Free Hard Disk Space Decreases for No Apparent Reason

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Article ID: 299266
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Symptoms

When you attempt to reclaim disk space that is used by temporary or unused files, you may be unable to free as much disk space as you expect.

Each time you start the computer, there may be less disk space available for use.

Cause

This behavior can occur when System Restore is turned on on your computer. System Restore uses a portion of the hard disk to store "restore points." These restore points are used by System Restore to return your computer to an earlier state.

System Restore creates a new restore point each time that you start the computer.

Resolution

To resolve this issue, lower the System Restore file storage limit. For example, you can lower it to the minimum of 200 megabytes (MB). To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  2. In Control Panel, double-click System.
  3. In the System Properties dialog box, click File System on the Performance tab.
  4. On the Hard Disk tab, drag the System Restore disk space use slider to the amount that you want (or drag it to the Min setting of 200 MB).
  5. Click Apply, click OK, click Close, and then click Yes to restart the computer.
System Restore now uses hard disk space up to the amount that you selected in step 4 for the storage of restore points before it overwrites old restore points with new information.

To stop System Restore from using hard disk space, turn it off and remove all cached files. To do this, follow these steps:

WARNING: This will prevent you from restoring your computer to an earlier state.
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  2. In Control Panel, double-click System.
  3. In the System Properties dialog box, click File System on the Performance tab.
  4. On the Troubleshooting tab, click to select the Disable System Restore check box, and then click Apply.
  5. Click Close twice, and then click Yes to restart the computer.
  6. Insert your Windows Millennium Edition (Me) Startup Disk, and then restart the computer. To create a Windows Me Startup Disk, follow these steps.

    NOTE: You will require one blank floppy disk.
    1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
    2. In Control Panel, double-click Add/Remove Programs.
    3. In the Add/Remove Programs dialog box, click Create Disk on the Startup Disk tab.
    4. Insert a floppy disk into the computer, and then click OK.
    5. Remove the disk, and then click OK.
  7. At the Microsoft Windows Millennium Startup Menu that appears, type 4, and then press ENTER.
  8. At the command prompt, type C:, and then press ENTER.

    NOTE: If Windows Me is not installed on the C: drive, type the appropriate drive letter for your Windows installation.
  9. Type CD\_Restore\temp, and then press ENTER.

    NOTE: Note the underscore that precedes Restore.
  10. Type Del *.*, and then press ENTER.

    The following message appears:
    All files in directory will be deleted!
    Are you sure (Y/N)?
  11. Type Y, and then press ENTER.
  12. Remove the Windows Me Startup disk, and then restart the computer.

More information

For more information about System Restore, click Start, and then click Help. In the Search box, type System Restore, then click Go to view the information returned.

For additional information, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
267951 Description of the System Restore Utility in Windows Me

Properties

Article ID: 299266 - Last Review: June 19, 2014 - Revision: 3.0
Keywords: 
kbenv kbprb KB299266
Retired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.

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