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Help, I'm losing Hard Drive Space

Last response: in Windows 95/98/ME
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January 15, 2001 4:39:38 AM

I am losing HD space very quickly. I am using WinMe. Can someone tell me where that stupid System Restore crap is located and how to turn it off and how to regain my space.

I'm talking 1.5GB in less than 30 min.
Anonymous
January 15, 2001 6:14:30 AM

You sure you dont have a virus, like spacefiller?
January 15, 2001 7:47:26 AM

you sure its ME? 30 mins sounds too much...
I never had it over 250 megs in a month.
Probably you are just making a laugh or so, good try though.

Yeah, about where to find it, read the help file.
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January 15, 2001 11:37:31 AM

No, come guys, I'm serious here.
I will try scanning for viruses but I'm pretty sure that is not it.
January 15, 2001 12:52:35 PM

My Computer(right click) -> Properties -> Performance -> File System -> Troubleshooting
January 15, 2001 3:19:58 PM

start> programfiles> Accessories> systemtools> restore.
Check that mabe helpfull
January 15, 2001 6:21:58 PM

I disabled it but my space did not come back.
January 15, 2001 6:24:06 PM

Can't you delete some of the older backups that ME made?
January 15, 2001 6:25:51 PM

where are they?
January 15, 2001 6:28:30 PM

Havn't had the oppertunity yet to play with ME. Can't you go into the backup utility and tell it where to save the backup? If so there your answer would be.
January 15, 2001 8:28:39 PM

No, you only can turn it off or on. I don't know where the files are saved yet.
But when I find those little buggers, they're history.
January 16, 2001 6:59:46 AM

Win ME restor file are in c:\
To see it you have to make sure that you can see al hiden files ...
View > Options.> Then menu tab VIEW > and push the show al file types option..
Go to c:\ and you wil find a restore map..
Atleas i have a restore map...

Anybody correct me if i am wrong!

I just hav ME my self for about a week now...
Please did anybody read Boot delay and modem problems
January 17, 2001 5:31:42 AM

haha, winME is so funnny, what were you doing on your computer that would make it backup that much stuff?

If at first you don't succede, skydiving isn't for you.
<font color=blue>Intel Inside</font color=blue> = Idiot Outside
Anonymous
January 17, 2001 9:14:41 PM

go into real dos via a 98 boot disk, delete the _restore directory, ME will create a new one but it will not fill it up with a bunch of crap if system restore is disabled.
January 23, 2001 2:33:37 AM

i remember reading somewhere that that type of thing could happen with system restore and running a certain utility (some kind of nortman possibly?) it's in a hidden folder on c i think called restore
Anonymous
January 23, 2001 6:43:26 AM

It does it automatically, backs up all the essential files, all the cab files, Microsoft have created a monster


Life is a lesson, You learn it when youre through
January 23, 2001 1:01:36 PM

Ripped from emulators.com / secrets


Now here is the major problem with Windows Millennium. In order to out SOMETHING on the box to say "hey, look, we added a new feature", Microsoft added this ridiculous "PC Health" feature to Millennium. Sounds sexy. Oooh, the operating system repairs itself. And when it screws up big time, you can "roll back" to an earlier installation. Sort of an "undo" feature in the OS, although, really, is this something you really want to advertise? Hey, our operating system is so unstable, we make it easy for you to go back to an earlier configuration!

Anyway, one of the things PC Health does as part of this System Restore feature is it constantly, and I mean CONSTANTLY, keeps backing up files. Since Windows Millennium was released a few weeks ago, we've received email after email after email from our customers saying that since upgrading to Millennium, their computers are running slower and their hard disk keeps thrasing.

The reason is very simple. Every file accessed, every documented opened, every file touched gets backed up to a hidden directory called C:\_RESTORE\TEMP. This is fine if you are dealing with letters to grandma that are a few kilobytes in size, but what about large bitmaps? Large disk image files used by emulation software? Large downloads from the Internet? Yup, they get duplicated too.

In fact, we've easily been able to see that any computer we've upgraded from Windows 98 to Windows Millennium does in fact run slower and the hard disk is almost always on! I tried to disable the System Restore feature, by clicking on Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, System Restore, only to discover that System Restore can't be turned off there.

Worse, according to Microsoft's own documentation, (see http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/techart/winmesr.htm) the System Restore feature will keep backing up files until your hard disk fills up! The System Restore feature shuts itself off once your hard disk has less than 200 megabytes of disk space. However even this is not enough. In once instance, while running SoftMac 2000 with a 600 megabyte disk image file, the system managed to completely fill up the C: drive, causing Windows to no longer be able to grow the swap file. As a result, SoftMac ran out of memory, the Windows desktop ran out of memory and could not refresh the desktop properly, and the whole machine crashed and burned. We needed to reboot, at which point there were only a few megabytes of space left on what hours earlier had been a mostly empty 6 gigabyte hard disk! System Restore had copied gigabytes of useless duplicate files (including many copies of the 600 meg Macintosh disk image) to the hidden directory.

How to shut this off? Well, this was the kicker. You can't simply delete the backed up files because the entire _RESTORE directory is marked as in use and thus can't be deleted. And since Microsoft removed the "Exit to DOS" feature, one can't just exit Windows to a DOS prompt like before. While there is an obscure "Disable System Restore" option buried away in the System control panel applet, interestingly enough under the "Performance - File System - Troubleshooting" tab, that still doesn't help with all the wasted hard disk space.

So here is my brute force solution to shut off and remove all traces of System Restore:

In Control Panels, Add/Remove Programs, create a Windows boot disk. It's really an MS-DOS boot disk.

Shut down Windows and reboot the PC from the floppy disk.

Go the C: prompt by typing C:

Type "C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND\DELTREE C:\_RESTORE" to remove all the System Restore files.

Create a bogus file called _RESTORE by, for example, running EDIT and creating a blank text file.

Type "C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND\ATTRIB +r +s +h _RESTORE" to hide this file. This will prevent Windows from re-creating its hidden directory.

Now reboot the PC and watch Windows Millennium run much faster!

On a machine that lacks a floppy disk drive, such as a notebook computer, you're pretty much hosed. We have such a machine, which we upgraded from Windows 98 to Windows Millennium via the network (the notebook itself has no floppy and no CD-ROM drive). After upgrading, the machine was thrashing like mad. Well, without the ability to exit into DOS mode (a simple feat under Windows 95 and Windows 98) the only thing I could do was unscrew the internal 2.5" hard disk, pop it into another notebook computer that had a floppy, do the above steps, then pop the drive back into the original machine. It took about 15 minutes but worked.

The whole System Restore feature is just an idiotic idea. Instead of wasting disk space and CPU cycles backing up files, Microsoft should expend more effort in merging Windows 9x with Windows NT and gaining reliability by means of the NT kernel. If you want to back your files or your entire hard disk, there are many excellent and inexpensive utilities out there to do that. Microsoft should stay out of the file backup business, and should especially not add features that eat up all of the PC's disk space and CPU cycles!
January 23, 2001 1:22:58 PM

All I can say is wow!
Thanks lowlypawn. This is exactly what I have been looking for.

I can't wait to try this when I get home tonight.

*Warning*
This was posted solely to increase my post count and may not contain any relevant info
January 23, 2001 1:34:46 PM

That's one way of doing it, but I've got one where you don't need a floppy, maybe you can give it a try next time you run across a notebook without a floppy drive. You need to go into the registry to do this.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run I'm not sure it's in this specific registry entry, it's in one of the ones that are Run or RunOnce or RunOnceEx. Delete all entries that refer to PCHealth and Statemgr, these seem to control the System Restore stuff. Reboot, then go disable System Restore in the Troubleshooting section, reboot, then unhide the _Restore folder, but only the folder, not the subfolders and their files. You should then be able to delete this folder. If not, then you have to go back to the Troubleshooting section, enable System Restore, click apply, then disable it again. Even though this thing seems to be disabled everywhere, it'll keep creating the _Restore folder, so I just created a batch file that loads on Startup deltree /y c:\_restore, so that it always get's deleted.
!