Garbage Backup

As I get older and my data grows along with me, I am slowly getting better at managing it all.  I’ve blogged before about losing data and it’s never pleasant when that happens.  But, I’m doing pretty good now, and I have one more step to go.  Right now I have weekly backups to an external drive.  The next step is to have a monthly backup stored offsite in a safety deposit box.  But anyway, that’s not the point of this post.

I have a 1TB external drive for my backups, which occur weekly.  They are differential backups, only backing up the changes.  That should allow me to get a lot more use out of the drive instead of doing full or incremental backups, and it also gives me change history.  But I want to get even more out of that drive.  Right now I’m down to about 30GB free.

One thing that Windows backup does is backup your user profile folder.  This includes your temp folders, yes, and your temporary internet files folder.  You probably see where I’m going already, so I’ll just explain what I ‘m doing to trim down the amount of useless data I’m backing up.

Windows has a Disk Cleanup utility and that utility has the capability to be automated, which is what I’m doing.  I run the utility just before the backup so that my hard drives are as clean as possible.  You can do this in a couple steps.

First, open a command prompt and enter cleanmgr.exe /sageset 1

This will open the disk cleanup utility and will prompt for what types of files you want to clean.  For me, I just chose everything, but you may want to be more selective.  Temp files and Temporary Internet Files are options.


When you click ok, the options are saved as profile #1 (that’s what the 1 is for; you can choose another number if you want different profiles).

When you want to run this cleanup profile, just open a command prompt and run cleanmgr.exe /sagerun 1

You can also put that in a shortcut or put it in the Task Scheduler.


Enjoy your smaller backups and your extra drive space!

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