Strange Error doing Windows 7 Backup

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help and Support' started by xelaw, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. xelaw

    xelaw Well-Known Member

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    I have Win 7 Home Premium SP1.
    For the past year and a half, I've been using the Win 7 backup about once a month without any problems. My hard drive is partitioned into drives C and D, and I back up onto an external hard disk, which appears as Drive I when connected. (The external hard disk is partitioned into drives G, H, I, but there is plenty of space on drive I).

    In addition, more often, I back up my important data folders (using MS Synctoy) on a USB flash memory which appears as Drive F. Yesterday, I backed up to the flash memory. Then I did the Win 7 backup to my external hard disc, but I forgot to remove the flash memory from the USB port, which I always do.

    When the Win 7 backup finished, I got an error message from Windows Backup: "Windows Backup did not complete successfully. The backup completed but some files were skipped."
    When I looked at "View Skipped Files", it said "Windows Backup skipped F:\Music because it cannot be found on drive F:\." (There is no "Music folder on drive F)

    So I took out the USB flash memory and tried Win 7 Backup again (twice). Same result. Then I shut down the PC for the night. This morning I turned it on again. Everything else seemed to be working. So I did Win 7 Backup with the same result.

    I looked at "Restore all users' files" in the Backup Window, and there I see that I have only a folder called "Users" backed up from the C Drive, and only a folder called "Music" backed up from the D Drive. I have many other folders in these drives, and even these folders only show a small portion of the files in those folders on my PC. It also shows that there is an empty F:\Music folder backed up. Just to remind you - there is no F Drive once I remove my USB flash memory.

    Looking at "Manage Windows Backup Space" I see that on Drive I (the backup drive) I use 26.6 GB for Data File Backup, 95 GB for System Image, with 64 GB of free space on the drive. Since my C and D drives have a total of 74 GB used space, and I assume Win 7 Backup compresses files, these numbers look reasonable to me.

    Can anyone tell me what's going on? Are my files backed up or not? Why the silly error message? My external hard disk seems fine, as best as I can tell
     
  2. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    You need to get the Drive letter situation straightened out. When you plug in additional drives, the letters of the ones you think might change. So Windows Backup did what it had to do. But now it might be out of sync and needs to be reset.

    You might check to make sure Windows Backup is seeing the external drive as the one it is supposed to use. Since the utility keeps continuous backups, it might be looking for a specific one to continue the backups. Maybe going through the backup settings you might see something that was changed and needs to be reset.

    You may end up having to start the backup sequence over again and get the utility reset.
     
  3. xelaw

    xelaw Well-Known Member

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    Saltgrass, thanks for the quick reply.

    Not quite sure what you mean about getting "the Drive letter situation straightened out." Windows Backup specifically says that the backup location is Drive I, which is consistent with what Windows Explorer shows, and when I browse for the backup folders they are on Drive I. Nothing in the backup setting has changed since I started using the system. The one strange thing is the appearance of "Backup of Drive F" that Windows Backup says is there, and that it keeps looking for during backup. In my system, Drive F has always been the USB Flash memory drive, which only shows up in Windows Explorer when it's plugged in.

    What do you mean by "get the utility reset"? I was thinking of deleting the folders "WindowsImageBackup" and "USER-PC" that are on Drive I, and starting the backup process then. But I'm a bit leery of doing this when I'm not quite sure of what I'm doing, so I would appreciate input from the forum on this probem.
     
  4. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    If you plug in the flash drive first or have it installed during boot, do the drive letters for the external drive change? I am not exactly sure how Windows Backup picks it backup drive, but if the flash drive was there, it may have been considered the only choice for a backup and the settings changed.

    I would say Windows Backup has to be redirected to the external drive. It is probably looking for the last backup which it knows was on F: Exactly how you reset it depends on how important the other backup is, but if you change the settings back to I: it might just continue on using the original settings.

    You can copy the WindowsImageBackup to another location and probably the User-PC files backup also...I will rename by WindowsImageBackup folder every now and then to make sure it won't be overwritten so I will always have at least one good backup image.

    I did get the same message on my system the other day and ended up replacing the internal drive I have with a larger one. It appeared the last image that was backed up was corrupted, probably because it ran out of room (I kept other files on the drive also). But now everything is back to normal.
     
  5. xelaw

    xelaw Well-Known Member

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    Saltgrass, thanks again for your fast answer.

    Windows has been consistent all along with naming Drives: C and D are the Local Disks on my internal hard drive, F always appears as the USB flash memory drive, and the external hard disk always appears as G, H, and I drives, whether the flash memory (drive F) is plugged in or not. The backup is always on Drive I.

    Looking at my backup settings, it includes "All Users - Default Windows folders and local files in libraries" and "System Image". Why does "Default Windows folders" now apparently include for backup the non-existent folder "Music" in the non-existent Drive F? If I look at my backup settings, it doesn't even include Drive F as a possibility for being backed up, only Local drives C and D, and the external disk drives G and H, which I don't back up.

    How do I redirect Windows Backup? It's directed to Drive I, which is where I want it. I don't have a place in a different location where I can copy the backup files. Can I just delete the "WindowsImageBackup" and "USER-PC" folders on drive I and that means that when I backup again, Windows 7 backup will start with a clean slate?
     
  6. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    Check your Library folder and see if those locations are included in the library. If you have something included in a Media Player library, it might even try to back that up.

    You might also make sure it is not listed in Favorites.

    What Windows says it includes in a backup is a little confusing. But you can check the help section and look for what Windows backs up. It does say it does not back up files on Fat32 formatted drives. I would assume your flash drive is formatted that way, so I do not know why it would be included.

    Try selecting the option for you to choose which files are included and make sure it is not checked. The system may have gotten stuck and needs to have the list of files/folders backed up redone. Sometimes unchecking an option and rechecking (or vice versa) can reset some setting.
     
  7. xelaw

    xelaw Well-Known Member

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    OK, Saltgrass, I think you hit upon the answer!

    I looked in Libraries under "Music", and there I found a library called Music (F:). I have no idea where it came from, but I assume that it was created somehow yesterday when I left my F: Drive (USB flash memory) plugged in when I did Win 7 Backup onto my external hard disk. I know I haven't played any music or used the Media Player in the last month, since I successfully last backed up.

    So I removed the Library Music (F:), and then tried backing up, and this time it completed successfully!

    I don't use Libraries or Documents. I like the old-fashioned hierarchical system of Drives, Folders (I remember when they were called Directories), sub-folders, and files.

    In any case, thank you. You have solved my problem.
     

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