Windows Server Backup: delete old backups
Posted on 2014-10-12
I have a client with Windows Server 2008 that is using Windows Server Backup. The immediate problem is that the backup drive has just filled up. It has 440 copies on it and I'd like to delete most of them.
There is just a pair of drives in RAID 1 configuration in a single partition (C:) and the external backup drive for which I have temporarily assigned the letter E: to make the commands easier.
From an elevated prompt, I typed the following:
wbadmin delete systemstatebackup -deleteoldest
(also tried -keepversions:20 with the same result)
and got this result:
C:\Users\Administrator>wbadmin delete systemstatebackup -deleteoldest
wbadmin 1.0 - Backup command-line tool
(C) Copyright 2004 Microsoft Corp.
Enumerating System State Backups ...
ERROR - No system state backups were found - only full volume backups
are present. This command can be used to delete system state backups only.
When I run:
wbadmin get versions
I get a list of (likely all 440) backups. All are similar to this (with different dates):
Backup time: 10/11/2014 9:00 PM
Backup target: 1394/USB Disk labeled zzzzzzW 2011_10_14 15:34 DISK_02(\\?\Volume
Version identifier: 10/12/2014-04:00
Can Recover: Volume(s), File(s), Application(s), Bare Metal Recovery, System Sta
This tells me that there ARE System State backups, regardless of the result from attempting to delete the oldest.
Then I tried deleting the shadow copies with vssadmin. To start with, I tried listing them with:
vssadmin list shadows /for=c:
and I get:
No items found that satisfy the query.
I tried again with a different "/for":
vssadmin list shadows /for=e:
and it succeeds at listing them.
I then tried deleting with:
vssadmin delete shadows /for=e: /oldest
and I get:
No item found that satisfy the query.
I tried it with c:
vssadmin delete shadows /for=c: /oldest
With the same result.
From what I read in the docs on these commands, I'd have expected "/for=c:" to be the proper option, but clearly it was not when enumerating the shadow copies.
So.... a few questions:
1) How do I get rid of the old backup copies?
2) Is it correct for vssadmin to use the drive letter of the backup drive rather than the drive from which the shadow originated?
3) Why do I get the error about "No items found..." with vssadmin?
4) Why does wbadmin tell me that I don't have System State Backups when the list shows that I do?
Thanks in advance for assistance with this.