A reader wonders about a suggestion to shrink the amount of space normally given to System Restore.
The answer depends on your Windows version — and what, exactly, your goal is.
Don’t “blindly reduce System Restore space”
One of the system–tune-up steps I described in the April 12 Top Story, “House Call 2012: Fixing a sluggish PC,” raised reader Will Pearce’s eyebrows.
- “Fred references an Oct. 2005 WS article about reducing the size of the System Restore space. I feel it’s worth pointing out that the basis of the recommendation relates to System Restore’s [limited capabilities] at the time (in Windows XP, I feel safe to assume). While the recommendations might have been on target in 2005, they hardly apply to a Windows 7 system today (and possibly not to a Vista system, though I have no direct experience with that platform).
“In Windows 7, the System Restore space is part of the overall System Protection feature — it’s where Windows stores the shadow copies that are the basis for both System Restore and Restore Previous Versions (a feature Fred has recently extolled in WS). To blindly reduce the System Restore space would also limit the effectiveness of Restore Previous Versions, which I would hardly recommend.
“I suspect that Fred, upon reflection, wouldn’t recommend the 2005 approach in a Windows 7 system, either. How about it, Fred?”
You’re right, Will, about Win7’s System Restore being very different from XP’s. Here’s what Microsoft says about System Restore’s space requirements in Win7, Vista, and XP, excerpted from this MSDN page:
- “System Restore in Windows XP takes a maximum of 12 percent of the disk space in systems with hard drives over 4 gigabytes (GB), and a maximum of 400 megabytes (MB) for hard drives under 4GB.”
“In Windows Vista, System Restore can take up to 15 percent of the size of the volume or a maximum of 30 percent of the free disk space, whichever is less.”