By Ivy / Last Updated June 22, 2020

Does Windows Server Backup keep only one copy?

Hi everyone. I’m using Windows Server Backup to backup my server 2012 for a year or so. Now I have a 100 backup available but the disk only 15GB free space, and is shown as “Red”. Personally, I think it will only delete the oldest backup available, but it deletes everything and keep only one copy. Any way to fix it? Thanks in advanced.

For “Windows Server Backup keep only one copy” issue, there are two possible reasons. First, the backup mode was automatically changed from incremental backup to full backup. Second, your disk may be corrupted. To ensure that, you can do disk check on the current disk. If so, just replace it with new disk.

How Windows Server Backup works?

To use Windows Server Backup in a better way, you need to understand how it works during the backup process. And, there no such thing about Windows Server Backup number of copies to keep.

If you run a backup, especially Windows Server Backup to network share incremental, it will create a VHD file for the source volume, then create a shadow copy of target backup drive where stores the image backup. Finally, the backup time, shadow copy identifier (Shadow Copy ID) and Version identifier will be input in backup catalog. After that, you can restore your server with shadow copies.

If you keep running scheduled backups, a lot of shadow copies will be taken. Though there may be one VHD file or VHDX file (in Windows Server 2012 or latter), you can still restore to previous versions using these shadow copies.

How to get backups using command prompt?

To find the backups created by Windows Server Backup, use the following steps:

1. List all shadow copies. Click Start, type cmd in the search box, select it from the result list and run as administrator. Then, type “vssadmin list shadows” in the elevated command prompt and hit “Enter” to get Windows Server Backup Multiple copies.

Vssadmin Listshadows

2. Get snapshot ID of backups. Type “wbadmin get versions” and hit “Enter”. After that, you can find out the Shadow Copy ID and the corresponding Snapshot ID.

Wbadmin Getversions

Note: If you are still not sure about this, you can assign a drive letter to the shadow copies, and then view the contents in File Explorer using “Diskshadow”.

But if you want an easier way to create multiple backup schedule without a limit number of copies, you can use a professional third-party backup software like AOMEI Backupper Server. It’s widely used in the worldwide, and trusted by many users.

How to keep multiple backup copies with AOMEI Backupper Server?

AOMEI Backupper Server is professional backup software for server 2003, 2008, 2012, 2016, 2019 and its R2 version. And this software allows you to easily and quickly create multiple schedule backup with a few clicks. Then, let's see it specifically.

  • Daily/weekly/monthly backup: These backup settings help you backup your system regularly, including the latest upates, newly installed apps, modified files etc.

  • Event triggers: To backup system without any interference, you could use "System Shutdown" in event trigger backup.

  • Incremental or differential backup: To only backup changed files, incremental backup or differential backup is recommended. Because it can save your backup time and disk space.

  • Wake the computer to run scheduled tasks: This feature helps you wake up your computer from sleep and then perform schedule backup during off-peak hour.

  • Backup Scheme: This feature bring much convenience to users who create schedule backup continuously. With it, you can delete old backup images based on a specific role, and the process is automatic.

Now, let’s start to create multiple schedule backup:

1. Download, install and launch AOMEI Backupper Server.

Download Free Trial Server 2003/2008/2012/2016/2019
Secure Download

2. Within the intuitive interface, click “System Backup” under the Backup tab.

System Backup

3. Click the folder shaped button and select a destination path for your schedule backup.

By default, this software will automatically select all needed items for system restore. That’s because there is a hidden boot related partition on your computer and you may ignore it, then lead to system restore failure.

Select Path

4. Click Schedule and select settings you like. You can select one under the General tab or Advanced. Also, you can combine both General setting and Advanced settings, such as, daily differential backup.

Schedule Settings General

5. To delete old backups, click "Scheme" and select a specific role. After all settings are done, click “Start Backup” to get the backup running.



  • If you have multiple schedule backup and the backup disk is not big enough, you can enable backup scheme to delete backup files automatically. After that, you no longer need to worry about backup disk full.

  • If your system is very big, you can choose to compress the image or split it into multiple smaller image files.

  • If you don’t want to wait until the backup task complete, you can set email notification to get the final result or any error message during the backup process.

Written in the end

Although Windows Server Backup can create multiple schedule backups, it may not work as normal and throw out error, like “Windows Server Backup keep only one copy”. So, you want an easier way or more advanced features, such as, weekly backup, USB plug in, differential backup etc, you could use a replacement tool AOMEI Backupper Server.