• Image just takes too long – what to do?

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    Using the free version.  Have a 1tb ssd as my main hard drive in my oldie but goodie acer laptop.  I backup using karenware replicator through our network to a hard drive on my router.  But I decided to try to keep a recent image backup.

    I plugged in a usb3 hard disk, and macrium said it would take something like 40 hours.  So I gave up on that, and bought a super fast MicroSDXC card with adaptor, and plugged that into the SD slot on my laptop.  Still takes 40 hours.

    Running the image backup anyway.  If it runs even on lowest priority (using the slider) while I’m using the laptop, the laptop is basically unusably laggy.  So I’ve been pausing the backup every morning and un-pausing every night (using the macrium interface button).  So far it has run for 2 nights, and it is at 56%

    So my question is, is there anyway to do an image backup of a 1 tb laptop hard drive that will not take 40 hours?

    Viewing 11 reply threads
    • #2394162

      I have a 2TB HDD installed in my system and I back it up to a USB 3 HDD. The internal HDD is about half full. Macrium Reflect Free V7 does not take 40 hours to produce an image. You should check the options for your image backup. For example, are you using Intelligent sector copy and compression? Also, have you excluded the Macrium binaries from any real-time anti-virus checking? Anti-virus software can slow down the imaging process.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2394193


      Are you sure you’re plugging the USB 3 HDD into a USB 3 port?

      I do all of my Macrium Reflect Images using a UDB 3 HDD Dock and bare 3.5″ drives.
      The last images I took of my main driver took 52 minutes to backup 2 SSD drives:

      Drive                               Disk Size Parti GPT      
       No.  Name                      SSD      / GB tions MBR Boot  Data Bus
      ----- -----                     --- --------- ----- --- ----- ---------
        0   Samsung SSD 960           Yes    232.89     5 GPT Yes   NVMe
        1   Samsung SSD 850 PRO 256GB Yes    238.47     1 GPT       SATA

      I’m using Reflect 6.3.1865 Home controlled by a PowerShell script I wrote to automate the process. I haven’t moved to v7 because the free version won’t exit to a calling version and I can’t see paying for an upgrade when I don’t need any of the features it offers.
      Here’s the report my PS script puts out.

      HTH 😎

      May the Forces of good computing be with you!


      PowerShell & VBA Rule!
      Computer Specs

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2394272

      Network constraint?
      Router: USB 3 or USB 2?

    • #2394274

      So my question is, is there anyway to do an image backup of a 1 tb laptop hard drive that will not take 40 hours?

      Specs on your machine?

      I have a 1TB boot drive that I can image directly with Reflect 7 to a USB3 WD Elements drive in about 40 minutes.

      Windows 10 Pro 22H2

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    • #2394385


      I also have a oldie but goodie Acer laptop (i3 processor, vintage 2010 originally Win 7). I added a SATA 3 SSD and have several USB 3 external drives for backups. However, my PC only supports SATA 2 and all USB ports are USB 2, hence SATA 3 SSD runs no faster than SATA 2 speed and USB 3 device runs at best at USB 2 speed.

      That said, an image of the 500GB SSD (about 150 GB used) with Macrium Reflect Free V7.3 on this system takes about 1 hour (2 with Verification active).

      Have you run Task Manager, Performance tab, to see where the highest resource usage is (probably the USB drive)? For disks, the Read and Write speeds are good indicators.

      Downloading HWInfo will permit you to run an analysis of your hardware if you are unfamiliar with its specs. On my system, it confirms the SATA and USB information I outlined above.

      Hope this helped. Regards,


      • This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by Phil F.
      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2394709

        That was going to be my question. Does the laptop have USB 3 capability? It sounds like it might not. It is likely that the card reader/writer also uses USB 2 (sometimes this is the case even on laptops that definitely do have USB 3… my Dell Inspiron 11 is that way, for one, and it’s from 2017).

        If the laptop has a gigabit ethernet port, that would be faster than trying to use USB 2. My 2008 Asus laptop is that way… no USB 2, but it does have gigabit. You might also be able to swap in a faster wireless card if you would rather do it that way (which I also did with the old Asus).

        Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, KDE Neon
        XPG Xenia 15, i7-9750H/16GB & GTX1660ti, KDE Neon
        Acer Swift Go 14, i5-1335U/16GB, KDE Neon

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    • #2394399

      Image just takes too long – what to do?

      Firstly, I’d explain to any would-be helper what exactly you are doing (the process/what options used) after you have connected the external drive and after you have opened Macrium Reflect.

      If I have a drive that I intend to Image that is 1TB C Drive (592GB Free) and if I use the wrong options/select the wrong drives to Image, I can have a time of 112 hours, as in the example below.
      If I select the drive I actually want to Image, then that time comes down to 47 Minutes!

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2395012

      Thanks for the input everyone.

      My laptop is an Acer Aspire V17 Nitro Black.  Aspire Vn7-791G 76Z8

      I’m 99.7% sure it has 2 usb2 ports and 2 usb3 ports.  2 of the ports have blue inside them and I believe that means USB3.  Not sure how I would tell which are which otherwise.

      I plugged in a 1tb MicroSDXC card with adapter into the SD slot and backed up to that.  This took 40+ hours.

      I have a WD internal hard drive in a cheapie plastic external usb enclosure, with USB3 connectors on it. This also takes 40 hours (I did not let it finish).  The enclosure is no longer sold on amazon (404) but This was the item description: 2.5 inch Hard Drive Enclosure QGeem SATA to USB 3.0 HDD Box for Samsung Seagate SSD 1TB 2TB External HDD Case.  Found it on aliexpress though: https://www.aliexpress.com/i/32824723962.html

      It might be the SD slot is super slow compared to usb3.  It might be I’m using the wrong USB port (2 instead of 3) – how to tell which is which?  It might be my cheapie plastic external usb hard drive case is not true USB3 even though it has a usb3 connector and claims to be.

    • #2395481

      A little updated in case anyone is still trying to help me.  I plugged in a definitely USB3 seagate expansion drive, and ran a backup.  It started fast then slowed down to 40 hours.

      I wonder if it is the kind of M.2 drive I updated to.  My i7 laptop is a few years old and can’t use the latest M.2 drives.  This is the one I used: https://amzn.to/3iUWuq4

      Western Digital 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND Internal PC SSD – SATA III 6 Gb/s, M.2 2280, Up to 560 MB/s – WDS100T2B0B


      • #2395520

        Have you tested another image app like EaseUS Todo Backup…or Microsoft build-in backup..

      • #2395542

        Your image backup should be taking minutes, rather than hours. Even if the drives and interfaces are older gen, they shouldn’t be taking that long to copy data.

        Have you run any read/write performance benchmark tests on those drives, both the internal M.2 and the external USB? Sounds almost like something hardware related may be running very poorly, and not the backup software.

        One useful free utility for benchmarking is the simple CrystalDiskMark. https://crystalmark.info/en/software/crystaldiskmark/

        Just download the “CrystalDiskMark8_0_4.zip” file, and unzip. No installer needed. It is portable.

        When run it, you can select the drive letter that you want to test.

        There are for executable files provided in the standard edition, and I only use “DiskMark64.exe : 64bit (x64)”.

        == Standard Edition ==
        DiskMark32.exe : 32bit (x86)
        DiskMark64.exe : 64bit (x64)
        DiskMarkA32.exe : 32bit (ARM32)
        DiskMarkA64.exe : 64bit (ARM64)

        Windows 10 Pro 22H2

    • #2395552

      All this time, I have to ask, is the backup you are doing sector by sector, or is it a compressed image.
      Using Macrium Reflect 7 on a Win7 machine, I just did a 1T 5400RPM spinner with medium compression and verification, and it only took around 1 1/2 hours.

    • #2395589

      I ran the crystalmark as you suggested but not sure how to interpret it.  Please see the attached.

      Those results are from CrystalDiskInfo. I use that one too, and it’s good to see if your general drive health is OK.

      But I meant for you to run CrystalDiskMark in order to see the actual drive throughput for your disk reads and writes.

      Your main concern in this regard would be the read speed from the C: drive and the write speed to the external drive, which is the primary direction of data flow during a full disk imaging process.

      Like this CrystalDiskMark example for my C: drive shows:

      Windows 10 Pro 22H2

      • #2395596

        Oops.  Thanks for your patience.  Attached.

        • #2395610

          Wow! Your numbers don’t look too different from mine. Scratching my head now, as your disk health and performance looks to be spot on!

          There must be something else interfering with your image. I guess it’s probably time to rule out a few other things…

          Did you realize that Windows 10 still has the built-in Windows 7 Disk image utility in the control panel? You can start an ad-hoc manual full disk image with Windows anytime using that. Could you give that a test, and see if that runs any faster?

          Control Panel > Backup and Restore (Windows 7) > Create a system image > (choose “on a hard disk”, and select your external drive for destination) > click next > verify all of your partitions on C: are selected to include > click next > if all looks good, click the ” Start backup” button.

          Windows 10 Pro 22H2

        • #2395624


          It looks to me to be something more complex than raw hardware performance in play here. I made a suggestion in an earlier post

          Have you run Task Manager, Performance tab, to see where the highest resource usage is (probably the USB drive)? For disks, the Read and Write speeds are good indicators.

          Here are a couple of screen clips taken during a stand-alone Macrium Image run on my older slower Acer laptop to illustrate:

          Since the SSD C: drive is the input to the Imaging operation, the I/Os are primarily Reads. The presence of numerous writes would be a sign of interference from another source.

          Similarly, since the USB drive is the Imaging output device, the I/Os are primarily writes. Unless Macrium is at its Verify step, you should not see many reads from the USB drive.

          So, in your case, is the Macrium job running alone, or is there other activity on the system? Are you running the backup job in a VM with limited resources, with other resource-intensive activity in other VM(s) sharing the same physical resources? Are you running your Karen Replicator backups at the same time? Is Karen’s Replicator syncing your Macrium Reflect Image to your network-attached disk on-the-fly? Is the cloud (OneDrive) in the picture somehow?

          Could you post your initial Macrium screen showing the selected disks for the Imaging run? (Should resemble this):

          It would also be interesting to see the Macrium Log from your 40-hour backup run.

          I’ve attached an example from a backup of my newer, faster ASUS Ryzen 7 laptap.

          Hope this helps. Regards,



          By the way, It’s possible to change the Macrium Reflect Defaults to display Megabytes per second (MB/s) instead of Megabits per second (Mb/s)


          1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2395654

      Have a look at this post to see how easy it is to create a ‘simple-basic’ System Image of the drive partitions needed to backup and restore Windows.


      You appear to not want to tell folks what options/settings/process you are actually using for your own reason(s). You simply are saying you have ‘ran a backup’. Just how have you done that?
      It isn’t easy for anyone to help you with this unless you say what you have done and particularly if any settings have been changed from default.

    • #2400959

      To the OP . . .

      How much RAM does your laptop have?

      Do you shut down all other applications besides Macrium Reflect on your laptop before you start making an image backup?

      Have you tried restarting your laptop before you initiate an image backup?

      Have you tried different USB cables with your connected external HDD(s)?

      We have a 2010 vintage Win7 Home Premium Gateway desktop with i3, 6GB RAM, 1TB 5400RPM HDD with 240GB of that used, all USB 2 ports. I make images to 5400RPM USB 3 portable HDDs using paid Macrium Reflect 5 Home. An image with verify typically takes about 3 1/2 hours. This is with antivirus still running in the background.


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    Reply To: Image just takes too long – what to do?

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