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Windows 7: Backup Period Too Long

04 May 2011   #1

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit, SP1
Backup Period Too Long

I have 300GB of my hard drive partitioned off for backups, and I periodically do a backup on an external hard drive. I haven't had a problem with this setup until a few days ago, when my backup space completely filled. This wasn't typically a problem; I'd just delete some old backup periods and move on. Now, however, I discovered that my backup period is 3/27/11 through today, and I can't delete that or I lose my entire backup. (Before anyone asks, I do save only the most recent system image.)

Is there any way to manually control the backup period time to prevent this from happening in the future? I'll solve my immediate problem by extending my backup partition until I can delete an old backup period, but I'd like to prevent this from happening.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 May 2011   #2

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1

My experience has been that Windows (file/folder) backup will continue to add to the existing backup set until at some point it decides to create an additional new backup set.
- A reimage will trigger a new backup set.
- Change of backup location will trigger a new backup set
- deleting all existing backups will trigger a new backup set
Apart from these observations I don't know what algorithm Windows uses to trigger new backup sets.

It's clumsy, but you can use "Change settings" to toggle between two backup partition locations to achieve what I think you want.

Windows backup (excluding images!) adds incrementally to the set. If your sets are getting too large then you probably need to prune off some of the more static data using simple drag and drop to a location and exclude this from the normal backup set.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jul 2012   #3

MS Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1

I think the mechanism is mentioned here:
My System SpecsSystem Spec

22 Jul 2012   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 SP1

I have one of these stored in the quick launch for as and when I feel it needs a full new backup - Backup - Make a "Create New Backup" Shortcut

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jul 2012   #5

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by monkeylove View Post
I think the mechanism is mentioned here:
My old post related to 2 issues
Forcing an incremental and not an automatic FULL backup. I think this is the link for that
Backup - Make a "Create Incremental Backup" Shortcut
Forcing a Full back as pointed out above is here
Backup - Make a "Create New Backup" Shortcut

But what I was talking about way back was the ability to force a back to a location other than the location specified in "Change Setting". For example say my backup location is F: but I want to plug a USB HDD G: and make a secondary full backup.
I haven't tried the forced full backup tutorial but didn't think it allowed you to choose an arbitrary location??
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jul 2012   #6

MS Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1

Sorry, by backup period time, I thought he was referring to the time period before an automatic full backup will take place.

The incremental backup shortcut is very helpful. I don't know much about changing the backup location, but I'd prefer using an external HD for backups rather than a partition in the PC, and making sure that the disk space is more than enough.

Finally, FWIW, I stopped using Win 7 backup except to make an image of the PC monthly, and am using Genie Timeline Free for incremental backups. That way, I have a set-and-forget system.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jul 2012   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1

I've given up on Windows F&F backup because of it's inflexibility. I have tried a number of free F&F backup tools including Microsoft's SyncToy and the built-in Robocopy but I have settled for FreeFileSync which does everything I need. The link is in my sig and I made a video tutorial if you are interested. Backup With FreeFileSync - YouTube

The support is good. I reported a problem and it was fixed within 2 days.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Backup Period Too Long

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