Andrew Leer
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Andrew Leer asked on
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How do you remove old Windows Vista Backups?

I've been backing up my Vista box using Complete PC backup for quite a while now, and I was just wondering how it is that you remove old backups when your backup drive is to full for another backup.

I recently received the following error:

> The backup did not complete
> successfully.
>
> An error occurred.  The following
> information might help you resolve the
> error:
>
> There is not enough space to save the
> backup files.  Free up disk space or
> change your backup settings.
> (0x81000005)

I don't see anything in the settings for the backup to change this.  Do I have to mount the backup to delete an old backup?  If so where is that file located?

 

A. User
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A. User replied on
Changing the backup settings means selecting a different type of backup that doesn't take up so much space and you don't want to do that.  The backups on the backup drive are labeled with dates.  Just go to it and select the oldest and delete it like you would any other folder.  That should give you enough free space to do the new backup.  If it doesn't, then delete the next oldest backup and try again.

I hope this helps.

Good luck!
Lorien - MCSE/MCSA/Network+/A+ --- If this post helps to resolve your issue, please click the "Mark as Answer" or "Helpful" button at the top of this message. By marking a post as Answered, or Helpful you help others find the answer faster.
SgOne
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SgOne replied on

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Hi Lorien,

So where does the system save these files?  I've never had any luck with the built in backup feature in vista anyway.  But for some reason when I run my utilities apps it finds them and asks if I want to recover the diskspace.  I hadn't created them so it's confusing sometimes as to what they actually refer to.  And yes, I'm the dummie who's addicted to clicking on "sure, why not".  Yah, I know, a little bit of knowlege can be dangerous.  That why I'm starting to read these forums.  Thanks.

A. User
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A. User replied on

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Hi SgOne,

It depends on the type of backup you're talking about.  If you didn't do a true backup (partial, full, or complete) using Vista Backup (and are using no 3rd party software), then it may be referring to the restore points for System Restore and you probably don't want to delete those in case you need them in the event something happens to your system that can be easily repaired by "turning back the clock." You can reduce the space used by System Restore and it will delete the oldest restore points first (it uses up to 15% of the HDD by default), but I would leave enough to have at least a few for security (unless you're REALLY short on space).  I personally use the full amount so I have many restore point options (which have saved me more than once).  Here's some information on how to use System Restore: http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/using-windows-vista-system-restore/ and you may be using it even though you don't know (since in some setups it is turned on automatically).  Here's some additional information in a Restore Point FAQ: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/System-Restore-frequently-asked-questions.  System Restore Points are saved in the System Volume Information Folder (which is blocked from access intentionally since there's nothing there you need to access, edit, or modify).

Backups are saved wherever you elected to save them when you created them - usually a second internal HDD or an external HDD or maybe even a CD/DVD set.  If you saved the backup to your hard drive that doesn't make any sense because if the hard drive fails you lose the system AND the backup too - so it does you no good.  I don't know where you told it to save the backup if you did one (since you say you haven't).  It should be a folder with a clearly identified name as a system backup (restore points aren't named that way - they're a bunch of letters and numbers that can't be read).  You can delete the backup just like you delete any other folder.  Select it with a left click on the parent folder and click delete.  Your system utility probably uses a different way to delete the backup (if it is a backup and not the restore points) - but since you didn't mention what it is I don't know how it works (and I'm not familiar with all of them anyway) - but it probably guides you through the process.  BTW, if you want MUCH better backup software (though it costs about $50 if I remember right), then get Acronis True Image 2010 http://www.acronis.com/enterprise/.  If offers a free trial so you can check it out (and you should do both a backup AND a restore during the trial to make sure both work and that you are familiar with both).  I would save what you backup somewhere else (or a copy/paste) as well before you do the restore in case something happens to the restore - then your data is preserved.  I use Microsoft Backup myself, but I have been seriously considering switching to Acronis (and I have the complete Backup system which doesn't come with Starter, Basic, or Home Premium since I have Vista Business)

If you think there is a backup and can't find it (I'm not sure what your utility is finding), you could do a COMPLETE search for the backup (by searching for <backup>.  Their names include the word Backup in it Here's how:

To search the entire C: drive in Vista (which works quite different than in XP) go to Start / Search Box and type in ‘<filename> or <foldername>’ - in this case use *backup*.  As you're typing you'll see two hyperlinks appear just above where you're typing and one will say Search Everywhere.  Click on that.  That will do a quick indexed search and bring up a dialog box.  Click on Advanced Search.  Click on the location drop down menu and find Drive C: and click on it. Check the box "include non-indexed, hidden, and system files (may be slow)."  Then click on Search.  You will now be searching your entire hard drive for the specified file.  And yes, it's not a very efficient way of searching the entire drive for a file but that's how it's done in Vista.

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I don't know what "Utilitles" you are using, but here is how I maintain my system (and recommend that others use essentially the same process.  There are other good utilitles out there (yours may be perfectly fine) but these I trust and they will do the job as well as anything else I know about.

A great many things influence the speed and performance and available space of your system - mostly the existence of various files and what's loaded on the system.  There are ways to handle this in Vista (and you should follow all the suggestions) - and of course the amount and type of RAM and the speed of your processor and motherboard (but I'm just going to discuss software solutions here - you can go to your computer vendor/manufacturer for hardware solutions if any are available (I, for example, am maxed out at 2GB RAM by my motherboard and there is no better motherboard available for my model of laptop).

One very important thing to begin – do NOT use any Registry Cleaner or Registry Booster software no matter what it says (scans will tell you you have thousands of errors just to get you to download and install the program or worse, buy it) or where you got it (even safe sites sell these products but they are not worth the headaches they can cause).  Most do nothing of value and some can do great harm (to the point where you need to do a clean install to fix the problem – and that’s not even counting the fact that many such programs are actually malware in disguise).  Vista keeps the registry clean on its own quite well and doesn’t need any help (despite what these mostly inaccurate and misleading scans tell you)

To improve your speed, do Disk Cleanup using:
http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/76073-disk-cleanup.html.

Also do an Optimization:
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/Optimize-Windows-Vista-for-better-performance.

Go to Start / Search options and type in msconfig and enter and then double click on the program icon that appears.  Go to the startup tab and uncheck any program that you don't need starting at startup.  That will probably be the majority of items there - if not most of them (some are needed like the AV program but most are there to make opening the source programs faster and make you think they're more efficient).  This will free up a lot of RAM and help a lot in making your system faster (though perhaps not so much that you'll be able to notice the difference - but maybe depending on how much unnecessary stuff is loading at startup).

You can accomplish some of these tasks (and more that aren't entirely related) by using
http://onecare.live.com/site/en-us/default.htm (which also searches for malware).  I do this on a monthly basis just as a part of normal maintenance and I suggest you do the same (except for the registry cleaner – no not even Microsoft’s own product is entirely safe and the product has been removed from the paying marked for reasons unknown though it’s still available here for now but probably not for long).  Make sure you select a full scan - it will take a few hours (mine can take around 5-6) but can work in the background so start it when it has enough time to complete.

You also want to have good AV and AS programs on your system (so no malware is operating in the background draining resources).  Windows Defender is a good AS program.  The new, free Microsoft Security Essentials
http://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials/default.aspx is an excellent AV/AM program that has one of the least impacts on system performance and resources according to reliable sources and it does the job very well.  If you're using MSE, you don't really need Defender (but you would with any other AV program).  I would also suggest downloading http://www.malwarebytes.org/mbam.php and running it monthly to catch anything that MSE/Defender might miss.

If you follow this advice and do it periodically (at least monthly) then I believe you will have as fast a machine as it is capable of going given the hardware.

Good luck and I hope this helps.


Lorien - MCSE/MCSA/Network+/A+ --- If this post helps to resolve your issue, please click the "Mark as Answer" or "Helpful" button at the top of this message. By marking a post as Answered, or Helpful you help others find the answer faster.
softynix
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softynix replied on

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Changing the backup settings means selecting a different type of backup that doesn't take up so much space and you don't want to do that.  The backups on the backup drive are labeled with dates.  Just go to it and select the oldest and delete it like you would any other folder.  That should give you enough free space to do the new backup.  If it doesn't, then delete the next oldest backup and try again.

I hope this helps.

Good luck!
Lorien - MCSE/MCSA/Network+/A+ --- If this post helps to resolve your issue, please click the "Mark as Answer" or "Helpful" button at the top of this message. By marking a post as Answered, or Helpful you help others find the answer faster.

when using a pc cleaner,they create new restore points everytime you use it. with vista go io start select disk clean up after you select what drive you want select ok,  when the next window pops up to the delete files on top is says more options select more options ,then select clean up it is the 2nd one down read what is says click delete, click ok ,i do this once a week. jimmy