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Backup cleanup fails to remove backups designated for discarding RRS feed

  • Question

  • Running Windows Server Essentials 2012 R2 on Thecus hardware. My three active client computers have been unable to back themselves up successfully for at least a few weeks. Issue seems to be lack of disk space on the server. I've gone through each client's backups and designated many to be removed at the next backup cleanup. I've allowed the automatic Saturday night cleanup to happen, and I've remote-desktopped into the server to use the Task Scheduler to run the Backup Cleanup task manually. In all cases, the task runs to completion with no errors, but the backups that should have been discarded remain, and the overall usage of the disk that houses the client backups doesn't go down. I've looked for guidance on manually deleting files from the Client Computer Backups folder but have found nothing.

    I've turned off backups for the active machines, but I'm unable to do so for machines that are still listed but are no longer connected. I've been reluctant to remove those non-connected computers, as there are backups from those machines that I'd like to retain. My sense is that the Backup Cleanup may not run correctly if there are still machines set up for backup, even if those machines are no longer connected (or, in some cases, no longer in my possession), though I haven't seen that mentioned anywhere.

    Looking for effective suggestions to reclaim space on the storage drives. Would be nice if the Backup Cleanup task would just work as it's supposed to.

    Tuesday, April 16, 2019 6:06 PM

Answers

  • The issue, as I've finally discovered, is that the Backup Cleanup task does not do its job if there isn't enough free space on the drive. It reports "completed," but does nothing. The resolution is to clear enough space on the drive so that Backup Cleanup actually removes the backups that have been designated for removal. I was able to free space by selectively compressing some of the Data.4096.nn.dat files (thanks to a suggestion at https://wvdvegt.wordpress.com/2015/12/21/whs-2011-client-backup-drive-full/). I also relocated a few of those files, temporarily I thought, to the C: drive. That seems to have had an adverse effect on the integrity of some of the remaining backups, as I discovered after running a backup database repair overnight. In retrospect, I would recommend compressing more of those dat files rather than moving them. I was able to initiate the Backup Cleanup and it removed the backups I had previously designated for removal, freeing up a decent chunk of space. I then went in and identified further backups to be deleted and ran Backup Cleanup again. By then, I had freed about 200 GB. And the good news is that I was able to back up my two most important laptops for the first time in months. Now just have to keep an eye on the disks and keep them from getting too close to capacity.
    Friday, May 31, 2019 2:40 PM

All replies

  • hi,

    1 we can run the backup Cleanup task and change the client computer backup retention policy
    Manage Client Computer Backup in Windows Server Essentials
    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server-essentials/manage/manage-client-computer-backup-in-windows-server-essentials

    Client backup retention question
    https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/b209af3e-4c88-4354-acce-b20746cb967e/client-backup-retention-question?forum=winserveressentials
    2 If the drive is full, do you consider to add a second larger drive and use the move folder wizard to move the client backup folder to the new drive ?


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    Wednesday, April 17, 2019 9:25 AM
    Moderator
  • Rather than add storage, I'd like to understand why the disk usage is not being reduced by the Backup Cleanup routine. I've only got three machines to back up; things had been working just fine until the last few months. Or I'd remove files manually from the Client Computer Backups folder if I knew which ones were safe to delete.

    Wednesday, April 17, 2019 2:45 PM
  • hi,

    when then client computer connect to server essentials by using connector at first time ,client backup implement one time full backup .after that we customize backup plan for client computer ,the customize backup task schedule implement incremental backup. if we want to do a full restore for a client computer ,we can not clean previous client backup database.so when you want to change the new backup policy for client computers ,the disk usage is not being reduced by the Backup Cleanup routine. so" You need to delete client computer backups from the client computer backup database, and then you can change the backup retention policy or change a client computer backup policy."
    Delete the client computer backup database
    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/previous-versions/windows/it-pro/windows-home-server/gg549185(v=ws.11)
    Manage Backup and Restore in Windows Server Essentials
    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server-essentials/manage/manage-backup-and-restore-in-windows-server-essentials


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    Monday, April 22, 2019 8:25 AM
    Moderator
  • Ah, but deleting the client computer backup database will, as the cited article says, delete all of the client computer backups. I'd prefer not to do that. How do I persuade this server to free up space without losing all of my backups? (I've already designated a significant number of backups to be removed when the Backup Cleanup task runs, but there seems to be no effect on the disk space in use.) Should I remove the machines that are no longer being backed up (even though I've designated most of those backups to be removed by Backup Cleanup)?
    Monday, April 22, 2019 5:21 PM
  • hi,
    "Should I remove the machines that are no longer being backed up (even though I've designated most of those backups to be removed by Backup Cleanup)?"
    No ,we don't need to remove that machines ,we can try below method to clean up the backup for these machines immediately. 

    select the computer which we want to disable client backup on WSE dashboard and click “delete the existing backups for this computer” because of the action of cleaning client backup is run as the task schedule.so if we want to run it immediately, we can open “taskscheduler” and find “windows server essentials” then right click “backup cleanup” and select “run”.


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    Wednesday, April 24, 2019 1:51 PM
    Moderator
  • I understand, but I don't want to delete all the existing backups, even for computers that I'm no longer actively backing up. And I've gone into the server via RDP and run the Backup Cleanup task multiple times--which should remove the backups that I've designated as disposable. And yet I see no effect on the server--no storage is freed up. That's what I'm having trouble with.
    Wednesday, May 8, 2019 5:29 PM
  • So I've removed computers and have archived the backups. I've looked at the backups for the archived computers and designated most of them for removal at the next Backup Cleanup. I've RDP-ed into the server and manually run the Backup Cleanup task. The to-be-removed backups from the archived computers have been removed--but no space has been freed on the drive hosting the server backups. So backups for current computers continue to fail for lack of disk space. I've even restarted the server. Still no effect. What does one have to do to free up space on the drive? I'm mystified.
    Friday, May 10, 2019 4:18 PM
  • The issue, as I've finally discovered, is that the Backup Cleanup task does not do its job if there isn't enough free space on the drive. It reports "completed," but does nothing. The resolution is to clear enough space on the drive so that Backup Cleanup actually removes the backups that have been designated for removal. I was able to free space by selectively compressing some of the Data.4096.nn.dat files (thanks to a suggestion at https://wvdvegt.wordpress.com/2015/12/21/whs-2011-client-backup-drive-full/). I also relocated a few of those files, temporarily I thought, to the C: drive. That seems to have had an adverse effect on the integrity of some of the remaining backups, as I discovered after running a backup database repair overnight. In retrospect, I would recommend compressing more of those dat files rather than moving them. I was able to initiate the Backup Cleanup and it removed the backups I had previously designated for removal, freeing up a decent chunk of space. I then went in and identified further backups to be deleted and ran Backup Cleanup again. By then, I had freed about 200 GB. And the good news is that I was able to back up my two most important laptops for the first time in months. Now just have to keep an eye on the disks and keep them from getting too close to capacity.
    Friday, May 31, 2019 2:40 PM