Win10 Backup and Restore (Windows 7) - What kind of new Backup Set have I got?


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I’m running Windows 10 1903 (upgraded from Windows 8). Being old school, I still use “Backup and Restore (Windows 7)” for my weekly backups. My last Backup Set was getting really large, which was a concern. On 4Oct20 I ran my weekly scheduled backup (as ‘Try Again’ because my external backup USB drive had not been connected at the right time). It ran for 4 hours (which is roughly the usual elapse) but then unusually failed with Error code: 0x81000037 “Windows Backup failed while trying to read from the shadow copy on one of the volumes being backed up.” I noticed that a McAfee scheduled scan had also completed at the time the backup failed. I made sure no further scans would start and tried the backup again using “Try Again”. (Retrospectively it would have been a good idea to check the state of any backup files which the failed backup may have created, as it turns out it had created a new Backup Set with a first Backup Files folder of 13GB in 79 zip files by the time it had failed)

The new Try Again backup ran for a massive 14hours and created a second Backup Files folder of 301GB in 1,663 zip files. This is when it dawned on me that a new Backup Set was being created. (I wish I could influence Microsoft to give that little bit of extra “Oh by the way I’m ….” information to users like myself)

For context, the previous Backup Set in Feb2020 shows the first Backup Files folder of as 323GB in 1,797 zip files which took 16hours to create.

Jointly the two new backups (failed + huge) = 314GB in 1,742 zip files which is comparable to Feb2020.

I compared the individual sizes of the first 78 zip files of both new Backup Files folders and they are quite different so the second full backup does not seem to have re-run the failed backup attempt.

In Backup and Restore (Windows 7) > Manage Space it reports the latest Backup Set as 314GB so it is including the failed-backup files. In Backup and Restore (Windows 7) > Restore it is offering both Backup Files folders (failed and huge) as restore-from candidates.

My dilemma is, what do I now have in my new Backup Set :

  • Is it a failed backup files folder superseded by a good complete full-backup folder, or
  • Is it a very small start-of-set backup folder followed by a huge delta incremental folder?
I think it’s 2).

If 1) can I safely delete the first ‘failed’ Backup Files folder and if so how?

If 2) can I trust this arrangement given that it came from a backup failure and even so will it be wiser to just force a new complete backup set then delete the ‘dodgy’ set? If the latter, how do you force a new Backup Set without Windows thinking “you already have a new set and you will stick with it”)?
 
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Well MS is depreciating back up for good reasons it has a record of failures. I suggest you download a copy of Macrium Reflect Create your Recovery USB Thumb drive. With the free version, you can create Drive or partition Images and run Differential backups to those Images. With the paid version you can run File and folder backups and incremental backups and many other features in the paid version. Personally, I use the Paid-for version for many years now. However many users do not need the full-featured version and the free version last forever don't download the trial version if your not interested in purchasing the Paid-for version just install the Free version
 
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I use the paid for version at one point there was a deal for 4 PCs that made it cheaper...not that it is expensive anyway.
 

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