Vista Laptop? Reclaim Some Space

I've spent a lot of time talking about Vista internals at various groups ... and, I admit it, I haven't blogged too much about some of the tips I give in this talk.  So, I'd like to give a tip about Volume Shadow Copy.

Volume Shadow Copy originally appeared, I believe, in Windows XP.  It was used as a way to get reliable backup copies of files, since backup applications couldn't necessarily get reliable snapshots of files that were in use.  This functionality was exposed in a new way in Windows 2003, where XP clients would see a Previous Versions tab on their shared folders that lived on the server. 

In Vista, Volume Shadow Copy is used for both system restore and for Windows Backup.  It creates snapshots of your files so if there are accidental changes or deletes, they can be recovered.  While this is a great feature, I don't want it crowding space on my laptop.  I keep backups elsewhere.

If you drop to a command prompt (run as administrator) you can see how much space is currently being used by typing:

c:\>vssadmin list shadowstorage

It will return the amount of space used, reserved, and maximum allocated.  If you want to reduce this footprint and reclaim some serious space, you can type something like:

c:\>vssadmin resize shadowstorage /For=C: /On=C: /MaxSize=500MB

Now, 500MB is pretty small and you'll likely lose some restore/backup capability at this size, but as a do-it-yourself kind of hacker, I'm willing to take that risk as space is a premium on my laptop.

And if you haven't used Volume Shadow Copy, it's a great way to keep versions of your files.  Check it out!

Comments (1) -

Doug Turnure
Doug Turnure
9/11/2007 7:44:00 PM #

Well, that was pretty cool. I just got 10GB back. Kind of like going with cheaper insurance....

Now I have room for one more bloated VPC image Smile

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