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WHS 2011 CLEANUP DOESN'T WORK RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have WHS 2011.  I wanted my Backups to be deleted daily with the exception of three for each Computer.  I have eight Computers being backed up and I am running out of disk space so I wanted to delete the old backups and just keep three for each unit.  I went into the Task Scheduler and changed the time from weekly to daily.  No Joy!  It didn't happen.  I then went into the Task Scheduler again and ran the Cleanup manually.  It started and ran all night, but when I checked in the morning, everything was still there.  What am I doing wrong?  I will appreciate any assistance.  Thank you.
    Monday, May 7, 2012 5:55 PM

Answers

  • To all that responded -

    First of all, thank you for your input!

    An interesting thing happened this morning.  I got an Error Message from WHS indicating that Cleanup had not run in over forteen days and did I want the Server to attempt to fix the problem.  I pressed the fix the issue Link and it did!  All the backups that I had configured manually to be deleted at the next Cleanup were gone on all of my machines!

    LESSONS LEARNED:

    1.  Left alone today's Operating Systems (ie: Windows 7 or Server based), will try and fix themselves (with some success).

    2.  Regardless of how the Schedule is set in the Dashboard for each Computer relative to Backup history, if you configure the units to manually delete Backups at the next Cleanup, that will overide the Schedule.

    3.  Therefore I can delete all but three Backups for each machine without any regard to how the Schedule is set.

    4.  Don't mess with the Task Scheduler (AKA the Task Manager from older systems).  This appears to be a hold over that has been carried through from every Operating System since Windows 98.  It was a piece of crap then and it is now!  MS needs to make this user frendly for the average "grunt" and not have to be an IT person to figure it out.  I made one very simple edit in the Task Scheduler:  I used the drop down Menu and told it to run daily at a certain time instead of once a week.  It obviously failed to compute with the system and it shut down the Task completely.  Stupid!

    Although the responses here were interesting, they failed to address the central point. I do however appreciate that there are still folks out there that will assist in any way possible to work issues with these systems. Long live the Forums!

    Thank you for your help! I consider this issue closed (for now).

    Regards,

    Vic   

    • Marked as answer by COMPUTER4VIC Tuesday, May 8, 2012 1:08 PM
    Tuesday, May 8, 2012 1:08 PM
  • Hi Guys -

    Reading my original Post again I may not have been clear enough that what I was looking for was a solution to why the Cleanup failed to run and not a discussion of what my Backup criteria is.  In other words, after a very simple editing adjustment on my part, Cleanup failed and I was not able to go back to the original settings and cure the problem.  It is clearer now that the Retention Policy will not let me choose less than a weeks automatic retention.  I was not aware of that, so I will continue to manage it manually.  I don't believe that "user error" played a part here.  I have been building, installing, and reparing Computers since the middle 80's and I am a Certified A+ Computer Technician.  Admitedly my Server experience is somewhat limited and I was unable to find an answer as to why this simple tweak should have caused such a drastic failure.

    To Olaf's point (which is a good one), I failed to mention that I always keep the first virgin install Backup as a fall back position in case I do encounter a Virus or Malware issue on one of the Computers.

    Regards,

    Vic

    • Marked as answer by COMPUTER4VIC Tuesday, May 8, 2012 5:23 PM
    Tuesday, May 8, 2012 5:23 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    it's not that easy with the backup database.

    Question is, how much data on the computers is changed in a way, that it is no longer in the backup? As long as some folders or big files are still part of any backup, the changes will be only of minor size.
    What you would have to do is to exclude folders or files, which are large, so that they have an impact, which are unique, so that they do not exist on any other backed up machine or disk and then to remove all historical backups containing these folders/files by selecting to remove them next time cleanup is running.

    Or you add a larger disk to the server and move the backup storage via Dashboard.

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf




    Monday, May 7, 2012 6:26 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi Olaf -

    Thank you for the prompt reply.  I understand what you are saying, however I am not trying to reduce the size of my Backups.  I just want Cleanup to delete the old ones (past the three current ones that I want to keep), daily.  If Cleanup runs properly the current disk size is adequate to handle these Computers.

    Regards,

    Vic

    Monday, May 7, 2012 8:56 PM
  • Obvious question, but you did set the backups you don't want, to "Delete this backup when cleanup runs" in the Dashboard?

    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.

    Monday, May 7, 2012 9:07 PM
  • What Olaf is trying to say is that simply removing some backups from the database is unlikely to gain you any significant space. Suppose you have the default backup retention policy in place: 5 daily backups, 4 weekly, and 6 monthly, and suppose further that your backup database is currently 1 TB in size. If you reduce all three of those parameters to the minimum allowed (1, 1, 1), you might only realize a savings of 50 to 100 GB (and likely toward the lower end of that range), because very little data on a PC really changes from day to day, or even month to month. I really think moving to a larger disk (assuming your backup database isn't already close to 2 TB) is likely to be your only reasonable long-term solution.

    Also, note that it's impossible to set Windows Home Server to retain only 3 daily backups. At a minimum, you will also have one weekly and one monthly backup retained.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)

    Monday, May 7, 2012 11:39 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi Phil -

    Yes, all the Backups that I want deleted are marked accordingly with the "Delete this backup when Cleanup runs" in the Dashboard.

    Thank you for your response.

    Regards,

    Vic

    Monday, May 7, 2012 11:39 PM
  • To all that responded -

    First of all, thank you for your input!

    An interesting thing happened this morning.  I got an Error Message from WHS indicating that Cleanup had not run in over forteen days and did I want the Server to attempt to fix the problem.  I pressed the fix the issue Link and it did!  All the backups that I had configured manually to be deleted at the next Cleanup were gone on all of my machines!

    LESSONS LEARNED:

    1.  Left alone today's Operating Systems (ie: Windows 7 or Server based), will try and fix themselves (with some success).

    2.  Regardless of how the Schedule is set in the Dashboard for each Computer relative to Backup history, if you configure the units to manually delete Backups at the next Cleanup, that will overide the Schedule.

    3.  Therefore I can delete all but three Backups for each machine without any regard to how the Schedule is set.

    4.  Don't mess with the Task Scheduler (AKA the Task Manager from older systems).  This appears to be a hold over that has been carried through from every Operating System since Windows 98.  It was a piece of crap then and it is now!  MS needs to make this user frendly for the average "grunt" and not have to be an IT person to figure it out.  I made one very simple edit in the Task Scheduler:  I used the drop down Menu and told it to run daily at a certain time instead of once a week.  It obviously failed to compute with the system and it shut down the Task completely.  Stupid!

    Although the responses here were interesting, they failed to address the central point. I do however appreciate that there are still folks out there that will assist in any way possible to work issues with these systems. Long live the Forums!

    Thank you for your help! I consider this issue closed (for now).

    Regards,

    Vic   

    • Marked as answer by COMPUTER4VIC Tuesday, May 8, 2012 1:08 PM
    Tuesday, May 8, 2012 1:08 PM
  • ... Although the responses here were interesting, they failed to address the central point. I do however appreciate that there are still folks out there that will assist in any way possible to work issues with these systems. ...

    Actually, I think your central point was addressed (a couple of times):

    I wanted my Backups to be deleted daily with the exception of three for each Computer.

    I take that to mean that you want three daily backups to be retained, no weekly or monthly backups to be retained, and you want this retention policy to be enforced every night. It's not possible to set Windows Home Server to do this automatically, since the retention policy won't let you choose less than one weekly or monthly backup to retain. Getting rid of the last weekly and monthly backups will always require manual effort on your part, or if you want exactly three backups retained and don't mind that only one daily will be in the mix, you can set your server's retention policy to 1/1/1.

    As for the issues you had with trying to get the task to run every night, as an experiment I set my cleanup task to run nightly before I went to bed last night, and I saw this morning that it ran overnight. I'm not sure what problem you were having, but it was probably in the "user error" realm.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)

    Tuesday, May 8, 2012 1:34 PM
    Moderator
  • Also on top of what Ken said - if you are in need to restore a full system from backup, it may be very useful to have older backups at your hand - i.e. if the system has been occupied by an virus, which was doing it's work well hidden for a few days or weeks. In this case a 3 day only restore would restore only the infected stage.

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf

    Tuesday, May 8, 2012 2:51 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi Guys -

    Reading my original Post again I may not have been clear enough that what I was looking for was a solution to why the Cleanup failed to run and not a discussion of what my Backup criteria is.  In other words, after a very simple editing adjustment on my part, Cleanup failed and I was not able to go back to the original settings and cure the problem.  It is clearer now that the Retention Policy will not let me choose less than a weeks automatic retention.  I was not aware of that, so I will continue to manage it manually.  I don't believe that "user error" played a part here.  I have been building, installing, and reparing Computers since the middle 80's and I am a Certified A+ Computer Technician.  Admitedly my Server experience is somewhat limited and I was unable to find an answer as to why this simple tweak should have caused such a drastic failure.

    To Olaf's point (which is a good one), I failed to mention that I always keep the first virgin install Backup as a fall back position in case I do encounter a Virus or Malware issue on one of the Computers.

    Regards,

    Vic

    • Marked as answer by COMPUTER4VIC Tuesday, May 8, 2012 5:23 PM
    Tuesday, May 8, 2012 5:23 PM