I ran into a strange problem with Windows 7 Backup & Restore.

I've got the following setup:

  • Internal ssd with c: (system), 80GB
  • Internal hard drive e: (data), 320GB, 100GB used
  • External hard drive (3TB) with three partitions: g:, h: and I:

g: and h: have data (mainly movies), I: is my backup partition for Windows Backup & Restore.

In the Backup & Restore control panel, under 'change settings', g: and h: are unchecked (--> no backup for g: and h:). Nevertheless, when I choose 'restore my files', g: and h: appear in the files that can be restored, with many movies that are on those two partitions. Consequently, my backup file is ~500GB and I almost reached the limit of my backup partition. Also, backup takes ages (~1 hour, without system image) to complete.

So here are my questions:

  1. How can I exclude partion g: and h: from being backuped? What else could I try, except unchecking these participions under 'change settings'?
  2. I wouldn't like to have a 500GB backup file for my 100GB data disk (e:). How can I delete all the movies from g: and h: without deleting the backups of e:?


  • 'Include a system image of drives: System reserved, C:' is unchecked in the backup settings.
  • I'm sure that on neither g: nor h: are any programs, system files or installed services. Data consists of exclusively movies and music.

Edit 2:

Thanks for all the answers. None of the proposed solutions worked in my case. I finally solved the problem by formatting partition h: of my external hard drive. I then chose this partition as my backup drive, with exactly the same settings, and everything worked as expected (~150GB backup size, 10-15 minutes for incremental backup). Why? No idea...

I marked Nick Josevskis answer as the right one, because it might help others with the same problem.

PS: Sorry, don't have enough reputation to up-vote your answers.

  • Good to see it's fixed, strange that it required a format. – Nick Josevski Jul 26 '11 at 3:53

As a separate answer to other one I posted:

Have you created any symbolic links / junctions from folders on drive C: that maps to your other drives?

For reference see:


After a quick search I found this tool to help find them, there may be others (note: I have not used this tool so proceed with caution).



I had a similar issue and posted this question:

How to stop Windows 7 Built-in-Backup creating a System Image of too many drives?

My problem was due to a service/application installed on the other drives, in my case it was other backup software.

So my advice is to search for anything that's possibly installed on the other drives, including checking for services in 'Computer Management > Services and Applications > Services>'

  • Here's the same comment I put to another question: Thanks for your answer. However, I'm sure no system files/applications are on those partitions. Also, I don't want to make a system image, but just data backup. I edited the originial question with those remarks. – donodarazao Jul 18 '11 at 3:42

Do you have any system files on those partitions, such as page files?

It is possible that something crucial is on those drives. Do they have any programs installed there? If so, they will need to be moved to the system partition. There is no advantage to installing programs elsewhere since they wold all need to be reinstalled anyway if you reinstalled Windows, and it is simpler to back them up at the same time from the system drive.

  • Thanks for the answer. However, I'm sure no system files are on those partitions. Also, I don't want to make a system image, but just data backup. I edited the originial question with those remarks. – donodarazao Jul 18 '11 at 3:42

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.