checked your prior psts but didn't see this data. That will tell me for sure whether you are running at ATA 66.
Last edited by kilgoretrout; 11-11-2005 at 08:20 AM.