Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.

Windows 7: System restore and image filling hard drive

22 Feb 2011   #1

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
System restore and image filling hard drive

Hi. I have 2 1.5 TB internal hard drives for a Windows 7, 64 bit Pro system.

My second hard drive keeps getting filled up by huge (200-400 GB) files that are apparently generated by System Restore and System Image.

I'd like to keep the System Restore functionality, but is there a way to limit the size of this to something reasonable? (say less than 50 GB)

Currently have a 400 GB System Image file with .vhd extension. Is it safe to simply delete that? And can I limit the size of these files as well or simply prevent them from being generated?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Feb 2011   #2

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86

You can reduce disk space taken up by system restore and also clean up old points.

Make System Restore Use Less Drive Space in Windows 7 - How-To Geek

As for the backup image, just delete the folder WindowsImageBackup, it will deletes all existing images. Next time you create an image, it'll be recreated. You can also save images externally.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Feb 2011   #3

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit

Bill2 -

Thanks for the response and for the link. Very helpful!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

22 Feb 2011   #4

MS Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1

Dear Mosk,
which backup and restore utility are you using? To keep things simple, backups can be divided into 1)Partition Backups,2)Disk backups and 3) Cloning.

If you have a large collection of .mp3 songs, to which you are adding new ones, just buy dual-layer DVD-RWs which have a storage capacity of 8.5 GB (Moserbaer) and download the old ones into those disks and make it a point to mark ,which songs,singers and/or albums are stored in which DVD-RW. Whenever you feel like listening to them, pop the DVD into the slot and enjoy! The same goes for DivX and MP4/AVI movies! Taking backups of the same songs and movies and for that matter even FILES over and over again may be gobbling up your valuable disk space!

I have been a dedicated believer in B & R like you and i like you for the maturity to take backups! I use the free version of Macrium-reflect, which i can vouch safe is one of the easiest programs i have used. Next comes the Easeus family!

I believed in partition backups since 1994 and especially the backup of "C Drive" is totally vital! Each backup takes 30 gb of space (MAX) and as in the previous reply you can slowly remove the older ones safely and you get breathing space! The website of Macrium reflect : Macrium Reflect FREE Edition - Information and download

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Feb 2011   #5

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit

Hey sreedhav -

I just use the backup and restore utilities that came wiht Windows 7 Pro.

Don't have ton of mp3s but I am working on 3d animations, and those videos take lots of room until I compress them to flv or f4v - but that's what not's chewing up all my space. It's the system restore and system image.

Fixed for the moment with advice from above.

Checked out the two programs you mentioned - Macrium and Easeus - both look very worthwhile. Any reason you favored one over the other?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Feb 2011   #6


Why is your backup 400gb? Is this multiple incremental image backups, or is it including all of your other drives in the image. You might want to include only your System and OS drives.

The WIn7 file backup utility can also waste a lot of space. Ask yourself if it wouldnt' be easier to periodically drag your Active user folders to the backup drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Feb 2011   #7

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit

No idea how it got to be 400GB - I just noticed one day about a month ago that my 1.5 TB secondary hard drive was practically full even though it only had about 200GB of my content on it.

Did some poking about on the net and found out that system restore and system image files were the culprit (taking roughly 200GB and 400GB respectively)

I now have my C drive configured to Restore System settings and previous versions of files and Disk space usage set at 4% (55GB) and I have backup shut off for my secondary E drive.

Under Manage Windows Backup disk space, I only have two options via radio buttons -
Let Windows manage the space for backup history (Max 419 GB) or
Keep only latest system image and minimize space used by backup.

Something in between those would seem better but W7 doesn't give an option to set that.

About dragging my users folder to backup on another drive, would that allow me to restore programs easily or just let me save my documents?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Feb 2011   #8


That's the method I use for file backup on our home computers (monthly dragging the active User folders to external over network).

To restore programs you need to use an image, of course, so for that I save in a folder a baseline image from right after install and setup which would replace a clean reinstall, then I also manually backup one newer image periodically.

Since I only use the manual method, someone with more experience setting up the Windows Backup will need to advise you how to trim it's fat, but all I've ever been able to get out of it or 3rd party apps is a ton of wasted disk space.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Feb 2011   #9

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit

Ok. I have lots of software and I'd hate to have to reinstall everything, so sounds like your setup is pretty ideal. I guess what I need is one 'old/stable' system image of my C drive stored on my E:drive, and then a second system image which I update every month or so (or after installing major new programs). (Obviously need to backup my data/ / documents as well)

Can anyone explain how to do that wiht the built in Windows 7 Pro functionality, or do I need to use one of the free 3rd party programs mentioned in an earlier post (Macrium or Easeus) to accomplish that?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Feb 2011   #10
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

If you want my advice, get off this terrible Windows7 imaging - nothing but headaches. Make your lfe easy and use this: Imaging with free Macrium
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 System restore and image filling hard drive

Thread Tools

Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
New hard drive using less space after image restore then old drive?
My old Seagate 1TB hard drive was filled to 780GB out of the 1TB. Since I was getting close to filled I upgraded to a WD Black 2TB. I used the Windows 7 back up to create a complete system image. I replaced the hard drive with the WD then did a system restore from the image. Everything works fine...
Backup and Restore
Restore system image to new hard drive
I have been reading articles online that indicate if the target hard drive size is smaller than the source hard drive you cannot perform a restore. I believe I did a restore on my computer running 8.1 pro 64bit where I went from 1 tb to a 250 gb ssd. So on my other computer being on Windows 7...
Backup and Restore
hard drive failed, system image not found on hard drive
hi all, i hope someone can help me out, i am a newbie to all this so bare with me. my hard drive failed over a month ago but i managed to do a system image with win7 to my new 2tb internal hard drive. i cannot get the image recovery to work as i says "no image can be found on hard disk". i am at...
Backup and Restore
Restore Windows 7 System Image to another hard drive!!!
Hello!!! I have 640GB WD hard disk and i created system image of Drive C and system reserved drive. Backup successfully completed and afterward i disconnected my 640GB HDD and connect new one which is 320GB and now i want to restore my system image to 320GB WD HDD. I tried it but it gave me...
Backup and Restore
create system image and restore New hard drive
Hi I am running a new latitude e6510 64-bit and I am trying to create system image to a new hard drive I purchased when I bought the new computer for back up. The new drive is WD Blue Scorpio. I loaded win7 pro on the new drive and did create system image. When I tried to restore system image it...
Backup and Restore

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 17:08.
Twitter Facebook Google+ Seven Forums iOS App Seven Forums Android App