Backup Larger than Original


I followed Maximum PC ’s “Clean Start” article (February 2009) and used Acronis True Image to set up a weekly full disk image. My XP Pro system is installed on C:, which is a 1.5 TB hard drive. I have another 1.5TB hard drive of the exact same make and model, to which I write the weekly image. I have 120GB of free space on the C: drive, but the backup drive is already full!

The destination drive contains no files except the image; is it possible for an exact image of a C: drive to be bigger than the original (by more than 10 percent)? Yes, I selected “incremental” as backup method.

—Matt Peuler

According to Acronis’s website, an incremental backup can indeed be larger than the installation it’s copied from, if you’ve recently defragged the primary drive. The solution is to create a new full backup of the drive after your defragmentation. This can also happen if you use Outlook and you’ve picked the Fast Incremental backup method; your .pst file changes constantly, and will increase the size of your image.

SUBMIT YOUR QUESTION Are flames shooting out of the back of your rig? First, grab a fire extinguisher and douse the flames. Once the pyrotechnic display has fizzled, email the doctor at for advice on how to solve your technological woes.

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