Archive for March, 2008

Often seen and felt as a stupid problem in Windows (especially in Vista, as usual) is the habit of the strange entity called “system volume information” in C drive claiming a lot of disk space for apparently no practical purpose at all! You’d start off with a pretty neat 40 GB drive, and slowly over months you’d notice that you are only left with 5 GB in there whilst all your files summed up could only answer for 15 GB and the Windows+Program Files would be around another 10 GB. Where did the rest of the 10 GB vanish? The answer would be the hidden folder called “system volume information” (let’s call it SVI for ease of my typing). Seemingly windows saves information related to system restore inside that place and it is used when you actually perform a restoration (which is indeed a great facility). But when struggling for more disk space, I am sure you wouldn’t mind doing a trade off between what portion of your disk you want to give away for that purpose and what portion you want to keep for yourself.

Now here are some commands that you could use in the Command Prompt console in administrator mode in order to view and resize the space allocated for SVI:

1. To see the space allocated and used for SVI:

– Open Command Prompt with “Run as Administrator” option

– Type in: vssadmin list shadowstorage

– You will see Used Space, Allocated Space and Maximum Space for SVI

2. To see the restore information stored therein:

– Use in the same console command: vssadmin list shadows

3. To resize the maximum allocated space:

– Type in command: vssadmin resize shadowstorage /on=[here add the drive letter]: /For=[here add the drive letter]: /Maxsize=[here add the maximum size]

– E.g., vssadmin resize shadowstorage /on=C: /For=C: /Maxsize=4GB

– You will see a prompt confirming resize done

– You can check the status again using the command discussed in point 1 above

4. Just to get rid of the space already consumed, but sticking to the same size of max-size as before:

– Do actions as per point 3 to set the max-size t, say, 1GB

– If you check now, most likely you’ll see that used space is now 0KB

– Do the resize again and set it back to what it was before

– Check your disk space availability in Windows Explorer, you should see the reclaim is done!

Hope this helps. I owe this to this webpage. This did reduce 15 GB in my laptop’s hard drive – which was great!


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Just to jot down some notes about this strange problem that happens from time to time in my laptop running Windows Vista – for people who might find the suggestion using search engines from here, and more so for me to look back when it happens the next time.

How it happens

Among other reasons (which I am not so much aware of) you may find that the Hibernate option that was there in your Start Menu has suddenly disappeared after you did a Disk Cleanup activity from Accessories > System Tools – if you had chosen to delete off old “hibernate data files” (or something which will read like that) among other stuff that you decided to remove.

How to get it back

1. Open a Command Prompt window from Start Menu > Accessories using Administrative privileges (“Run as Administrator” option using right click on the Command Prompt menu).

2. Type powercfg.exe /hibernate on

3. The prompt should be back without any output. The Hibernate option should be back in your Start Menu now.

4. Wait for the mythical Vista Service Pack 1 to arrive to fix the problem permanently.


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