It is possible to define the percentage that the System Restore feature in Windows XP allocates from a hard drive partition. Windows Vista has System Restore build in as well but no obvious way to define the percentage of the hard drive that System Restore allocates. Microsoft thought it would be a good idea to hide the setting well and allocate 15% of the hard drive's capacity to System Restore. On a 300 Gigabyte drive System Restore would allocate a maximum of 45 Gigabytes of space.
The company seems to remove features from newer versions of their operating system to "make it easier" to use for users of all experience levels. What Microsoft may not take into account here, apart from experienced users who get less options to configure the system, is that less choice often means a simpler system.
You can change the size of System Restore in Windows Vista, and other newer versions of Windows for that matter, from the command line. To do so you need to open an elevated command prompt by tapping on the Windows key, entering cmd, right-clicking on the command prompt result here and selecting to start it as an administrator.
Once you have done that use the following command to change the size of System Restore in Windows Vista:
vssadmin resize shadowstorage /on=c: /for=c: /maxsize=4GB
This changes the allocated size of System Restore on drive C: for drive C: to 4 Gigabyte. Please note that the on: parameter is the drive letter where the System Restore files are stored while the for: parameter defines the drive that the files should be backed up on.
The maxsize parameter is pretty obvious as it defines the storage that you want used for system restore. Note that it can't go below 300 Megabytes. If you remove the maxsize parameter the settings will be changed to the default one again.
If you select a size that is lower than the current amount of space the oldest entries in System Restor will be deleted first.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.