62113: Acronis Active Protection slows down applications without a valid digital signature that modify many files in a short period of time

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Operating Systems: 

Symptom

A third-party application runs slowly if Acronis True Image is installed.

Only those applications are affected, whose executable files (.exe) do not have a valid digital signature, AND modify a lot of files in a small period of time as part of its normal work.

To check if an executable file has a valid digital signature or not, follow the steps below:

  1. Locate the executable file in File Explorer. For that:
    1. Press a combination of keys Ctrl+Shift+Esc on keyboard to launch Windows Task manager
    2. Right-click the application that you want to check and select "Open file location". It will open the folder with the executable file.
  2. Right-click the application file and select Properties
  3. See if there is a tab "Digital signatures" in the file properties.
    1. If there is no such tab, it means that the application does not have a valid digital signature and this article applies.
      Note: 7-Zip File Manager on the picture below is taken purely as an example to illustrate how an application without a valid digital signature would look like. Acronis True Image is fully compatible with 7-Zip File Manager and does not cause any performance degradation in it.
    2. If there is that tab, click on the signatures in the list and click "Details" to check each signature:
      1. If you see "This digital signature is OK" status, it indicates that the application has a valid digital signature and this article does not apply.
        Note: TrueImage.exe on the picture below is taken as an example to demonstrate how a file with a valid digital signature would look like. Do not select TrueImage.exe in your case. Check the application that became slow instead.
      2. If you see the status text "This digital signature is not valid", then instructions from this article apply.

Cause

As part of its data protection mechanism, Active Protection creates snapshots (mini-backups, deleted on reboot) of files that programs without a valid digital signature modify. Each time such program tries to modify a file, Active Protection first creates a snapshot of the file that is about to be modified, and only after the snapshot is created the changes are actually written to the disk.

If a legitimate program needs to modify a lot of files in a short period of time as a part of its normal work, the delay produced by snapshots creation from Active Protection becomes noticeable.

Applications with valid digital signatures are not monitored for this behavior and are not affected by the issue.

An example of affected program is Native Instruments' Traktor Pro 2. It is a legitimate application, quickly changing a lot of files at C:\Users\<user name>\Documents\Native Instruments\Traktor 2.11.0\Transients\ as part of its normal functioning. The executable file C:\Program Files\Native Instruments\Traktor 2\Traktor.exe does not have a valid digital signature, and is monitored by Active Protection by default. Active Protection prevents Traktor Pro 2 from modifying the file, before a snapshot of that file is completed, causing a visible slowdown. Solution is described down below.

Solution

Whitelist the executable or executables of the program that you are sure is legitimate, but started working slowly with Acronis True Image installation. This will lift the monitoring from Active Protection and the whitelisted program will become as fast as it was before Acronis True Image was installed.

Follow the steps below to add the program to Active Protection exclusions:

  1. Open Acronis True Image and select Active Protection in the menu on the left
  2. On Active Protection screen, click Manage Processes

  3. On Manage processes screen, click Monitored processes.

  4. The program without a valid digital signature will likely be present on the list. Select the executable for the program that works slowly, click Set permission and select Allowed to start.

  5. In case the program without valid digital signature is not present on the monitored processes list, you can add it to exclusions manually. On Manage processes screen, click Add, browse to the executable that you need to whitelist, select the executable and click Open. Permission should be set to Allowed to start

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