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How to delete old Windows 2008 R2 Backups - Disk Full

I am doing disk image backup nightly of a Windows 2008 R2 server. it is supposed to overwrite oldest backups but it is not. Backups are failing because the disk is full. Another identical server has no problem.

Now I cannot even delete old backup jobs.

1. When I use wbadmin Delete Systemstatebackup  command, I get the error:
"This command can be used to delete backups that only contain the system state."

2. When I use vssadmin delete shadows /For=E: /Oldest and similar commands, I get the error:
"Snapshots were found, but they were outside of your allowed context."

I have checked and rechecked my syntax for both commands and have tried to delete oldest or a specific job by ID, but nothing works.

Please help.

4 Solutions
Thomas GrassiSystems AdministratorCommented:
Add the keepversions=# to your config for wbackup

I believe the commands are not working because your disk is full.

Can you move the files to another drive

The keepversions option will delete the files based on the number you place there
AkulshAuthor Commented:
The first command I had tried was:
wbadmin delete systemstatebackup -keepVersions:50
and got the error: 'This command can be used to delete backups that only contain the system state.'

No, files cannot be moved because they are too large for other disks.

You say - "I believe the commands are not working because your disk is full."? So what is one to do?
Thomas GrassiSystems AdministratorCommented:
I would start deleting old backup files to free up disk space

post your mksbackup.ini
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AkulshAuthor Commented:
Do you manually delete old backup files or thru some utility? HOW can you safely delete old backup files -- that was my primary question!

Where is mksbackup.ini file located?

By the way, the catalog of backup seems corrupt because the oldest version shown with WBadmin is not same as oldest version from VssAdmin tool. Can Catalog be regenerated?
SandeepSr System AdministratorCommented:
Thomas GrassiSystems AdministratorCommented:
folder is magik it is created when you install

No never have to manually delete backup files the keepversions option works.

I also get an email after the backup which give me all the information about the config files

I believe your catalog is corrupted and that's why you are having this issue

Yes you can build a new catalog.

Post your mksbackup.ini
AkulshAuthor Commented:

Yes, I have seen that link. Did not help.

Another similar link helped a bit:

I could delete some files using DiskShadow utility, so now disk has space. But, the backup still fails, most likely because Catalog is corrupt. Can catalog be recreated?
AkulshAuthor Commented:

What 'magik' folder? And install what?

You say - "I also get an email after the backup which give me all the information about the config files". Are we talking about the same thing here?? My question is about Window 2008-R2 native backup.

Please don't post if you don't understand the question.

I have not found commands to build a new catalog, which will have information about all the past jobs.
Thomas GrassiSystems AdministratorCommented:
Well I must say

I can not help you without seeing you mksbackup.ini

Just search the server for it

As I told you to clear up this issue delete the files and recreate the catalog again

In the mksbackup.ini has settings for email and other features
AkulshAuthor Commented:
You don't seem to know that MKSbackup is not a built-in Microsoft utility. It is a 3rd party add-on. We have been using just the native WBadmin tool of Microsoft. So MKSBackup.ini file in nowhere to be found. Thanks.
Thomas GrassiSystems AdministratorCommented:
Yes I do know that it is not a built in product.

how to you run the backups?

Do you have a cmd file? post it.

mksbackup.ini is created when you install the product.

What version are you running of MKSBackup

I am running version 1.0.4
AkulshAuthor Commented:

Please stop helping me. You are totally clueless in this matter.  How many times I have to say that I have not installed MKSBackup.

I am running backup from the GUI of WBadmin in Win 2008-R2.
Thomas GrassiSystems AdministratorCommented:
You are totally wrong you have no idea about what I am saying

You are the one who is clueless

If you can not find the ini file then why are you working on a server you must not have any idea on what you are doing
Thomas GrassiSystems AdministratorCommented:
Hi again

Sorry my mistake I thought you was using the same backup as I am

you are using wbadmin which is built into Windows 2008 Windows 8 etc.

It is not very robust look at below.


This is what I use


This will do what your looking for.  Keeping your disk space organized.

Check it out it is Free

If you need help with the scripts to run this let me know I can post them for you.
Brian BIndependant Technology ProfessionalCommented:
This can happen because there is still some storage overhead required to free up the space. Is there anything you can do to create more space on the disk where the backups are located?
AkulshAuthor Commented:
Only way I could get out this jam was to use the 3rd tool (described in the bottom part of the link I posted on 2014-04-18 at 10:17:23)
And then I ran the following command about 10 times:
Delete shadows OLDEST E:

However, backup still kept failing even though the disk had plenty of room. I thought that the catalog must be corrupt but after a reboot, the backup got working.

Thanks for all suggestions, I appreciate time devoted (effort) by you guys on the problem, and will give some credit for that.
AkulshAuthor Commented:
As I explain in the 'Best Solution', my own suggestion to use Diskshadow.exe and reboot helped. I gave some credit to others because of their effort which I appreciate.

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