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Backup & Restore System Restore - disk space

Brink

Staff member
mvp
System Restore - disk space How to Change the System Restore Disk Space Usage Amount in Vista
This will show you how to change the System Restore (Shadow Copy) maximum disk space usage from the default 15 % of you hard drive volume to what you want it to be instead, and to see how much space is being used.
Published by Brink Category: Backup & Restore 
#1
ByLine
How to Change the System Restore Disk Space Usage Amount in Vista
Synopsis
This will show you how to change the System Restore (Shadow Copy) maximum disk space usage from the default 15 % of you hard drive volume to what you want it to be instead, and to see how much space is being used.
How to Change the System Restore Disk Space Usage Amount in Vista

information   Information
By default Vista allocates 15% of your selected hard drive volume to storing System Restore points after installation. If System Restore is turned on much later, it may only allocate a minimum of 30% of the available free space instead. When the allocated space fills up with restore points, System Restore will delete the older restore points to make room for the new ones. System Restore needs at least 300 MB allocated to it to run, and will not run on a hard drive smaller than 1 GB. In the Vista Business and Ultimate versions, this area is also where backup copies of deleted or changed files are stored and made available through the Previous Versions feature (Shadow Copy). For more information about the Vssadmin command, see: Microsoft Technet: Vssadmin
Note   Note
System Restore needs to be turned on to be able to change it's storage size. To turn on System Restore and select what drives Vista is to create restore points for, see: How to Turn System Restore On or Off in Vista
warning   Warning

  • If you shrink the available storage space for a selected drive, Vista will kick out the system restore points and backups on a first-in, first-out basis. The oldest restore point will be deleted as the new one is saved when out of available max space. This will, of course, leave you with fewer restore options.
  • If you dual boot with Windows XP, then everytime you start in XP the System Restore Points and all except the most recent Complete PC Backup files in Vista get deleted. For how, see: How to Stop System Restore Points from being Deleted in Vista when Dual Booting with XP
Tip   Tip
If you just want to free up some space, then you can run Disk Cleanup instead.




STEP ONE
How to See the Current Allocated System Restore Size

2. If prompted by UAC, click on Continue.​
3. In the elevated command prompt, type vssadmin list shadowstorage and press Enter. (See screenshots below)​
NOTE: This will give your the details on the Used, Allocated, and Maximum spaces of Shadow Copies for the available disks that you selected to have restore points created for in step 6 here: How to Turn System Restore On or Off in Vista. The left screenshot is for just one drive selected, and the right screenshot is for two drives (C & D ) selected.​

Result

Description

Used

This is the amount currently used on the hard disk.

Allocated

This is the amount that it has reserved from the hard disk at this time.

Maximum

This is the maximum amount it will allocate and use from the hard disk.



Shadow.jpg CMD_Multiple.jpg




STEP TWO
How to Change the Maximum System Restore Size

NOTE: If you disable or enable System Restore for a selected drive, the original default values will be set back and the restore points will be deleted. For how, see: How to Disable or Enable System Restore in Vista.
1. In same elevated command prompt window from above, type for EX:​
WARNING: If you change the MAX size to a smaller size than the current Used size shown in METHOD ONE above, then the older restore points will be deleted to adjust to the new size. Nothing will happen to the restore points if you make the MAX size larger than the current Used size shown in METHOD ONE above.​
A) For the listed C: drive, type the command below and press Enter.​

Code:
vssadmin Resize ShadowStorage /For=C: /On=C: /Maxsize=[B][COLOR=red]3GB[/COLOR][/B]
B) For the listed D: drive, type the command below and press Enter.​

Code:
vssadmin Resize ShadowStorage /For=D: /On=D: /Maxsize=[B][COLOR=red]3GB[/COLOR][/B]
Note   Note

See the screenshots below step 5 in OPTION ONE above under the Shadow Copy Storage association line for each drive listed.​

Command

Description

/For=

The For volume: listed. (Ex: C or D above)

/On=

The Shadow Copy Storage volume: listed. (Ex: C or D above)

/Maxsize=

What you want to limit the maximum storage size of Shadow Copies (restore points) to. For example, # + GB or MB (Ex: 3GB or 3MB) This must be 1MB or larger.





2. You will get a Successfully resized the shadow copy storage association message.​
3. If not, repeat step 1.​
4. If yes, then check with STEP ONE above to confirm the change for the selected drive.​
5. Close the elevated command prompt when done.​
resize.jpg

That's it,
Shawn



[digg].[/digg]



 
Last edited by a moderator:
#2
Wow.......when I ran this command, the maxsize was 15.779 gigs. That's a lot of space for System Restore.
Read something like this:

Used = 286 mgs.
Allocated = 700 mgs.
Max Size = 15.779 gigs

Re-sized max size to 3 gigs.

Thanks for that tip.

Also......question:

Was wondering why 're-size SR' is basically hidden in Vista? XP and previous versions have all had the slider for re-sizing space used, making it very simple.
 

Brink

Staff member
mvp
#3
Re: System Restore

Hi Clark,

It was an effort in dummy proofing Vista. In actuality, it made it harder on advanced users. Vista can use a lot of space on System Restore. If you have a big hard drive, I suppose one could afford the space.

Your Welcome,
Shawn
 
#4
I have my Vista computer for a month and already have 17 GB used for restore points. I am very surprised how quickly my 160 GB drive is filling up. I only have about 1/3 of that free. What is a reasonable size for a restore point allocation. How may restore points does Vista keep before it begins to eliminate some?
 

Brink

Staff member
mvp
#5
Hi Dean,

System Restore needs a minimum 300 MB of space for restore points. By default it is set to use 15 % maximum of your hard drive. When that runs out, it will then start deleting the oldest restore points one by one as new ones are added.

I would give it a 3 GB size to have room for enough restore points and shadow copies to be safe with multiple one to choose from.

Shawn
 
#6
So the restore point allocation is 15% of 160 GB in my case? I think my report says 21+ GB is the maximum. They must be using the 141 GB they show for that partition where the 7 or 8 GB recovery partition and something else takes up the short fall from 160 GB. What is using up the other 11 or 12 GB? I will try the 3 GB you recommended and expanded it only if I make a major change in applications used.
 

Brink

Staff member
mvp
#7
Dean,

If you had System Restore off, then turned it on later it may allocate a minimum of 30% of the available free space on the hard drive.

Shawn
 
#8
After I change my restore allocation is Vista likely to change the allocation without my knowing it or will Vista give me a warning if it has less allocated space than needed for setting a restore point?

I have an HP dv6449 with Vista Home Premium and the recovery sector is thought to be corrupted. I couldn't create a recovery set so HP sent me a recovery DVD. That 7 or 8 GB partition is not very useful unless I can easily put it in the primary Vista boot partition or use it for data or restore points. Is the latter possible? Does Vista Home Premium have disk image software?
 

Brink

Staff member
mvp
#9
Dean,

Q1) If you turn System Restore off, it will reset back to it's default maximum size when you turn it back on the next time without any notice. Otherwise, it should not change without your assistance.


Q2) HP may have that partition protected. If they do, then you will only be able to get rid of it the next time you reinstall. During the installation process you can delete all partitions and create one big instead. If it is not protected, then this will show you how to delete it and extend the other partition into it to make one partition on the drive.

How to Delete and Extend a Partition with Disk Management in Vista

Shawn
 
#10
Microsoft Windows [Version 6.0.6001]
Copyright (c) 2006 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

C:\Windows\system32>vssadmin list shadowstorage
vssadmin 1.1 - Volume Shadow Copy Service administrative command-line tool
(C) Copyright 2001-2005 Microsoft Corp.

Shadow Copy Storage association
For volume: (C:)\\?\Volume{9707de3c-9d94-11dc-bb54-806e6f6e6963}\
Shadow Copy Storage volume: (C:)\\?\Volume{9707de3c-9d94-11dc-bb54-806e6f6e69
63}\
Used Shadow Copy Storage space: 65.193 GB
Allocated Shadow Copy Storage space: 67.45 GB
Maximum Shadow Copy Storage space: 68.427 GB


on this Machine 500GB HD The Other 1 Teribyte.
do I need to fix this one ?
 
#11
Microsoft Windows [Version 6.0.6001]
Copyright (c) 2006 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

C:\Windows\system32>vssadmin list shadowstorage
vssadmin 1.1 - Volume Shadow Copy Service administrative command-line tool
(C) Copyright 2001-2005 Microsoft Corp.

Shadow Copy Storage association
For volume: (C:)\\?\Volume{9707de3c-9d94-11dc-bb54-806e6f6e6963}\
Shadow Copy Storage volume: (C:)\\?\Volume{9707de3c-9d94-11dc-bb54-806e6f6e69
63}\
Used Shadow Copy Storage space: 65.193 GB
Allocated Shadow Copy Storage space: 67.45 GB
Maximum Shadow Copy Storage space: 68.427 GB


C:\Windows\system32>vssadmin Resize ShadowStorage /For=C: /On=C: /Maxsize=3GB
vssadmin 1.1 - Volume Shadow Copy Service administrative command-line tool
(C) Copyright 2001-2005 Microsoft Corp.

Successfully resized the shadow copy storage association
 

Brink

Staff member
mvp
#12
Hi DjLevel9,

That is a lot of space for restore points, but Vista uses 15% of your hard drive space by default. I would say only if you need to save space, or want to increase it to be able to store more restore point dates.

Shawn
 
#15
Be careful not to over do the shrinking of the restore point memory. Each time Vista or an application is updated a new restore point is generated and old ones may be eliminated if there is not sufficient storage.

In one case this resulted in my no longer having a restore point that I needed. It would be nice to be able to protect a restore point from being eliminated as a result of an undetermined string of automatic update processes. Do you have any instructions on how to do that without increasing restore point memory significantly.
 

Brink

Staff member
mvp
#16
Sorry DeanReily,

It is not possible to save just any one particular restore point or prevent the oldest one from getting deleted when you run out of hard drive space. The only way to help is to increase the amount of space used for restore points on the hard drive, but even then you will run out of space eventually. The best option is to use a good backup program.

You could use Option Three in the tutorial below to delete specific restore points though. It's the same in Vista and Windows 7.

System Protection Restore Points - Delete - Windows 7 Forums

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 
Last edited:
#17
Hi
trying to reduce shadow storage, keep getting error msg

Microsoft Windows [Version 6.0.6001]
Copyright (c) 2006 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
C:\Windows\system32>vssadmin list shadowstorage
vssadmin 1.1 - Volume Shadow Copy Service administrative command-line tool
(C) Copyright 2001-2005 Microsoft Corp.
Shadow Copy Storage association
For volume: (D:)\\?\Volume{3ddf0d5c-3a52-11dd-b79b-0019db2d605e}\
Shadow Copy Storage volume: (D:)\\?\Volume{3ddf0d5c-3a52-11dd-b79b-0019db2d60
5e}\
Used Shadow Copy Storage space: 1.703 MB
Allocated Shadow Copy Storage space: 100 MB
Maximum Shadow Copy Storage space: 33.911 GB
Shadow Copy Storage association
For volume: (C:)\\?\Volume{ea3d4cb6-3a4e-11dd-91c8-806e6f6e6963}\
Shadow Copy Storage volume: (C:)\\?\Volume{ea3d4cb6-3a4e-11dd-91c8-806e6f6e69
63}\
Used Shadow Copy Storage space: 4.941 GB
Allocated Shadow Copy Storage space: 5.792 GB
Maximum Shadow Copy Storage space: 17.977 GB

C:\Windows\system32>vassadmin Resize ShadowStorage /For=C:/On=C:/Maxsize=5GB
'vassadmin' is not recognized as an internal or external command,
operable program or batch file.
C:\Windows\system32>vassadmin Resize ShadowStorage /For=C: /On=C: /Maxsize=5GB
'vassadmin' is not recognized as an internal or external command,
operable program or batch file.
C:\Windows\system32>
 

Brink

Staff member
mvp
#18
Hi Nigel,

Welcome to Vista Forums. :party:

Check to make sure that you did the Run as administrator in step 3.

Plus, you should type:

vssadmin Resize ShadowStorage /For=C: /On=C: /Maxsize=5GB

instead of:

vassadmin Resize ShadowStorage /For=C:/On=C:/Maxsize=5GB

Notice the spaces that were left out after C: also.

Hope this helps,
Shawn