How can I delete Windows Backup/SPPMetadataCache files Solved

  1.    #1

    How can I delete Windows Backup/SPPMetadataCache files


    Hi, I built my PC back in 2014 and upgraded from Windows 7 to 8 and I'm currently on Windows 10.

    About 3 months ago, I used the option in Windows 10 to refresh my PC. All is fine but after using Wiztree I noticed that Windows has remembered every System Image Backup I have ever made going way back to 29 April 2014 .

    I don't seem to be able to delete these old records.

    Only the last couple of backups still exist as I format my backup drive periodically and start afresh.

    How can I delete these old files and is it safe to delete them? (See attachment for details from Wiztree)

    WizTree_20180808234500.xlsx
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 11,961
    10 Home x64 (1903) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #2

    Hi @thecaretaker

    You cannot delete anything in the hidden and heavily protected 'System Volume Information' folder while Windows is running (well, not without taking ownership, which is probably a bad idea and would likely break other things). You'll have to boot from something else. A Linux Live usb would do, or Kyhi's rescue disk if you prefer a Windows environment to work in.

    Windows 10 Recovery Tools - Bootable Rescue Disk - Windows 10 Forums

    If you are confident using just a command prompt, then you could boot to Advanced Start Up, select Troubleshoot and open a command prompt from there. From Settings > Recovery or boot from a recovery drive, either way will work. Note that your 'C:' drive will have a different letter if you boot to Advanced Start Up, in my case it was D:. Use the Diskpart command 'List Volume' to see what letter it ends up with.

    Boot to Advanced Startup Options in Windows 10 | Windows 10 Tutorials

    I too have Windows backups listed that date back to 2014, here shown in TreeSize Free.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Treesize - System Volume Information.PNG 
Views:	2 
Size:	60.2 KB 
ID:	198607

    As a test I have deleted one of the files from the SPMetadatCache using an Advanced Start Up Command Prompt. I suspect you will break the backup catalogs if you just delete a few files. It may be better to delete the entire WindowsImageBackup folder from System Volume Information. It doesn't exist on another PC that has never made a system image with Microsoft's tools, so it should get recreated anew when you make your next system image.

    However, Windows own 'system image backup' is a deprecated feature now. Even Microsoft say you should use something else. I use Macrium Reflect Free now.

    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
    Last edited by Bree; 08 Aug 2018 at 19:45.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3.    #3

    Thank you. I'll take a look at Kyhi's rescue disk and see what I can do.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    #4

    Well, I put Kyhi on a USB stick, made it bootable and set the bios to boot it. Once booted up, I could see all the files in the folder but the little blighters still would not delete. I right clicked delete on the folder and on individual files, it says it will move them to the recycle bin, but it doesn't.

    I checked the properties and ownership, there is only one owner 'System'.

    What am I missing here?
    Last edited by thecaretaker; 09 Aug 2018 at 04:37.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    #5

    Think I'm missing 'Special Permissions' under 'system' permissions and I can't see how to add that.

    What I did notice was that although there are 1,800+ entries, it only takes up 200mb of space. So might be best just to ignore it and live with it. I'm probably getting paranoid... Good old Windows
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 11,961
    10 Home x64 (1903) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #6

    thecaretaker said: View Post
    What I did notice was that although there are 1,800+ entries, it only takes up 200mb of space. So might be best just to ignore it and live with it. I'm probably getting paranoid... Good old Windows
    200MB is not too large (my WindowsImageBackup folder is just 7.6MB) but once in the past had to delete some AppxStaging folders from System Volume Information that occupied over 9GB.

    In my test deletion earlier in this thread I booted to Advanced Start Up from Settings > Update & Security > Recovery to get a command prompt. Doing so requires you to give the password for an administrator account in the system being working on, so the permissions were probably no problem as I was signed in a known administrator.

    Edit: I have now used the command prompt to delete my WindowsImageBackup folder (7.6MB) from System Volume Information using the commands...
    D:
    cd System Volume Information
    rmdir /s WindowsImageBackup

    I also deleted a 'Windows Backup' folder (39.7MB). Before doing so I used the RoboCopy command to copy them elsewhere, as a precaution. So far the system seems to be running as normal...
    Last edited by Bree; 09 Aug 2018 at 06:56.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  7.    #7

    Thank you Bree. That did the trick. My drive was recognised as C:

    C:
    cd System Volume Information
    rmdir /s WindowsImageBackup

    Solved!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 11,961
    10 Home x64 (1903) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #8

      My ComputersSystem Spec


 

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