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How to reduce disk space used by Windows Vista system restore

Vista system restore
So you just bought a new notebook with Windows Vista and a roomy 120GB hard drive. But after using it for just a couple of days, you notice that you've only got about 90GB free. You could swear there was more room available when you brought it home, so it can't be that Windows takes up 30GB. And you hadn't installed too many programs yet, or added your entire music and video collection yet. So what gives?

Well, it turns out Windows Vista handles system restore a little differently than Windows XP. Whereas with XP, you could adjust how much memory system restore took up with a little slider bar, there's no visible way to adjust your system restore memory settings on Vista. And by default, Windows sets aside a hefty 15% of your hard drive.

In principal, this is great, because not only is Windows backing up your system settings, but there's a new feature that copies your files as well, making it easy to restore your system in the event of an emergency. But while Windows Vista Home Premium will backup those files for you, it turns out that you need to upgrade to Vista Ultimate if you actually want to restore from that backup. If you have no intention of doing that, here's how you can adjust the amount of memory your computer allocates for system restore:
First, let's see how much storage space is currently allocated.
  1. Click the start menu
  2. Click on All Programs, and then Accessories
  3. From the accessories menu, right click on Command Prompt and select "run as administrator"
  4. Type "vssadmin list shadowstorage" into the command prompt
  5. The results should tell you the amount of storage used and the maximum amount alloted
If you're not happy with those numbers, here's how to resize them. Keep in mind, you will lose some older system restore points when you do this.
  1. Repeat steps 1-3 to get bring up the Command Prompt
  2. Type "vssadmin Resize ShadowStorage /For=[your hard disk]: /On=[your hard disk]: /MaxSize=[how much space you want to allocate]"
  3. For example: "vssadmin Resize ShadowStorage /For=C: /On=C: /MaxSize=2GB"
  4. You should get a message saying Successfully resized the shadow copy storage association, and you should have more free space on your hard drive.

Tags: osupdates, system restore, SystemRestore, vista, windows vista, WindowsVista