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Managing ntbackup files

Posted on 2012-03-19
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Last Modified: 2012-10-04
I have a file server running Windows Server 2003 R2 and I use the Windows ntbackup utility to perform my backups.  I run a full backup every Sunday and incremental backups on the other days.  

Recently, my incremental file has blown up to 1.5TB in size (no that's not a typo, I meant terabyte).  I am backing up all of my user's folders (225 users in all who each have a disk quota of 3GB).  Interestingly, my full backup file (named full.bkf) is only 208GB in size.  When I open the incremental file in the ntbackup utility it displays 207 sets of backups that started in May of 2011.  My concern is that my backup device is running out of space because it only has a drive limit of 2 TBs.

Here are my questions:
Is there a way to have the ntbackup limit the number of sets it creates?  For example, I only want to keep the last 6 months of incremental sets. Can ntbackup be setup to do this?

Can I manually delete sets within a catalog?  If so, how? If I manually delete older sets, will that affect the newly created ones in any way?

Can you recommend any software that will manage and quickly search extremely large backup (.bkf) files?

Thanks
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Question by:hcstechadmin
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Expert Comment

by:Rodney Barnhardt
ID: 37742028
One questions, do you have your backup also backing up the folder where all of these files are located? If so, that is the reason your backups have gotten so large.
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Assisted Solution

by:Rodney Barnhardt
Rodney Barnhardt earned 750 total points
ID: 37742064
You could manually delete the old .bkf files. I did find a script where someone has the files purged after so many days. It is for XP, but the script itself would work. As this link states, ntbackup is a basic program with no advanced features.

http://www.howtofixcomputers.com/forums/windows-xp/ntbackup-retention-policy-263536.html
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Author Comment

by:hcstechadmin
ID: 37742155
No, my backup files are located on a 2TB storage device connected to my file server via USB 2.0.  I am upgrading to a 3 to 4 TB NAS today to buy my time until I can actually buy a real backup solution this summer when our fiscal year starts again.  I wasn't sure if I was missing some configuration settings within ntbackup to help manage the size of my backup files.
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Accepted Solution

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Rodney Barnhardt earned 750 total points
ID: 37742182
I know with BE I have seen the database corrupt and that screws up the increments. In that case, usually creating a new job and deleting the old one corrects the issue. I am not a big user of NTBackup. Since you will be looking soon, while expensive, I really like Avamar. That has been my primary solution for about 2 years now.
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