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When I backup via stsadm (Stsadm -o backup -overwrite -url %mysite% -backupmethod full -filename %file%) I get a file size of 1.5gb. I just looked on our sql server and the database is around 18gb. I was under the impression that using the 'full' parameter in stsadm was capturing the entire site, am I wrong? Should I be using a 3rd-party utility to do this instead?

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How are you determining the size of your SQL database? – Doug Luxem Jul 19 '10 at 20:07

I was looking at the properties of each database to determine the size.

Turns out the log files were getting extremely large. I shrank them following the instructions here:

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Hi, and welcome to SF! In the future, this kind of additional info helps the most when edited into your original question, or posted as a comment after Doug's comment. – Kara Marfia Jul 20 '10 at 13:43

Stsadm will compress its backup by default - I believe using the -nofilecompression switch will give a file size closer to what you'd expect to see.

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