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Windows 7: Can't boot or restore after deleting $usn.jrnl file

13 Jun 2015   #1

Home Premium 64
Can't boot or restore after deleting $usn.jrnl file

I had a catastrophe with Windows 7 today and would appreciate some help picking up the pieces. Windows was running on a 55GB SSD which was nearly full so I deleted the usn.jrnl file which had grown to 10 GB and which people say is safe to delete.

On rebooting, windows froze with the window logo pulsing. I waited 90 minutes and it didn't change. Next time I tried to boot windows said it failed to start, and ran startup repair. Startup repair failed. (I noted the detailed diagnostic messages if it's helpful).

I tried to run system restore. It failed and said I needed to run chkdsk. I did this from the command prompt and tried to run restore again. It failed because it said there was not enough space on the drive. (note the irony) The space from deleting the journal file didn't seem to have come free.
I tried to free up space but couldn't get enough for restore to work.
I then reinstalled windows on another drive. It is going to be a lot of trouble to get back to where I was. My questions:
How much can I salvage from my old installation and how can I do it?
Is there any way I can get my old restore point back, perhaps by deleting files? The trouble is there is virtually nothing on the drive except the old windows installation. Whatever files are clogging it are hidden.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jun 2015   #2
Layback Bear

Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709 Windows 7 Pro/64

First read this.

About the USN change journal

The USN change journal provides a persistent log of all changes made to files on the volume. As files, directories, and other NTFS objects are added, deleted, and modified, NTFS enters records into the USN change journal, one for each volume on the computer. Each record indicates the type of change and the object changed. New records are appended to the end of the stream.

Programs can consult the USN change journal to determine all the modifications made to a set of files. The USN change journal is much more efficient than checking time stamps or registering for file notifications. The USN change journal is enabled and used by the Indexing Service, File Replication Service (FRS), Remote Installation Services (RIS), and Remote Storage.
You need a larger SSD. Nothing under 120 gb for Windows 7 will work well. I just fills up to quick.

Once restore point are gone they are gone.

If it was my computer I would just get a bigger SSD and do a Clean Install.

Windows 7 without the proper free space either won't do things or it won't do things well when asked to. Windows 7 need 10% or more free space. Elbow room to work properly.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jun 2015   #3

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1

Can't help with your boot problem but I can say that it's not recommended to delete

[Drive Letter:]\$Extend\$UsnJrnl:

Having said that - I regularly delete this file from each drive on a fairly regular basis as if left unchecked it can use over 10Gb of space.

The correct way to delete it is:

Note: It is not recommended to do this.

Make a system image backup first.

From an Elevated Command Prompt:

cd c:\
fsutil usn deletejournal /D C:
chkdsk /f/r

Change drive letter if needed.

Important Note:

You must schedule chkdsk to run after deleting $UsnJrnl or you may well end up with the same problem as the OP.

Only use on NTFS formatted drives. Do not attempt to use on encrypted drives.
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 Can't boot or restore after deleting $usn.jrnl file

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