Backup Failed: not enough disk space


  • Hi there,

    First, I know this seems to be a very common problem, and believe me, I've tried following instructions in countless threads and blogs asking virtually the same question, but none of them seem to work.

    I have a number of Windows Server 2008 R2 boxes running Windows Server Backup doing full-server backups on a nightly basis to a dedicated backup hard disk.  Included are two disks: The Windows disk and a second disk dedicated to data storage.  These are both being backing up to a third disk.

    The backups have worked fine for a month, but now are all failing as the backup disk is out of free space.  

    It's my understanding that Windows Server Backup in its current form doesn't automatically delete old backups but rather just stops doing anything when it runs out of disk space - I assume that's still correct?

    I'm annoyed, but willing to manually delete backups on all my servers on a daily basis but can't seem to figure out how to do it.

    I see people listing various commands with wbadmin and vssadmin but all the examples seem to fail in one or more ways:

    • The command doesn't work on System State backups (which my backup includes)
    • It doesn't work on anything but System State backups (these are full backups which also contain non-system state data)
    • I need to specify a drive letter of the backup drive (which doesn't exist since it's dedicated to Windows Server Backup).
    • It suggests I'm supposed to go in and manually pull out multiple backup IDs on a daily basis and sit there manually typing in delete commands referencing them.

    There doesn't seem to be a GUI interface like in Windows 7's version of Windows Backup which allows me to simply select an existing backup and click "delete".

    This is bringing be close to tears -- can someone please give me a simple command I can copy + paste which will delete the last, say, 10 backups.  Or even just delete them all so it will start doing scheduled backups again - I don't think I care at this point.

    I've uploaded a copy of the logs if they're remotely useful:

    Thursday, August 11, 2011 1:20 PM


  • Hi,


    The system reserved partition (100 MB) had files from the 3rd party backup application which was taking up the space. We are not allowed to keep any data in the system reserved volume. You should not have anything else than the files below:


    31/08/2010  19:40    <DIR>          $RECYCLE.BIN

    12/08/2009  06:19    <DIR>          Boot

    14/07/2009  02:38           383,562 bootmgr

    12/08/2009  06:19             8,192 BOOTSECT.BAK

    01/07/2010  14:33    <DIR>          System Volume Information

                   2 File(s)        391,754 bytes

                   3 Dir(s)      73,777,152 bytes free


    To troubleshoot this issue, please try the following steps:


    1. Give a drive letter to the System reserved partition.

    2. Open a Command prompt with Administrative privileges.

    3. CD into the drive and try dir /a.

    4. Locate the unwanted folders and move them or delete them out of the system reserved partition.

    5. Try a WBAdmin system state backup.

    6. If successful, remove the Drive letter from the system reserved partition.


    For more information, please refer to the following Microsoft MSDN blog:


    While performing a System state backup using WSB, the backup fails with following error “There is not enough disk space to create the volume shadow copy on the storage location”


    For the similar thread, please also refer to the following link:


    Getting "Not enough disc space error" when using MS Backup to clone drive in Windows 7 ultimate



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    Monday, August 15, 2011 1:44 PM