Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Speeding Up My Ghost Backup

Files on my C: drive are fairly static, consisting mainly of just the Windows system files, page file and other programs that I may install or upgrade from time to time. All my work files and TV captures go into different partitions - backups consist of just a simple "copy" to a flash drive for these files.

I will initiate a (Symantec) Ghost backup on the C: drive only after when I have installed/uninstalled new/existing programs or after when there are many changes in the Windows registry due to parameter changes in the Windows system or software program settings that I have made.

This is what I do to speed up my the Ghost backup on my C: drive.

  • I empty my Windows Recycle Bin before starting backup. Otherwise, the items in the Recycle Bin will get backed up by Ghost too. By emptying the Recycle Bin, not only do I not backup items that I do not want, the time taken in the backup process will be shorter too. This will also keep the Ghost ".GHO" backup file smaller, which can be quite significant, as I have found out, if the total size of all contents in the Recycle Bin is quite big.
  • I delete off permanently the items in the directory pointed to by the environment variables "TEMP" and "TMP" before starting Ghost - both are set to "C:\Windows\Temp" in my case. Items in the directory pointed to by "TEMP" and "TMP" are just temporary files created by some Windows programs but have not been deleted off, for one reason or another, when they terminate.
  • With 1GB RAM, my Ghost backup file is roughly 500MB smaller when I disable "Hibernation" mode - "StandBy" mode is good enough for me for V2CRS schedules. With "Hibernation" mode disabled, the file "C:\HIBERFIL.SYS" will not get created. The size of "C:\HIBERFIL.SYS" is equivalent to the size of the RAM installed on a PC.

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