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Windows 7 Backup Disk Full

Using Windows 7 built in backup, it keeps filling up my 2TB hard drive and then failing once there is not enough space.

I see that I can manually delete 2-3 month old data file backups and free up space that way, but can't this be automated somehow or is the backup program just that bad?

Why would the program give preference to old backups while failing on new backups which should have priority?

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marked as duplicate by Kyle, Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Simon Sheehan, 8088, studiohack Oct 29 '11 at 19:48

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I have no idea why microsoft programmers decided to give preference to new backups over old ones... You should probably try asking them. –  Kyle Oct 28 '11 at 19:23
    
Here is a link to a windows 7 forum where someone has the same exact question with no answers... It doesn't look promising for a good answer... The keywords you want are "Windows 7" "backup retention period". The only true solution might be a new backup solution... +1 for a good question! –  David Oct 28 '11 at 19:24
    
possible duplicate of Windows 7 Backup Disk Full specifically check out this answer –  Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Oct 28 '11 at 19:58
    
How big are your backups in the first place? –  surfasb Oct 28 '11 at 22:36
    
It shouldn't really matter how big my backups are. The whole point is that as long as my backup isn't bigger than the drive, it should be able to delete older backups and keep only the newest backups as far back as available space on my drive allows. –  muhan Oct 29 '11 at 6:56

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I did a bit of searching on this awhile back. I don't have the URL to the answer I found, but it was something to the effect that if you do any sort of backup other than creating a system image, it will not overwrite/delete previous backups. So the answer was to use the "Create system image" option which appears at the right of the Windows Backup window. Alternatively, you could figure out how to script the deletion of old backups.

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I think this is the correct answer. Microsoft backup will manage space for image backups, but not for the data backups. In the official articles I've seen, they basically tell you to go in and delete older data backups manually. I don't understand why they fail on this basic simple issue. Apple's Time machine is basically set and forget, I wish I could do that with windows 7 backup. –  muhan Oct 29 '11 at 6:59

A simple Google found this page.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/What-backup-settings-should-I-use-to-maximize-my-disk-space

It's a max of 30%. But we need a little more info. How big are the harddrives? How often have you setup your backups? Is there anything else on the harddrive? Have you checked Task Scheduler to see the backup settings are correctly set?

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I went to the link, but it basically says to manually go in and delete older data backups. The point of my question was to find out if there was any way windows backup can do this for me, without me having to go in every few months and delete the oldest backups. The 30% figure is related to image files, which it does seem to automatically manage. –  muhan Oct 29 '11 at 6:53

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