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How do I free up space on a full client backup drive?


jrandeck
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I have a WHS 2011 instance that I'm using to back up several computers on my network. I previously ran a WHS v1 that had backups on a 500 GB drive without any problems, so I set up the new server to use a 1TB drive thinking that would be plenty of space for client backups.

 

The problem is that when I rebuilt my home server and added it to the WHS to be backed up, I forgot to exclude the drive that stores my movie files, so I filled up the 1TB back up drive pretty quick :-)

 

Now I have a situation where WHS can't back up anything because the drive is full. I've tried going in and deleting the backups from the media center and even went as far as removing the media center from the server and choosing the option to delete all of its backups, but the drive is still full. I figured I needed to wait for WHS to do its cleanup, but it's been over a week and apparently nothing has been done.

 

How do I free up space on the backup drive? For that matter how can I even see which backups are there and how much space they're using?

 

I'm almost at the point where I just want to reformat the drive and start over, but I thought I'd ask first to see if there's something else I can do (to not lose backups of the other PCs.)

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Make sure your server and all client computers are running properly because we're going to delete your backup! Are you using Server Backup? If so, launch customize backup for the server. Select change server backup settings. Uncheck the hard drive and select next. This will remove the hard drive. Launch customize backup for the server again. This time check the hard drive and yes to delete the backups. On the next screen you can uncheck the drive that stores the movie files.

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What you can do is MOVE the PC Backup folder to an other drive all by itself, this way you can have it on a single 2TB drive or else setup a RAID array and move the folder there.

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Make sure your server and all client computers are running properly because we're going to delete your backup! Are you using Server Backup? If so, launch customize backup for the server. Select change server backup settings. Uncheck the hard drive and select next. This will remove the hard drive. Launch customize backup for the server again. This time check the hard drive and yes to delete the backups. On the next screen you can uncheck the drive that stores the movie files.

 

When I try to follow your instructions and I uncheck the server backup drive it won't let me click "Next" only "Cancel". If you meant uncheck the drive with the client backups I had already done that. Checking that drive again doesn't give me a prompt to delete the backups.

 

That clears the drive I'm using for the Server backup, right? but the problem is on the drive where the Client backups are stored. The server backup drive is 2TB and I already excluded the client backup drive from that backup because it was telling me it didn't have enough space to back up the server (though it really does, even with the client backup drive full, the whole server backup should be about 1.3 TB).

 

What you can do is MOVE the PC Backup folder to an other drive all by itself, this way you can have it on a single 2TB drive or else setup a RAID array and move the folder there.

 

I could do that if I had a 2TB drive to move it to, but would that get rid of the backups I told the server to delete? I don't want to use a bigger drive, I want to get rid of the old backups on the existing drive.

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Post a screenshot of your Server Folders and Hard Drives page. One with the Server Folders tab selected and one with the Hard Drives tab selected. That way I can see how your data is distributed.

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Post a screenshot of your Server Folders and Hard Drives page. One with the Server Folders tab selected and one with the Hard Drives tab selected. That way I can see how your data is distributed.

 

OK, here you go.

 

I've since moved the client backups to the J: drive. Then backups ran, so now the backups won't fit on L: any more, so I guess I'm stuck with having the backups on one of the 2TB drives, though if I have 2TB of backups then I won't be able to back up any of the other data inside the 2TB server backup limit.

 

There has to be a way to manage client backups. When you remove a PC from the server you can archive its backups, how do you see those?

 

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5985763239_f86de37c96.jpg

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I'd just reformat the drive and start the backups over. I ran into your same issue and that's what I did. It became clear WHS 2011 was not going to do any sort of cleanup so I just did it for it. I know better now.

Edited by jeffla
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I don't know if moving the folder to drive with more space was the key or not, but checked out the dashboard this morning and my client backups are now below 300 GB, so I guess WHS just takes its time cleaning up those old backups.

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  • 3 years later...

I had the same problem as the OP. I found myself with limited spare disk space for client backups so I took the obvious step of reducing the retention times for client backup and then ran cleanup. But this didn't release any disk space. Through trial and error, I discovered that running cleanup actually requires more disk space whilst WHS sorts things out, and if enough disk space isn't available then cleanup simply stops. My client backups are stored on multiple disks combined into a single mount point using Drive Bender, so I added a disk to make the pool bigger and cleanup then ran fine, ultimately leaving me with a much reduced client backup so I could then remove the additional disk from the pool. It all makes sense when you think about it. 

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