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Windows 7: Windows Backup - reduce its disk space usage?

15 Jan 2010   #1
Robert Eckerlin

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Bit (German version)
 
 
Windows Backup - reduce its disk space usage?


Windows Backup Program - how can I cope with its high Disk Space usage (because it creates too frequently new Backu-up sets)?

On my new Windows 7 Ultimate PC (64 bit). I need to backup my C Partition (approximately 23 GB in the system Image created by Windows Backup) , most of the data files of my H partition (approximately 14 GB) and most of the photo files on my F Disk (approximately 120 GB).

I bought with my PC an additional 2TB internal disk, that I intend to use nearly exclusively for Backups.

I was looking forward to use Windows Backup and its excellent incremental Backup capabilities. I was intending to run the Backup program weekly and to backup with it the C partition, my data files(on H) and my photo files (on F). In addition, I was intending to create less frequently backups on large external USB disks, that I store in a Safe of my bank.

I was quite happy with my first tests of the Windows-Backup. But after running the Backup Program approximately 5 times (I do not remember exactly the number of times), I was surprised to see that the Backup program had already created a new Backup Set with a new Full Backup of approximately 123 GB. After the creation of approximately 15 Backup sets, my Backup Disk will be more or less full.

Creating a new Backup Set as frequently as the Back-Up Program did, represents an important problem for me. Because, I was intending to keep my backups for quite long time.


I will therefore appreciate very much to get some help, in order to allow me to understand how I shall reduce the amount of disk storage used by Windows Backup on my PC. Can you please tell me if one of the following solution is possible and reasonable?
1. Can I somehow reduce the frequency at which the Backup Program creates a new Backup Set? E.g. after every 10 or 15 Backups instead of after every 5 backups as was my case (note: I do not know at all, if it is typical for the Backup Program to create approximately every 5th time a Full-Backup)


2. If I can not reduce the frequency at which the Backup Program creates new Backup sets: would it make sense, that I include in the system Image (in addition to the C partition) my two other partitions/disks (in such a scenario, I will not need anymore to perform for the files/folders on these disks a File/Folder-Level backup)?

I ask this question because I assume (without being 100% sure), that for System Image backups, the Windows Backup Program will stick to "incremental backups" without reverting intermittently to full Backups. This will probably result in a huge reduction in the amount of Disk space required for the Backups.

I understand that with this method, : in order to restore individual files or Folders, I will need to mount the .vhd file containing the backup. Then I will need to use Windows Explorer to copy the files/folders from the mounted .vhd file to my H and F Disks. This seems to be an acceptable disadvantage.

But because I have not yet any real experience with Windows Backup and with .vhd Files, I will appreciate very much, if you could tell me, whether this method has substantial disadvantages and whether you need to disrecommend this method..


3. If the two above solutions are not feasible or not recommendable: would you recommend me a particular reliable File/folder Backup Software that offers a good support of incremental backups and that does not use a propriatary format for the backups?


I also have following additional questions about the .vhd Files created by Windows-Backup
4. Is my assumption correct, that EFS encrypted files/folders are stored within the .vhd Backup Files in encrypted format?
5. I have read that after a Disk defragmentation the size of Acronis True Image incremental Backup files increase substantially (because a lot of Disk sectors get changed by Defragmentation). Is this also the case with the System Images created by Windows Backup?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

15 Jan 2010   #2
richc46

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, clean install, upgrade disc
 
 

Wow a lot to read, I will answer what I know.

All schedules are handled by the task scheduler. Go to start by the windows orb and type task scheduler. Once in the scheduler there is a panel on the left. Click on the little triangles on the left of the names to open the tree, in full.

You will see system restore, you can go in and change the schedule. You can even turn the schedule off so that you can do it manually.

Do the same for windows back up.

I wil look at the rest of your post and help if I can.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jan 2010   #3
richc46

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, clean install, upgrade disc
 
 

Almost everyone here including my self uses Paragon to back up

http://www.paragon-software.com/home/db-express/


It is really good. I have used it myself to back an image of my hard drive. I update once a month in the case of a problem. I am ready.

Hope that I have helped at least a little.

Take care.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


15 Jan 2010   #4
surfasb

Windows 7
 
 

I use Acronis myself.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jan 2010   #5
richc46

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, clean install, upgrade disc
 
 

I said almost. I use paragon.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jan 2010   #6
Robert Eckerlin

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Bit (German version)
 
 

Richard
Thank You for Your answer.

I am not familiar at all with the Windows Scheduler. But I have nevertheless the impression, that it is not through Scheduler settings/definitions, that I can control/influence whether Windows Backup shall perform an "incremental Backup" vs a "Full Backup". It is my impression, that Windows Scheduler definitions control how often/when Windows Backup shall run "automatically".

If I am wrong: could you please describe me, how I can control Via Windows Scheduler definition usage of "incremental backup" vis "Full Backup"?

---
On the subject of Paragon: after reading Your post, I downloaded the User Manual of "Backup & Recovery 10 Suite" and browsed through it. I got the impression, that Paragon too (like Acronis) uses a proprietary format (a .pbf format) for his Backup files. Am I wrong?

The User Manual mentions multiple times an "Archive Database". Can the user specify that the "Archive database" be located on another partition than the C Partition?

Thanks in advance for your answer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jan 2010   #7
richc46

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, clean install, upgrade disc
 
 

Your thoughts are, indeed, correct. I presented my information in the hope that you were not familiar with my selections and that they could be of use to you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jan 2010   #8
Robert Eckerlin

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Bit (German version)
 
 

Richard, Thanks for Your answer.

Since I got the impression, that it is MS developers, who can ptrovide me answers, I made now a post at Windows Backup: Criterias used to perform a "Full Backup" as opposed to an "Incremental Backup".
(I included in that post a description of observations that i made these last hours).

I will see, whether they can help me.

------
I would like to congratulate those who are responsible-for and contribute-to sevenforums. When starting to look a couple of weeks ago for Windows 7 related information, I found a lot of very useful info in sevenforums. Sevenforums is great! Thanks a lot for it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jan 2010   #9
richc46

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, clean install, upgrade disc
 
 

I am sorry that we could not be of more help. Feel free to use our resources anytime. By your questions, I can tell that you have expertise in this area, also. Feel free to share your knowdedge with the other members of this forum; it would benefit everyone.

Take care and I wish you luck
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jan 2010   #10
Robert Eckerlin

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Bit (German version)
 
 

Richard,
I already got a first answer from Microsoft.
Once I will understand the subject, I will post again in this forum (I guess, that in order to behave correctly and to avoid legal issues, this should be done by referencing the Microsoft Webpages containing the answers).

Unfortunately, I am not an expert at all in this area. But I have to understand how I can implement my Incremental Backup scenario in a environment
a) with a large amount of data,
b) where I want to keep backups for a long period of time
c) where I want to backup up both to a (internal) disk that I keep at home and to external USB disks that i store in the safe of my bank.


Best regards
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Windows Backup - reduce its disk space usage?




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