By Ivy / Last Updated June 5, 2020

Windows Server 2012 (R2) backup disk full

“ I create a schedule backup in Windows Server 2012 using Windows Server Backup. My backup drive is 3TB hard drive. A few days ago, I receive a alter”Free space is low in Server Backup. If you ignore this alter, the old backups on the backup disk will be overwritten by the new backups”, so I ignored it.

But, last night, I receive another alert”A scheduled backup did not finish successfully. The scheduled backup did not finish successfully and returned the following error code: 2155348326 Windows Backup encountered an error when writing data to the backup target. Detailed error: There is not enough space on the disk. ”

The backup disk is indeed full. I’m confused. Why the old backup wasn’t overwritten as promised? Is there any way to get backups to overwrite? I just want to keep recent backups. Thanks very much. ”

Why Windows Server 2012 (R2) backup drive full?

In Windows Server Backup, there is a feature called automatic disk usage management, which will automatically reuse the space occupied by older backups when creating new backups. To get more space for new backup, it will shrink the storage space allocated for snapshots (called diff area ). So, in theory, there is no need to delete backups manually. However, you will receive the backup failure because of low disk space. Why?

That’s because WSB will not overwrite backups if the target drive is less than 1/8. In this situation, all the past backups may be lost if WSB forcibly shrink free space to create a new backup.

How to delete old copies in Windows Server 2012(R2)?

Method 1: Delete backup versions using vssadmin

Windows Server Backup stores backup versions in volume shadow copies using VSS and it will retain the state of the storage volume as a “backup version” or “point-in-time” of the backup, So you can delete the shadow copies where the backup exists. Below is the detailed steps.

Step 1. open cmd as administrator and type the following command to get the backup versions. Just need to replace the <TargetDrive> with its drive letter.

wbadmin get versions -backuptarget:<TargetDrive>

Step 2. Delete the backup version using the following command. Just replace the x with drive letter that contain the backups.

vssadmin delete shadows /for=x: /oldest

Step 3. Type exit the leave this window.

Besides, you still can use diskshadow and delete shadows oldest x: to delete old copies in Windows Server 2012(R2). PLEASE remember to start from the oldest instead of backup versions in the middle, or you may not get free space.

Method 2: Delete system state backup with wbadmin

In Windows Server 2012(R2), you can use wbadmin to delete system state backup created by WSB. It can specify the backups with 3 different parameters, including [-version], [-keepVersions],



[-version] refers to delete specific version(s)

[-keepVersions] is used to delete all backups but the specified ones

[-deleteOldest]is aimed at deleting the oldest backup.

Then, see below and learn to detailed steps to free up backup disk space.

Step 1. Open cmd and run as administrator.

Step 2. delete backup copies using the following command and hit Enter. You can select the command according to your situation.

To delete the backup created at 18:25 06/08/2019:

wbadmin delete systemstatebackup -version: 06/08/2019-18:25

To delete all system state backups, except the latest 10 backups

wbadmin delete systemstatebackup -keepVersions:10

To delete the oldest system state backup stored on disk E, type:

wbadmin delete systemstatebackup -backupTarget:E: -deleteOldest

Note: -backupTarget only needs to be specified for locating backups that are not of the local computer.

Step 3. Wait until the process is finished and type exit.

Method 3: Delete non-system state backup

In Windows Server 2012 (R2), you are also allowed to delete non-system state backup with wbadmin. But if your are running 2008 or lower version, you cannot use this command line to delete backups. Instead, you can use diskshadow.

Step 1: Run cmd as admministrator.

Step 2. To delete backup created at 06:25 06/08/2019, type the following command and hit Enter.

Wbadmin delete backup -keepVersion:11/10/2015-06:48 -BackupTarget:F:machine:WIN-9814GD4FH95

Note: -machine is only needed when you have backed up many computers to the same location.

Step 3. Close this window and see if your disk has more space after the this operation is 100% completed.

Method 4: Manage shadow copies in File Explore

Windows Server 2012 (R2) backup disk full, you need to do more than delete shadow copies, system state backup and non-system state. After that, what you need to do most is changing the usage space of shadow copies. Detailed steps are below.

Step 1. Assign a drive letter for your backup drive if it does not have. If it already has one, skip this step and see the next step.

Step 2. Go to File Explore, right-click the backup drive and select Manage Shadow Copies.

Step 3. Change the maximum size for the Shadow Copies, such as, 15%.

Another way to manage backup disk space for Server

Many users find that Windows Server Backup not deleting old backups as promised, and eventually the backup disk full. So, you need to delete old copies in Windows Server 2012(R2) using the respective command line. To be honest, it’s a little complicated for common users. Here, I’ll recommend you AOMEI Backupper Server, which is designed to solve this problem. It has a clear and user-friendly interface and all the steps are very easy to operate.

Now, continue to see the detailed steps.

Step 1. Download AOMEI Backupper Professional, install and launch it.

Step 2. Click Backup and System Backup subsequently.

System Backup

Step 3. In this interface, system and boot related partitions are selected by default, so you just need to select a path for the backup.

Select Path

Step 4(Required). Click Backup Schedule and select daily backup, USB plug in, differential backup, etc under the General or Advanced tab.

General Settings

Step 5(Required). Click Scheme option, click the button at the right side of Enable Backup Scheme and select the Scheme you like from the drop-down menu. Then, click OK to exit this window.

Backup Scheme

Step 6. Confirm all the setting and click Start Backup. After that, your older backup will be deleted automatically when your file backups exceed the versions of backup image files.

AOMEI Backupper Server can only be used to protect server-based computer, you need to upgrade to AOMEI Backkupper Technician if you want to backup unlimited PCs and Servers. Within AOMEI Image Deploy, you can deploy image to multiple computers over network.

Wrapping things up

Speaking of Windows Server 2012 (R2) backup disk full, the first thing you think about is to delete old backups. However, the command line is more than complicated for users who are not familiar with it. So, I recommend you another backup software AOMEI Backupper.

With AOMEI Backupper, system backup and disk space management becomes easier because of its wizard-like interface. And it still offers you other backup solutions, such as, file backup, disk backup, etc. More so, it comes with extra features, such as, filter settings, weekly backup, USB plug in, etc.

If you are still bothered by backup disk full, you can download AOMEI Backupper Server and enjoy your 30-frial.