Disabling System Restore to Reclaim Disk Space

System Restore is a great Windows XP feature that allows you to restore your system to a previous configuration set in the event that a software installation, driver update, or system change renders it crippled or damaged. By default, the System restore feature will create what are known as restore points automatically when you make system changes (like installing a program) or manually as per your instructions. A portion of a given drive’s disk space is allocated to storing these restore points, and as it fills up, older restore points are discarded to make way for new ones.

As a general rule, disabling System Restore is not a good idea, especially for less experienced users who may need to rely on the extra “help” that System restore can provide should they run into a jam. However, on a systems with multiple drive partitions, System Restore can usually be safely disabled as a means to reclaim disk space. Disabling the feature on the main system drive (usually C:) is not recommended, though its size settings can be tweaked to better meet your needs.

To disable System restore on one or more drive partitions, follow these steps:

1. Click Start > Control Panel > System and click the System Restore tab.

2. In the list of available drives, click the drive for which you want to disable System Restore and click Settings.

3. Check the Turn off System Restore on this drive checkbox to disable System Restore for that drive and click OK.

Note that disabling System Restore for a drive will result in the loss of all that drive’s stored Restore Points.

Author: Dan DiNicolo

Dan DiNicolo is a freelance author, consultant, trainer, and the managing editor of 2000Trainers.com. He is the author of the CCNA Study Guide found on this site, as well as many books including the PC Magazine titles Windows XP Security Solutions and Windows Vista Security Solutions. Click here to contact Dan.