Image corruption on Windows (defraggers, optical disks)

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Image corruption on Windows (defraggers, optical disks)

Postby schmibble » Sat Oct 21, 2017 12:49 pm

Context: running Windows 7 Pro on an i7 3770K.

The following questions may seem dumb. But I just had a failure, and while BIBM's imaging feature usually makes such occurrences a non-issue, this time I experienced the nasty shock of finding that not just one but two of my trusty Terabyte images were corrupt. Their loss has been a serious problem because with HD space at a premium, I ration my backups carefully--I don't keep very many, and each one serves as a major milestone in system development. Mainly I depend on registry backups to deal with system problems, and I have a good registry backup system with a custom tbscript, and that takes care of nearly everything that comes my way. So when I have to resort to an image, I need it bad. This has been a good system for years, but being cut off at the knees by the corruption of my two most important images has really hurt. I had to go back to an image that is 5 years old (thankfully at least that one was still valid). As far as I can recall this has never happened with even one Terabyte image before, let alone two at the same time, and I'm a (very) long-time user, since just a few years after BING was first released. And I always choose to validate as part of the image process, so these were good when taken.

So I need to make sure of a couple of things. Two questions:

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1
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Does the Windows native defragmenter fall under the same onus as others (e.g. Puran Utilities or MyDefrag) re Terabye image corruption?

https://www.terabyteunlimited.com/kb/article.php?id=151 says to disable third-party defragmenters, then continues, "Defragment utilities can also cause corruption if the system RAM is bad. The files are no good once they are corrupted by a defragment utility." The way the paragraph is worded, it remains unclear whether Windows's defragmenter, which presumably is not "third party" as it is native to the OS, can also cause corruption if there is bad RAM.

I probably do have problematic RAM. Ran Windows memory test but it hung at 60% of the way through, which is probably a bad sign. Haven't bothered running memtest yet as it doesn't really matter--I cannot afford to replace RAM right now, and won't be able to for the next three or four months. So as long as the system boots and I can use it, it'll have to go on with bad RAM for a while. Thus I badly need to know if the native Windows defragger has the same effect with bad RAM as third-party utilities. That way if I must defragment the drive on which the images reside, I can move them beforehand, then copy them back after I'm done.

EDIT: I also use Puran's DiskFresh to realign sectors every once in a while . Will this have the same effect as a third-party defragment utility?


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2
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Are Terabyte images especially "fragile" on optical disks--i.e. the least little problem makes them unuseable? Or is BIBM especially sensitive to problems with optical disks? Or something similar?

The second of my two mainstay images which turned out to be corrupt was a worse shock than the first. This second one was on bootable DVD. The disk starts the imaging process but then stalls a little over halfway through (always at exactly the same 9-minute point; I attempted to run it 3 times) with a message that it can't read the disk. Subsequently I validated it, of course, and the validate failed. Didn't bother validating prior to attempting restoration because as I said before, I always validate when the image is taken, so it was good at that time. The DVD is scuffed but has no scratches. It's certainly not half so bad as audio CDs I have which have many scratches but still play, or old software installation disks that still run fine with lots of scratches (thank heavens, as I unfortunately need some of them now), or even old data backups on DVD--made back when putting all your data on one or two DVDs was still possible--with lots of scratches but which can still be read.

This is an important issue, as I've always considered my Terabyte optical images to be secured from the vagaries of hard-disk problems. My old BING CDs saved my neck on multiple occasions. Terabyte opticals are my buck-stops-here ultimate safety net...except that they sure weren't this time.

BTW, this image was made using BIBM 1.16. Would 1.41, which I've just downloaded, be better for optical disks?
schmibble
 
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Re: Image corruption on Windows (defraggers, optical disks)

Postby TeraByte Support » Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:07 am

1 - Windows Fast Startup can and probably will cause you lots of corruption problems with all kinds of files and file systems. Ensure you disable it on your Windows versions again, after they do big updates.

2 - Any defragger that doesn't work can cause a problem. Anytime there are memory problems there can be problems.

3 - Optical media itself isn't great, but DVD much better that it was with CD-R's. You always want a high quality disc and one that the firmware is said to support, also update the firmware to get better support for more media types and better burns. Using M-DISC may be the way to go if you want to keep things around along time on optical media.
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Re: Image corruption on Windows (defraggers, optical disks)

Postby Bob Coleman » Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:58 am

I thought Windows Fast Startup is a problem only in multi-boot scenarios where the same disk/partition is accessed by more than one operating system. Is it actually more than that?
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Re: Image corruption on Windows (defraggers, optical disks)

Postby TeraByte Support » Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:38 pm

anything where you shutdown, then boot something (saw from a boot disk) then
modify anything on any hard drive attached at the time of the shutdown
(includes causing problems on external drives). It didn't need to be that
way, but that's the way they did it, then enabled by default by essentially
renaming hibernate to shut-down.

"Bob Coleman" wrote in message news:14269@public.image...

I thought Windows Fast Startup is a problem only in multi-boot scenarios
where the same disk/partition is accessed by more than one operating system.
Is it actually more than that?

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Re: Image corruption on Windows (defraggers, optical disks)

Postby schmibble » Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:20 pm

OK, so all defraggers are bad when you have bad RAM. A friendly suggestion: you should change the wording on the page I referenced. In order to make the point crystal-clear, you should remove the adjective phrase "third party". It's misleading because it really does imply that a defragger native to the OS will not be prey to the memory problem at issue.

And one of my questions was left unaddressed...

* I also use Puran's DiskFresh to realign sectors every once in a while. Will this have the same effect as a defragment utility?

In addition, I'd like to know what advantages 1.41 has over the 1.16 I've been using. There's no list of changes in the 1.41 download and I didn't find any relevant info on the BIBM support page or FAQ.

Also, as I understand it, fast startup is an 8+ 'feature', so inapplicable to my system--correct? If not, I can't find any info on how to disable it on Win7. Help!
schmibble
 
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Re: Image corruption on Windows (defraggers, optical disks)

Postby TeraByte Support » Tue Oct 24, 2017 11:51 pm

Some 3rd party defraggers also corrupt files in general because they have
bugs.

Yes, anything that writes to the drive can write back something it's not
supposed to if ram is bad.

I'd upgrade for sure. The upgrade history is on the left side of the
support page for the product to check.


"schmibble" wrote in message news:14276@public.image...

OK, so all defraggers are bad when you have bad RAM. A friendly suggestion:
you should change the wording on the page I referenced. In order to make the
point crystal-clear, you should remove the adjective phrase "third party".
It's misleading because it really does imply that a defragger native to the
OS will not be prey to the memory problem at issue.

And one of my questions was left unaddressed...

* I also use Puran's DiskFresh to realign sectors every once in a while.
Will this have the same effect as a defragment utility?

In addition, I'd like to know what advantages 1.41 has over the 1.16 I've
been using. There's no list of changes in the 1.41 download and I didn't
find any relevant info on the BIBM support page or FAQ.

Also, as I understand it, fast startup is an 8+ 'feature', so inapplicable
to my system--correct? If not, I can't find any info on how to disable it on
Win7. Help!

TeraByte Support
 
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Joined: Thu May 05, 2011 3:37 pm

Re: Image corruption on Windows (defraggers, optical disks)

Postby schmibble » Fri Oct 27, 2017 9:47 am

> Some 3rd party defraggers also corrupt files
> in general because they have bugs.
Oh, OK. The wording on the support page, however, leaves too much room for the interpretation that the conjunction of bad RAM and third-party programs _together_ is what causes the problem. So you might wish change the wording to say something like, "Discontinue the use of third-party defragmenting utilities, as bugs in some of these programs can cause image corruption. Also check your RAM: even defragmenters native to your OS can corrupt images when run on RAM with bad addresses."

> anything that writes to the drive
OK, thanks for the confirmation.

> upgrade history is on the left side of the support page
All right, found it. Although I have to say that "potential changes, updates and enhancements" is rather uninformative. Taken literally, in fact, it means nothing at all in terms of a currently working program, since a potential change has, by definition, not been implemented.

So I have to assume that the only real changes are the others (i.e. a new IFD for BIBM 1.42). Correct? Nothing actually changed in 1.42 except the new IFD?
schmibble
 
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