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I have an external hard drive that I want to use to do full scheduled backups of my PC, but the problem is, I need it to delete previous backups when it needs more storage space automatically. Currently I use Acronis, which I love everything about it except the backup always fails because of insufficient storage on my external hard drive; so I have to manually delete the old backup(s) before restarting the backup. As far as I'm aware, there's no setting to delete the previous backup before starting a new one.

I'm using Windows 10, and I have 3 different drives that I need backed up, totaling to ~3TB of data.

Requirements:

  • Works with Windows 10
  • Costs less than ~$50 (If it cost money; there must be some trial so I can try it before buying it)
  • Able to backup very large amounts of files from multiple drives to a single location
  • Has automated scheduled backups, so I can set it up once and never have to worry about touching the software again
  • Deletes old backups before starting new ones if there will be insufficient space

Other than that, I really don't care about other features. Cloud/encryption/compression and other stuff like that doesn't really matter to me.

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If you are using Acronis Backup and Recovery 11 or 11.5 (and apparently v10 as well), there are advisories in the support section of the web site you've linked. Automatically deleting backups specifies that it is incorrect to delete via Windows Explorer any outdated backups, as it does not properly remove metadata or indexes relative to the backup.

The article specifies to use the Acronis management console or to perform the necessary configuration changes to delete backups after a number have accumulated. I read that the automated deletion will not remove the last recent backup, requiring at least one to remain while another is being created.

acronis backup plan

  • Good tips, but it still doesnt solve me specific problem. I only have enough storage to store a single backup at a time, so I can't have one already stored while another one is being created. – hhaslam11 Jul 16 '17 at 18:47
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    I can see that would be a problem for this particular program and likely many others. The software cannot be certain the current backup will complete and will not remove your previous backup until the current one is verified as good. A program called CrashPlan (free or paid) might provide some flexibility if you have a spare computer on your home network, but I don't see how it would fit into the delete-backup-before-backup concept. If you configure for incremental backups, you wouldn't have to delete the existing one, yes? – fred_dot_u Jul 16 '17 at 18:57
  • Yeah, I feel like incremental backups is the best option for now. The drive will still get full every once in a while, but I guess it's better than having to delete the backup files for every single backup I want to do. – hhaslam11 Jul 16 '17 at 20:08

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