26597: Backups suddenly get slow.

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Greasy Gus
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TI Home 11 ver 8.101
XP Home SP3

For the last year or so full backups take about 1 hour and incremental backups take 1/2 hour.
Within the last week full backups now take 5-3/4 hours and incrementals take 6 hours.
Nothing else has changed.

Does anyone have a clue what is happening?

MudCrab
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Have you checked the log for anything odd?

Are the backup images still the same size? Sometimes an image file will accidentally get saved to the partition getting backed up. If it is then included in future backups they will take longer and the image files will be much larger.

Are you backing up to an external drive or an internal drive? On some systems, if Windows detects too many errors (or other problems) it may switch the drive controller to a slower mode. Is Windows running normally or does it seem slower too?

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Scott Hieber
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Also, if there are bad spots showing up on the disk, then disk read/writes will require repeated attempts, which can drastically slow down you file processing. They might not be bad enough to qualify as bad under normal use -- after severeal retries, the machine can finally get an acceptable read/write.

So it's probably worth running a chkdsk /r on the target and source drives. If you find any bad sectors, chkdsk /r should take them out of use. IF more show up later, the hdisk is going south --replace it at the earliest opportunity. Also, save at least one backup from before things got slow -- that is, a disk is going south, you want to have a backup from before it started mucking up what it wrote to the iffy sectors.

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Greasy Gus
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Turns out the problem was transfer mode of the target drive changed from "DMA if available" to "PIO" . I had no success in changing back to DMA using the device manager. I found a useful utility at http://winhlp.com/node/10 which made all problems go away.

I conducted an incremental save and back up time dropped to the historic 30 minutes.