Backup storage limitation



I'm running Vista Ultimate 32. My machine has 2 320gig HDs, one is my
operating disk the other for backup only. I have been accumulating
incremental backups and now my D drive only has 25meg of space left. How does
Vista handle this space limitation.
Does it delete out the oldest files to make room for the latest backup?
How much extra space does it allow for so that the drive does not become too
full to manage?
Can I specify how much head room to leave on the drive?
Or do I just delete the whole backup and start building backups all over
Any help will be appreciated.


I'm new to MS forums and can't find an edit button. I erred on my remaining
storage on my D disk it is 25gigabites of still empty space, not 25meg.

Ken Blake, MVP

I'm new to MS forums

Note that isn't really a forum; it's a newsgroup. You are using the
awful web interface to participate in this newsgroup, and that's the
slowest, clunkiest, most error-prone method there is. Do yourself a
favor and switch to a newsreader, such as Outlook Express, which comes
with Windows. See

and can't find an edit button.

There isn't one. Once you post a message, it goes out on the Microsoft
news server and many other Usenet servers all over the world. There's
no way to cancel it or to modify it. What you did, posting a follow-up
correction message, is your only option.

I erred on my remaining
storage on my D disk it is 25gigabites of still empty space, not 25meg.

I strongly recommend that you reconsider your backup strategy. What
you are doing is better than no backup at all, but just barely. I
don't recommend backup to a second non-removable hard drive because it
leaves you susceptible to simultaneous loss of the original and backup
to many of the most common dangers: severe power glitches, nearby
lightning strikes, virus attacks, even theft of the computer.

In my view, secure backup needs to be on removable media, and not kept
in the computer. For really secure backup (needed, for example, if the
life of your business depends on your data) you should have multiple
generations of backup, and at least one of those generations should be
stored off-site.

So I recommend taking that second drive out of the computer, and
mounting it in an inexpensive ($10-25 US) external USB enclosure, and
connecting it only when you do your backups.

It doesn't.

It doesn't do this at all.

You need to manage the space on the drive yourself.

Are you using the native Windows backup utility? If so, be aware that
it's better than nothing, but it's probably the poorest and most
limited choice available. I recommend that you invest in a third-party
alternative, such as the excellent Acronis True Image.

Also if you do incremental backups, it's not wise to make that chain
of incremental backups too long. I wouldn't go much longer than a
dozen or so. Regardless of how much space you have left, after every
bunch of increments, you should create a new full backup and start
over again (but that doesn't mean you have to delete the old backup
files if there's enough room for them.

You can read my general advice on backup here:


Thanks for such a helpful response. I read both of your article referals.
Good info. I have used external HDs in the past and found 2 problems w/them.
They seem very slow in data transfers vs internal HDs and my experience
w/past backup programs is that they are unable to restore from external
devices. Actually, I have not had good luck w/backup programs in the past.
Maybe I need to go back to Acronis if the MS program is so limited. I have
always tried to be diligent in backing up my HDs but have never had good
success w/any program.

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question