If one has limited space on the C drive, how can one calculate the space required for a backup?  I ask this because I got a running out of disk space message, warning of corruption and advising to free up space or else. I took the advise.

If you are running Windows use the Windows Disk Cleanup to delete old files. 

Instructions from a script I run to do it.

echo Do Start ^> All apps ^> Windows Administrative Tools ^> Disk Cleanup ^> OK
echo ^> Clean up system files ^> OK
echo ^> More Options ^> System Restore and Shadow Copies ^> Clean up ^> Delete ^> OK
echo ^> Delete files
echo * A Windows Update Cleanup can take an **HOUR**!!

The last line can read “take ***HOURS***!!” on older pcs.  I had it run for 5 hours on one last night.  As for which files to delete in the list I select pretty much all of them.

Thanks. Should mentioned that my C drive is a Samsung EVO 750 solid state drive (250 GB). From what I know SSD’s dont do disk cleanup well. But I was able to safely delete many  files on C so that backup completed successfully. The backup took up only 50GB on my C drive. Does it seem right that this represents about 220 GB of uncompressed content. 

SSDs clean up just as well has HDDs when it comes to deleting files.  Not sure where you heard otherwise.

If you really want to save space on your C: drive and have the ability to recover it should you loose it, move your backups to a different drive.

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Thanks for that info…I might have been confused with defrag. Whats the difference?

Clean Up deletes needless files, Defrag merges scattered free spaces into one area and consolidates file fragments together.   This results in less work for Windows to write and read files which makes it faster.

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Thanks for clearing that up.

Relatedly, How much space do files in the backup folder use compared to their uncompressed  version?

It depends on the type of files.  Text files for example compress high while zip files compress low.

But compression is not the concern, storing your backup on the c: drive should be.  If you can’t boot your c: drive your backup may be inaccessible, thus useless.  Backups need to be stored off the machine to be useful in disasterous situations.  Imagine your pc catches fire, imagine your pc has a beer, glass of water or wine, spilled on it.  Imagine a lightning strike near your home which sends a surge of power into your pc. 

You mentioned your backup is only 50GB, a 120GB flash drive would be cheap insurance.

Don’t get me wrong, I backup my c: drive to a separate partition on my hard drive, especially before I make any questionable changes.  It’s convenient.  But periodically I back it up to a separate USB hard drive which is stored in a different location.

If a computer is lost, is it possible to make another backup from a USB stick that has matching data?

Nope.  Once a computer is lost it is impossible to make another backup.  :wink:

However, if you can acquire another similar computer you can restore your backup system to it.  You may experience some compatibility issues if the replacement computer’s hardware is different but Windows should resolve that.  And you’ve have your Favorites, email, pictures, music and etc from the backup.

Ok, thanks for the help. I appreciate your patience.

…but is it possible to create a vault on a new USB stick, or computer, then encrypt yout files there?

That depends on what kind of vault you are referring to.  Is SecureAccess yes you can create a new vault on a new SanDisk USB drive but not on a hard drive.  And IMO not everything needs to be saved in a secure vault.  Your resume, your social security number, your passwords, and alike sure but photos and music and apps don’t need to be saved to a vault.  A USB drive is fine.

Thanks for the great information!