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Windows 7: Hard disk running out of space rapidly due to system restore

30 Aug 2017   #1
accordeoniste

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 
Hard disk running out of space rapidly due to system restore

A few days ago I set my disk space usage in system protection to 10%, or about 9.7 GB. Since then I lost 20 GB of disk space to system restore. About 7 GB has been allocated to system restore each day.

I don't really want to set disk usage below 10%, but I don't want to run out of disk space on account of system restore either. The remaining space on my HD is 316 GB; at this rate I'll run out of free space in a month-and-a-half (316 / 7 = 45).

Will my system be less secure if I set usage to < 10%? Can I still be protected if I delete the older restore points? Only three are available at any given time. It may also help if I know why 7 GB gets used up by system restore every day.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 Aug 2017   #2
MeOnMine

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1 OEM
 
 

Hi, I would advise you to learn about Imaging your drive.
This means that you take a compressed data photograph of your system as it is at that time the Image was taken.
Then you can do as I do and turn Restore off.
I take an Image every Windows update before installing the updates or if I want to try out new software.
This means if things ever go belly up I can put my computer back perfect the way it was.
This method is superior as sometimes Restore is not that reliable.
Macrium Reflect free is what is recommended here.
You will find how to use in the Tutorial section.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Aug 2017   #3
mrjimphelps

Linux Mint 18.2 xfce 64-bit (VMWare host) / Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit (VMWare guest)
 
 

I fully agree with MeOnMine's advice.

To make this really simple, buy a 2 TB external hard drive, and use it to do a full backup once a month with Macrium Reflect Free. When you are ready to do a backup, plug in the drive and do the backup. Then disconnect the drive, so it isn't connected except for when you are doing a backup.

If there are files you create during the month (i.e. in between the times that you do backups), you could back them up to the external drive by simply plugging in the drive and copying the desired files to the drive, then disconnecting the external drive.

When the external drive is almost full, delete the oldest backup or two to make more space. Or, buy another external drive to use from that point forward.

Don't forget to make a Macrium Rescue disk, so that if your hard drive crashes, you can still do a restore.

Keep it simple, and do it only once a month, and you will probably keep up with your backups, unlike me (and everyone else), who talks about backups, but doesn't do them nearly enough.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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31 Aug 2017   #4
accordeoniste

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 

Thanks for your replies. I agree with MeOnMine's advice too, except that I'm not ready to abandon System Restore. I haven't lost any disk space on account of System Restore since the other day. In fact I actually gained 1 GB of free space. I have Acronis so I can make image backups of my hard disk; I've done so before. I've also been using it for incremental backups daily.

I still like the convenience of using System Restore, the fact that once you configure it, it works in the background. However, I noticed you can schedule image backups with Acronis, that you can't do with System Restore. Another advantage of Acronis is that you can back up the image to the cloud or to any disk device; it's customizable that way. You get what you pay for with a good third-party program.

I'll probably switch to using Acronis exclusively for my backup needs soon. I just want to wait to see how much more space System Restore uses up within the next several days before I switch to using Acronis backup exclusively.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2017   #5
RoWin7

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

How many restores do you have? Do you need the oldest ones?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Sep 2017   #6
TechnoMage2016

Windows 7 Ultimate, SP1, x86
 
 

If you are sure, that your PC is running correctly, you can delete all the old Restore Points by just turning OFF System Restore. Then reboot, and all the old Restore Points will be GONE. Then you can turn System Restore back ON, for the C: drive ONLY, and make a new restore point.

I have my own computer programmed to make a new restore point every time I boot up, because I use it a lot. I test a lot of software and when I get one I don't like, I just use System Restore to blow it off.

I also back up my entire C: drive at least once a week, either by doing a CLONE to another HD, or by making a Compressed Image file, saved to a 1TB external drive.
Remember: The only bad backup is the one you decided NOT to make.

Cheers Mate!
TechnoMage
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Sep 2017   #7
accordeoniste

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RoWin7 View Post
How many restores do you have? Do you need the oldest ones?
I have three. They were all made within six days of each other. I only need one, the newest one, but I found that it's better to have a few to choose from. You don't know when something won't work right that you restore, either due to malware, a virus, or for some other reason like defective software.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Sep 2017   #8
accordeoniste

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TechnoMage2016 View Post
If you are sure, that your PC is running correctly, you can delete all the old Restore Points by just turning OFF System Restore. Then reboot, and all the old Restore Points will be GONE. Then you can turn System Restore back ON, for the C: drive ONLY, and make a new restore point.

I have my own computer programmed to make a new restore point every time I boot up, because I use it a lot. I test a lot of software and when I get one I don't like, I just use System Restore to blow it off.

I also back up my entire C: drive at least once a week, either by doing a CLONE to another HD, or by making a Compressed Image file, saved to a 1TB external drive.
Remember: The only bad backup is the one you decided NOT to make.

Cheers Mate!
TechnoMage
Cheers to you too, Mate!

Thanks for the suggestion about System Restore. As I said to RoWin7, having three Restore Points makes me feel a little more secure than having only one. Although I use Acronis and have an image backup available should something go wrong, it takes much longer to make such a backup and restore it than it would with System Restore. That's why I'm content to set System Restore to 10%. However, I noticed that System Restore is starting to take up a little more space than it was earlier today, about 8 GB more. I may decide to scale back to 5% soon just to save disk space. It's almost a toss-up what the best course of action is.

One thing I'm puzzled about though, and maybe you can help with this, is the amount of space actually used by System Restore. According to the Sys Restore Configure screen, about 49 MB is how much space is being set aside for Restore points. Yet when I analyzed the disk usage using WinDirStat, 42 GB is "unknown" space, that's supposed to be in the folder System Volume Information, which is for the restore points as I understand it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Sep 2017   #9
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

Post a full shot of Disk Management and post a shot of System Protection.

To create a image file takes less then 5 minutes with Macrium, and re imaging the drive takes less then 10, unless you have a massive Windows partition.

And a restore point should not be using 8 GB more in the same day, what did you add to windows ?

You should not be storing data on C, so what took up the 8 GB ?

And you use 4 browsers ?????? Why ??

Yes it`s your PC, but what is the logic in that ?

Are you using ccleaner and or disk cleanup everyday to delete your temporary files ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Sep 2017   #10
DavidE

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64 +Linux_VMs +Chromium_VM
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by accordeoniste View Post
Yet when I analyzed the disk usage using WinDirStat, 42 GB is "unknown" space,.
Try WizTree, it can often show the files that are listed in WinDirStat as Unknown.
They have a portable version.
Antibody Software - WizTree finds the files and folders using the most disk space on your hard drive
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Hard disk running out of space rapidly due to system restore




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