How do I delete huge files from System Volume Information?

CElliott22 asked on

I have three large hard disks that I use to store backups of the system.  Some program -- I think it was the defragmenter -- caused Win 7 to place huge files (> 4 GB) in System Volume Information.  Nothing I do wil let me delete these files.  I cannot even take ownership of them.  When I try to take ownership of either the file or of System Volume Information I receive an "Access is denied" error on the file name.  Nothing should prevent an administrator from taking ownership of any file on his system.  How can I delete these huge files?  Please do not answer "Use Disk Cleanup to delete all but the last restore point."  That runs, but it deletes nothing.  On a previous installation of Win 7, I could take ownership of System Volume Information and delete its contents, but ot on this new installation.

Charles Elliott
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Jessen P replied on



The System Volume information folder keeps the Restore point entries. Usually it is not recommended to delete the entries from the System volume information.

Step 1 : Stop the Volume shadow copy service.

a:  Go to Start - Run and type Services.msc then press enter.

b: Under the Status column look for any entries that read as "Started", make it as “Stopped”.

c: Click apply and then ok.


Step 2 : Then take ownership of the System volume Information folder and then try to delete its contents.

How do I open a file if I get an access denied message?


Hope that helps.


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CElliott22 replied on

Thank you for your help.  Your approach would almost certianly work.  I did a similar repair by taking the disk to another Windows 7 installation and deleting the files there, though I had to circumvent security by taking ownership of the files before the system would let me delete them.  However, the best, most principled solution is the following from Windows 7 built-in help:

You can manage the disk space that is used by System Restore by following these steps:

  1. Click to open System.

  2. In the left pane, click System protection. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  3. Under Protection Settings, click the disk, and then click Configure.

  4. Under Disk Space Usage, move the slider to the right to increase the disk space that system protection can use or move the slider to the left to decrease the disk space.

I originally set the allowable space to zero, and the system deleted  all the files.  Later I moved it to 10% (of a 3 TB disk).  This is a disk I use solely for backup.  There is no need for restore points.  When I eventually need the space, I will just set the allowable space back to zero.


Again, thanks for your help.

Charles Elliott
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