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uelef 08-06-2005 02:13 PM

Why is my backup smaller than the original HD?
I today backuped my Macintosh HD via SuperDuper! with the script "backup - all files". And now I'm a little bit confused that the clone FW disk has only 146 GB of data but my Macintosh HD has 176 GB.

Is this normal? Or is there something wrong with my backup?

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dnanian 08-06-2005 02:18 PM


If you used "Backup - all files", it sounds like your source drive was chock full of temporary and swap files. But 30GB of swap/temp is a LOT. Has it been a long time since you last restarted this machine?

uelef 08-06-2005 02:28 PM

Hey, Dave,

the fastest support I ever got... only 3 or 4 minutes.
No, I restart my Mac every day. The strange thing also is, that when I compare the shown folders of the both harddisks they almost have the same size (Applications, Applications (Mac OS 9), Library, System...).

I also have a problem with my G5 (dual 2.5 GHz with 2.5 GB RAM) that I cannot explain: It needs so much time to start with the Macintosh HD - especially the time from the login window until all autostart apps and files on my desktop are loaded. When I use the backup disk as starting volume the startup time is much shorter (about two times).
I discussed this phenomena on Mac Rumors forum ( but no-one could help me.

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dnanian 08-06-2005 03:00 PM

Sounds, perhaps, like the internal drive is heavily fragmented, Ulf. You might want to consider iDefrag or its equivalent.

Regarding the difference in copy sizes -- again, the only thing that might account for this would be a lot of temporary or swap files. That would also make sense given what you found with your own "folder check"...

uelef 08-06-2005 03:40 PM

Do you know a tool to clean up temporary and swap files? Maybe freeware?

I do not know why my harddisk should be heavily fragmented. I made a clean install with Mac OS X Tiger midth of May. And as far as I know Mac OS X automatically defrags files (except big ones).


dnanian 08-06-2005 03:50 PM

Temporary and swap files should be cleaned up automatically every time you boot, Ulf. So -- that shouldn't be the problem. But, it's hard to know what your applications do.

Your hard disk might not be fragmented... but I don't know why it'd be so much slower than an external drive, given that it's a SATA unit. I assume that its SMART status is normal...

uelef 08-06-2005 04:17 PM

I deleted all temporary and all swap files via Onyx - I also cleared log files and so on... The size of my Macintosh HD is still the same.

When I open the SystemProfiler of OS X it says that for both SATA drives I got in my G5 (a WesternDigital 200 GB with Mac OS X and a 160 GB Seagate disk with additional data) the SMART status is checked (in German it says "?berpr?ft"). So it should be normal...

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dnanian 08-06-2005 04:46 PM

Well, Ulf, as I've said elsewhere, we've never seen a case where SuperDuper! didn't copy a file it was supposed to copy. So I don't think something "bad" happened here.

Rather, I'd guess that one of the files that's being deliberately ignored is quite large. Unusually so. I can't verify that from here, but you can check for yourself by examining the copy script you're using. Every file that's being treated specially is there, and you can see if any are large on your machine.

One distinct possibility: a folder in /Volumes that has data in it, even when no drive is attached...

uelef 08-06-2005 05:08 PM

I'll check your suggestions tomorrow - it's time to go to bed in Germany.

I also checked your idea regarding the slow startup time on my G5 and downloaded the iDefrag demo - but my G5 isn't that much fragmented. I got similar values on my PowerBook G4 (1,67 GHz) that starts up much faster - although it should not be as fast as my G5 dual 2.5 GHz. On both are quite the same applications - the G5 only got a lot more of data on its disks.

Thanks for suggestions, Ulf
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dnanian 08-06-2005 05:14 PM

Hm. Well, it's also possible that waiting for drives to spin up can make hitting the desktop slower. But that wouldn't explain slower boot.

This might just be "one of those things", Ulf. If stuff is working well, and you're not noticing slowness in general, I'd probably just live with the few extra seconds on boot...

uelef 08-06-2005 05:34 PM

Well, I guess I really have to live with that problem... Apps do not show any slowness. I work e.g. with Logic 7.1 that needs a lot of CPU power and everything is ok.

I'm asking myself if maybe my Western Digital Harddisk is not ok. The boot time problem exists since I installed Tiger - and this was the first time I used this disk as boot disk. On Panther I used the original Seagate drive that now is my second HD.
Problems with the Western Digital HD could also explain why the startup time from a firewire clone is faster. But how can I check my suggestion? Checking my disk with the Mac OS X Disk Utility (I don't know how it's named in English) I got no error - also when I use the Hardware Diagnosis CD that was delivered with my G5.

I'm a bit annoyed: I own one of the fastest G5 and spent a lot of money for it - and the startup time is much slower than on my PowerBook.

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dnanian 08-06-2005 05:43 PM

I understand your frustration, but fortunately there's a lot more to your machine than just startup performance!

uelef 08-06-2005 05:49 PM

You're right, Dave. But now it's really time to go to bed. Thanks for your fast and many answers! I'll get some more testing regarding the HD size tomorrow.


davecc 08-06-2005 06:12 PM


My experiences with the Western Digital HD are bad as it crashed on my brand new 1 month G5 2.7 hence the reason I got SuperDuper. I replaced it with two 300GB Maxtor DiamondMax 10 7200RPM SATA II HD drives and have found a significant boost in boot times and general performances. My advice to you is to remove the WD HD as it has a hight failure rate on the G5 range.
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dnanian 08-06-2005 06:51 PM

Along these lines, I'd actually suggest the Max Line III, rather than the Diamond Max drives. They're rated to have a 24-hour duty cycle...

Many swear by the Seagate drives, too.

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