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Snapshot creation suddenly taking hours


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I have been backing up my main Windows 8 workstation for a long time with Retrospect - and up until 7/1 - that entire backup of both the C and D drives on this machine was taking about an hour - give or take - and the snapshot creation for the C: drive was taking no more than about 30 mins or so. Since the 7/2 backup - this has started taking upwards of 7-8 hours - with the majority of the time being spent creating the snapshot for the C: drive backup.


Up until yesterday I was running 8.5 - so I thought I would try upgrading to 9.0 to see if that would have any effect - and it did not. I see the same behavior under 9.0.1.


The Retrospect client level is 8.1.0. That has not changed and was installed back in June of 2013. I don't believe I have made any changes in the settings for this backup script or the backup set either.


So - obviously something must have changed on my machine to cause this. The only thing I can think of is that something I installed on my system on 7/1 has caused this issue. The items that were installed on 7/1 include:

- update to Adobe Air

- Comcast Usage Meter App (was a reinstall - this app had been on before when the backups were running fine - so I believe I can discount this one)

- Plex Media Server


Of the ones above - the only one that I can think would have a chance of causing this would be the Plex server.


There were no Windows system updates installed - so that isn't playing into this. There have been no hardware changes on this system either.


Any ideas on what might be causing this slowdown? Other things I should look at?

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Plex Media Server could be causing a slowdown if it is scanning the drive for media files and indexing them and creating thumbnails of the files if it has that facility. However I wouldn't have thought it would still be performing that task still unless you have an extremely large media collection.


Another possibility is that the physical disk is starting to fail. Have you had Windows check the disk for errors? Try running the check at the strongest setting.


Checking the Windows Event Logs to see if there are any entries there related to the hard disk may also give an indication if there are physical problems.

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Good suggestion - when I checked for errors in the Windows event logs - I found only messages reporting that the drive was healthy:

"Volume C: (\Device\HarddiskVolume4) is healthy.  No action is needed."

I will force a chkdsk as you suggest - but I doubt very seriously that is the problem. I would not have thought that the Plex server would be the cause of this either - it is idle most of the time on my machine - when I look at its event logs - they are pretty sparse. It does a scan of my NAS shared folder where my movies are store every so often - but I have not made any updates to even cause it to do any real work during those scans. And those scans complete in minutes.


I do have a large photo collection - which I had Plex scan - so perhaps that has caused it? By large - I mean I have approximately 75,000 images that it would have scanned. I actually have over 150,000 raw files - but only 75,000 have been exported as jpegs to show on TV's etc - which I had Plex scan to be able to show them.


If that is a possibility - I could try removing the photos out of the Plex library - which theoretically would cause it to remove that data that it created when it indexed them.

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Plex Media Server in only likely to interfere if it is performing an intensive operation — scanning media, transcoding media, thumbnailing media — on the volume that Retrospect is trying to create the snapshot. Another think Plex could have done is create hidden folders on the affected volume for thumbnails. Unless you have Windows Explorer set to show hidden files and folders they will be invisible to you but Retrospect will still see them. (I'm not familiar with Plex but I have seen this behaviour in other media servers.)


Another item to check is antivirus software interference. I have experienced both backup and/or snapshot creation slowdowns due to over enthusiastic antivirus software and solved them by excluding the Retrospect processes from monitoring by the antivirus. This is possible to do with the antivirus built into Windows 8.1.

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  • 5 months later...

Sorry been tied up on other things - but I am still experiencing this problem. I will check into the settings of the AV software - I am using the one built into Windows 8.1. At this point I am running Retrospect Pro on the backup machine and I am running 9.5.0 (139) client level on my Windows machine that is getting backed up. I just switched my C: drive out for a 1TB SSD - but so far no significant improvement - snapshot is taking several hours so far - still not done. Previous drive setup was a RAID 0 redundant disk array using Intel controller and 10,000 RPM WD Velociraptor drives. So don't think we are looking at a hardware issue here.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Found the answer - it turns out that it was caused by the Plex media server - but not because of any scanning activity that it was doing - but rather due to the large # of thumbnails that it created to serve up all of my digital photo albums. This created a large # of files and degraded the performance of the snapshot creation by over 4 hours. After I uninstalled Plex server and removed the (stored under AppData) data created by this app - the snapshot creation time went from 5 hrs to 27 minutes.

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If I read your original post correctly the Plex Media Server is on a client machine. If Plex stores all the thumbnails in one or two folders, and you can live with no backup of them, it is possible to set the Retrospect Client to ignore the thumbnails folders.


On the client machine open the Retrospect Client Control Panel and go to the Privacy tab. Click the Add button, navigate to the thumbnails folder then click Select Folder. Click Apply to save the new configuration. Any folders listed on the Privacy tab will now be ignored.


I use this technique to hide from Retrospect things like Adobe Lightroom's previews files, AV definitions files and Camera RAW cache.

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Yes - I certainly could do that - at this point - I have moved it over to my NAS machine - so I was able to uninstall it from this client machine and remove all of that data. Like you I already have this client ignoring files like Lightroom previews which I also have installed on this machine. If I had decided to leave Plex on this machine I would certainly have done as you described - simple enough. I am sure that had I not included all of my pics in what Plex was serving up it would not have been anywhere near the problem...thanks for the suggestion - hopefully others will benefit from this thread if they happen to have Plex installed on a Retrospect client box.

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