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Backup drive full

  sharpeyes 11:03 18 Jan 2012

I'm using XP with a 250Gb hard drive which has 116Gb still free. I am backing up to a 250Gb Western Digital hard drive using Acronis True Image Home. I initially performed a full back up and have since done about 6 incremental back ups and the WD drive is now showing as full (11Gb free). Is this right? Also is it safe to clear this external drive and start again and if so how do I delete/format (?) this drive to re-use? Easy language please I'm not confident in what I do on the old pooter.

  robin_x 11:25 18 Jan 2012

Move any files/folders you want to keep to your main drive.

Run Ccleaner on your main drive.

How to

Start/Run diskmgmt.msc to start Windows Disk Management. Right click your second backup drive partition and Format. Select Quick Format and leave Windows Compression options unticked (it can cause problems sometimes)

Make a fresh Acronis Full backup but find the options for its compression and increase to max/best. Check/Verify the Image after using the relevant Acronis option.

  Diemmess 16:25 18 Jan 2012

Is the backup drive a separate HD in the PC or in an external powered case? If it is external, then long term in particular it will allow you to have a safer backup.

Meanwhile the first drive C: HD could do with some serious rearrangement.

It seems to me that you have everything - O.S. all applications and data on this one drive (C:)

Perhaps start by looking at the files in C: and where you find large blocks of data (Pics, Music, and video), move them to your backup drive. Music videos and pictures can soak up space very quickly! Leave all system files and applications themselves where they are.

By all means delete data which is no longer needed. Hopefully the size of drive C: will reduce to using < 30Gb. Now comes the clever bit -

You should now have a drive C: with at least 200Gb free. I would suggest you use a partitioning program to make a second (new) partition taking perhaps 140Gb for the new drive (D:) This drive will be used for current data storage only tough it can be a convenient site for an Acronis which could be copied to another HD later.

Two advantages to be gained from this. Backing up drive C: will be much faster, so will Restore. Similarly the data can be backed up from D:, though I prefer to use a freebie (EZBackitup) to transfer selected data to an extra HD whether internal or external.

I hope you can follow this, it works for me!

  sharpeyes 17:08 18 Jan 2012

What I am trying or have done is to back up my computer to an external HD as explained. This external HD is showing full despite the C drive only being half full and after 1 full back up only around 6 incremental back ups have been done. I DO NOT want to move bits and pieces around and the C drive does not need putting in order, most of the data on there is photographic. Why is this 250Gb external drive full when the C drive has only 116Gb on it? How can I format the external drive to start again with an empty drive.

  Bris 18:18 18 Jan 2012

Explore your external drive and you should see 7 files, the first is your full backup and the remainder are the incremental backups. take a look at the sizes. The first file, the full backup, should be the largest and the others, the incremental backups should be smaller for obvious reasons, however, if you do a defrag it will in effect do another full backup as just about everything will have changed. the same will apply if you do any major changes. If you want to start again you dont need to format the drive merely delete all the backup files.

  Diemmess 16:04 19 Jan 2012

Whenever you make your changes they will be only a temporary relief without changing some of your hardware around.

As you have realised, the big snag is having everything on a single drive in this case C:

You confirm my guess that much of the drive is filled with photo data, and this must be kept out of C: leaving just the OS and your applications. Doing so will not only make Acronis backups/ Restoration much faster, but will take up less space on any "Archive" drive.

I would suggest that you fit the HD from your external drive inside your PC as a secondary drive.

Buy another whopping HD for your external case. Use this new larger external drive for both backups and saved copies. Use the secondary drive for working data and most of the more recent files you want to keep.

The obvious What-If... is [rare] mechanical failure of any hard drive and I'm sure you will have saved your photo stuff on the secondary drive, and as a backup already copied to your external drive. Burn a few DVDs with ageing files you don't need for now, but would hate to lose.

As I said in an earlier post EZBackitup will copy anything selected, defaulting to changed files only, and will not overwrite or delete anything already on the archived drive.

Footnote if you are still looking at this! Old versions of Acronis were sometimes unreliable, so I play safe and only do full backups. This uses more space of course, but means you can go back to an earlier .tib file if you need to and while things are running serenely there's no need to keep the earliest .tib

  sharpeyes 16:29 19 Jan 2012

I have followed Bris' instructions and have cleared the external HD and done a full back up. Thanks Bris what you said it makes sense. All photo data will stay on the C drive where I want it, as that is where it is intended to be or what's the point of a largish HD? I don't want to be moving data all over the place, I only wanted to perform a back up to an external HD.

  Diemmess 09:33 20 Jan 2012


Understand your point of view, its horses for courses.

I would like to know please, how long does an incremental Acronis backup take to deal with 134Gb of C:'s files and folders?

Much less than my guess of nearly two hours for a full backup of a drive that size?

  sharpeyes 09:46 20 Jan 2012

A full back up of 134Gb took around 1½hrs, incrementals take about 45mins usually, if I remember correctly. I don't time it as I just set it running and return to it later.

  Diemmess 09:45 21 Jan 2012

Thank you sharpeyes.

I was just curious because that sort of time scale is not for me. Its because I so hate fiddling around if or when something in XP starts being silly. Perhaps I have just reconfigured or updated something. Not very often, but when needed, less than 20 minutes to be back to normal.

  sharpeyes 09:55 21 Jan 2012

Usually the only changes on my system are addition or deletion of images, very little else. It can be a couple of months between incrementals (Bad I know). I usually set it running in the morning and let it do it's thing whilst we walk the dogs. I use the Acronis default settings as I'm not sure what I'm messing with.

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