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I want to Zip and backup my wwwroot folder which has around 127 sites and 2.74 GB of data. How long could it take to Zip a folder of this size (appx. 94,329 files and 23,368 folders) and is it safe to maintain Zip archives this way?

(I could have tried this but didn't want to do so if it takes hours and hours! I'm on Windows 7 RC).

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closed as not a real question by studiohack Jun 11 '11 at 3:57

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Here's a question for you: why didn't you just ask if it were safe or even better, just try it out. You won't loose you files, since a zip file contains copies, not the originals. – KdgDev Aug 31 '09 at 23:32
Yes, thanks I was rushing out of office at the time. And thought I'd get some great responses. – ymasood Sep 1 '09 at 8:32
up vote 5 down vote accepted

How long does it take to Zip a folder of this size (appx. 100,000 files)?

how long is a piece of string? :)

that depends on the specifications of the computer and the type of data.

is it safe to maintain Zip archives this way?

perfectly safe, ZIP archives don't deteriorate :)

in fact, many backup programs use ZIP compression.

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Thanks! :) Any personal experiences on how long something similar took you? :) – ymasood Aug 31 '09 at 22:15
i can zip a few movies or MP3 files sized 3 GB in less than 10 minutes, even faster if i don't check for CRC errors after the compression, but that's not the point, if you have a gazillion of small files that compress well it takes much longer. there IS no telling, just zip it (no pun intended :). – Molly7244 Aug 31 '09 at 22:37
Molly, thanks, I tried zipping using the Windows 7 interface and it graciously failed since it found some unwanted characters in a couple of PDF files, astonishingly ')' which I guess is a restricted character when it comes to zip? Not sure, but I'm using WinRar to rar the files and so far it's going great! – ymasood Sep 1 '09 at 9:17
very good, but again there is no definite answer to the questuion how long it will take to archive 3 GB with WinRAR. :) – Molly7244 Sep 1 '09 at 11:51
Took me 40 minutes! But I agree there's no definite answer here. :) – ymasood Sep 1 '09 at 12:28

Difficult to answer because it depends on the contents of those sites. A site with lots of JPG images will probably compress faster but result in bigger files since there isn't much left to compress. Sites with lots of sources and text files will take a bit longer because they're giving a better compression rate. The speed of your computer, number of processors, speed of the hard disk, amount of free disk space and lots of other factors will eat away your time.

But to get an indication, how long would it take to copy those folders to another location on the same disk? Disk access tends to be the most time-consuming action with compression.

If you ask me, go ZIP it all, get some coffee, wait for it to cool down before drinking and then look if it's done. In the worst case, you're going to need a second cup of coffee...

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Just checked on my system, which compressed 6 GB in about 10 minutes. I like my coffee a bit cool, slightly warmer than body temperature. – Wim ten Brink Aug 31 '09 at 22:33
Thank you, as I'm back at work now I'll give it a shot! – ymasood Sep 1 '09 at 8:31

exactly what I was saying to you ...

I use :

zip (low compression) for low importance stuff and for sending to newbies (better than no compression)

rar (middle compression) for important stuff in a direct network or straigt on a media support ... (network, media supports)

7z (high compression) when I want it highly compressed to put online and I have time to wait to upload faster with less bandwith ... (internet mostly)

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zillion, thanks again. A suggestion, instead of posting a new answer again, use the add comment link below each post. – ymasood Sep 1 '09 at 10:53

zip format is less secure (old and outdated)

rar format is the most used cause it's pretty secure (hackers love it for years)

7z is the best for high compression when you need space and pretty secure (open source also)

speed will depend of the program used and the level of compression, but less isn't more if you need space badly ...

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zillion, this gives me an idea and I'll try it both zip and rar (which had missed my mind). I haven't heard of 7z so far (saw a few questions posted about it) and would love to know which Windows software can I use (for 7z). Thanks in advance! – ymasood Sep 1 '09 at 9:15

ymasood is nothing, but for 7z it's less used but 7zip handle rar also like winrar handle 7z also ... 7zip is open source, less simple but more up-to-date all the time ...

7z is impressing when you see 1 Gb of windows drivers compressed into 100-300 Mb (seen on driverpacks website)

rar are common in warez releases by hackers and used worldwide also

zip is still used cause from windows xp, every windows can open it without additional software ... (can't zip files just unpack a zip)

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zillion, thanks for all this great information. I must add that Windows can zip files if you use the right mouse click and Send them to a compressed folder. I think that works on XP and all other versions there after. – ymasood Sep 1 '09 at 9:49

Running Windows 7's default Zip capability was no use (it ran into problems over unknown chartacters in some files) as described above.

I Rar-ed the file using WinRar and it took around 40 minutes for the entire file to be created without errors. Thanks and this seems to be a quick way of making backups.

Copying that many files from one drive to another (without compression) is a pain. Thanks!

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