How to reclaim storage from “System Volume Information” 7

vssadmin_list_shadowstorageAfter diskspace on a Windows 2008 R2 server was decreasing, I noticed that the System Volume Information had a large amount of Gb and was still increasing in size. This command can also be used on other Windows operating systems like Windows Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 2012.

So what does the System Volume Information directory hold for information?

Note: The folder holds information that with casual interference could cause serious system problems.

  • System Restore points. You can disable System Restore from the “System” control panel.
  • Content Indexing Service databases for fast file searches.
  • Distributed Link Tracking Service databases for repairing your shortcuts and linked documents.
  • Information used by the Volume Snapshot Service (also known as “Volume Shadow Copy”) so you can back up files on a live system.

Check the shadow copy storage

If you want to reclaim your storage follow these steps.

First check your current Shadow Storage usage. Start a command prompt and type: vssadmin list shadowstorage

vssadmin list shadowstorage

vssadmin 1.1 - Volume Shadow Copy Service administrative command-line tool
(C) Copyright 2001-2005 Microsoft Corp.

Shadow Copy Storage association

For volume: (C:)\?Volume{13064974-e2b3-11e1-b543-806e6f6e6963}
Shadow Copy Storage volume: (C:)\?Volume{13064974-e2b3-11e1-b543-806e6f6e6963}

Used Shadow Copy Storage space: 9.358 GB (2%)
Allocated Shadow Copy Storage space: 9.711 GB (2%)
Maximum Shadow Copy Storage space: 10 GB (2%)

As you can see in this example the maximum amount of shadow copy storage (10 GB) is almost utilized. It’s also possible the  maximum is set to UNBOUNDED, which indicates it can use up to 100% of your storage on that volume.

Resize the shadow copy storage

In this example I want to decrease the usage to 5 Gb. As you can see, the number of space being used for the shadow copy storage is larger (9,7 Gb). You can resize the shadow copy storage to a lower amount being used, without disrupting the system. After resizing the diskspace is immediatly reclaimed.

To resize the shadow copy storage use the following command: vssadmin resize shadowstorage /on=[drive letter]: /For=[drive letter]: /MaxSize=[maximum size]

vssadmin resize shadowstorage /on=c: /for=c: /maxsize=5GB

vssadmin 1.1 - Volume Shadow Copy Service administrative command-line tool
(C) Copyright 2001-2005 Microsoft Corp.

Successfully resized the shadow copy storage association

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Hans Sleurink

Hans Sleurink works as a Senior Technical Consultant at VodafoneZiggo in the Netherlands where he designs and deploys Microsoft Unified Communications solutions . His main focus is on, but not limited to, Skype for Business / Lync including Enterprise Voice, Anywhere365, AudioCodes, KEMP, Exchange, Office 365, Active Directory and other UC related topics.

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7 thoughts on “How to reclaim storage from “System Volume Information”

  1. Reply Joe Jul 31,2014 10:48

    worked perfectly, thank you so much.

  2. Reply Sa'id Dec 29,2014 05:53

    The low storage on drive C: really bothered me. Thank you very much. The resize command worked perfectly on windows 7, but check the shadow storage didn’t. However your guidance resolve my problem.

  3. Reply Tony Jan 7,2015 13:53

    I couldn’t work out where all the space on my Vista system had gone ,shadow copy set to 293 gb (out of 464gb )for some reason , wish I fund this sooner ,many thanks .

  4. Reply Daniel Mar 27,2015 11:34

    Brilliant, worked also for me. I must say that it took me much more time figuring out that System Volume Information is indeed the culprit. No GUI tool (like space for system restore) allowed for any improvement. However, what Windows Explorer nor WinDirStat revealed was shown by the TreeSize Professional (trial version). After that, finding this advice and applying was a stroll.

  5. Reply evo Jul 26,2015 17:24

    Helped me today reclaiming 20GB on an old windows server. thanks

    short and to the point 🙂

  6. Reply SHWETANK Aug 1,2015 08:29

    hi there….thanx a tonne dear,,,ur advice helped me recover 21 GB from my C
    drive

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