Save Storage Space by Limiting Shadow Copies in Windows


We always will run short of Storage space, no matter how huge hard disk may be. There are a lot of ways to get wasted memory by deleting unnecessary files without having to forego important functions. For instance, Vista regularly creates shadow copies, which are used to recover the system or to access older file versions in case of emergency. This function takes up a lot of storage space. But if you regularly create backups of your data you can limit the storage space allocated to the shadow copies, without foregoing an important security aspect. However, Vista does not offer any dialog box for the configuration.

You can fix this in a simple way by using a command line program ‘vssadmin.exe’. First, start a window of the command line with administrator rights. For this,

  • Write ‘cmd’ in the search field in the start menu,
  • Right-click ‘cmd.exe’ and select the context command ‘Run as Administrator’.
  • Subsequently confirm the user account control query with ‘Next’.
  • Now use vssadmin list shadowstorage to query the current status of the shadow copies.

Windows lists how much storage space is allocated for the shadow copies, where and for which drive is already being used. Use the following command for adaptation:

vssadmin resize shadowstorage / on=[drive] /for=drive / maxsize=[specify size]

For ‘Drive’, enter the drive letter followed by a colon, where and for which drive you want the shadow copies to be saved and specify the ‘/Maxsize’ option without fail, otherwise Windows does not limit the size. /on=c: /for=c: /maxsize=10GB As a value for ‘Size’, use a number followed by the respective unit such as ‘MB’ or ‘GB’. You can subsequently check the current status once again using: vssadmin list shadowstorage. In this way you can save up a lot of storage space.

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August 3, 2010 by: Prasanth Chandra

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