The Backup Storage Location is Running Low on Disk Space

If you have enabled e-mail notifications, Backup for Workgroups will send you an e-mail when it notices the available free space in the Backup Storage location is running low. When it runs low, you have several options.  You can increase the storage capacity or reduce the amount of data that gets backed up.

Why does this problem occur?

Over time, you are generating more and more data.  In turn, Backup for Workgroups is backing up more and more data.  In addition, the Backup for Workgroups revisioning feature is keeping track of the changes to your data in order to provide you with the ability to restore different versions of your files.  As a result, the Backup Server uses more storage space and may eventually run out.

How can I fix this problem?

You have two options when your Backup Storage location is running low on storage space.

  1. Increase the capacity of your Backup Storage group.
  2. Reduce the storage space currently used by the Backup Server.
    If you are not able to increase the storage capacity of your Backup Storage location at this time, you have the following options to decrease your amount of backup data: 

NOTE:  These options are only available to use if there is still some available space on the storage device.  When a file revision setting or retention rule is changed, it can only take effect the next time a Client logs in to perform a backup.  When the Client logs in, it instructs the Backup Server to make the desired setting changes.  If the storage device is completely full, then the Client cannot login to the Backup Server and therefore it cannot begin to remove any backup data.  Click here to read what to do when the clients cannot login due to out of disk space.



How to Add Storage Space to Your Backup Storage Group

At any time, you can add more storage capacity to your Backup Storage group.  Please note that all storage devices listed in your Backup Storage Group must be online and accessible for your backups to occur. When you have more than one Storage location contained in your Backup Storage Group, your backup data will be stored on the locations in the order they appear in the list. For example, backup files will be stored on the first named location until that device is 75% full. Once the first device is 75% full, the backup data will start to "span" or "spill" over to the second named location. This will repeat until all named devices are 75% full; when the new backup data will go to the device with the most free space remaining until all locations are full.

To add storage to your Backup Storage Group (by adding a second "spillover" drive):

  1. Go to the Backup Server > Storage panel.
  2. In the top half of the Storage Panel which is called the Backup Storage Group, press the "Add" button.
  3. At the Add Storage Device dialog, enter the path to the additional storage location.

How to Reduce the Number of File Revisions Stored at the Backup Server

Each individual Backup Client can set a limit on the number of file revisions stored in their account at the Backup Server.  Backup for Workgroups, by default, stores 25 separate revisions of each file that changes, including the Windows Registry and System State information.  This default was selected to provide you with about one month's worth of file revisions.  Many of our users have stated that 2 weeks is a sufficient number of revisions and they change their revision settings to 10. (5 workdays X 2 weeks).

When the Backup Storage location is getting full, you can set individual Clients to decrease their number of file revisions by following these steps:

  1. Go to each computer that you are backing up and run Backup for Workgroups.
  2. Go to the Tools > Preferences menu.
  3. Select the Revisions tab.
  4. On the Revisions panel, change the the number of revisions to a smaller value.
  5. Press OK to save the changes.

NOTE:  Changing the number of revisions takes effect during the next backup session.  Purging older revisions is performed during the backup process, so simply changing the Revision limit number and pressing "OK" will not free up any space at the storage location.  A backup must be initiated first.

Use Retention Rules to Automatically Purge Copies of Deleted Files Stored at the Backup Server

The Retention Rule feature is designed to give you a way to remove the backups of files that are now deleted from a Backup Client computer.  Backup for Workgroups will backup the files that are currently residing on your computers.  Retention rules come in handy to clean up the unneeded backups of files that have been deleted after they have been backed up.

In other words, use the Retention panel after you have deleted files from your computer AND you want any backups of those deleted files removed from the Backup Server.  When the Storage location is getting full, you can ask individual users to establish a retention rule to purge copies of deleted files.

  1. Run the Backup for Workgroups Admin program on each individual computer you are backing up.
  2. Go to the Tools > Preferences menu.
  3. Select the Retention tab.
  4. On the Retention panel, create a new retention rule or view a list of deleted files.
  5. To create a new retention rule:  press New Rule and follow the on-screen instructions.  Any rules you create are applied to the next backup.
  6. To immediately purge deleted files, press View Deleted Files.  From the on-screen list, select the appropriate files and press Remove Selected Files Now.

How to Re-Baseline a Client to Start from Scratch

Many times you may find that you included more data in a Client's initial backup set than you really want.  Rather than try to adjust the revision limit or purge deleted files, sometimes it is easier to just re-baseline a Client and start anew.  Re-baselining a Client will completely remove all of that Client's backup data from the Backup Server.

  1. Go to the Backup Server > Clients panel.
  2. Highlight the Client you wish to re-baseline.
  3. Use the "Delete" button to remove that Client.
  4. All of of the Client's backup data will be deleted from the Backup Server.
  5. Use the "Add" button to add that same Client back again.
  6. If you use the same Client name and password, all of the Clients preferences will remain and no reconfiguration is necessary.
  7. If you use the same Client name and password, make sure to go to the Client computer and adjust the backup set parameters before the Client's next scheduled backup to avoid backing up the same (and perhaps unwanted) data again.

Note:  Deleting a Client will remove all of that Client's data from the Backup Server - make sure this is what you want to do.


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