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BE2012 howto remove backupsets on Disk storage

Created: 16 Aug 2012 | 11 comments


i have a disk based strorage with 1TB of disc space.

After some weeks the space is filled up and i try to clean or delete some of the backup sets.

But for the crippled interface and design i can´t

  • sort the backup sets for the server names
  • filter the backup sets
  • find the backup sets i need to delete.

Is there any way to cleanup some space?

I deleted all backupjobs that used a disc based storage and i changed the remaining jobs to keep data for 1 week.

but i still have a lot of remaining backup sets i can´t delete, there are more than 1000 backup sets in the list.

And while the beast can´t sort the list it would be a lot of work to find all the sets i like to delete.

Will there be any improvement in the future?

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ZeRoC00L's picture

Juergenb, you may have to look into overwriteing the existing backup sets.

Configure the existing backup sets as overwriteable and BE will overwrite when needed.

If this response answers your concern, please mark it as a "solution"

Backup_Exec's picture


Yes you are right sort doesn't work and if you have so many backup set In range of thousand ,then please go to backup restore tab and go to each specific server to remove the backup set.
Else you can delete the files manually from physical location too which are oldest and you think you don't require them any more and once done perform inventory

Also if your backup set are not getting overwritten then please follow the suggestion given in the link below to resolve the issue.



Don't forget to give a "Thumbs Up" or Mark as "Solution" if someones advice has helped you.

Sush...'s picture

I would suggest deleting Backup set from Backup Exec. With BE 2012 when we delete the backup set from Backup Exec console it also deletes the  physical files from the physical location (this was not happening with BE 2010).

So in Backup & Restore tab double click on the server whose backup set needs to be deleted and then go to Backup Set tab.

You can hold the  CONTROL key or SHIFT key to select multiple backup set and then delete it.



Hope this piece of Information Helps you... and if it does then mark this response as Solution....!!!

JuergenB's picture

Please try this for yourself on a system with about 1650 backup sets and please get a felling how stupid this task would be.

you need to select the server, the date and the backup set and keep this doing for a lot of backupsets, scroll down the list during your selection ...

Always press CTRL key ...

You can´t select the backup set at the normal server view, where you only see the date/time.
You must open the tree of the date/time view..

Kiran Bandi's picture


If you want to display the backup to disk medias:

As you said you have more than 1000 backup sets, deleting might be very difficult. If you can find out which medias are not required delete those from the console.

Also you can read DLM best practises from here: 

JuergenB's picture


thanks for the information.

i can´t take this as a serious solution, thats a week attempt to hide the incapable of the Symantec Products.
i deleted the backup jobs and the backupsets are still there.

Even the option to delete within a specific server backup set is not possible.

Worst product i have seen from symantec, and i have seen norten 360 on Windows Vista crashing the complete PC...

JuergenB's picture


thanks for sharing your thoughts..

  • Backup Exec doesn´t allow the deletion of backupset from the specific server view!
  • the corresponding backup job definition has been deleted, but the backup set´s are still there.
  • the retention time has been set to 1 week, was 4 weeks. But this doesn´t change anything.

i tried to delete with keyboard (del key), and with context menue of the backupset, but this is empty (only a small blank box appears).

I stil say: No real administrator has tested this product, only the designers and marketing ...

i can´t delete the backupsets, the corresponding job are not available any more.
i though if i delete the backup jobs the backupset will be delete, i waited for 16hours, but still no cleanup.

JuergenB's picture

The idea to delete backupset within each specific server is not good solution.

I need to open each backup Source, look for the backupset on disk.

And you still can´t sort anything withing the specific backupset view!

  • No Storage
  • No Expiration

BE has the most crippled interface i have to use at my daily tasks...

bruenor's picture

Easiest way I have found (Still not pretty).

Select the Storage Tab in the BE2012 Interface.

Select your disk storage device and click the ====> for the DETAILS view.

in the details view select the Backup Sets option.

I just scrolled to the bottom of the list which is the oldest backup sets,

Select large groups of backup sets using Shift+Left Click

Right click the selected backup sets and select DELETE.

Yes to All when prompted to delete.

Even with the backup job retention period set to 2 Weeks and overwrite enabled my Deduplication device contains backup sets that are 10 Months old at this point... I don't think my definition of retention period, and overwrite are the same ones Symantec uses.

the BE Management Service crashes occasionall when doing this, so I've had to restart the service a couple times and relaunch the Management interface.  **sigh**

FCCTodd's picture

Thanks for the steps, I would just add one final one:


It is like telling the kids to take the garbage out, you tell them, come back a couple hours later and it is still not done.


bruenor's picture

Apparently there is a registry fix that is supposed to address this issue of Old backup sets not being deleted.

Just did this to my server today as I again am looking at 10 month old backup sets that are not being purged, even though the retention period is set to 2 weeks..  Hopefully this will resolve the issue once and for all..

Under certain conditions these backup sets that are not able to be deleted or groomed may fill up disk space cause low disk conditions or backups to stop if the storage device is out of space.