Smartware says "accomplished", but isn't backing up because the drive is full of duplicate files

Smartware keeps saying “Backup accomplished successfully”, but is not actually backing up any new files, because the passport drive is full of duplicate files.

The drive was purchased in November and I have upgraded Smartware when a new version became available. It’s a 500GB passport elite with Smartware, backing up a 320GB C drive which has about 40GB of free space. Smartware tells me I have around 170GB to backup, 160GB backed up and 0KB free.

So what is occupying the other 340GB (500-160)? Part of this might be that there are files from another user ( about 50GB). I think that most of this space is taken up by a huge number of duplicate files. I can see many folders in the swstor folder where every file has a duplicate with a UUID tagged onto the filename separated with “@”. A file called “photo.JPG” has a companion called “photo @ 69f60c832b194e1889d7d2d30c6a27cc.JPG” ( spaces inserted so this doesn’t get made into a mailto address). For all the files I have checked, these are exact copies. The long name copy has a “Date accessed” before the short name copy.

The way this computer is used, there won’t be many files that are modified, but quite a few that are moved from one folder to another. And then there will be lots that are archived onto other discs and deleted. So I expected that the passport drive would eventually become full of backups of deleted and moved files, but I hoped that the software would do something intelligent about recycling this space once it became full.

It’s really disappointing that, far from being intelligent, it’s reporting being unable to do anything as “Backup accomplished”. There don’t seem to be any relevant options in the software, apart from erasing the whole drive.

A quick update…

I have written a program to scan for the files with an @ in their name, compare them with their shorter named friends and delete them if they’re identical. I now have 250GB free  - that’s how much space was taken by these duplicate files.

There are still some @ files left (about a gigabyte). Most of them seem to be untouchable because they have an invalid filename. It looks like there may be a bug in the formation of the @ names when the original filename doesn’t have an extension. A file named “rubbish” becomes “rubbis @ xxxxxxx.” ( spaces added to stop it becoming a mailto). The last letter of the original name is lost and the new name ends with a dot.