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Windows 7 Backup

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#1 zonabb


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Posted 12 January 2016 - 09:37 AM

Ok, so I posted here a few weeks ago regarding a major computer crash which I managed to overcome with lots of effort, time, and a new hard drive. I also bought an external to backup my system. So I am using Windows Backup, which like everything with Windows is clunky and linguistically tough to comprehend exactly what it's doing if you're a lay person. So I set it up to run on Monday nights and it started last Monday. It reran again last night and of course this morning I get an error that there is not enough disk space. It creates both a system image (which I totally understand the reason and purpose so no issues there) as well as a "data file backup". So the latest system image is fine. The issue is with the data back up. Windows seems to try to create a brand new data backup when it runs while also having the old on still there, creating a space issue. So last night it looks like it used the rest of the space on the drive to start a new back up and only got like 100GB saved. It appears to have then erased that same data from the old backup, leaving that behind as a smaller file at 342GB. Basically, I know that the prior full one was about 450GB total, hence my thought that as it creates a new backup it deletes the old but I think when it runs out of space, it can't do that anymore. 


My entire hard drive has only about 500GB on it and I have a 1TB drive I am backing up to. 


So I have two questions:


1. Can I just get rid of the data file backup and stick with the system image. My reason for using both, assuming I am correct that this will work, would be to get individual files from the data backup without having to figure out how to mount and access the image if I didn't need to do a full restore.


2. This baffles me and it's related to the first question. The external drive is full, 980GB. In the drive, I can't find a folder with the 450 of data backups. I right click on the drive properties and it's full. I go in and hover over the folders and they don't add up to 950GB. I've gone in and made it show hidden files and folder and nothing. The pic shows what's on the drive.


Any help or guidance is appreciated. I admit that the reason I never had a backup before because of the PITA everything is when dealing with Windows. 

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#2 JohnC_21


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Posted 12 January 2016 - 09:49 AM

If the computer is running well and you do not need any of the data currently, I would recommend you delete everything off the external, turn off Windows backup. and use one of the following programs. Windows is terrible for backing up files and images on a schedule. You have to manually delete the old backups.


Macrium Reflect Free

Aoemi Backupper Standard


Both will do complete disk images and Aoemi will also do separate file backups with a scheduler. The pro version of Aoemi can be set to keep only a certain number of backups.

Both create a bootable USB/CD to restore your image in case the computer does not boot or you have a hard drive failure

Both lets you easily mount the disk image and browse to recover any file in the image. Macrium is a little easier as all you need to do is double click the image in explorer and it will automatically mount. Aoemi needs to mount the image within the program but it is not hard.


Note: After creating the bootable media in either program, boot and make sure it sees all disks including your external drive.


If you only want to create a disk image every so often then Macrium is the one to use.

#3 zonabb

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Posted 12 January 2016 - 11:28 AM

Thanks, I'll look into it. 

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