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Windows 7: Backup always creating new backup period?

13 Jul 2013   #1

Backup always creating new backup period?

I went through google search and much trial and error and I can't quite find an answer for this problem I'm having.

Since May 2nd, 2013, I've been using Windows Backup to backup my main drive and all my user settings, and set up an incremental backup every single day since then. Usually I miss the schedule, but just plug in my external harddrive and run the backup manually, and it will do the incremental backup properly.

Last night, I missed the schedule in its entirety, and had to run the backup around midnight (today, July 13th). Usually incremental backups take between 15-45 minutes for me, but this one ran for three hours before I examined it, and realized it was backing up old files that had been backed up before.

I did some research and found that it was creating a new Backup Period, with the first one being from May 2nd - July 11th.

I've tried again and again, but every time I manually backup now, it creates a new backup period and it's still doing it even now.

I've been able to click "Backup Now" and with the settings in place, it does an incremental backup. My external harddrive is only 1TB and the first backup period is 630 GB, so I don't have enough room on the drive to handle multiple backup periods at once, and I don't want to have backup running all day to backup files that should already be on the drive, backed up.

What is going on here and why?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jul 2013   #2
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

If you put yourself at the mercy of Windows backup you should expect things like that to happen. I would suggest you use a reliable imaging program that you can control yourself. Macrium would be my suggestion but there are several others free and paid.

Btw: with incremental or differential images you are only complicating your life. I would recommend to make only full images. That is more reliable and much easier to manage. My total system image with Macrium takes less than 10 minutes and takes around 20GBs of space.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jul 2013   #3


Right now I'm taking serious consideration into using something like Macrium, but it has the penalty against it of not being free. I need incremental backup. I may as well not even bother if I'm going to make a single backup and have to make a new one every day. And it's great your system image is so small; mine is bound to be 500 GB at the very least.

And this is infuriating me because it's worked perfectly for the past two months (I even tested it by deleting some files on my comp, emptying them from recycle bin, and easily restoring them from my backup where they remain today), and suddenly today at midnight it no longer backs up incrementally and none of the solutions or workarounds solve the issue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

13 Jul 2013   #4

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64 +Linux_VMs +Chromium_VM

Macrium has a free version
Macrium Reflect FREE Edition - Information and download

If you have a WD or Seagate you can also get a free version of Acronis from the HD manufacturer site.

If you need 500GB for a backup image, my guess is you have User data in your OS partition.
Moving User data to a different partition allows for smaller images of the OS partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jul 2013   #5


Macrium's free version doesn't allow differential/incremental backups. So it's pretty much useless to me in that regard.

Don't know what you mean by User Data specifically... you mean as in the Users folders and the information there? Or the typical files and stuff people have, like games or videos and such? In either case, yes. I back up my entire main drive, including Users libraries. I currently have 500ish GB in use, and the backup was 630ish GB large.

I deleted the entire backup, and am starting it over again. But I'm still infuriated, and looking for solutions, also open to alternatives. I gave CobianSoft a token look, but turned away when I saw confusing options that seemed to imply it would either edit or alter the original files or delete them after being backed up. **** them, then.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jul 2013   #6

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64 +Linux_VMs +Chromium_VM

By User data I mean Documents, Music, Videos, Pictures, etc.
On my C partition I have the OS and all installed programs.
I put videos on a separate partition as they take up hundreds of GB of storage.
All my other "User" data is on a different partition.
I use Libraries for accessing my Data folders.
I'm not a gamer, but I've read many gamers install games on a separate partition because they can use a lot of space.
A full image of the "C" OS + programs partition uses 10-20 GB for me.
Having all this "User data" on a different partition also allows for much quicker backups (and restores) of the C partition.

I'm not sure if the free versions of Acronis allow for incremental and differential backups.
I use paid Acronis, so I can't install the free version to see...
I also only use full backups, as I think they more reliable than incremental and differential.

This is just how I do things now.
If you want everything in a single partition, that's fine, it's your PC and your choice.
I know it would be some work to to move stuff to a different partition, a learning curve, etc.
Just throwing this out there for something you might consider...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jul 2013   #7


I don't really know shit about partitions beyond the use of one for System factory default settings and such. I suppose I could understand the use of partitions for keeping things separated and/or segmented and such.

Looking on mine, I only have two partitions; the System reserved one like I mentioned, and the everything else on the C drive. But how would that make any difference with regards to space usage? The hard drive has 1.8 TB usable, period. Partitions would just divide that up, so it wouldn't make much of a difference, would it? Unless you mean that this can affect memory and booting speed and the like? File space isn't an issue for me; I have 2TB for my main drive, and 1.5TB secondary drive.

What do you mean more reliable than incremental and differential? I only go with them because I've never had a catastrophic disaster of data loss for more than 10 years, and even when I did lose it all, it wasn't due to any computer component failure but to human error (a Geek Squad person forgot to back up everything other than my User data), so I've just been using the Backup to make myself feel better.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jul 2013   #8

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64 +Linux_VMs +Chromium_VM

Moving user data off the "C" partition allows for restoring the OS independently of the data.
If you ever have to re-install Windows, you don't have to be concerned about losing user data.

Anyway, it sounds like your approach works well for you, and that's fine.
I can't help with problem with the Backup Periods as I don't use Windows built in backup.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jul 2013   #9
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DavidW7ncus View Post
Moving user data off the "C" partition allows for restoring the OS independently of the data.
If you ever have to re-install Windows, you don't have to be concerned about losing user data.
Another benefit to this approach means that the OS partition can be very small, making it very quick to do a full system image using Macrium...WHS mentioned this earlier.

I have tried both full and incremental/differential imaging in paid Macrium, and on a small OS partition there is no great difference. Despite having the ability to do incremental/differential images, I still do full images....its quick, and easy to manage.

For User data, you can use standard backup-type software. Examples might be SyncToy or Robocopy, although there are many others.

Here are some tutorials if you feel you want to explore this further:
Imaging with free Macrium
SyncToy - Backup User Data
ROBOCOPY - Create Backup Script
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jul 2013   #10


Like I mentioned, I'm not in any real rush to be copying my OS and transferring it to another disc before this one nuclear explodes, and any slowness I experience is 90% due to my own sloppy/overly straining surfing habits, but my research on backup stuff (which included these forums) essentially led me to stick with Windows Backup and its basic Incremental stuff

EDIT: I ran a new backup overnight, then added some new files, and ran it again, and it did an incremental backup just fine as before. Why did the original issue occur? The only major change I can think of is that I cleared out some files amounting to about 50 GB or more from my hard drive that had been backed up. I read somewhere that a massive change in disc space can trigger an automatic full backup, but would something as relatively small as 50 out of 550 GB be enough to trigger that?

Editedit: Also worth mentioning, the first backup was 630 gb total, and my new one today is about 430 gb total
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Backup always creating new backup period?

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