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New HP laptop running Vista, backup drive full


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#1
bwilbanks

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My daughter has a new HP laptop running Vista, and after only about 2 months use at med school, she's getting constant messages that the backup drive is full. I copied and pasted the contents of the backup drive to a DVD - can I now erase or format the backup drive without causing any problems elsewhere?
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#2
hfcg

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Hello,
If a DVD held all of the data from the back up drive, the drive can not be full.
Check the DVD to make sure that the data is really there, then you can format the drive.
It may be that the back up drive had two or more partitions, which is not needed nor desirable in a back up drive.
Make sure that the whole drive is formatted in to one partition.
Please look at this Microsoft article To understand how to use the Vista disc partitioning utility.
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#3
PedroDaGR8

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Hello,
If a DVD held all of the data from the back up drive, the drive can not be full.
Check the DVD to make sure that the data is really there, then you can format the drive.
It may be that the back up drive had two or more partitions, which is not needed nor desirable in a back up drive.
Make sure that the whole drive is formatted in to one partition.
Please look at this Microsoft article To understand how to use the Vista disc partitioning utility.


Also, make sure it is backing up to the proper drive. I started getting that message with my software after a month on an old XP install and realized it was backing up to my thumb drive. This occured because when I plugged the USB HD in to set up the backup software the USB HD was E:. Well when I plugged in the USB thumbdrive and then the backup hard drive, the USB thumbdrive is E: and the USB HD is F:, this resulted in the software backing up to my thumbdrive and not the USB hard drive.
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#4
bwilbanks

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When I went to My Computer and looked at the capacity of the C drive and backup drive (I don't remember now what letter the backup drive is), the backup drive appeared to be completely full.

The DVD appears to have the same files and folders that are shown on the backup drive, so if I now format the backup drive, I just don't want to accidentally format the C drive, too, or lose any of her programs or files.
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#5
PedroDaGR8

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When I went to My Computer and looked at the capacity of the C drive and backup drive (I don't remember now what letter the backup drive is), the backup drive appeared to be completely full.

The DVD appears to have the same files and folders that are shown on the backup drive, so if I now format the backup drive, I just don't want to accidentally format the C drive, too, or lose any of her programs or files.


By the way, when you say the backup drive, are you referring to the recovery partition? If so this shouldn't be used as a backup drive, instead an external USB HD of some sort should be used. Especially as laptop hard drives die more often than desktop HD's, I know from experience (killed 4 in the past 3 yrs, different laptops each time and different reasons, 2 were my fault, 2 just died).
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#6
bwilbanks

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I just called her, and she says it is HP Recovery drive D. She keeps getting an error message saying there's no more room in that drive, and when she goes into My Computer, it is full. Sorry, I mistook that for a backup drive. What do we need to do?
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#7
PedroDaGR8

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I just called her, and she says it is HP Recovery drive D. She keeps getting an error message saying there's no more room in that drive, and when she goes into My Computer, it is full. Sorry, I mistook that for a backup drive. What do we need to do?

That is just a partition that contains all the major system information needed to return the computer back to factory condition. It usually is only a few GB in size hence a) it gets filled easily and b) it fit on one dvd. Instead, you need an external USB hard drive (there are a huge number of manufacturers). This will then be that backup drive, more than likely it will be drive letter E: or F: depending on the CD-ROM's drive letter. You will then point your backup software to the external USB hard drive and have it do the backups to there. I use a program called SyncBack Freeware, others have their own preferred back up software. I use this simply cause it does what I want and is free, no other reason. You should use the software of your choice. Doing this should get rid of all of your problems and on top of that give your daughter an external backup of her files should her laptop hard drive ever fail (you have no idea how much you will value this until you actually need it).

Edited by PedroDaGR8, 01 December 2008 - 09:30 PM.

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#8
hfcg

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Do not remove any files or folders from the recovery partition.
Have you made a set of recovery disc?
If not please do so. There should have been instructions to do this with the computer.
Or check the manufacture web site.
I am surprised that some files where copied to this partition. You normally can not write to a recovery partition.
I hope that no corruption has occurred.
An external hard drive is not prohibitively expensive, Around $100.00 USD. I suggest that this be used for your back up solution.
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#9
PedroDaGR8

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Do not remove any files or folders from the recovery partition.
Have you made a set of recovery disc?
If not please do so. There should have been instructions to do this with the computer.
Or check the manufacture web site.
I am surprised that some files where copied to this partition. You normally can not write to a recovery partition.
I hope that no corruption has occurred.
An external hard drive is not prohibitively expensive, Around $100.00 USD. I suggest that this be used for your back up solution.


Several I have seen have a couple hundred MB free, usually they round the partition size to the nearest GB. I agree with what hfcg says, DO NOT REMOVE ANY FILES FROM THERE. Just let them be. Do your backups to an external HD, I have seen a lot on sale for below $100.00, just basically make it double the size of the hard drive you currently have (allows for some space to store some non-important files as well as allowing for the storage of deleted files just in case they are needed at a later date).
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#10
Dilucia

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My daughter has a new HP laptop running Vista, and after only about 2 months use at med school, she's getting constant messages that the backup drive is full. I copied and pasted the contents of the backup drive to a DVD - can I now erase or format the backup drive without causing any problems elsewhere?


Hey dude if your problem doesn't end here then just visit magic Backup.They have Unlimited desktop and laptop backup.I have tried it and believe me it really works.
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#11
123Runner

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And I will repeat again what others have already stated.
Normally you should not be able to write to the recovery partition.
Since files have been written to it, it is most likely corrupted and will not work if you need to recover. The hope is that it will work IF YOU DO NOT REMOVE ANY FILES FROM IT.

If she has not already done so, then make the back up CD's or get new ones.

Use a external USB drive hard drive in a case. I buy my own case and add my own hard drive (it works for me).
You can buy a backup drive already in a case and use the software that comes with it.
I also use Syncback Free because it is free and very easy to use.

My home computer is backed up to 2 separate drives using Syncback and Norton Ghost (I own Norton Ghost so I use it).
My company laptop gets backed up with Syncback to another separate drive. This is done every Friday night.

123runner
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