Monday, July 4, 2016

How to remove Windows Server Backups

If you want to take a windows server backup, then you can use Windows Backup Manager feature which comes with the windows server. This is a good tool when you are having a hard time with recovering your AD or Exchange server installation Disks. Not only that if you get used to this Backup solution, it’s having more features, but the GUI is not a user-friendly one.
Once you configured your Windows Server Backup (This you can do by using CMD or the Backup Manager Application) then this will automatically take the scheduled backups into the given destination. I’m not going to show those steps here, because that is a having only few next, next steps to be followed.
The problem that you can see is, if the destination folder or the Driver capacity exceeds or the reconciliation was not happening then you have to re-format the Backup destination which you can’t do.
Then the best option that remaining is to remove some of the old backups from that location. For that you have to use CMD or the Powershell. You can follow the below steps to delete some old backups and free up some space for the future backups.
First open the CMD as Administrator and type Diskshadow to  go in to the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS)
--> Diskshadow enables you to create and manage hardware and software shadow copies, including transportable shadow copies.
You can use Diskshadow to:
  • Create hardware or software shadow copies that are subsequently exposed as read-only volumes.
  • Convert a shadow copy into a read-write volume.
  • Create hardware transportable shadow copies that can be imported on a different computer and used for backups or data mining.
  • Create a fast-recovery scenario where a shadow copy created earlier can be imported to replace a volume that may have become corrupted.
Once you run Diskshadow , you will be able to mange you backup disk by using the command line,


Then you can type “list shadows all” to list the total shadow copies in there. Details windows will be displayed here and you will be able to find the all the backups, Backup Volume, Destination address details here.


In my case, can see that there are 221 copies are saved on the disk. I just want to delete my old backups which were back-up in the last year.
For that I can run the command "delete shadows oldest G: " G: means the dive which is having those shadow copies saved.

If you are using Windows backup to configure the destination disk, then you will not be able to see that destination backup disk drive letter.

In that case you can copy the  Volume ID of the details. (Once you ran the " list shadows all" command in the details you can find the shadow copy ID and the destination disk Volume ID)  Copy that. (In my case ID is efff2fab-1922-440a-bb04-6980779ee3fb )

Then run the command 
> delete shadows oldest efff2fab-1922-440a-bb04-6980779ee3fb


Now you can run "list shadows all" to check whether the old shadow copy was deleted from the destination.


If you wan to clean the total backup sets, then you can run 
> delete shadows all 
Or else you can delete by using the shadow copy ID.

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