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FAQ: How to Delete Backups

    General discussion

  • There is no maintenance mode in Windows Live OneCare Backup. That means that over time your backup destination may fill up and run out of room. You should probably consider checking the backup destination periodically and take action when the disk space on the destination drive is 50% full or more.

    You can delete the OneCare backup set, but that leaves you unprotected in the case of data loss until the next time you perform a new full backup with OneCare.

    In addition, deleting backups requires you to "take ownership" of the backup set as it is protected by OneCare from deletion.

     

    As of version 2.0, Windows Live OneCare backs up to a folder set as follows:

     

    [Drive]:\Windows OneCare Backup\[PC Name]\[year]

     

    Within the [PC Name] folder, there may be more than one year folder and within the \Windows OneCare Backup folder there may be more than one PC Name folder, depending on if this is a location used to backup for multiple computers or if you have performed a new complete backup multiple times for the same computer, perhaps after a OneCare reinstall.

     

    When you decide that you need to delete and old backup set and start fresh, it is recommended that you first open OneCare and start a new full backup. Let it complete. Use the Restore function in OneCare to verify that you are able to view the files and perhaps even restore a single file or folder. Then navigate to the backup destination folder to delete the old backups.

     

    The easiest way to perform this action in any version of Windows XP is to navigate to the backup location, and right click on the folder set you wish to remove, taking care to select the older backup set and not the one just made.

    In the right click menu, select Sharing and Security.

    When the Sharing and Security tab of the Properties dialog comes up, place a check mark in the middle section - "Share this folder on the network."
    Give the Share a name in the box for "Share Name".
    And place a check mark in "allow network users to change files."

    Click OK.

     

    Now, you should be able to delete the folder and the files within.

     

    Instant Support contains the following entries for deleting backup sets -

     


     

    Delete a backup set folder from an external hard disk in Microsoft Windows XP

    1. On the Start menu, click Run.
    2. Type explorer.exe, and then press ENTER.
    3. In My Computer, double-click the drive letter that corresponds to your external hard disk.
    4. Right-click the Windows Live OneCare folder, and then click Properties.
    5. On the Security tab, under Groups or user names, click either Administrators or your user name.
    6. Next to Full Control, select the Allow check box, and then click Apply.
    7. In the Windows Live OneCare folder, select the backup set folder, and then press DELETE.
    Notes

    * You may also wish to refer to this post: http://forums.microsoft.com/WindowsOneCare/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=3578647&SiteID=2 where mt_tucker added his own experience with the above steps for XP Home on 7/6/08

     


    12/11/09 The following process, although noted as for Vista will work in Windows 7


     
    Delete a backup set folder from an external hard disk in Windows Vista

    1. On the taskbar, click Start. In the Start Search box, type explorer.exe, and then press ENTER.
    2. Under Computer, double-click the disk letter that corresponds to your external hard disk.
    3. Right-click the Windows Live OneCare folder, and then click Properties.
    4. On the Security tab, under Groups or user names, click either Administrators or your user name.
    5. Next to Full Control, select the Allow check box, and then click Apply.
    6. In the Windows Live OneCare folder, select the backup set folder, and then press DELETE.

    If you are comfortable using the command line, open a Command Prompt window (in XP, Start/All Programs/Accessories/Command Prompt) (In Vista, Start and type "command" in the search box)

     (I have not tried any of this in Windows 7, but assume that you replace cacls with icacls in the command. A little research on icacls returned this article: http://www.mydigitallife.info/2007/04/30/icacls-vista-command-prompt-tool-to-manage-acls/)

    If you have a folder on the E: drive called Windows OneCare Backup and the folder in it is called "computer" and the backup set you want to delete is within the "computer" folder, then do this (you must include the quotes):

    cacls "e:\Windows OneCare Backup\computer" /t /g administrators:F

     

    So, the generic command line entry is -

    cacls "<drive letter>:\<path>" /t /g administrators:F

    where <drive letter> is where your backups are located, and <path> is the complete folder path to the folder containing the backups you want to delete.

     

    Do NOT put a \ after the path

    Do use the quotes within the command

    After pressing <enter> to submit the command a confirmation prompt appears, asking Yes or No. Choose Yes.

     

    This will strip the permissions from the folder and should allow you to delete it.

     


     

    Finally, you can certainly format the drive containing your backups. Doing so will remove all files from the drive, but will allow you to begin using it once again.

     

    -steve

     

    Wednesday, June 06, 2007 1:32 PM