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  1.    04 Aug 2016 #1
    Join Date : Jul 2014
    Serbia
    Posts : 10,168
    W10 Insider + Linux

    Shadow Copy, uses ? Get rid of it ?


    I was just looking around and run into this program: Access Hard Drive Snapshots with ShadowCopyView - MajorGeeks

    After examining part of my system with it I noticed that some folders tend to be huge and taking a lot of space. Now, I'm not cramped for space but looks like shadow copy of just windows folder has almost 40GB.
    It seems to be dependent on System restore, would turning it off make all shadow copies disappear ?
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  2.    04 Aug 2016 #2
    Join Date : Feb 2015
    Bamberg Germany
    Posts : 16,977
    Win10 Pro, Win10 Pro N, Win10 Home, Win10 Pro Insider Fast Ring, Windows 8.1 Pro, Ubuntu

    For information about VSS chech this out: Volume Shadow Copy Service
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  3.    05 Aug 2016 #3
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 81
    Windows 10 Pro x64 V1607 b14393

    You can go to System Properties ----> System Protection. On that tab click on the Configure button and then on the Delete button. It will delete all the VSS snapshots.

    PS - These are restore points. Only delete them if you are absolutely sure you want to recover that hard disk space.
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  4.    05 Aug 2016 #4
    Join Date : Jul 2014
    Serbia
    Posts : 10,168
    W10 Insider + Linux
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by Beaupeep View Post
    You can go to System Properties ----> System Protection. On that tab click on the Configure button and then on the Delete button. It will delete all the VSS snapshots.

    PS - These are restore points. Only delete them if you are absolutely sure you want to recover that hard disk space.
    Yeah, i know that, question was more if to keep so much although it works some crazy way.
    When I extracted windows folder using that utility to another disk it practically copied whole windows folder of ~40GB. My system restore was set at 5GB to start with and that's good enough for about 3 restore points.
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  5.    05 Aug 2016 #5
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 81
    Windows 10 Pro x64 V1607 b14393

    After deleting all restore points I found the System Vol. Information folder on Drive C had about 20 GB of what seemed to be useless data. I just deleted it and have seen no adverse effects on W10. I keep System Protection switched off on all drives, instead preferring to do multiple scheduled incremental backups using Macrium Reflect.
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  6.    05 Aug 2016 #6
    Join Date : Jul 2014
    Serbia
    Posts : 10,168
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    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by Beaupeep View Post
    After deleting all restore points I found the System Vol. Information folder on Drive C had about 20 GB of what seemed to be useless data. I just deleted it and have seen no adverse effects on W10. I keep System Protection switched off on all drives, instead preferring to do multiple scheduled incremental backups using Macrium Reflect.
    After cleaning up restore points my System Vol. Information folder on Drive C: is now only 20MB.
    Going to keep SR off for now, it's loosing it's usefulness. Regular MR backup, although much larger, can be stored on external disks and provides full protection to the system.
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  7.    05 Aug 2016 #7
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 3,655
    10 Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by CountMike View Post
    After examining part of my system with it I noticed that some folders tend to be huge and taking a lot of space. Now, I'm not cramped for space but looks like shadow copy of just windows folder has almost 40GB.
    That seems absurdly large. My Windows directory is under 4GB and even uncompressed it would only be 14GB. I don't know the program you are using but you could try treesize to see the size in case it is reported incorrectly. I have 5GB assigned for restorepoints and can normally fit about 10 snapshots before the old ones start dropping off. As they are differentials it depends what you do of course.

    I upgraded to 1611 on 28 July and just made a restore point - it 320MB but then I've only had one update since then and upgrades always turns off system restore.

    There are various bugs that can cause it to grow to ridiculous size (see here and here and so on).

    Quote Originally Posted by CountMike View Post
    It seems to be dependent on System restore, would turning it off make all shadow copies disappear ?
    If you mean disabling the service - no it doesn't delete restore points. It stops the system making any more though and if you try make one manually it fails (as the service is disabled) and the get-computerrestorepoint commandlet also fails. You set it back to manual and you can see they are still all there.

    Conversely if you turn of system protection it deletes all restore points (as happens when you do an upgrade). In that case you would lose not only the ability to do system restore but also the previous versions functionality which I find handy.

    If you are happy with how your system is I'd turn system protection off (which will delete the contents of the C:\System Volume Information directory and then turn it on again and set a limit of 3% or whatever. Then keep an eye on it with treesize.

    Do bare (bear?) in mind that Macrium (and other backup solutions) use VSS to make the snapshot (assuming you are running them from within Windows) so they will not work either if you disable the service.
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  8.    05 Aug 2016 #8
    Join Date : Jul 2014
    Serbia
    Posts : 10,168
    W10 Insider + Linux
    Thread Starter

    No, I didn't disable service, just stopped automatic creation of SR point on all disks. Once I disabled it I just restarted and all the points were gone. Now still have to check if some programs like Revo uninstaller that make restore points before uninstalling a program those restore points are kept.
    Macrium reflect, if set so, makes complete copy of all partitions/disks and doesn't use restore points or shadow copy although it includes it in .mrimg file.
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  9.    05 Aug 2016 #9
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 3,655
    10 Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by Beaupeep View Post
    You can go to System Properties ----> System Protection. On that tab click on the Configure button and then on the Delete button. It will delete all the VSS snapshots.
    You can be much more specific with PoSh. For example to delete restore points older than 14 days...
    Code:
    Get-ComputerRestorePoint |
      Where*{*$_.ConvertToDateTime($_.CreationTime) -lt (Get-Date).AddDays(-14) } | 
      Delete-ComputerRestorePoint
    The Delete-Computer-RestorePoint is from TechNet here: Script to delete System Restore Points

    EDIT: Sorry if I'm going off on a tangent again Mike.

    I would suggest not stopping the service as it will break Macrium. Whether you find system protection useful is up to you - I do for the previous versions functionality but this is only really useful if you schedule restore points. If you don't the system makes them at random (when you install things etc).

    However if you schedule restore points to be made daily then it is handy - if you want an old version of a Word document or jpg you were working on yesterday you can get it just by right clicking on the file. At least I think this is useful..
    Last edited by lx07; 05 Aug 2016 at 04:04.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  10.    05 Aug 2016 #10
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 3,655
    10 Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by CountMike View Post
    No, I didn't disable service, just stopped automatic creation of SR point on all disks. Once I disabled it I just restarted and all the points were gone.
    Sounds good to me. I was not initially sure if you meant the service or enable/disable system protection. Keep an eye on the size incase it is growing too fast.

    Quote Originally Posted by CountMike View Post
    Macrium reflect, if set so, makes complete copy of all partitions/disks and doesn't use restore points or shadow copy although it includes it in .mrimg file.
    Macrium (which I use) definitely does use the VSS service if you are running it from within Windows.

    Macrium Reflect uses a Microsoft service called Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) to create disk images and backup files when in use.
    Source

    I had a big problem as some driver I was using broke Macrium as it (an Apple HFS driver) crashed the VSS service.

    I'm not sure about Revo does but I doubt it would rely on System Volume Information as it would make it too unreliable if it relied on snapshots which may be deleted at any time - I think it stores its own info.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 
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