One thing I noticed right away when I installed Windows Vista is that it takes up lot of disk space. Sure I installed the Ultimate edition so I wasn’t expecting a very slim install but still it used a lot more disk space than I expected. My setup is a 50 Gb C drive for Windows Vista and program files while leaving a 140 Gb D drive for data. That may seem a lot but as I develop using VMware I use up quite a bit of it with 4 virtual machines. Anyway the practice of using a virtual machine for all software development is something I can recommend!
Anyway back to the disk space usage. When I started I was surprised but everything went well. But the C drive kept on filling up even though I wasn’t installing new software and I kept the temp directory in check. Yesterday the bar the Explorer indicating how full the disk was even turned red so some action was needed. I fired up WinDirStat, a great utility for finding where your disk space went and reported 14Gb as <Unkown>. That is quite a portion of a 50 Gb disk, a whoping 28%, so I decided to focus on that first. It turns out it was in use by Windows Vista System Restore.
How to check? Well you need to start an command prompt with administrator privileges and from there do “vssadmin list shadowstorage” which will tell you how much disk space is in use by System Restore and what the maximum was. Turns out my machine didn’t have a maximum so it just kept on growing; no wonder that I was running low in disk space [:(].
Fixing the problem is also done using vssadmin with the “Resize ShadowStorage” option. I did and now I can keep working just fine again [:)].
More info on vssadmin can be found here although Windows Vista doesn’t seem to understand all listed options.
Enjoy your disk space!