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Windows 7: Backup Space Problems

24 May 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium
Backup Space Problems

(1) I have backed up my system (Windows 7) many times since last year and find that I frequently need to remove previous copies - this is no great problem. But I find that much more space is allocated to the backups on the external backup drive than that which is used on the C: drive. For example, yesterday I ran Windows backup of the C: drive where the space used is 288GB, the backup program ran for 4 hours! But on the backup hard disk the Windows Image Backup uses 483GB in one folder, first created September 2010 and last modified yesterday, and a Backup Set of 69.6GB in another folder first created 8th May 2011. The latter folder contains four backup files for the past four backups presumable these contain the modifications that have occurred during each period. Why do these five backups require so much space and take so much time to run?

(2) I understand that, during backup, the program freezes a copy of the C: drive contents which it then proceeds to backup. This, I believe, allows me to use the computer for other purposes while the backup runs. Is this true?

I have some large folders because I have been creating family videos for many years, about 25GB per year as well as still photos and all of them have been copied directly to external hard disks because this allows me to look at or edit them without trying to run Restore. The most recent ones are still on the C: drive.

Please will some Windows 7 guru please answer my questions?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2011   #2

Operating System : Windows 7 Home Premium Edition 6.01.7600 SP1 (x64)

this is the windows help file on the matter hope this helps :)

File backup

Windows Backup allows you to make copies of data files for all people that use the computer. You can let Windows choose what to back up or you can select the individual folders, libraries, and drives that you want to back up. By default, your backups are created on a regular schedule. You can change the schedule and you can manually create a backup at any time. Once you set up Windows Backup, Windows keeps track of the files and folders that are new or modified and adds them to your backup. To set up file backup, see Back up your files.

System image backup

Windows Backup provides you with the ability to create a system image, which is an exact image of a drive. A system image includes Windows and your system settings, programs, and files. You can use a system image to restore the contents of your computer if your hard drive or computer ever stops working. When you restore your computer from a system image, it is a complete restoration; you can't choose individual items to restore, and all of your current programs, system settings, and files are replaced. Although this type of backup includes your personal files, we recommend that you back up your files regularly using Windows Backup so that you can restore individual files and folders as needed. When you set up scheduled file backup, you can choose whether you want to include a system image. This system image only includes the drives required for Windows to run. You can manually create a system image if you want to include additional data drives.

Previous versions

Previous versions are copies of files and folders that Windows automatically saves as part of system protection. You can use previous versions to restore files or folders that you accidentally modified or deleted, or that were damaged. Depending on the type of file or folder, you can open, save to a different location, or restore a previous version. Previous versions can be helpful, but should not be considered a backup because the files get replaced by new versions and will not be available if the drive were to fail.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2011   #3
DianaD 74

Windows 7 Ultimate -32 bit

Are you making full system backups?
If so, be sure the machine is running fine, make a system point and delete all previous System Restore points except for the last one (the one you just created) then make your image.
System restore can use massive amounts of space with today's huge hard drives.

I rarely backup files, folders etc: unless they are extremely important. I simply make and then verify the image after it's been created as they will be included in the image. I always keep the new image and one previous image on an external drive and put it in my fire safe. :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec


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