How to delete inactive System Image Restore Points in System Restore

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  1. Posts : 9
    windows 10 64-bit
       #1

    How to delete inactive System Image Restore Points in System Restore


    Windows 10 64-bit.
    When I click "show more restore points" in System Restore I see a bunch of old "system image restore points" that were deleted in past and do not correspond to any currently active restore points. Clicking any of these old restore points, I simply get an error message saying they could not be found, and to select another restore point instead.I would like to delete these restore points listings but have been unable to do so.
    So far, I have tried steps mentioned below without any luck :

    Disk Cleanup through (C:) Properties
    Disable System Protection (OFF and ON) in System Protection for OS (C:)
    Disk Space Usage to minimum (slider button all the way to the left then 'Delete all restore points for this drive'),
    Delete all shown Restore points in CCleaner (the problem ones do not show here),
    Reset Windows Backup to Default in Windows 10 with 'Reset_Windows_Backup.bat' utility.

    Any suggestions highly welcome.
      My Computer

  2. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 31,753
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #2

    Hi, do the command prompt options - Option 3 - help at all?
    Delete System Restore Points in Windows 10


    Some of the comments following that tutorial may also be of interest.

    There's also this:
    Download System Restore Explorer - MajorGeeks
      My Computers

  3. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 20,035
    10 Home x64 (21H1) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #3

    jellyroll said:
    When I click "show more restore points" in System Restore I see a bunch of old "system image restore points" that were deleted in past and do not correspond to any currently active restore points. Clicking any of these old restore points, I simply get an error message saying they could not be found, and to select another restore point instead.I would like to delete these restore points listings but have been unable to do so.

    Welcome to Ten Forums jellyroll.


    Additional 'restore points' like these can refer to system image backups made with 'Create a System Image' in 'Backup & Restore (Windows 7)'. If you have ever used that at any time in the past then that would explain these phantom restore points. If so, then none of the methods to delete restore points will work, they only act on restore points created by System Protection.

    As you may know, system restore points are held in the highly protected 'C:\System Volume Information' folder. So are the records of system images, but quite independently of the normal restore points. They are in the WindowsImageBackup\SPPMetadataCache and WindowsImageBackup\Catalog folders.

    How to delete inactive System Image Restore Points in System Restore-sys-vol-info-windowsimagebackup.png

    These unusable 'Image Backup' restore points annoyed me too (particularly as I had long since deleted the system images they referred to). I have found that it is quite safe to delete the contents of those two folders. If you leave ALL the other files/folders alone then you won't affect the functioning of normal system restore points.

    Now HOW you delete them is another problem, System Volume Information is heavily protected (for good reason). The 'easiest' way I have found is to boot from something else, such as a recovery drive or booting to Advanced Startup.

    Boot to Advanced Startup Options in Windows 10

    In Advanced Startup open a Command Prompt. From the command line you can delete the contents of those two folders. Note that the C: drive will appear under a different drive letter when booted to Advanced Startup, when I try it is E: but yours may be different. Use the DIR command for each available drive letter until you find the drive letter that has your Windows system on it. Alternatively, use DISKPART from the command line with the following three commands:

    DISKPART
    LIST VOL
    EXIT


    Of course, if you use the built-in 'create a system image' again then of another of these 'restore points' will be created. But you shouldn't be using Microsoft's System Image Backup any more, even Microsoft say so.

    Microsoft said:
    System Image Backup (SIB) Solution
    We recommend that users use full-disk backup solutions from other vendors.
    Features removed or Deprecated in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

    Instead, I now use Macrium Reflect Free.

    Backup and Restore with Macrium Reflect
    Last edited by Bree; 19 Oct 2019 at 10:21. Reason: Diskpart
      My Computers


  4. Posts : 9
    windows 10 64-bit
    Thread Starter
       #4

    dalchina said:
    Hi, do the command prompt options - Option 3 - help at all?
    Delete System Restore Points in Windows 10


    Some of the comments following that tutorial may also be of interest.

    There's also this:
    Download System Restore Explorer - MajorGeeks
    I have tried all the steps mentioned in your advice but unfortunately the issue is still there.
      My Computer

  5. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 20,035
    10 Home x64 (21H1) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #5

    jellyroll said:
    I have tried all the steps mentioned in your advice but unfortunately the issue is still there.
    As I said in post #3, the only way I have found to successfully remove system image backup restore points is to manually delete them from the 'System Volume Information' folder.
      My Computers

  6. AndreTen's Avatar
    Posts : 24,344
    Windows 10 (Pro and Insider Pro)
       #6

    I was also succesfull with combination of Option 2 from Tutorials and Disk Cleanup util..

    How to delete inactive System Image Restore Points in System Restore-image.png
      My Computers

  7. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 20,035
    10 Home x64 (21H1) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #7

    AndreTen said:
    I was also succesfull with combination of Option 2 from Tutorials and Disk Cleanup util..

    Have you tried that after making a system image with 'Backup & Restore (Windows 7)'? That adds the system image you created to the list of available restore points, it's those items in the list of available restore points that can be difficult to remove.
      My Computers


  8. Posts : 9
    windows 10 64-bit
    Thread Starter
       #8

    AndreTen - I have tried Disk Cleanup but unfortunately the problem entries did not go away.
    I feel certain Bree (VIP Member) has identified the correct cause of this problem as above and his adviced solution should also do the trick.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Bree said:
    Have you tried that after making a system image with 'Backup & Restore (Windows 7)'? That adds the system image you created to the list of available restore points, it's those items in the list of available restore points that can be difficult to remove.
    Bree - Thank you. I must admit that I did use 'Create system image' a few times in 'Backup & Restore (Windows 7)' instead of 'Backup now' and these ghost entries relate to those actions. You have rightly identified the cause of this issue.
    It is crazy that Microsoft has put two different backup options causing the issue of these ghost restore points.

    Regarding your advice on how to rectify the issue - I must add that I am not very computer savvy and feel reluctant to use Diskpart utility etc to delete 'WindowsImageBackup\SPPMetadataCache' and 'WindowsImageBackup\Catalog folders' from within 'System Volume Information' folder with command Prompt as I fear damaging the pc by making any mistakes, as I have never done this before.

    Please advice if there may be another simpler method to delete the above folders OR if you are able and have time to post a step by step instructions (with pictures if possible) on how to follow your advice. Much appreciated.
      My Computer

  9. AndreTen's Avatar
    Posts : 24,344
    Windows 10 (Pro and Insider Pro)
       #9

    Bree said:
    Have you tried that after making a system image with 'Backup & Restore (Windows 7)'? That adds the system image you created to the list of available restore points, it's those items in the list of available restore points that can be difficult to remove.
    No Bree, Only restore points...

    No intentions to distract you guys.
      My Computers

  10. SIW2's Avatar
    Posts : 1,983
    trying to install win10
       #10

    You could try Open File Backup with Z-VSScopy – Z-DBackup

    Free ( i.e. unregistered) version should work fine
      My Computer


 
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