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2stepbay 09-20-2005 12:09 PM

SuperDuper vs Tiger - slower backups?
Since upgrading to Tiger from Panther, my bu time for cloning my HD has increased from 8+ minutes to over 17 minutes. The last 3 backups have been around 17:30. Other than Tiger, there has been no significant addition to the system. Also, I am not indexing my external HD via Spotlight.

Wondering if anyone else has experienced similar?

dnanian 09-20-2005 12:41 PM

Yes, it's not uncommon. Floating files are handled differently by Tiger, and it confuses SD! As such, all floating files look like they've changed every time, and we copy them.

To fix this, you need to lock down ownership -- likely in your Home folder. You can do so with the "chown" command, if you know how to use that... I can give some basic instructions to help out, too.

Once that's been fixed up, your 2nd and subsequent backups after the lockdown should be fast again.

2stepbay 09-20-2005 02:54 PM

SD vs Tiger - Chown Command
[QUOTE=dnanian]To fix this, you need to lock down ownership -- likely in your Home folder. You can do so with the "chown" command, if you know how to use that... I can give some basic instructions to help out, too.[QUOTE]

Thanks Dave. Sounds like a Terminal command? :eek: Appreciate any direction you can offer.

Does version 2.0 adjust for the floating files? or is the chown command enough?

I appreciate the updated info about v2.0. I like the screen shots. Very generous of you to offer it as a no charge upgrade. :cool:

I think SD is a much more efficient way to clone than what the competitors offer. Thanks again for your attention to the detail.

dnanian 09-20-2005 04:36 PM

We've figured out another way to handle floating files under Tiger in v2.0, so this isn't a problem. (They changed things in Tiger, and -- unknown to us -- that messed up our previous floating detection.) So, if you don't want to do this, you can wait.

If you don't mind doing it, here's how. First, start Terminal. By default, Terminal starts in your Home folder: that's where we want it to be.

Determine your User ID and Group ID with the following command:


(Just copy/paste.) That'll give you output like:

uid=501(dnanian) gid=501(dnanian) groups=501(dnanian), 81(appserveradm), 79(appserverusr), 80(admin)

So, on this machine, my user id (uid) is 501 and my group id (gid) is 501. That's what I want my personal files owned by (I'm assuming here that you keep your personal files in your Home folder, as you should under OSX -- if that's not the case, let me know). To accomplish that, I use chown as follows:

sudo chown -R 501:501 *

Substitute your uid and gid as appropriate -- you want uid:gid in that command (so mine is 501:501). Note that you will have to enter your password when prompted -- it won't echo. that's normal.

In English, that command says "as the super user, change the owner of all files in this folder and all folders contained here, to user id 501 and group id 501".

Once that's done, do your backup twice. The 2nd time, it should be back to normal speeds.

Let me know if that makes some sense.

2stepbay 09-21-2005 05:47 AM

Floating Files
Thanks for the Terminal guidance. My nos. were the same as those listed for you. Wondering if this change is undone if I repair permissions?

After change first time backup was 19:40, second 13:37. I'll try again tomorrow. In Panther, my backup times were around 8 minutes.

Thanks again Dave.

dnanian 09-21-2005 08:31 AM

Well, if your backup times are still longer than expected, there are two possibilities:

- You've got Spotlight on, and it's scanning a lot during the backup
- You've got floating files somewhere other than your Home folder

So, do you store personal files in a different location?

2stepbay 09-21-2005 03:58 PM

All personal files are in my home folder.

Yes, spotlight is running in the background, however, I have the various external partitions set up in Spotlight's privacy pane, as I don't need them indexed.

I have noticed after cloning onto one of the partitions, that partition is deleted from Spotlight's privacy pane. Spotlight then starts to index the partition, until I drag the partition into the privacy pane. Is this a Tiger bug, or is it something v2 resolves?


sjk 09-21-2005 05:29 PM


Originally Posted by dnanian
sudo chown -R 501:501 *

Shouldn't that be:

sudo chown -R 501:501 .

... to include any hidden dotfiles?

dnanian 09-21-2005 06:22 PM

(Yes, strictly speaking, it should, but I don't think his problem has to do with hidden dotfiles.)

dnanian 09-21-2005 06:24 PM

We've got a script that specifically turns spotlight off for the destination volume: see the FAQ. v2.0 automatically disables spotlight during the backup, and restores the state when it's done, so it's handled differently...

2stepbay 09-21-2005 08:28 PM

Tiger vs SD
Thanks for the script.

Before inserting the script the last bu took 15:04, after installing the script 16:23. Hmmmmm. I'll try it again. Double hmmmm. This time it took 25:24. :confused:

I think I'm going to wait for version 2. It's really not that big a deal. Very glad to have a reliable clone. It's come in very handy on a few occasions.

dnanian 09-21-2005 09:30 PM

That doesn't make much sense, actually. Do you have something else hanging around that might be interfering with file copies?

Have you tried doing your backup in Safe mode (shift-boot) to see what happens?

2stepbay 09-23-2005 10:38 PM

Safe Mode vs Standard Mode

Do you have something else hanging around that might be interfering with file copies? Have you tried doing your backup in Safe mode (shift-boot) to see what happens?
Finally found the time to run the backup in Safe Mode: Here's the result -

Safe Mode - time 9:26
Standard Mode: 3 consecutive backups - 15:26, 19:03, 17:21

Any suggestions about what might be "hanging around"? I have all of my personal files in my User Account. All applications are in the application file. No Nortons or Virex apps. Tiger seems slow when shutting down or on the restart. Seems to take time for all the screens to clear and the restart to begin - much slower than Panther. I have two other user accounts set up. One with very tight restrictions (guest use of the computer) and the other as a mirror of my personal account to use for testing applications in case of odd behavior. Also, using Dashboard, with about 21 widgets on the screen. Spotlight is indexing only the HD. External partitions are excluded.

As you previously suggested I have added the apple script to shut off indexing. Didn't seem to have much affect on the time.

I have run Disk Warrior. Directory is OK. Prior to running the above tests, I repaired permissions, cron scripts, but did not clear the cache files.

Well, that's the weather report. Thanks for the help.

PS You could make this process a whole lot easier by releasing Version 2. ;) :eek:

dnanian 09-23-2005 10:59 PM

That certainly says "Spotlight" to me, although it could be some other kernel extension or similar. Why don't you generate a System Profiler report and send it to me at the support address... maybe there's something there that'll look suspicious.

2stepbay 09-25-2005 01:19 PM

Backup with Haxies Disabled
As suggested in your e-mail, I disabled the Unsanity Haxies. BU was 11:43 - fastest time yet! vs the 15 - 17 minute with Haxies on. Still slower than my Panther times of 7 - 8 minutes.

Wondering if version 2 addresses the slow down effect of the haxies?

Thanks for the followup Dave.

dnanian 09-25-2005 02:37 PM

I have no plans to make any modifications at all to address any issues with Haxies: that's the obligation of the Haxie developer. If the Haxie significantly affects performance, as it does in this case, the Haxie itself needs to be optimized.

The other delay is, I'm guessing, the effect of Spotlight, given that it was significantly faster in Safe Mode (which disables Spotlight). v2.0 does disable spotlight during the backup, so that will likely help with this.

2stepbay 09-25-2005 07:36 PM

Thanks for the explanation and clarification. I understand your position. As a developer I guess you would go a bit nuts trying to workaround different 3rd party items, especially those having deficient coding

So either the Unsanity products have not been optimized correctly for Tiger, or Tiger treats them differently than Panther (don't know enough about programming to make an educated guess). I e-mailed the developers of Unsanity about this situation. I'll let you know what they say.

I guess for the moment, I either disable the haxie before running SuperDuper, or I just live with the slowdown. :(

dnanian 09-25-2005 08:33 PM

I don't mean to be harsh about the haxies, but if it's slowing things down, it needs to not do that... my guess is that this is the Labels haxie, so I'd try to turn that particular one...

2stepbay 09-26-2005 11:00 AM

Label Haxie
Your guess is spot on. When I disabled the Label Haxie, backup time dropped to about 10 minutes. I've sent a second e-mail to Unsanity about this situation. Stay tuned....

dnanian 09-26-2005 11:17 AM

Thought it might be. Thanks for letting me (and anyone else who might be experiencing a similar problem) know!

brich 09-26-2005 06:18 PM

I'm using Unsanity's Fruit Menu with APE in Tiger, and I find that my incremental backup speed seems fine...even better after applying the chown suggestion...just as a point of additional info re haxies and SuperDuper.

dnanian 09-26-2005 06:26 PM

Right, brich: it's not so much haxies, but file-system-interfering haxies (which, if you think about it, Labels is...)

2stepbay 09-28-2005 01:12 PM

Getting to the core
Well here are two responses from Unsanity regarding the effect "Labels" may have on the SuperDuper cloning process:

Response #1: "Is Labels X the only haxie you have installed? Labels X shouldn't affect the speed of backing up at all. Especially since I believe SuperDuper runs a tool as root (which APE won't affect)."

My reply: (in part) "The only Haxies I'm using are Unsanity's. Besides Ape, I'm using Fruit Menu, Clear Dock and Labels. When I have disabled Fruit Menu, there is no change in the backup speed. Same with Clear Dock. However, when I disable Labels, my backup speed improves 100% from approximately 20 minutes to 10 minutes."

Unsanity's reply: "Labels X doesn't touch the file system. HFS+ directly supports Labels so there is no reason whatsoever for it to interfere with the file system. The only time Labels X does anything is when drawing icons. Does SuperDuper show the icon of every single file it is backing up while it is backing up? I just tried SuperDuper using a complete backup to disk image and it uses a root tool (SVUclone) to do it's copying. APEs will *not* affect root processes so nothing LX does could be affecting its speed. Have you tried running SuperDuper and minimizing the window with the progress bar?"

Funny thing happened as I was typing this post. I had a look at the HD location for the various haxies. Fruit Menu and Clear Dock were in /library/application enhancers, while Labels was located at ~/library/application enhancers (disabled). At first I thought the extended time factor might be due to Labels being in a User Library vs the other two in the /Library. So I enabled Labels again, logged in and ran SuperDuper. This time the backup was just under 11 minutes. Hmmmm, which is the approximate time experienced after disabling Labels. Go figure. Perhaps disabling/re-enabling the haxie reset something, or changed one of the system markers? In the meantime, I'm going to relocate Labels to /library and try another clone.

After moving Labels to /Library/Application Enhancers, clone was 11:26, a bit slower than the last one, however, much improved from the earlier clones.

Comments? Thanks Dave

dnanian 09-28-2005 04:47 PM

Perhaps more was changing run-to-run than you thought? Or, maybe, it was spotlight?

2stepbay 09-28-2005 09:42 PM


Originally Posted by dnanian
Perhaps more was changing run-to-run than you thought? Or, maybe, it was spotlight?

Possibly. However, I cloned the HD 3 consecutive times (no other system activity), and each time the elapsed clone time varied from the previous clone (15, 17 20+ minutes). At this point I disabled "labels". Afterward, the subsequent clone time dropped significantly to around 10 - 11 minutes. Sure seemed like "labels" was the culprit.

The oddest part is after re-enabling "labels", the clone time remained pretty much around 10 - 11 minutes, even though there were changes to unrelated files. That sure tells me something odd was happening. I don't think its spotlight, given I included your "shut off" Script prior to cloning.

If anything strange happens I'll let you know.

As I use Tiger I realize there are still quirks in its operation. Perhaps, all this changes with 10.4.3. In the meantime, I'm glad to see the shorter clone time. Thank you for your help. Appreciate it.

On another note, during this protracted process, I ran Disk Warrior from one of my partitioned clones checking my HD directory. As the system booted I realized I don't really need all the add-ons for simply running DW. Basically, I'd like to create a cloned partition that has a very basic Tiger installed (I'd remove the User files, most applications etc.). Is there a simple way to do this, or would I simply install Tiger on the partition and modify it from there. Thanks.

dnanian 09-28-2005 09:55 PM

I'd just do the latter...

sjk 09-29-2005 05:24 AM

Not that it matters, but Unsanity just released Labels X 1.7.1.

dnanian 09-29-2005 07:42 AM

Yep, saw that. Supposedly a drawing fix more than anything else.

Another thing I was thinking of, 2stepbay: you might want to ensure all Finder windows are closed. Perhaps -- even perhaps due to the Haxie -- the window itself is drawing more often, or differently, and that's causing CPU to be used?

2stepbay 09-29-2005 10:54 AM

Yeah, I saw the update to Labels...things that make you say hmmmmmmm. :rolleyes:

I'll make sure all finder windows are closed before the clone. If I notice a significant change in BU time, I'll post back.

On to Version 2! :cool: the holidaze are coming, you know! ;)

dnanian 09-29-2005 11:09 AM

Yes -- SuperDuper!, the gift that keeps on giving? ;)

Keep a look on the blog... I'll be posting something about v2.0's progress again soon.

2stepbay 09-30-2005 07:03 PM

After updating to the latest version of labels, and closing all finder windows before cloning, SuperDuper cloned the HD in 15 minutes. A second clone immediately following the first cloned at 14 minutes. Now that's what I call progress!??? :confused: Perhaps Unsanity thought I said I wanted longer clone times! :p

My sense, if I have any left :eek: is to wait for 10.4.3 before going any further with this process. This is seeming more and more like a rabbit hole.

Anyway, I'm going to Japan for 3 weeks, so being away from computer-land may offer me some new perspectives about life without computers. Of course, in my absence there will probably be a rash of updates/upgrades to my various apps. creating quite a steep "learning-curve" for when I return, and of course rapidly dissolving my new perspectives. ;)

Clone-on, warp 9. :cool:

dnanian 09-30-2005 11:22 PM

Yeah. It's hard to know what's affecting your times. Have you looked in Activity Monitor to see if any processes are taking up a significant amount of time?

Or -- wait until you return... and enjoy Japan!

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