Recover HD Space in Windows Vista

Hi all.

Although this is not an ASP.NET related post you might be interested in claiming space from your hard disk that Windows Vista took.

The reason for the this lost space is “Shadow Copies”. Shadow copies are backup information that keeps your hard disk “safe” (figuratively speaking). Anyway, the one thing you probably don’t know is that you can instruct Vista to keep only a certain amount of this information. Keep in mind that by reducing the allowed amount of HD space for shadow copies you might loose information you will end up needing, but if you are sure you can dispose this info, fire up! Here is how to do it:

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.

Remember the MaxSize of 2GB is just an example. I’ve setup my laptop to use only 5GB but was able to recover almost 30GB of lost space.

Additional information can be found in this excellent article by Brad Linder.



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