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Windows 8 File History - Excessive backup - Excessively saving copies of files (photos, videos, documents, etc.)

    General discussion

  • I've been using Windows 8 File History to back up my libraries, but Windows 8 keeps saying "Reconnect your drive" and "Your File History drive was disconnected for too long. To keep saving copies of your files, reconnect your drive and then run a backup."

    I've seen it do this on the same day that the drive was connected earlier and copies were saved!
    Is it possible that looking at the pictures/videos could also be somehow modifying the file in such a way?
    Has anybody had problems with excessive backup in Windows 8 File History?

    Note: I did create several custom libraries, in order for File History to backup all of my data, including data that is outside the normal libraries.  Although, I do not think this is causing the issue.

    I'm seeing .avi files getting re-backed-up as well.
    Is Windows Indexing somehow causing this?  Maybe something with thumbs.db?

    I'm not manually re-indexing, but I'm also not modifying these files either, and yet something is triggering File History to re-back them up.  The only thing I can think of is Windows Indexing?

    This is becoming a serious problem, because my external hard drive is now full, and my only option is to remove the older versions of the files.
    Removing older versions does not give me much of a backup, since if something happened, I could not roll back to known good versions.

    Why is File History saving so many duplicate copies of my media, when I'm not making any changes to the media or metadata?!?
    Does anybody know?

    Thanks,
    Jacob

    PS: This was initially reported at Microsoft Community , and went unanswered.


    Saturday, October 13, 2012 10:05 AM

All replies

  • Try going to File History > Advanced Options and set keep saved versions to one month rather than the default Forever.

    Jerry

    Sunday, October 14, 2012 7:32 PM
  • I'm not sure if you read my post.  The problem is that pictures and videos are being detected as changed, even though I'm not changing them, and consequently many versions are being backed up.  Changing File History's Advanced settings does not solve the problem.

    This is still an issue for me.


    Sunday, October 14, 2012 9:00 PM
  • I'm seeing non-media files also being backed up several times.  I'm not sure if it's because I changed permissions on the files recently or not... But this led me to a different idea.

    I wonder if the issue deals with automatic defragmentation?  I've noticed the issue with Piriform Defraggler and with IObit Smart Defrag.  Is anybody else using 3rd-party defraggers having this problem?

    As a test, I'll go a few weeks without using any defragger, not even the Windows one.  Hopefully this is an idea that points us in the right direction toward a solution.  Any input would be encouraged and welcomed.


    Monday, October 15, 2012 10:14 PM
  • Check if the following will be helpful to you:

    Protecting user files with File History
    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/07/10/protecting-user-files-with-file-history.aspx

    http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_8-security/is-the-file-history-also-a-backup-solution/e7b04153-3440-4b5e-9947-de869938eb4c


    Thanks
    Zero

    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012 2:33 PM
  • Thanks.
    I've read both of those links before.
    Although they provide a lot of information, they do not explain the problem behavior that I am experiencing.

    I am continuing to search for the cause and cure for this problem....
    Could you help to try to reproduce it with 3rd party defragmentation programs?

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012 2:40 PM
  • How should we help you to reporduce the issue? Which 3rd party defragment program should we use?

    Thanks
    Zero

    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.

    Thursday, October 18, 2012 1:09 PM
  • As mentioned earlier, I had been using Piriform Defraggler (v2.10.424, before they officially announced Windows 8 support) and IObit Smart Defrag (v2.6)... not at the same time, but I was using one or the other, at various times while the problem was happening.
    I'm not convinced that this is a defrag issue, it was merely a hunch, and I'm still in the process of testing that hunch.  But any additional testing you could do would be welcomed.

    Thanks,
    Jacob

    Thursday, October 18, 2012 2:05 PM
  • I also have this problem, and I don't use 3rd party defragmenters, just the automatic built-in one. It's especially a problem with media, but many of the files it backs up I don't so much as navigate to in File Explorer in between backups. The hash sums for the duplicate backup files are exactly the same. Most of my documents aren't duplicated in backups, but here and there there are identical copies backed up.

    One thing I've seen is that I have documents on my laptop hard drive, media on an external drive, and the File History backup on a 2nd external drive. I often connect the media drive without connecting the backup drive. Later, I get a message that it's been too long since connecting the backup drive, and I see that my laptop drive's File History cache has filled up with files from the media drive. Then when I reconnect the backup drive, it seems to copy all of the media from my media drive to the backup drive, then copy the laptop drive's cached media (which, again, was saved from the media drive) to the backup.

    That's bizarre. The end result is a lot of duplicated files. My backup drive is fast filling up with identical copies. I prefer File History, but it's worth noting that Windows 7 backup had no issue with incremental backups in this same use scenario.

    Thursday, October 18, 2012 9:16 PM
  • I am having the same problem where files that have not changed are being backed up multiple times.

    I'm using a dell studio 1458.  I think the issue is due to the laptop disconnecting and then reconnecting to the backup volume.  Please fix this soon, file history is pretty cool but it's unusable as it is.

    Friday, October 19, 2012 9:47 PM
  • I will try to give this feedback to our team related. Thanks for all your feedback.

    Thanks
    Zero

    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.

    Saturday, October 20, 2012 4:14 AM
  • I've recently switched from the Windows 8 Enterprise Trial, to Windows 8 Pro.
    The problem still persists, and affects non-media files.
    ie: I'm seeing .iso files and .bin files get backed up multiple times.

    So, I'm now wondering if it is triggered by a Windows Defender scan, possibly the first Windows Defender scan after an OS install.

    Zero, please let me know if your team finds anything.  This is still causing major problems, as I cannot safely rely on File History as a backup, since I have to keep removing all older versions.
    Monday, October 29, 2012 2:39 PM
  • So far, no more updates.

    Thanks
    Zero

    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.

    Tuesday, October 30, 2012 10:25 AM
  • Hi Jacob,

        I had a similar problem, and after an hour, it occur to me to figure our where the "file history" configuration or any files related to it where been stored.  I looked for event viewer warning an errors and noticed the file were been stored in the  C:\Users\Julio\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\FileHistory\Configuration.  So I deleted those files.  When I went back to file history, it stated that File history was "Turn Off".  I click on "Turn On" and it gave me a message that "In order to Turn on File History", I must disabled "Windows Backup".  I disabled it and then I was able to turn on File History and everything worked file.

    I know, I almost broke my head, but it was worth the hour I spent on it.

    Sincerely,

    Julio Alvarado

    www.alvaradonetworks.com



    Saturday, November 03, 2012 7:15 PM
  • I see this problem in my machine as well without any defrag tools. It was upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 8.  In Windows 7 I was using Windows Backup, which I have disabled in Windows 8. The backup is stored to an external drive. I see multiple versions of the source file in the backup drive, even when there is no change in the source file. Multiple versions of music and pictures files are filling up the backup drive.

    Julio,

    the FileHistory related files stored in the c:\users directory contains the configuration and local cache. If the external drive is not available, the backup will be stored in the local cache and flushed to external drive when it is available. This is mentioned in the link posted earlier.

    Sunday, November 04, 2012 1:36 PM
  • I'm also seeing excessive backups on Windows 8 Pro, installed two days ago. I can't believe Microsoft didn't catch this issue. Whether it's the file indexer or Defender, something is making Windows believe that a large number of my files have changed from one hour to the next. My backup is filling up with multiple copies of the same file, like some kind of out-of-control maniac. Common, Microsoft, what's up with this? Not a good first experience of this feature!
    Monday, November 05, 2012 10:45 PM
  • Same problem here. The backup disk fills up With duplicate copies of files...

    This needs immediate attention from Microsoft!

    Tuesday, November 06, 2012 3:04 PM
  • Same here. I've got an internal 2.7 TB drive that I use only for back ups. File History constantly backs up to it from my data drives - which store a total of about 1.2 TB of data. File History never stops backing up.

    This also happened the last time I installed Windows 8. It kept backing up until the backup drive was full. This milestone was reached  after only two days, during which I made few, if any, changes to Library files.

    Friday, November 09, 2012 2:17 PM
  • I have the same problem. My backup drive just filled up, I've been running File History for a couple of weeks since upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 8.  I was not using Windows 7 Backup previously.

    Looking at the contents in the Data folder I see 5 or 6 copies of every file, even though they have not been changed.  Each version has the same timestamp and filesize, e.g.

    -r-xr--r--  1 stephen share 175497158 Sep 24  2006 Xmas Day 2005 (2012_10_29 04_39_40 UTC).avi
    -r-xr--r--  1 stephen share 175497158 Sep 24  2006 Xmas Day 2005 (2012_11_02 07_00_06 UTC).avi
    -r-xr--r--  1 nobody  share 175497158 Sep 24  2006 Xmas Day 2005 (2012_11_05 11_50_09 UTC).avi
    -r-xr--r--  1 stephen share 175497158 Sep 24  2006 Xmas Day 2005 (2012_11_08 18_40_58 UTC).avi
    -r-xr--r--  1 stephen share 175497158 Sep 24  2006 Xmas Day 2005 (2012_11_10 11_09_38 UTC).avi


    I'm backing up to a network share on a WesternDigital MyBookLive.

    Steve.



    • Edited by scross Sunday, November 11, 2012 3:49 PM fixed typos
    Sunday, November 11, 2012 3:45 PM
  • I have the same problem, every file is rewritten to the history on every backup, and this is when backing up to a USB3 drive formatted with NTFS. When a backup doesn't complete and has to be restarted (usually due to power management sleeping the machine) it makes yet another copy!

    Here is a typescript below, all I've done is change the my user name to XXXX and may machine name to YYYY-PC.

    D:\Users\XXXX\Pictures>dir SSLondonGreen*

     Volume in drive D is 2012-04R
     Volume Serial Number is 2C58-3A36

     Directory of D:\Users\XXXX\Pictures

    01/14/2012  01:05 PM            53,202 SSLondonGreen.png
                   1 File(s)         53,202 bytes
                   0 Dir(s)  2,052,082,028,544 bytes free

    D:\Users\XXXX\Pictures>F:

    F:\FileHistory\XXXX\YYYY-PC\Data\D\Users\XXXX\Pictures>dir SSLondonGreen*
     Volume in drive F is 2012-05
     Volume Serial Number is 0E19-49BE

     Directory of F:\FileHistory\XXXX\YYYY-PC\Data\D\Users\XXXX\Pictures

    01/14/2012  01:05 PM            53,202 SSLondonGreen (2012_10_27 20_47_34 UTC).png
    01/14/2012  01:05 PM            53,202 SSLondonGreen (2012_10_28 09_05_15 UTC).png
    01/14/2012  01:05 PM            53,202 SSLondonGreen (2012_11_14 09_54_13 UTC).png
    01/14/2012  01:05 PM            53,202 SSLondonGreen (2012_11_14 11_12_39 UTC).png
                   4 File(s)        212,808 bytes
                   0 Dir(s)  1,121,940,803,584 bytes free

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012 4:53 PM
  • Zero,

    More and more users are chiming in with this same problem.  Are Microsoft engineers looking into it at all?

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012 4:57 PM
  • Any progress on this?
    Wednesday, November 14, 2012 8:41 PM
  • This strange behaviour has stopped after the update of November 13 on my machine (but it took a full cycle of backup). Maybe the problem has been solved.



    • Edited by JJAD Thursday, November 15, 2012 9:52 AM
    Thursday, November 15, 2012 9:32 AM
  • So all the affected users, please install all the latest updates to check if it will work to you also.

    Thanks
    Zero

    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.

    Thursday, November 15, 2012 9:38 AM
  • I have been having the same problem, it appears to be creating problems in excel and outlook. I turned File History off, dumped the old files and went back to manual back ups. 

    It just seems a shame that Microsoft have created the new Vista, not the replacement for 7.

    Friday, November 16, 2012 7:27 PM
  • scross (November 11)  and geekalot (November 14) have described the problem precisely. I can confirm it is happening to me.  All current maintenance is applied, yet my latest backup (November 16) is happily copying a load of unchanged files that previous backups have already done several times (see the screenshot of an Explorer listing below, which just shows the earliest 4 of about 20 copies of one example). If this carries on it will render File History unworkable for me, which is a shame as it was one of the prime reasons I moved to Windows 8.
    Saturday, November 17, 2012 8:54 AM
  • It's happening here also.

    Also I have changed my storage drive letters here, all look ok in the libraries, but File History is still backing up as the old drive letters and the new drive letters!!!!

    Used about 250G of backup drive today on about 130G of files!

    Sunday, November 18, 2012 6:32 PM
  • The File History does not (yet???) handle correctly changes of  drive letters and/or library names. The config files (.xml) get messed up.

    Microsoft should take care of that.


    • Edited by JJAD Sunday, November 18, 2012 10:19 PM
    Sunday, November 18, 2012 10:08 PM
  • Thanks for confirming that JJAD

    I've tried deleting my config files and have got rid of everything in the Libraries. The File History config files (.xml) just get rewritten back the same.

    So as you confirm I'm now backing up unwanted drive letters/names and duplicate files even though there is nothing in the libraries location. A right mess.

    If it worked as it should it would be a decent system. Let's hope it gets sorted out soon.

    Sunday, November 18, 2012 10:51 PM
  • Zero,

    I really feel that we have not received proper answers, and that you are giving us the run around here.

    So I ask you to please answer the following questions:

    1) Have the File History software engineers been made aware of this problem?
    2) Have the File History software engineers been able to reproduce this problem?
    3) Do the File History software engineers have any reason to believe that the problem would have been fixed by any software patches released before 11/13/2012?
    4) Do the File History software engineers have a time-frame as to when a solution will become available?
    5) If this is not the right place to receive answers to these questions, where should I ask them?

    If you recall, in the original post in this thread (from October 13 2012), I reference another post that went unanswered (from 10/1/2012).
    So, we are now 6-weeks in, with no answers from Microsoft.
    You guys can do better.  We need information!

    Sunday, November 18, 2012 11:34 PM
  • We have already reported this issue to our product quality team, they are reporting to related departments. Thanks for all your patience for this issue.

    Thanks
    Zero

    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.

    Monday, November 19, 2012 1:47 AM
  • After the two updates a few days ago that weighed in at about 300 MB in total, the original problem, continuous backing up, went away. However, now when I try to see what I can restore, I'm told "File history is saving copies of your files for the first time" ...always. I can't restore any files.
    Monday, November 19, 2012 11:42 AM
  • Fixed "File history is saving copies of your files for the first time" ...always. I deleted all of the File History configuration files in \AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\FileHistory\Configuration. File History is now working as it should.
    Tuesday, November 20, 2012 7:13 AM
  • I've had the same problem.

    Upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 8 Pro, wasn't using windows backup. I was using WD Anywhere Backup but this isn't compatible with Windows 8 so thought I'd give File History a try.

    It all seemed to work ok for a couple of weeks, then 2 days ago it just decided to create new versions of loads of my pictures, none of which had changed.

    I went into advanced settings and clicked on "Clean up versions" then selected to remove all but the latest versions.

    For some reason this actually deleted almost all of my pictures & music backup! (100GB!)  I clicked cancel but it continued to delete almost everything.

    It is currently recreating the backup, but strangely is also recreating quite a few of the duplicate versions.

    This really needs to be looked at urgently as in it's current state it is unusable.

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012 10:16 AM
  • Zero,

    I inspected my backup history, to give you more information.

    I clicked "Restore personal files", and browsed to a directory where I know that I haven't changed file contents for years.
    File History showed 1 of 1 (since the last time I was forced to do a "full re-backup", afterward I'm sure I told it to clean all but the latest version, because I don't have enough space on the external HD to store 2 full rebackups).
    The date on that File History "Restore" screen is 10/30/2012.

    So, using this logic, it appears to me that my last unexpected "full re-backup" was on 10/30/2012.  It is 11/20/2012 right now, and so the "full re-backup" issue hasn't happened to me in 3 weeks.

    Now I ask more information of you:
    Do you guys know if you changed anything that may have fixed it?
    Do you guys know what causes the issue?

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012 1:52 PM
  • There are still problems. It looked as if the endless backup was coming to an end, but suddenly all files in libraries that are visible via the homegroup got an unexpected backup round. I also noticed that playing around with file permissions triggers another backup round. (Maybe the automatic management of permissions for home groups has something to do with it.) That would make sense if the permissions were copied also, but that is (unfortunately!!) not the case.

    I tried to clean up all but the last copies, but that removed (far way) to much files. So I lost many backup files. But some files that should be removed (e.g. in excluded folders) were not removed. And also some duplicates remained....

    I decided to close down FileHistory and switched back to Windows 7 Backup.

    -

    Hopefully FileHistory will work at some time in future. And I really miss now the system protection for user files, that was available in Windows 7.

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012 7:23 PM
  • So far we can't reproduce the issue in our labs, so our quality team is checking the issue, no more update for this issue now.

    You may try to check if any information in Event Viewer\Application and Services Logs\Microsoft\Windows\FileHistory-Engine\FileHistory backup log and Event Viewer\Application and Services Logs\Microsoft\Windows\FileHistory-Core


    Thanks
    Zero

    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012 8:40 AM
  • I checked the logs around the time that one of my unchanged files was backed up for the umpteenth time:

    Microsoft-Windows-FileHistory-Core had this entry just before:

    Log Name:      Microsoft-Windows-FileHistory-Core/WHC
    Source:        Microsoft-Windows-FileHistory-Core
    Date:          22/11/2012 13:15:18
    Event ID:      100
    Task Category: None
    Level:         Information
    Keywords:      
    User:          blanked out for privacy
    Computer:      blanked out for privacy
    Description:
    File History operational state has changed
    Event Xml:
    <Event xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/win/2004/08/events/event">
      <System>
        <Provider Name="Microsoft-Windows-FileHistory-Core" Guid="{B447B4DB-7780-11E0-ADA3-18A90531A85A}" />
        <EventID>100</EventID>
        <Version>0</Version>
        <Level>4</Level>
        <Task>0</Task>
        <Opcode>0</Opcode>
        <Keywords>0x2000000000000000</Keywords>
        <TimeCreated SystemTime="2012-11-22T13:15:18.212770000Z" />
        <EventRecordID>2949</EventRecordID>
        <Correlation ActivityID="{7F249194-C898-0002-AF68-267F98C8CD01}" />
        <Execution ProcessID="780" ThreadID="5300" />
        <Channel>Microsoft-Windows-FileHistory-Core/WHC</Channel>
        <Computer>30SE25WRA</Computer>
        <Security UserID="blanked out for privacy" />
      </System>
      <EventData>
        <Data Name="hc_stateid">1023</Data>
        <Data Name="ProtectedUpToTime">‎22/‎11/‎2012 08:49</Data>
      </EventData>
    </Event>

    There were no entries in Microsoft-Windows-FileHistory-Engine/File History backup log around that time. However, throughout that log there are many of the following entries (24 on each of the two days  I checked - pretty much at hourly intervals):

    Event ID:      203
    
    Unable to finish a backup cycle for configuration C:\Users\xxxx\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\FileHistory\Configuration\Config


    • Edited by Julian Ladbury Tuesday, November 27, 2012 7:51 AM remove username information
    Tuesday, November 27, 2012 7:49 AM
  • This is an issue for me as well. I have 3 TB of data going to a synology NAS.

    • Adding new computers to the network (surface tablets and such)
    • Homegroups on
    • File properties (sharing I imagine, are changed quite a bit because of the homegroups, xbox, etc)
    • Synology NAS over LAN
    • File History on and lowest retention options (1 month)
    • Microsoft AV, defrag, firewall, etc - no third party

    When I do disk cleanup and select to keep all but the latest copy, it deletes about 50% of my good files too leaving them without backup.

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012 3:19 PM
  • Deleting the configuration files in \AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\FileHistory\Configuration and restarting File History also worked for me. Until I did this, File History was just showing the "first time" message when I opened it. Curiously, it would then revert to the neutral message saying that file history is on, but it wouldn't let me go to the Restore Personal Files pane. It would then revert to "first time" for about 10 seconds, and repeat. After deleting the configuration files and restarting, I was finally able to open the Restore Personal Files pane.

    I should still like to know how File History deals with long file names if it does at all (those where the path is longer than the maximum allowed NTFS name -- 255 characters or something).

    Saturday, December 01, 2012 5:01 PM
  • Zero,

    I posted some log extracts on November 27. Were they any help? Is anyone at Microsoft investigating?

    My backup drive is now two thirds full with redundant backups.

    Wednesday, December 05, 2012 7:30 AM
  • Deleting the configuration files in \AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\FileHistory\Configuration and restarting File History also worked for me. Until I did this, File History was just showing the "first time" message when I opened it. Curiously, it would then revert to the neutral message saying that file history is on, but it wouldn't let me go to the Restore Personal Files pane. It would then revert to "first time" for about 10 seconds, and repeat. After deleting the configuration files and restarting, I was finally able to open the Restore Personal Files pane.

    I should still like to know how File History deals with long file names if it does at all (those where the path is longer than the maximum allowed NTFS name -- 255 characters or something).

    Yes I would also like to know what happens with long file names. I have some music files that are long but show ok in their normal folders,  it seems as if File History backs them up (as I've managed to restore them to a different location from the restore personal files option) however when I look for the files on the back up media they don't show (a bit disconcerting!!!)

    Also has anyone noticed that the excessive backing up problem seems to happen after the show hidden files option is ticked? Or is it be me getting paranoid!  I'm convinced that when I used this option, File History decided to use more Gigs up even though no files were changed!

    Wednesday, December 05, 2012 6:36 PM
  • If possible, I'd like to keep this thread focused on the issue at hand, and not discuss "how File History handles long file names".  For reference, per my own poking and prodding at the system, I believe it maintains databases (.edb files in the Configuration directory) that properly link versions of long files into a special directory (for me, it is a directory called $OF inside the Data directory), where the directories and filenames are truncated to numbers that the databases use to link to their full names, so that when you look at History in File Explorer, it can show the full directories/names to you and restore it properly, even if it's stored in a "no longer a long filename" format.  If you find a bug with it, or need to continue discussion about it, please consider putting it in a separate thread.

    But, getting back to this thread titled: Windows 8 File History - Excessive backup - Excessively saving copies of files (photos, videos, documents, etc.)
    ...
    Although the problem hasn't reoccurred for me for a while, I am not yet convinced of the fix.

    Users who have this problem:
    Please post the most recent date/time that the problem presented itself on a fully patched Windows 8 machine, so that we can confirm that it's still broken.
    It's very important that we find out if the problem is still occurring on a fully patched machine.

    Zero: I really hope you and the quality team have had success finding the cause -- any luck?

    Wednesday, December 05, 2012 7:10 PM
  • I just checked the same file that I used as an example in my post of November 17. It is still being backed up erroneously, most recently on December 4:

    Windows Update is set to install updates automatically, as it has been throughout.

    Thursday, December 06, 2012 7:18 AM
  • Just letting Jacob know I found this thread due to the excessively saving copies of files problem still ocurring for me, on a fully patched Windows 8 Pro 32-bit machine. In my case the problem was likely triggered after I added an Xbox as an extender - I suspect that even though the media files themselves did not change, the file permissions were updated automatically by Windows to give access to the new user. I did not notice that backups were duplicating all the files (around a terrabyte) until I started to get the "Reconnect your drive" and "Your File History drive was disconnected for too long" messages - which seem to be related to File History not noticing that the previous backup cycle was still copying (it will take days for a full refresh in my case). I have had to go back to robocopy as my primary means of backup for now, and have turned File History off until this problem gets resolved.

    Perhaps there are other related ways that confuse File History into thinking entire libraries have changed, such as simply sharing the library with the home network or other new users? And then once the backup cycle overlaps with the next run it all goes downhill from there?

    Thursday, December 06, 2012 3:49 PM
  • Just letting Jacob know I found this thread due to the excessively saving copies of files problem still ocurring for me, on a fully patched Windows 8 Pro 32-bit machine. In my case the problem was likely triggered after I added an Xbox as an extender - I suspect that even though the media files themselves did not change, the file permissions were updated automatically by Windows to give access to the new user. I did not notice that backups were duplicating all the files (around a terrabyte) until I started to get the "Reconnect your drive" and "Your File History drive was disconnected for too long" messages - which seem to be related to File History not noticing that the previous backup cycle was still copying (it will take days for a full refresh in my case). I have had to go back to robocopy as my primary means of backup for now, and have turned File History off until this problem gets resolved.

    Perhaps there are other related ways that confuse File History into thinking entire libraries have changed, such as simply sharing the library with the home network or other new users? And then once the backup cycle overlaps with the next run it all goes downhill from there?


    I think you may have the clue here Jammy. Yesterday I shared my music library and a couple of other smaller folders on the Homegroup. I have found that since doing this File History seems to have backed up these folders again, around 120 gigs of duplicate backups where the files in the folders have not changed for years! I have a fully patched system here .... Windows 8 pro 64bit.
    Friday, December 07, 2012 9:10 AM
  • Thanks for the info about the $OF folder Jacob. I know where my long file names go now!
    Friday, December 07, 2012 9:20 AM
  • With my File History drive almost full, and no sign of a fix, I have gone back to square one:

    1. Turned off File History for all users
    2. Formatted the File History Drive
    3. Turned on File History for all users

    First backups are currently running. 

    I hope this problem will not recur. If it does, I hope that by the time Microsoft come up with a fix the fix includes clean-up of redundant backups. Having to start from square one is a pain.

    Will MS fix it though? They have been notably absent from this thread since November 21. Not too impressive!


    • Edited by Julian Ladbury Saturday, December 08, 2012 3:01 PM Add a little more
    Saturday, December 08, 2012 3:00 PM
  • I still have to wonder:  Why did Microsoft eliminate the Previous Versions feature and "replace" it with something more limited and that doesn't really work?  A fun project for young developers who weren't part of prior developments?

    Square zero may be viable...  Reinstall Windows 7 and wait for Windows 8 Service Pack 1, and schedule Windows Backups.  The advice to never upgrade before service pack 1 is as valid as ever with Windows 8.

    A fresh install of Windows 7 works as fast as Windows 8 on most hardware.  Windows 8 tidied up the boot a bit, and because it doesn't start so many processes it uses a bit less memory, but for normal operations it's no better.

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Sunday, December 09, 2012 2:39 AM
  • Noel:  I could argue that File History works better than Previous Versions.  I could argue that Windows 8 is good even before any service packs for it.  I could argue that sticking with Windows 7 is not advisable.

    But I won't, because this thread is not about OS version feature comparisons.  It's about solving the File History problem.  If you aren't going to help to solve it, then please take your negativity elsewhere.  If you have input regarding the problem and/or a solution, then it would be most welcomed.

    Thank you,
    Jacob

    Sunday, December 09, 2012 3:05 AM
  • Noel:  I could argue that File History works better

    LOL, not convincingly you can't.  I'm sorry I touched a nerve about your decision to upgrade, but my message is valid for others who might read this thread.

    But no matter - you have every right to expect the feature to work properly.

    Have you tried clearing and fully rebuilding your index?

    Open Indexing Options, click the [Advanced] button, then in the Advanced Options dialog click the [Rebuild] button.  You wouldn't be the first to find indexing to have corrupted itself.

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Sunday, December 09, 2012 2:14 PM
  • Have you noticed that on the file history page, if you click on Advanced Settings, then on Clean up Versions, it gives you a choice to delete files: "all but the latest." That worked for me. I had multiple copies in my backup file, but that cleaned it up and freed my backup drive of tons of space.

    Dorothy

    Tuesday, December 11, 2012 12:14 PM
  • Hi Dorothy,

    I guess you are having the same problem as us.

    Thanks for your tip, but as I mentioned in the original post, "my only option is to remove the older versions of the files. Removing older versions does not give me much of a backup, since if something happened, I could not roll back to known good versions."  So, if something like a virus did truncate each of your files by chopping off the last half of each file, the bad versions would get backed up, and your tip would lose the good versions.

    I am shocked that more and more people are joining in to say that this is a problem.  Where is Microsoft's answer?

    Tuesday, December 11, 2012 12:52 PM
  • I have the same problem as well, I have now more than 1TB of history backups on my server.

    Many versions of the same file, which can not have changed at all.

    Sometimes even with exactly the same timestamp.

    I am now deleting all history execpt the last versions.

    If Microsoft does not solve this soon, I'll turn it off all together and get back to the WHS backups.

    Saturday, December 15, 2012 6:29 AM
  • Well, it turns out deleting all execpt the last version, works at a snails pace: 6 / second, while having 100.000+ to go.

    So, I now turned Files History off all together and deleted the history files manually.

    Saturday, December 15, 2012 6:43 AM
  •  I think that windows 8 file history is having the same problems as robocopy used to have while copying files to a NAS.

    The NAS system use FAT file times in stead of NTFS file times.

    So by copying files to your nas the time stamp will be rounded by 2 seconds causing robocopy to think the file is different as will copy it again the next time.

    Microsoft introcuced a /FFT option in robocopy to ignore 2 second differences.

    @Microsoft can you please introduce a similar option for file history so we can start backing up our windows 8 to NAS again please ????

    File history is in principle a great tool but we need to be able to backup to NAS.......
    • Edited by cabrio4ever Sunday, December 16, 2012 6:43 AM
    Sunday, December 16, 2012 6:41 AM
  • NAS might be involved for some, but not for me. My File History drive is just an external drive connected via USB.
    Sunday, December 16, 2012 9:53 AM
  • NAS might be involved for some, but not for me. My File History drive is just an external drive connected via USB.

    Same here and it's still as bad. Seems fine when you leave things alone. It will just back up the odd small change.

    Still wondering if it's got anything to do with permissions and folder/file sharing or more than one drive on the system.  Is there anyone out there that gets this problem on a simple single c: drive installation (no other drives for personal files music, photos etc.) or perhaps with no network/homegroup file sharing involved.

    Sunday, December 16, 2012 2:22 PM
  • I also have the same issue. It keeps copying the same files, even if they did not change. In particular, it happens for my 500 Gb of photos which are on an external usb hard drive. This hard drive is not always connected. The backup is on another external hard drive.

    Could it be that File History get messed up by this disconnection?

    Monday, December 17, 2012 3:58 PM
  • I also have the same issue. It keeps copying the same files, even if they did not change. In particular, it happens for my 500 Gb of photos which are on an external usb hard drive. This hard drive is not always connected. The backup is on another external hard drive.

    Could it be that File History get messed up by this disconnection?

    Don't think so. I've tried it on an external usb drive and an internal permanently connected drive. Same problem on both.
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 12:53 PM
  • I have the same problem with excessive copies. I have done all the Advance Options and tried deleting file history and re-run it, but have the same problem after a few days.

    Microsoft owns a software SyncToy 2.0. This sync your files and it deletes old files if a new one is available. Sync Toy doesn't automatically back up your files. Have to do it manually. Why can't Microsoft integrate this with file history and maybe it will work correctly.

    Wednesday, December 26, 2012 3:52 PM
  • This is a major problem for me as well, on a fully patched Win8Pro machine.  It makes the feature un-usable, back to full image backups until this is fixed.

    Friday, December 28, 2012 4:11 AM
  • Zero,

    It is now over a month since anyone from MS informed us about the status of this problem. I would be grateful if you could at least let us know if anyone is investigating.

    As for me, I will soon have to go back to square one with File History for the second time. Since I did so on December 8, the problem still remains. Here are some example files:

    At the time of writing, my C:\Users directory - which contains items which File History ignores - contains 161,155 files in 14,544 directories according to a Robocopy listing. My File History drive contains 642,415 files in 11,214 directories. I hope this additional information might assist diagnosis.

    Saturday, December 29, 2012 1:47 PM
  • I am having the same problem. Installed Windows 8 just over a week ago and now have 1.5TB of seemingly endless copies of the same files that have never changed.

    I would appreciate a solution from Microsoft.

    If I tick the option ""keep saved version until space is needed" will this option always retain the latest version of a file (if there is space - which I know there is because I have nowhere near 1.5 TB of data on my PC!). Could this be a temporary solution until a permanent solution is found? Presumably, as long as the user knows that the external drive is large enough to accommodate everything on the main PC then no files should be lost in the event of a disaster if this setting is used.

    Tuesday, January 01, 2013 1:31 AM
  • If I tick the option ""keep saved version until space is needed" will this option always retain the latest version of a file (if there is space - which I know there is because I have nowhere near 1.5 TB of data on my PC!). Could this be a temporary solution until a permanent solution is found? Presumably, as long as the user knows that the external drive is large enough to accommodate everything on the main PC then no files should be lost in the event of a disaster if this setting is used.

    bgeeees,

    That is not a temporary solution, because you will only have a rolling backup of recent versions of files.  Since a lots of people are reporting several versions are being saved in a short time span, then any external HD will fill up quickly, and throw away the old versions.  If a virus snuck in and messed up your files, and you didn't realize it for a few days/weeks, you may not be able to roll back far enough to a version before the virus; the good versions may have been thrown away already.

    I'm sorry you have this problem.  We all want it fixed.

    Microsoft / Zero:
    WHERE ARE YOU ON THIS ISSUE?!?  I AM STILL WORRIED OF POTENTIAL DATA LOSS!


    Tuesday, January 01, 2013 2:00 AM
  • I'm having the same problem.  My 1tb backup drive just filled up over the last week or so, with copies of < 200 gb of mainly music files that I would expect to remain unchanged.  It's backing up to an internal hard drive.  It's a new Dell, Windows 8 ("core") upgraded to Windows 8 Pro, with an XBox360 as an extender, running the McAfee SecurityCenter that it came with.  Hope MSFT fixes this soon.
    Saturday, January 05, 2013 12:25 AM
  • Microsoft, where are you?

    I've had the problem happen again, where all my data is being unnecessarily backed up again, even though I've not changed the data nor metadata.
    I think it might be related to me setting up a HomeGroup, and sharing data through it.

    Can you please tell us -- have you been able to advance at all in finding/fixing this bug?
    We're giving you as many hints as we can, as to the cause, but please please please invest more into fixing it!

    Saturday, January 05, 2013 8:51 PM
  • Just share some experience with you: If you think this is a bug, please submit a case to Microsoft, they will not charge you. Forum is just an open environment, no one is promising that there will be someone to help you all the time. If the issue has big bussiness impact to you, it's NOT suitable to open a post here to wait, what you will lose will be more than the money opening a support case.


    Thanks

    WSA

    Help others first before you ask for help

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post if my post helps you.

    Wednesday, January 09, 2013 4:16 AM
  • It appears that, for me, the problem is only happening on the following Libraries:
    Music
    Pictures
    Videos

    I don't think it's a coincidence that these are the default shares for a HomeGroup, when setting one up, and I recently did set one up. Also, when setting a HomeGroup up, I believe the user can also choose to include the sharing of Documents within the HomeGroup.

    So, I believe the possible libraries that could exhibit this behavior are:
    Documents
    Music
    Pictures
    Videos

    So, the next questions are:
    - Does anyone have evidence that this problem is happening outside of those 4 libraries?
    - Does anyone have exact reproducible steps, involving creating/editing a HomeGroup, that triggers this undesirable behavior?

    I will be doing some HomeGroup testing this weekend, but any assistance would be helpful.  I'd like to know the exact reproducible steps before contacting Microsoft Support directly.

    Thanks,
    Jacob


    Wednesday, January 09, 2013 4:33 PM
  • Jacob,

    I can confirm that I have a HomeGroup, and that the four libraries you mention (including Documents) are shared in the group.

    Sadly I have no exact reproducible steps, but can only repeat that the problem occurs with that setup.

    I have hesitated to mention another observation about File History so as not to muddy the waters, but in case you get any progress with MS you might like to note that I had to exclude C:\Users\Public from all but one user's File History. Without doing that, a separate copy of Public libraries was maintained for each user: and, as for historical reasons most of our shared files are in Public, this represented a huge unnecessary duplication of backups.

    Thanks for pursuing this. I am still watching this thread, so if I can provide any more info just ask here.  

    Wednesday, January 09, 2013 4:48 PM
  • I've recently set up File History and am also seeing mass duplication of files that haven't changed.

    As you've noted, there does seem to be some correspondence to the default HomeGroup shares - I see duplicates in all the photos (that I've looked at), but not in the documents (which aren't shared).

    I can't believe that both Storage Spaces, and File History have such obvious flaws - but I guess that's what comes with not having beta testers like MS used to have, and of not listening to customers when they try to tell you there are problems. :(

    Wednesday, January 09, 2013 10:58 PM
  • Jacob

    I am convinced (see my message 7th Dec 2012) that this problem is to do with Homegroup / Sharing, Changing file permissions etc. I have the Music and Pictures folders shared with Everyone (3 Laptops and the Sony TV) in my Homegroup and these seem to be the only two that I have problems with. Likewise I one laptop in the Homegroup that has it's Pictures Library shared and it has happened on this machine also. If I change permissions or share with another user the problem seems to occur. Unfortunately I still have not found what exact steps trigger the problem. I'm guessing when the system sees a change in a folder and even though no files have actually changed in that folder it decides to back up the lot! Not a lot of use as space gets used and backups that are not so old are deleted!!

    It seems as if Microsoft have deserted us on this one. I hope you're testing is successful and that you get some joy with Microsoft Support. Please keep us updated.

    Thanks

    Roger

    Thursday, January 10, 2013 10:48 AM
  • I too have been having this problem. I only have this PC on my Homegroup (our laptop is Win 7). However, I've now removed the share on the music, picture and video files and am starting again (not an issue for me). I will come back should the problem recur as that would probably indicate that sharing isn't the issue.

    I'll also keep monitoring this to see if a fix has been found.

    Malcolm

    Thursday, January 10, 2013 3:01 PM
  • Same problem here, I have a 1GB USB Backup drive, turned File History on yesterday and is already full off duplicated files. This has been going on since October and no solution/workaround ?

    Right, this is what I'm going to do :-

    1/ turn off Homegroup (reading above post got me thinking, I added Document to my homegroup sharing, noticed someone said there documents were not being duplicated? probably a red herring.)

    2/ clean up versions

    3/ will let you know if this works, will take a couple of days.
    • Edited by Nickrno77 Friday, January 11, 2013 6:09 PM
    Friday, January 11, 2013 6:02 PM
  • Same problem here too! Was amazed to track down the use of over 700GB of space on my 3GB Synology NAS to the excessive copying of mostly unchanged music, video and pictures by the File History feature of Windows 8.

    I'm really surprised that Microsoft haven't addressed the issue or even had the courtesy to date of keeping you guys updated on progress.

    I too tried the option of deleting all but the most recent copy (which as my total library size is around 50GB, should free up around 650GB) which windows 8 estimated would take 3 hours to do, only to return to see that in the meantime it subsequently duplicated my entire backup. Yes that's right - my original 50GB plus a second complete copy of everything!

    Madness.

    Off it goes now!

    All the best guys and impressed with your patience.

    Thursday, January 17, 2013 4:19 PM
  • Bob, I am sorry to laugh, because that's rude, but... in the name of peace, that's ridiculous! It's not a File History, it's a serpent eating its own tail... My gosh!

    Well this is the world we live in And these are the hands we're given...

    Thursday, January 17, 2013 4:46 PM
  • It's not a File History, it's a serpent eating its own tail...

    LOL, I just free-associated to a famous serpent.  As I recall it recommended Apple.

     

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options



    • Edited by Noel Carboni Thursday, January 17, 2013 6:54 PM Removed inadvertent mistake
    Thursday, January 17, 2013 5:45 PM
  • Thanks Noel, I'm tempted...

    Thursday, January 17, 2013 8:15 PM
  • Have been watching this thread for some time as have had multiple copies created right back to when I first turned File History on.  File History was one of the features I really liked in Windows 8.

    I noted several references to HomeGroup as a suspect.  I turned off HomeGroup about 4 days ago, and since then File History is working perfectly with no duplicates being created on unchanged files.  I have a lot of music and picture files, so my 1TB drive rapidly filled.

    I can still stream my music and pictures to my TV and / or xbox without HomeGroup, so no problem there.

    If anything changes will advise, but until MS fixes this I would rather live without HomeGroup (networking still not hard without it) than without File History.

    Thursday, January 17, 2013 10:21 PM
  • I just read the entire thread. In the middle of it I was hoping it concludes to a solution. How disappointed (but not really surprised) I was there was none at the end. It's so sad Microsoft has abandoned this thread.

    I'm experiencing the same issue. Win8 Pro with MCE 64bit, clean install, BitLocker on, 1 local disk only, Homegroup on, no 3rd party AV or firewall or whatsoever, File History backing up to a Synology NAS.

    So I have just

    • turned File History off,
    • wiped out my current backup,
    • cleaned %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\FileHistory, both Configuration and Data,
    • left Homegroup,
    • restarted my PC,
    • turned on and set up File History again,

    and I let you know in a week if helped stop duplicating videos/music/pictures.

    Microsoft, you did GREAT job this year. Win8, Office 2013, WP8, Outlook.com, please, don't let us down by not finishing it properly.

    Thursday, January 17, 2013 10:30 PM
  • OK - I can live without HOMEGROUP too. I will give this a go and report back in the next few days on my experience as well. Thanks all.
    Thursday, January 17, 2013 10:44 PM
  • For what it's worth, the Homegroup feature is not needed to do networking "as it always has been". 

    You need to do things like have the same username and password on multiple systems to make it ultimately convenient, but that's no big deal.

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Thursday, January 17, 2013 11:46 PM
  • Same problem here, I have a 1GB USB Backup drive, turned File History on yesterday and is already full off duplicated files. This has been going on since October and no solution/workaround ?

    Right, this is what I'm going to do :-

    1/ turn off Homegroup (reading above post got me thinking, I added Document to my homegroup sharing, noticed someone said there documents were not being duplicated? probably a red herring.)

    2/ clean up versions

    3/ will let you know if this works, will take a couple of days.

    I also cleaned %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\FileHistory, both Configuration and Data,

    Now Disk is not filling up but in Restore Personal Files looking at the latest backup its a bit misleading it appears all files are backed up again but they are not, its just showing all backed up files and changed files since last backup. I think what I'm saying is correct?

    Another annoying thing is that I have to shut down Outlook 2007 to allow File History to backup my Outlook.pst files, you would MS would have been able to get File History to Backup open files.

    Friday, January 18, 2013 12:43 AM
  • I've also been having this problem. I tried file history again today hoping that the updates that were installed this week may have addressed the issue, but to no avail. However, I've just tried turning off the home group function and everything seems to be working fine.  Hopefully MS will get on to this quickly now, but it's not like I ever used home group anyway. Thanks to everyone for their suggestions.
    Friday, January 18, 2013 6:29 AM
  • I removed share on my music etc. files (didn't remove homegroup) and it hasn't duplicated since 10th (see above), so it seems in the sharing of music/photos etc. causing problems rather than homegroup itself - or have I misread that situation?

    Malcolm
    Friday, January 18, 2013 11:44 AM
  • @Access_MDB

    Do you mean, you have disabled the Media Sharing feature?

    In other words, could you please confirm, you disabled the following option: PC settings->HomeGroup Allow all devices on the network such as TVs and game console to play my shared content.


    Well this is the world we live in And these are the hands we're given...


    Friday, January 18, 2013 11:51 AM
  • Yes I think that's what I did. I don't have a game console and my TV doesn't have access to my network, so that's not an issue for me. If you need TV etc access than I suggest you try sharing with these and switching other shares off. I'm hoping that someone from MS is reading this thread and might say - 'hmm, that's a good clue'. Oh I can hear some pigs flying overhead - cloud's too low to see them though!
    Friday, January 18, 2013 1:08 PM
  • Since I switched HomeGroup off, File History appears to be working sensibly. Only changed files appear to being backed up. My NAS is noticably quieter and my laptop far more responsive (as it isn't constantly backing up!!)

    Thanks all - nearly gave up on File History. More than happy to live without HomeGroup as it really isn't needed in Win 8 as Noel helpfully pointed out above.

    Friday, January 18, 2013 3:05 PM
  • Anyone know why I'm not getting any events in the File History backup log ? I did when I first turned File History on, not now though.
    Saturday, January 19, 2013 12:04 PM
  • I switched off Media Sharing not Homegroup and that seems to have fixed the problem as well.  I still have a few files (old music and photos) that are duplicate (just two copies) that I can't explain, but for the most part it now looks like I'm only backing up files that I have changed.  I have a lot of photos and I'm keeping file histore on a  12T storage space drive.  File history was set for hourly and my drive was filling up in days.  I've now been about a week and my history appears to be pretty stable.
    Wednesday, January 23, 2013 12:17 PM
  • Drive almost full again. Back to square one again after formatting the drive and, this time, turning off Homegroup. Will report back in a week or so to confirm whether switching off Homegroup has helped for me.
    Monday, January 28, 2013 2:05 PM
  • I had been meaning to report back my latest findings.  Here is what I've found:

    On the weekend where I tried to figure out the "trigger" of the problem, I was not successful.  I tried several steps (listed below), but could never get the problem to back up the files in duplicate, on demand.  But it still happened after my testing, so the problem still exists.

    Furthermore, after that testing concluded, I decided to turn off HomeGroup for my 3 networked Windows 8 machines, and reboot them all, while leaving the Media Streaming options on and allowed for all devices.  I also reset File History to clear it out, along with all the duplicates it had. This was a little over a week ago, on Saturday January 19th.  I have not seen duplicate backups since then. This leads me to believe that the problem happens when HomeGroup is enabled.

    I will let it go for at least another 2 weeks, and if it's not doing duplicate backups still, then I'll call Microsoft to report the problem.  They may ignore a single complainer, so if some of you guys could also do your own tests (with turning HomeGroup off, while leaving Media Streaming on, rebooting, and confirming the results), and then you guys report to Microsoft too... maybe they'll acknowledge and fix the problem.

    The steps I tried to trigger the problem, were:
    While in HomeGroup with Music/Pictures/Videos shared:
    - Placed file in Videos
    - FileHistory backed it up
    - Ran FileHistory again
    - FileHistory did not duplicate
    - HomeGroup -> Change what you're sharing -> (don't change anything) -> Next -> Finish
    - FileHistory did not duplicate
    - Allow all devices -> Turn On Media Streaming -> Go with defaults -> Next -> Don't change homegroup shares
    - FileHistory did not duplicate
    - Change HomeGroup to not share Videos
    - FileHistory did not duplicate
    - Change HomeGroup to share Videos
    - FileHistory did not duplicate
    - Leave the HomeGroup
    - FileHistory did not duplicate
    - Rejoin the HomeGroup
    - FileHistory did not duplicate
    - Have a different computer leave Homegroup
    - FileHistory did not duplicate
    - Have that computer rejoin Homegroup
    - FileHistory did not duplicate
    - Disband the HomeGroup by leaving on all computers
    - FileHistory did not duplicate
    - Created new HomeGroup
    - FileHistory did not duplicate
    - Have another computer join the HomeGroup
    - FileHistory did not duplicate

    Monday, January 28, 2013 2:39 PM
  • I suggest there may be more than 1 trigger event.  I have gotten this it to work by disabling Media Sharing on all machines.  I have kept Homegroup active on all machines.  I has now been working without issue for several weeks.

    Regards

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 8:23 PM
  • Didn't need a week or so to report back after turning off HomeGroup 3 days ago. I just noticed an unexpected growth in my File History. A cursory inspection showed the problem is still there:

    

    I never liked HomeGroup anyway, so will leave it off. 

    Will check Media Sharing later today, turn it off if it is on anywhere in the network, and report back in a few days.

    Thursday, January 31, 2013 1:37 PM
  • Julian,

    After you turned HomeGroup off, did you make sure to both manually run FileHistory (to flush out any queued duplicates), and restart the system (to ensure HomeGroup was not initialized during the session), before monitoring for duplicates?

    Thursday, January 31, 2013 1:39 PM
  • Jacob,

    Probably effectively, though I can't be sure. As far as I recall, my course of action was as follows:

    1. Turn off Homegroup
    2. Format the File History drive
    3. Log an to each user on each machine and check their File History settings. In every case, File History said it could not find the original drive. I therefore navigated to and selected the re-formatted drive and ran File History.

    I certainly restarted every system during this process, but can't say for sure at exactly what point. I will be more disciplined when I deal with the Media Sharing and take more detailed notes.

    Thursday, January 31, 2013 1:49 PM
  • Fair enough.

    Just keep in mind that, when the trigger happens, it first queues up the duplicate copy locally.  And so, it may not have been "flushed out" to the external hard drive yet.  So, after you've setup your test scenario, you still should use File History "Run now" to flush out the local copies, before monitoring for triggered duplication.

    Based on what you've described, I believe it's possible that duplicates were queued locally, and then synced when you redid the File History settings.

    Thursday, January 31, 2013 2:26 PM
  • Hello All,

    I have having the same problem here. It's very painful and frustrating.

    I’m glad I’m not the only one.  I’ve read the entire thread and am sad to see that there’s no solution.  Is there anyone having this problem that does not have the Windows Media Center Add-On.  I recall I Windows 7 WMC would cause similar issues with Windows Back Up.

    MS PLEASE HELP!!!!

    Thanks,

    Saturday, February 02, 2013 6:08 PM
  • Same problem with me, multiple copies of identical unchanged files and backup disk full.
    I've read another thread as well, it is a big problem that needs to be fixed soon!
    Major Windows 8 Pro (with Media Center) bug!!!!
    Wednesday, February 06, 2013 3:35 PM
  • I'm having the same issue.  In just two weeks my backup storage has now grown to over 500GB.  That is about 4 times the size of the entire drive I run file history on.  I'm going to have to disable File History and seek some other solution if the issue is not resolved.
    Thursday, February 07, 2013 8:04 PM
  • WHERE IS MS!!!!

    Has anyone from MS addressed this yet?

    I just tried Windows Back Up and that does the exact same thing.  Very Sad MS!!!!

    Any one have a backup solution that works that will do incremintal backups?

    Thanks!

    Thursday, February 14, 2013 10:23 PM
  • Some more info from other forums that might be relevant:

    1) Files created before Windows 8 seem to be flagged as modified every time they are accessed (as evidenced by the setting of the ARCHIVE attribute). Something to do with new file attributes at Windows 8.

    2) Any folder that is added to a library is also silently being added to the Windows search index (you can check this in "Indexing Options" on the Control Panel). I suspect the search index process is trawling the libraries and triggering the modified flag on pre-windows 8 files.

    The above is not happening for everybody (and on only 3 out of my 4 disks), so not clear what the full set of conditions is. For now I have removed the media folders in the search indexing options. This could be off the mark but throwing it out there...

    Saturday, February 16, 2013 5:06 PM
  • Is there anyone having this problem that does not have the Windows Media Center Add-On.

    Yes.  I have the problem with Win 8 Pro 32-bit (upgraded from Win 7), no Media Center Add-On.  However, the separate networked machine that is hosting the external backup drive is Win 8 Pro 64-bit with Media Center Add-On.  Lately, that host machine is not producing duplicates for its own History Files, while the 32-bit machine is.

    As a band-aid to remove duplicate files generated by Win 8 File History, keeping only latest versions:

    Control Panel > File History > Advanced settings > Clean up versions > All but the latest one

    This option works efficiently, but does not necessarily prevent duplicates in future file history backups.



    Sunday, March 03, 2013 1:58 AM
  • I have Win 8 Pro, no Media Center (and none in the house).

    The only replication I see is with my Pictures and Music libraries.  I've seen no sign of anything under Documents or any of the other libraries I've created.  I don't have any videos so I don't know about them.  In the case of Pictures, the only replication is in 'My Pictures', I've a handful of files in 'Public Pictures' and they're not replicated.

    Someone had a theory that it was related to sharing in a Homegroup.  I stopped sharing my music, but not pictures a while ago but this had no effect.

    Regarding the theory that it is only files created prior to Windows 8 being installed, I have some files under 'My Pictures' that are new but they're still replicated.

    It is unrelated to file types.  I have gpx files in 'My Pictures' as well as elsewhere and it is only the ones in 'My Pictures' that are replicated.

    However, while it appears to me that virtually all my files under 'My Pictures' and 'My Music' are replicated, it's not quite the case.  I thought at first that this might be confirming the theory about new files.  However, as best I can tell it applies to files that really are changing.  So, while most of my files were copied yesterday at 7:30 pm, various iTunes related files which had been backed up a week or so earlier weren't copied then.

    So while I might be wrong, I'm predicting it has nothing to do with the files themselves, their types, attributes or when and how they're created and everything to do with their location.

    Sunday, March 03, 2013 6:57 PM
  •  I'm predicting it has nothing to do with the files themselves, their types, attributes or when and how they're created and everything to do with their location.

    In today's File History backup, only files in my Pictures directory were duplicated.  Other folders were either unchanged or had sensibly backed up files which changed.

    Also, I have no files in Music folder and none in Videos folder, so of course there is nothing being duplicated there.  However, the Date modified attribute of these two folders on the backup drive has been changed to the date/time of the File History backup!!  The only other backup folders to have their Date modified changed are the subset in which files were actually backed up.  My Documents folder behaved sensibly, in that its Date modified attribute was unchanged, while one if its subfolders was updated.

    So there indeed appears to be something very strange going on with Music, Pictures, and Videos folders.

    ----------------------------------------

    EDIT:  Upon closer examination of the "empty" Music and Video folders, each contains a normally hidden system file desktop.ini (attributes HSA) which has been created and saved in the last update.  Could this file be triggering backups of these otherwise empty directories? I also see a normally hidden system file thumbs.db (attributes HSA) in the picture folders which also gets backed up.  thumbs.db contains thumbnails for all pictures and can get updated when you access the folder (for example viewing thumbnails in Explorer window), even without changing any of the picture files.  Could these hidden system files be the mysterious triggers for File History backups?  If so, they are by themselves not the only problem, since many other folders (all of which do not get duplicates) outside of Pictures subdirectories also have thumbs.db files.  I will experiment with disabling thumbnail cache generation and deleting thumbs.db in all folders.

    • Edited by BlueDragon48 Wednesday, March 06, 2013 5:43 AM remove trailing blank lines
    Monday, March 04, 2013 7:08 PM
  • Proposed Fix 1:  Disable thumbnail cache on each machine.  Steps:

    1) To see thumbs.db, make hidden system files visible in Explorer:

    File Explorer > View > Options > Change folder and search options > View tab > Advanced settings: >[uncheck] Hide protected operating system files (Recommended).

    2) How to Enable or Disable the Thumbnail Cache in Windows.  In summary:

    Local Group Policy Editor > Local Computer Policy > User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > File Explorer > Turn off the caching of thumbnails in hidden thumbs.db files > Enabled;   reboot. 

    3) From Users directory (typically C:\Users), search for thumbs.db.  Delete all instances of thumbs.db in the search window results.  They should no longer be re-generated.

    4) Delete the thumbnails cache by running Disk Cleanup Utility (search for it in Start menu) > Let it scan your system drive > [check the box] Thumbnails > OK.

    5) Run File History to purge its cache.  At this point, examining your backup data may still reveal new duplicates in the Pictures folder.  You may want to run File History > Advanced Settings > Clean up versions > All but the latest one.

    6) Run File History.

    7) Hide system files in File Explorer.

    Note: You will still be able to see thumbnail images in Explorer if desired (per View options), they just will not be cached.  I have not seen any significant performance hit.

    [Edit:  See Proposed Fix 2 below]

    Wednesday, March 06, 2013 5:20 AM
  • You have not seen a performance hit because Windows doesn't actually USE those thumbs.db files - they're just generated for compatibility with (who knows what ancient application).

    I've been running all my Windows systems for years with that policy change (not to generate thumbs.db).  It's a change with nearly no downside, and a number of upsides.

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Wednesday, March 06, 2013 6:06 AM
  • Noel:  Well that's good news, thanks.  Have you encountered the issue which is the topic of this thread?
    Wednesday, March 06, 2013 6:19 AM
  • I'm not sure if anyone has pointed it out cause I didn't read it all.  But this isn't a bug at all.  File History is doing exactly what it's suppose to be doing.  The reason for the duplicate files is because it keeps a record and saves the same file incase it changes.

    Go to File History Advanced Settings and change how often it saves per day, and how long it keeps a file for.

    Defult setting sets the file history at saving every hour and keeping the copies forever.  So yes, that will fill your drive up really fast.

    The only bug is the defult settings are way too high.

    Thursday, March 07, 2013 5:18 AM
  • When working properly, File History adds to its data set only those files which have changed since the last run, independent of  Advanced Settings.  At least that is the commonly assumed intent - you can verify using File Explorer (or a tool like TreeSize Pro for comparing folder tree snapshots) to examine the actual saved data on the backup drive.

    Proposed Fix 2:  Win 8 Automatic Maintenance runs the task File History (Maintenance Mode) which does a duplicating back up of files in the Music, Pictures, and Video folders.  While you may not want to disable Automatic Maintenance entirely (enable/disable in Task Scheduler; set daily schedule in Control Panel > Action Center > Maintenance > Automatic Maintenance), you can separately disable File History (Maintenance Mode) in Task Scheduler:

    Control Panel > Task Scheduler > Task Scheduler (Local) > Task Scheduler Library > Microsoft > Windows > FileHistory > Name: select File History (maintenance mode) > Selected Item (rightmost panel) > Disable.

    Disabling this task prevents duplicating back ups when Automatic Maintenance runs, while still allowing ordinary File History to function normally.  Enable All Tasks History in the Task Scheduler Actions (upper right panel) to track future behavior.  Oddly, ordinary File History does not appear in Task Scheduler by default.

    For additional info, see recent posts in MS Community Forum Windows > Windows 8 > Files, Folders, and Online storage:  Windows 8 File History backup creates duplicates

    Proposed Fix 2 is the solution to the problem described by the original poster, I believe.

    Proposed Fix 1 (above) rids your system and future backups of the annoying thumbs.db files.

    Thursday, March 07, 2013 3:52 PM
  • Thank you BlueDragon48...for taking the time to post a solution...

    I will give your proposed fixes 1 and 1 a try and report back....in a few days...

    Michael!

    Saturday, March 09, 2013 12:52 AM
  • Proposed Fix 2:  Win 8 Automatic Maintenance runs the task File History (Maintenance Mode) which does a duplicating back up of files in the Music, Pictures, and Video folders. ....

    Disabling this task prevents duplicating back ups when Automatic Maintenance runs, while still allowing ordinary File History to function normally.

    Update.  It looks like MS may have fixed this issue in their most recent release of updates delivered 3/13/2013 (though I have not found an explicit KB reference).  Today I re-enabled File History (Maintenance Mode) since it appears to play an important role in repairing File History errors and no longer generates spurious duplicates for me.

    Background:  I ran with Proposed Fix 2 for the last week.  I only encountered two cases of mass duplication - one after the automatic change to local Daylight Savings Time (3/10/2013) and a second after cleaning up the 3/13 update files (likely due to ESENT events).  However, at one point, my second machine, when it left the HomeGroup, lost access to the File History backup drive for 2 days.  Until I remedied that by granting read/write file sharing, this machine was generating File History errors since it could not save out the files accumulated in its cache.  After enabling sharing, File History was unable to completely fix all the errors, so the File History drive was missing many new files and folders - very bad. 

    I then undid Proposed Fix 2 by enabling File History (Maintenance Mode) and ran Action Center > Maintenance > Automatic Maintenance > Start maintenance.  To my joyful surprise, no unnecessary duplicates were created and the missing files corresponding to the previous errors were copied onto the File History drive!  Issue finally fixed!  Note that subsequently joining a new HomeGroup and running Maintenance also did not generate spurious duplicates.

    Beware that the File History window is silent when errors such as unsaved file are generated.  You can see them in File History > Advanced settings > Event logs > Open File History event logs to view recent events or errors. Alternatively, I create a Custom View in Event Viewer.

    There is still a bug in the File History window "Files last copied on date/time".  It usually does not update for scheduled saves, though this action is tracked as a state change in the events log.

      So Win 8 is much closer to having a valuable new feature, at least here for me.  I'll watch it carefully for another week.



    Friday, March 15, 2013 7:51 PM
  • Well, since January 19th (from when I told my machine to leave the HomeGroup, and restarted it), there was no File History duplication.... until now.

    This morning, I ran File History by clicking "Reconnect your drive" in Action Center, and it backed up the correct versions of files that had changed, and then I properly disconnected the drive and stored it. But then, this evening, Action Center said it needed to be reconnected, and now I am watching it duplicate my files!

    This is on a fully patched Windows 8 x64 Pro w/ Media Center PC.

    How frustrating. I looked at BlueDragon48's 2 proposed fixes, but I believe them both to be irrelevant, until proven otherwise. (I had done some testing on the Automatic Maintenance in the past, and found its results to be identical to running File History manually).

    I guess I'll wait for this unnecessary duplication to complete, then figure out which folders/files were duplicated, and...  call Microsoft.  This is absolutely ridiculous.


    Saturday, March 23, 2013 11:20 PM
  • From the best I can tell, everything from the "My Pictures" folder in the Pictures Library, and everything from the "My Videos" folder in the Videos library.... was all erroneously backed up again.

    I wish I had better news, but I don't.  And I can't think of what I might have done today to have triggered the behavior.

    Why can't File History just WORK?

    Sunday, March 24, 2013 1:42 AM
  • FWIW, my File History has run for 2 weeks without duplicate backups.  Operating with Proposed Fix 1 (probably irrelevant) and without Proposed Fix 2, as described in my Update above.

    Windows 8 x64 Pro w/ Media Center PC saving to its external USB drive. Fully patched via Windows Update, but with Media Center automatic updates turned off (don't know if it matters):

    Task Scheduler (Local) > Task Scheduler Library > Microsoft > Windows > Media Center > mcupdate > Disabled

    Task Scheduler (Local) > ...  > Media Center > mcupdate_scheduled > Disabled

    Services (Local) > Media Center Extender Service > Disabled  

    A Win 8 Pro 32-bit laptop without Media Center saves its File History to same drive (shared folder) via wireless network. Both machines are in the HomeGroup.

    Friday, March 29, 2013 5:02 AM
  • Tried all the proposed fixes and it's still happening here. Sometimes it lasts for 3 weeks without duplicates this time it lasted two weeks and duplicated all the music files on my main machine again yesterday! So may I suggest that Microsoft has not fixed this in any updates.  Microsoft must know there's a problem and they seem to be keeping very quiet about it. (They don't get involved in any messages posted here anymore)

    I agree with Jacob. Why can't they get it to WORK? Let's face it Microsoft designed it, so Microsoft should know how to make it work correctly!

    Set up here is Win 8 64bit desktop, on network with two laptops one running win8 32bit the other running win 8 64bit. All machines have the latest updates. All machines back up to 500g drive in the desktop. Problem happens intermittently on all.

    Roger


    • Edited by Rogs2 Monday, May 27, 2013 7:58 AM
    Friday, March 29, 2013 9:16 AM
  • Action Center said it needed to be reconnected, and now I am watching it duplicate my files!

    Maybe it's the Action Center?

    Many people (including myself) have reported that the Win 8 Pro 64-bit Action Center mis-informs about virus protection and firewall state when Kaspersky Internet Security (as well as some other AV/IS packages) is installed.  Seems to be a communication problem with 64-bit Action Center which so far neither Kaspersky nor MS owns up to.  The advice from Kaspersky is to ignore the Action Center and believe their IS.

    I agree MS needs to address these issues.

    Friday, March 29, 2013 7:01 PM
  • I have nothing in particular against Kaspersky, and this is a bit off topic, but wouldn't it make sense to try to find an anti-malware solution that knows how to interact with Windows properly, so that there aren't wrong indications such as what you're describing, BlueDragon?  Kind of seems to me that if the package doesn't even do that properly, there could be holes in the protection as well.  What else, under the covers, couldn't they get to work?

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Saturday, March 30, 2013 1:06 PM
  • I don't think file history only backs up changed files...don't think that's built in, in any case, it doesn't.

    Best solution I've found is to periodically run file history clean up from advanced settings.  This retains the most recent copy of a file.  Particularly when dealing with multiple music and picture files, this works really well...too back it can't be run periodically on a schedule for selected folders, but it does work.

    Sunday, March 31, 2013 6:28 PM
  • Retaining only the most recent copy doesn't leave you with much of a history, does it?

    You're essentially making File History into a backup - something more thoroughly accomplished with a System Image backup (though Previous Versions isn't implemented in Windows 8).

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Monday, April 01, 2013 12:26 AM
  • ... wouldn't it make sense to try to find an anti-malware solution that knows how to interact with Windows properly, so that there aren't wrong indications such as what you're describing, BlueDragon?  ... 

    -Noel

     I have pushed Kaspersky hard on this in their forum and in tech support.  They keep throwing it back as a MS issue.  Clearly they need to work together to resolve it, but I suppose that's far too sensible to happen.  BTW, the identical issue is also reported in a Norton Internet Securtiy forum, indicating to me it is probably a Win 8 Pro 64-bit Action Center bug, API change, or related, which is why a brought it up here.

    Monday, April 01, 2013 4:23 PM
  • Others seem to know how to do it...  I have not seen Windows 8 claim Avast! is has left Windows unprotected, for example.

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Monday, April 01, 2013 11:07 PM
  • Gentlemen, when it it's sort of off the topic, could you please specify if choosing the drive for storing File History when there is some data on this drive leads to loss of the data? I mean would the existing data on the target drive be overwritten with backup copies once I choose this drive in the Control Panel\System and Security\File History\Select Drive?

    Also why does the Select a File History drive window shows only one of my disk drives? For some reason it only shows the drive attached via SATA interface and the virtual RAM drive. The drives attached via USB 2.0 interface in the NexStar's Dual Bay Hard Drive Dock don't show up here. How come?


    Well this is the world we live in And these are the hands we're given...

    Tuesday, April 02, 2013 10:03 AM
  • Gentlemen, when it it's sort of off the topic

    You're right. Your questions are way off topic.  Please consider starting a separate post instead of hijacking this one.
    The title of this thread is: "Windows 8 File History - Excessive backup - Excessively saving copies of files (photos, videos, documents, etc.)"

    Thanks,
    Jacob

    Sunday, April 21, 2013 2:21 AM
  • My problem machine made it nearly 3 weeks without a dup, and now it's just duplicated the whole photo directory again.  I have no idea what triggers it on this machine.  I have two other machines, one never dups anything, and one was on a pace of one dup a month, then duped 3 times in April.

    All machines are Win8 64bit.  My only working theory has to do with user logins or configuration changes.

    The machine that's behaving is a single user login desktop.  Always on the same network.

    The machine that's given me the most trouble is a multi-user desktop.  Multiple users may be logged in concurrently.  This seems to aggravate the dupes.

    The 3rd machine is a single user laptop.  Despite only having one login, it occasionally travels and may get different network and monitor configurations.

    What I can't understand is, how hard is it for File History to look in the destination for the same file version before backing it up again.  If it's already there, skip to the next file.  Duh.

    Terry

    Friday, April 26, 2013 4:20 AM
  • Hi, any news? This thread hasn't been updated for almost two months (excluding the avast off-topic). Have you given up or has it been fixed? :) I'd tried to turn on Homegroup sometime in April, but didn't work (File History duplicated media files again).
    Sunday, May 26, 2013 7:55 AM
  • Hi, any news? This thread hasn't been updated for almost two months (excluding the avast off-topic). Have you given up or has it been fixed? :) I'd tried to turn on Homegroup sometime in April, but didn't work (File History duplicated media files again).

    Hi Karel,

    I guess everyone is sick of complaining about it!! The problem is still as bad here. Obviously Microsoft are ignoring it and us, hoping we will go away. Perhaps they have no idea how to fix it?

    Monday, May 27, 2013 7:54 AM
  • My hard drive took a nose dive on Friday morning. Bought a new computer and used File History to restore all my files; worked a treat. Very pleased with it etc etc. I was VERY careful not to switch in Homegroup or media streaming as a result of my earlier experiences (I last posted in this thread on January 31). Sadly, I have woken up this morning to find that File History has duplicated around 100G of data.

    All I can think of might have triggered the extra run between the first and second File History runs is that I upgraded from Windows 8 to Windows 8 Pro.

    I have not been getting alerts to this thread so have been unaware of anything written for the past couple of months. I will review it and see if I can contribute more.

    What a shame that MS feel unable to contribute.

    Monday, May 27, 2013 8:14 AM
  • TechNet forum is a great place to seek help.

    Wednesday, May 29, 2013 5:30 AM
  • Just adding my name to the now long roster of people with the same problem of duplicate files in File History. Most annoying.  Wish MS had a fix. In my case, I did not use File History before I installed Windows 8 Pro several months back. But after adding a bunch of new home videos to my files, I decided to check the File History backup to make sure they were there, and that is when I discovered the duplicates for files that had previously been backed up. As others note, something makes the files appear new to File History and so they get backed up again and again.
    • Edited by Jpig Thursday, May 30, 2013 2:54 AM
    Thursday, May 30, 2013 2:50 AM
  • I too had the problem. It seems to have gone away. I don't have sufficient evidence to claim total victory. But ever since I changed File History | Advanced Settings from "Forever (Default)" to "Until space is needed" I have had no problems. Other factors may have been at play - some spurious interaction or a full moon - but so far, so good. Now I've just gone and jinxed myself, haven't I?
    Monday, June 03, 2013 11:33 AM
  • This is probably a long shot as I hardly know anything surrounding the file history and win8 backup application.  This is technical info I have not studied at all...

    In this article it explains that the Win8 file history feature takes advantage of NTFS journals where file changes are recorded.  http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Microsoft-File-History-Windows-8-Backup-NTFS,16253.html

    An amateur programmer here explains that one problem with NTFS journals is that it has limited space available by default.  http://ejrh.wordpress.com/2012/07/06/using-the-ntfs-journal-for-backups/

    So I was then wondering how the Win8 backup application actually works in the backend and I can only guess that one possibility is that when the journal runs out of space and is unable to record further changes it may then no longer be able to assess file changes and it will subsequently make another copy of the file when the backup runs.  So when you have an immense file history to keep track of the chances are likely that the journal may be running out of space?

    So if this is the case the options are as follows:

    1. Test with a much smaller backup selection to see if the problem persists.

    2. Increase the frequency of the backups (I assume when the journal is checked chances are likely that more frequent backups will catch the changes before they are cleared)

    3. For the slightly brave...try checking your current NTFS journal size with the following cmd in an elevated cmd prompt -> fsutil usn queryjournal c:

    You may need a hex reader to determine the allocated size. I think you can increase it to say 2gig with the following command -> fstuil usn createjournal m=2147483648 a=1 c:

    This thread is where I got the commands above -> http://www.unitrends.com/forum/showthread.php/273-Adjusting-change-journal-size-for-a-volume

    EDIT:  I think my Win8 PC reads there is only 32meg by default allocated to the NTFS journal.

    I have not tested the above and be warned I hardly know of what I speak here :D as I said it is a long shot.  We have a director of our company who reported the same issue on his home PC so I was trying to research the problem when I stumbled on this thread.  It was a bit disheartening to see there is no fix :( Obviously I can't test my own suggestions above as I am not physically in front of a PC with the issue.  So I may just be forced to suggest another product to the director. 




    • Edited by HoundDog85 Monday, June 03, 2013 3:31 PM
    Monday, June 03, 2013 2:31 PM
  • My question is how do I find and delete all the copies that were made? My new computer's hard drive 150 GB is FULL and I don't know even how to find the copies to delete them all!!! Yikes!!! As said on so many previous posts, mine seems to be duplicate photos but I need a quick way to delete the copies without having to manually go through each picture.

    What a nightmare this is, at least when I found this thread, I realized that I am not losing my mind...

    Wednesday, June 05, 2013 8:11 PM
  • Hi Spaire you can just go to Settings of File HIstory and remove all backups older than a specific time or everything but the latest copy of your files.

    For me HoundDog85's tip worked to increase the NTFS Journal size. Then I deleted all but the latest backup and since then it works like a charm.

    Monday, June 10, 2013 10:51 PM
  • Hi Spaire you can just go to Settings of File HIstory and remove all backups older than a specific time or everything but the latest copy of your files.

    For me HoundDog85's tip worked to increase the NTFS Journal size. Then I deleted all but the latest backup and since then it works like a charm.

    Hi,

    Well I tried HoundDog85's tip and increased my backup disc journal size to 2 gig. Worked like a charm for a week and I thought that it was the answer. Today all 120gig of my music files have replicated themselves!!!! I have not made any changes to my music files for months, So it's back to square 1. I have this nagging feeling that this is never going to work correctly.

    I did notice that while it was duplicating them, file history was not reporting that it was running it was on  "Run Now" and not "Stop"??

    Tuesday, June 18, 2013 3:04 PM
  • Think I found the explanation, and it's SIMPLE!

    File History is working based on the Archive Attribute.

    While Archive Attribute is set NOT ONLY when the data of file is changed, BUT ALSO when the Permissions of file is changed.

    Permissions get changed when the Nerwork-Shareing Status is changed, because new users get permissions or lose permissions.

    HomeGroup is a kind of Network-Shareing.

    So HomeGroup changes permissions of files under "Videos", "Pictures" and "Musics" in Library, more frequently, because it's dynamic.

    Thus, HomeGroup keeps resetting the Archive Attributes of the files which are shared.

    Then File History backup those files whose Archive Attributes resetting by HomeGroup.

    AND SORRY FOR MY POOR ENGLISH...

    Wednesday, June 26, 2013 6:10 PM
  • Well, after deleting my Homegroup with no success I thought HoundDog85 had cracked it with the size issue around NTFS journals, especially as I have several 20GB+ VirtualBox .vdi files.  I upped my NTFS Journal to 2GB and I've had several weeks of running without problems.  Today File History used up 200GB on my external hard disk drive with duplicate copies of files, so back to square 1.  I run Paragon for full system backups; I've decided to go back to SyncToy 2.1 for ad hoc backups of personal data.

    ungrown, note that this machine has no Homegroup connection and no files shared with anyone else on the LAN so I wouldn't expect Permisssions to alter.

    Perhaps Windows 8.1 will fix this issue.....................

    Thursday, June 27, 2013 1:26 PM
  • Well, after deleting my Homegroup with no success I thought HoundDog85 had cracked it with the size issue around NTFS journals, especially as I have several 20GB+ VirtualBox .vdi files.  I upped my NTFS Journal to 2GB and I've had several weeks of running without problems.  Today File History used up 200GB on my external hard disk drive with duplicate copies of files, so back to square 1.  I run Paragon for full system backups; I've decided to go back to SyncToy 2.1 for ad hoc backups of personal data.

    ungrown, note that this machine has no Homegroup connection and no files shared with anyone else on the LAN so I wouldn't expect Permisssions to alter.

    Perhaps Windows 8.1 will fix this issue.....................

    Things go complicated...

    Well I'm sure that network-sharing do alter permissions and changing permissions do reset archive attribute, because that has been proven by plenty of tests. Since I use Cobian Backup rather than File History in fact, things go well without HomeGroup.

    Does File History use the NTFS journals? Maybe, and we need MS to confirm it. But on my oponion, if archive attribute is reset, then the journals have to be changed. I mean, thats the journal of the File System, so it definitely does something when the data or permission or attribute of a file changes, pretty sure about that.

    You said "after deleting my Homegroup...", which means you do has your HomeGroup on before, right? So how about tring this:

    1. Disable HomeGroup and disable the two service about it in services.msc.

    2. Turn off File History and cleaning up the configration and data of File History in "%APPDATA%\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\FileHistory"

    3. Turn on File History and see if it goes correctly.

    Friday, June 28, 2013 12:28 AM
  • Thanks for the input ungrown however over the last six months or so I have periodically tried every suggestion that has come up about how to make File History work successfully.  I so wanted a simple "fire and forget" solution like Apple's Time Machine to put on users' PCs, in addition to full System Backups.  Time passes and my faith in this as a potential tool has gone; it's now condemned to my waste bin as something which would have been nice to have.  I now need to move on to other problems, of which there are always plenty.
    Sunday, July 07, 2013 9:12 PM
  • I also had this problem.

    I found that the backup disk I was using was initialized to perform automatic file indexing.  I turned this off, and now File History always does as expected - only backs up changed files. 

    Follow the instructions in this link for your backup drive to un-index all files on the drive, then hopefully this will solve your File History problem, as it did mine. 

    I  was going to include a link to a method of unindexing, but this forum won't allow it.  So here's another way to get there:

    ===http://www.addictivetips.com===/windows-tips/how-to-speed-up-your-computers-performance-by-turning-off-indexing-of-your-local-drive-in-windows-xp-and-vista/

    Just remove the === in 2 places and you'll get the link

     So you are right that the problem is to do with indexing, but its the indexing on the backup drive, not the source drive that seems to be the problem.  Maybe the indexing of the backed up copies changes the file header on the backup drive sufficiently to make File History think that the files must be different even if they're not.

    After you've turned off file indexing on the backup drive, you may still get a lot more files backed up than expected the first time you run File History, but after that it should be OK

    Hope this helps

     

    Saturday, July 27, 2013 7:42 AM
  • It appears that this problem may have finally been fixed in Windows 8.1.

    I've been running 8.1 for a week and so far, so good.  I'd been having duplication problems since 8 came out and had not tried any of the fixes or tweaks suggested above.  I am very hopeful that the problem is finally gone.

    Terry

    Monday, October 28, 2013 2:58 AM
  • Spoke too soon.  Two weeks on 8.1 and I'm starting to see duplicate backups again.

    Bummer.  Seemed like such a promising solution, but it's still broken.

    Time to move on to another product.

    Terry

    Sunday, November 03, 2013 6:23 PM
  • That's disappointing to hear.

    I'm trying to develop a sane backup strategy, and since Previous Versions has been removed, it's impossible to access System Image backups (and System Restore Points) to restore individual files.  I'm sure Microsoft expected File History to take over for the lack of this ability.  If it doesn't actually work, that blows the whole thing.  :(

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Sunday, November 03, 2013 9:05 PM
  • The likely cause of this issue is an NTFS USN Journal wrap. Please try increasing the size of your usn journal to see if your problem goes away. The following instructions will increase your USN Journal size from the default of 32MB to 128MB. If the journal is still wrapping you can increase the size even further.

    From an elevated command prompt:

    fsutil usn createjournal m=0x8000000 a=0x2000000 c:

    Wednesday, November 06, 2013 1:27 AM
  • Hi All,

    It would appear from a recent post that Windows 8.1 has not cured this problem! I have not installed 8.1 yet so can't verify this.

    I have had the problem since installing Win 8 last year and have posted on here. The problem only occurs with the My Pictures and Music folders here. Not My Documents or the My Videos folder (but I've never used the latter).

    In desperation back in early September I decided to make new folders for both my Music and Photo files and gave them an alternate name. I then copied  all my existing files into these new folders and then deleted them from the original locations. I added these two new folders to my libraries making them the default save location for these type of files.  The original empty folders are not used now. Since I did this I have had no Excessive Backup's or file duplication.

    I'm not saying this has cured the problem but it does look promising after two months.

    I guess if you have problems with My Documents and  My Videos folders as well, it would be an idea to use the same procedure. I wonder if someone out there could give this a try and perhaps report back.

    Thanks

    Roger

    Thursday, November 07, 2013 6:32 PM
  • From an elevated command prompt:

    fsutil usn createjournal m=0x8000000 a=0x2000000 c:

    Are there downsides to doing this? 

    Why isn't the OS configured like this by default?

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Thursday, November 07, 2013 7:52 PM
  • After reading another form it was suggested to turn off indexing - so far, so good its working for me on Win 8.1

    Friday, November 08, 2013 9:38 AM
  • in windows 8.1 go to settings, click on change PC settings, select update and review, select file history  and turn it on, most likely your problem will be solved, good luck
    Wednesday, November 27, 2013 10:02 PM
  • I've done this on all my drives in Windows 8.1, turned off indexing as well, but the problem persists.

    C:\WINDOWS\system32>fsutil usn queryjournal C:
    Usn Journal ID   : 0x01cd2f92d320a966
    First Usn        : 0x0000000a2bd40000
    Next Usn         : 0x0000000aabe7a2d0
    Lowest Valid Usn : 0x0000000000000000
    Max Usn          : 0x7fffffffffff0000
    Maximum Size     : 0x0000000080000000
    Allocation Delta : 0x0000000000800000
    Minimum record version supported : 2
    Maximum record version supported : 4
    Write range tracking: Disabled

    It would be really great if Microsoft fixes this - I've been waiting a long time to have File History as a usable feature!

    Thursday, November 28, 2013 2:15 AM
  • I am not sure why I am bothering to update this post as MS seem completely disinterested. However, after several months of running perfectly, yesterday File History decided to duplicate all the backups in my Public libraries (Pictures, Music and and Videos). I have not deliberately made any changes to how they are defined. However, I did spend yesterday thrashing around trying to switch a wireless printer from one network to another following a change in my broadband ISP. It is possible that sharing options might have been changed by some of the installation software.

    I do wish MS would fix this - it can't be that difficult to do.

    Thursday, December 12, 2013 7:33 AM
  • I just purchased an 8TB NAS so I can have good storage for file history (I also have regular backups). File History filled that 8TB NAS in less than 3 weeks. I have about 3TB (but growing) of data. This totally unacceptable and needs to be a visible issue. I've embraced the Microsoft ecosystem nut it seems to be in perpetual beta.
    Saturday, December 21, 2013 12:33 PM
  • it seems to be in perpetual beta

    Given a new major release every year, how could it be anything but?  What must they have had to squeeze out of their processes to be able to deliver new features three times as often?  Good design?  Time enough to code things properly?  Testing?  All of the above?

    I fear were nearing the end of Microsoft's reign.

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Saturday, December 21, 2013 5:45 PM
  • For me the fix to this issue was to change the backup time from "Every 15 minutes" to "Daily".

    It seems that if it tries to update before a previous backup is complete "Since I was backing up large movie files" it would start over on all the files completely.

    Monday, January 27, 2014 12:57 AM
  • How do I fix the duplicates issue?

    The drive on my desktop (home media server) failed and I'd like to put the movies, music, and photos back on the new hard drive. But I have duplicates of every file. Is there a fix? Or do I need to manually de-duplicate 1 TB of files in nested folders? This is too much to put back on the main drive, so I have no redundancy.

    Help, please. Thanks.

    Saturday, February 01, 2014 2:32 PM
  • don't know if you figured out how to get rid of the duplicates, but here's what I just did and it appears to have worked. In Control Panel>Filehistory>advanced settings. There is an option to clean up versions.  Click on that and you are given options of how old of versions to delete.  I chose to delete everything but the most recent.  seems tohave gotten rid of all the duplicates.  I'm sure it will come back though.
    Monday, March 03, 2014 4:49 AM