How to delete inactive System Image Restore Points in System Restore

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  1. Posts : 24,562
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #31

    SIW2 said:
    See what you are getting at. zvsscopy will delete the shadows. There is metadata on your system drive that still contains the info .

    Yes, exactly. System Imaging is old (and deprecated) and there has never been tool from MS to delete that metadata.

    Manual deletion works, but is difficult from within Windows. Easier if you boot from something else (Advanced Start-up, Linux, etc.).
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  2. Posts : 14
    windows 10 Pro 64-bit Build: 19043.1266
    Thread Starter
       #32

    Bree said:
    Yes, exactly. System Imaging is old (and deprecated) and there has never been tool from MS to delete that metadata.

    Manual deletion works, but is difficult from within Windows. Easier if you boot from something else (Advanced Start-up, Linux, etc.).
    Bree - A BIG THANK YOU. Your advised solution worked like a charm and the inactive System Image Restore Points in System Restore are finally GONE. I had spent a lot of time on internet seeking the cause and solution to this issue but had drawn a blank even though many other people were also looking for the solution to the same problem. You were right on the mark with the cause and resolution. You are a STAR. Thank you once again
    My thanks also to all others who contributed to this post.
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  3. Posts : 24,562
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #33

    jellyroll said:
    Bree - A BIG THANK YOU. Your advised solution worked like a charm....
    So glad I could help

    Please mark this thread 'Solved'.
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  4. Posts : 24,562
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #34

    @jellyroll, You may be interested to know how these restore points ended up as orphans, and how you could have deleted your old system images in a manner that removes their restore points.

    The only official way to remove a System Image Restore Point is to use Backup & Restore (Windows 7) to delete its associated System Image. Doing so will both delete a System Image and at the same time remove its specific System Image Restore Point. Deleting System Images any other way (or just loosing the HDD) results in a long list of undeletable useless restore points.

    See this tutorial: Manage Space for Windows Backup in Windows 10
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  5. Posts : 14
    windows 10 Pro 64-bit Build: 19043.1266
    Thread Starter
       #35

    Bree said:
    @jellyroll, You may be interested to know how these restore points ended up as orphans, and how you could have deleted your old system images in a manner that removes their restore points.

    The only official way to remove a System Image Restore Point is to use Backup & Restore (Windows 7) to delete its associated System Image. Doing so will both delete a System Image and at the same time remove its specific System Image Restore Point. Deleting System Images any other way (or just loosing the HDD) results in a long list of undeletable useless restore points.

    See this tutorial: Manage Space for Windows Backup in Windows 10
    Bree - The above tutorial link was very helpful for more insight into Backup and Restore functions. Thanks once again.
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  6. Posts : 24,562
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #36

    jellyroll said:
    Bree - The above tutorial link was very helpful for more insight into Backup and Restore functions. Thanks once again.
    You're welcome.

    I couldn't believe theses System Image Restore Points were undeletable by design, so I continued investigating. Seems that only if you delete system images the way MS tell you to will they be removed. Doing it the (seemingly obvious) way of just deleting images manually is how to end up with useless restore points you cannot delete.

    However, having used the MS imaging for quite a few years, I echo Microsoft's recommendation: "We recommend that users use full-disk backup solutions from other vendors".

    At best, the MS system imaging is temperamental, at worst it fails to find an image it can restore - just when you need it the most. I suggest that for the future you look at using something like Macrium Reflect Free to make system images. That's what I use now.
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  7. Posts : 14
    windows 10 Pro 64-bit Build: 19043.1266
    Thread Starter
       #37

    Bree said:
    You're welcome.

    I couldn't believe theses System Image Restore Points were undeletable by design, so I continued investigating. Seems that only if you delete system images the way MS tell you to will they be removed. Doing it the (seemingly obvious) way of just deleting images manually is how to end up with useless restore points you cannot delete.

    However, having used the MS imaging for quite a few years, I echo Microsoft's recommendation: "We recommend that users use full-disk backup solutions from other vendors".

    At best, the MS system imaging is temperamental, at worst it fails to find an image it can restore - just when you need it the most. I suggest that for the future you look at using something like Macrium Reflect Free to make system images. That's what I use now.
    I have now subscribed to Acronis Backup for the simple reason that they also provide a Cloud backup function within the package along with full System Image backup. But since the first backup to cloud can take many days depending upon the amount of data, I am trying to reduce the clutter from my pc and hence was my desire to remove all old MS created backups of the past.
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  8. Posts : 2,513
    trying to install win10
       #38

    We don't know. MS have threatened to remove useful functions before - and then changed their minds. Xcopy is an example.

    It might depend on how many people Bree and his fellow travellers can persuade to abandon it. MS keep track of how many punters are using various functions.

    We also don't know what MS (might) remove. As far as I can make out, the backup function was originally command line only and intended for sysadmins for deployment and recovery purposes. The command line has a lot of flexibility. Then they decided to add a basic UI to provide some sort of basic recovery mechanism for the average user. I think it is widely used by sysadmins, and so possibly it is only the consumer simple UI that MS (might) remove, retaining the command line version.

    It is actually a very clever system - and very useful because images in vhd(x) have a number of advantages. Unlike proprietary images formats, they are serviceable ( can be mounted read/write and altered- adding/removing updates, files, drivers, etc ). They can also be accessed by a variety of tools from MS and others.

    A few 3rd party imaging programs can create backups in vhd(x) format - O&O diskimage, for example.
    A few others can convert their proprietary image formats to vhd, for those that want the extra flexibility that vhd provides - but that is obviously an extra step.

    The more people that use MS imaging, the more likely they are to keep it. It isn't identical to that supplied with win7. Not all that long ago, MS updated it to include vhdx imaging - previously it had used only vhd.
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  9. Posts : 51
    Windows 10
       #39

    Hey Bree
    I had been searching for sometime to find a solution to delete those pesky restore points. I must commend you not only for your answer, but the EXCELLENT instructions you provided. Clear and easy to follow. Thank you for the answer to a troublesome problem for some of us and to recommend that theses instructions should be put in the tutorial section if they are not already there. Thanks again.
      My Computer


  10. Posts : 26,971
    Windows 10 (Pro and Insider Pro)
       #40

    @Bree

    Went to production system(Insider doesn't allow to make system image anymore..), Make system image, and deleted it, and also restore points using the method I've mentioned earlier.

    Interesting, had to use both approaches - Control panel advanced settings - system protection, and Disk cleanup - More - Delete..

    There was a Folder with backup left on my backup drive, and WindowsImageBackup folder under System vol folder.

    Deleted them both in Treesize , but restore points were all deleted by WIndows

    Uh, oh - now I see what were you talking about... Windows restored that folder - WindowsImageBackup. Not that it is large, but undeletable. Now I'm going your way.
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