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Windows Physical Backup includes Swap File and Too much Data

John Mallard

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I am using Nakivo to backup Windows 10 Workstations (laptops) and for 2 backups each day of 1 laptop, each backup is 16 - 17 GB !!!

Now I remember seeing in Release Notes that a physical Windows backup is still not ignoring the Windows swap file, which certainly does not help and should be rectified in an upcoming software release. However, in my case, that is still only 1.3 GB, so i am sure that there is still an awful lot more being backup up that is not necessary. Could this be addressed son, please ?

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Hi @John Mallard,

The backup is still not ignoring the Windows swap file because the swap file serves as additional memory available to hold different data from physical memory, which is more complicated than the VM system. Some modern Windows apps won't run — others might run for a while before crashing. The Windows OS shouldn't disable the swap file unless you're an experienced Windows user, and the backup shouldn't skip them.

We can't affect the tracking algorithm, but this is what you can do in your situation:
- Reduce the data volume.
- Reduce System temporary files/updated files, adjust the pagefile/fiberfill if you have enough hardware resource.
- Disable automated disk defragmentation maintenance.

Please feel free to contact us if you need any further information.

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  • 4 months later...

@Official Moderator, I think that while it is true that the page file serves as additional memory, it should not be backed up on a physical machine. the file contents are reset when the physical machine turns on and the file itself is not usable as you cannot restore it or use it's contents in any way (windows prevents access to pagefile.sys so you cannot restore it anyway).

I would say the same applies for hiberfil.sys which is the hibernation file for windows


On my machine (32GB ram) the page file is about 13GB which is a waste of backup space and time as it is not usable and even if you skip the file during restore then windows will create it again

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Just an Idea for an ugly hack:

Put pagefile on a diffrent partition and exclude this from backup?

Not nice, but maybe effective 🤔

I think the change tracking of nakivo is not very effective, I've seen mucht better solutions by other vendors.

(but I still like Nakivo)

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I took a look on what Arcserve is doing and they are not backup up the pagefile and hiberfil contents but they do backup their location on the MFT so that the file returns to the same place (only content is replaced). Any solution is valid as long as the contents of the file do not waste space in my backups. My machine with almost nothing changes on disk can still produce a 100GB backup just because page file moves, antivirus changes and the fact that my SSD is fragmented (making a lot of disk blocks appear as changed)

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@DaniAvni and @Mario, hi!

Currently, the exclusion of specific files from the backup of the Physical machines is not yet supported. However, this feature is in our backlog. We do not have ETA.

We would recommend sending us a support bundle with a detailed description of the feature request so we can pass it to our Product Team.

Thank you a lot for your suggestions! They let us improve. 

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