When the backup drive gets full

Rat74136’s external hard drive is full. How does he keep backing up?

Rat74136's external hard drive is full. He asked the Answer Line forum how to keep backing up.

This is why I have lately come to prefer backup programs like Rebit and Mozy, that automatically remove older versions of files, while keeping only the most recent versions. This keeps the backup down to size and is much simpler.

If your backup doesn't do this, it's best to back up to an external drive large enough to fit two full backup sets (defining a set as one full and several incremental backups), or use two external drives. That way, the only backup you have to delete to make room for a new one is already out of date.

Another option is to make the backup set smaller by removing from it large files that you seldom change, such as photos and music. You can back them up separately, perhaps even burning them to DVD.

As far as your immediate problem is concerned, you have two options. You can buy a second external drive and start a new backup set on that--with the intention of deleting what's on your current drive when that one is full. Or you can take a deep breath and delete everything on the current drive, then immediately start over with a full backup.

Read the original forum discussion.

Add your comments to this article below. If you have other tech questions, email them to me at answer@pcworld.com, or post them to a community of helpful folks on the PCW Answer Line forum.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags storage backuphard drivesbackup

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lincoln Spector

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?