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Part of my job involves taking images of many different computers using Norton Ghost and saving them to external drives. One of these drives is a Western Digital MyPassport that is soon being re-purposed. When taking one of the images with this drive I accidentally clicked on the System Volume Information folder and, while I caught my error this time, saw that there were 2 other ghost files already saved in that location. I would like to pull these off of this drive and transfer them to one that will still be in use for storing images, but can't gain access to the System Volume Information folder outside of Ghost to do so, and the steps to access the folder on my computer don't seem to work for the drive (show hidden files and folders is selected, hide protected operating system files is unchecked, and system restore is turned off for the drive).

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I am assisting one who needs to enable access to the C:System Volume Information directory.

XPH does not have the simple file sharing nor does it have the security tab. I know how to enable the access on XP Pro NTFS/FAT32 and XP Home FAT32, but not XP Home NTFS.

I just noticed that my C:System Volume Information folder is 674MB in size! This is far more than any other of these files on my other physical and logical disks. This file is not accessible by normal means. How do I trim it?

When I go to the root directory of my partition D: and enter


then the scanning of all my files and folders for Security settings starts.
After a while the process reaches the (hidden, system) folder

"System Volume Information"

...and abort silently.
I think this is clearly a bug. CACLS should either skip or write a comment "folder inaccessible".
Aborting is a no-go.

Or is there a workaround (flag) ?

ICACLS have the same bug.


Several months ago I turned off System restore for one of my logical drives, as I only keep downloaded files and installation images there. Today I got a warning that this drive was running low on space, and find that the System Volume Information on that drive is 1.4GB. I double checked that system restore was indeed not monitoring this drive (and it isn't). Tried to delete the folder and couldn't (because files were in use), and noticed that all the files in the catalog subfolder had today's date. How can that be if Windows is not monitoring this drive? Is the system restore data distributed across drives, or should each drive only hold its own restore data?


I Cannot display System Volume Information folder or C:Recycler folder (or they are missing!) when accessing the root. I am running XP SP3 which is fully updated.
I also must access Local Settings folder via a FIND and then uncheck the Attributes/Hidden box to have it appear. When I perform this change (i.e. unselect the "Hidden" Attribute in Properties) I receive a popup window:
EXPLORER: Access Violation at address 00000000. Read at address 00000000.

These changes (e.g. unselecting the "Hidden" Attribute etc.) do not last or remain in place at the next startup/reboot!!

I have checked and rechecked/verified the View options in FOLDER OPTIONS and definitely have "Show hidden files and folders" selected and "Hide protected operating system files" deselected!

I'm confident that someone can help me resolve this/these issues!! Any and all assistance/direction will be greatly appreciated.

I'm trying to clean up my PC. I'm a sole user.

Rather than starting with what takes up the most space, I thought I'd start by looking at which folders have the most files. Apart from 'Docs + Settings', I have over 75k files in 'System Volume Information' [SVI] + 34k files in 'Recycler'.

1) II loosely understand that 'recycler' somehow reflects what happens in 'recycle bin' but I really don't understand the ins and outs of its existence nor why it has so many files. Can I just delete it or is there some other way of getting rid of all these files?

2) What is SVI? Can I shrink it at all?

3) $NtUninstall etc. - I'm sure I remember reading once that these were something to do with KB updates + can be removed. Is this right?

I will apologise to begin with because I'm sure this topic will have been done to death here! -- but a search is not coming up with the answers I'm looking for.

My wife's laptop with Vista - we find that it has to be defragged every so often and this time I noticed that the SVI file was the one left with a lot of fragments, and a 7.5GB file size. I've done the initial homework and found how to get into 'admin', and how to run the "vssadmin" file. The file seems to be at "Allocated" size now though there is a "Max" figure shown of 10.25G

The instructions do tell me how to reduce the file size, but I'm not finding anyone saying what is a 'good' size, and whether it needs to be large. The laptop hard drive is partitioned into operating system ('C') and data ('D') with the 'C' drive about 30G, so currently this one file is taking 25% of the volume. I take it that the old Restore Points drop off the end when the file reaches its specified capacity.

The second question is whether I can move this file to the data drive as that has more capacity?

Many thanks


Can someone tell me whether all these are in use, and/or what they're all doing?
On my system disk, using Windows 7 Professional, I have:

System Volume Information

All my other partitions have all the above EXCEPT "Recovery", so I presume that one must be used for "recovering" from something, but if it's for disk crashes or something disastrous it wouldn't be on this partition, would it?

And System Volume Information I presume has "system volume information" so it's no big deal, but why two "recycle" folders?

I recently recovered my data from a biohd-8 error. Can someone please tell me which files can I copy back to a hard drive in order for my system to start again and make it useable again. I do not know if any of the files were damaged in the recovery process.

1) If I am able to restart my system by copying these files, will I need to re-activate Windows 7 again?
2) Would I copy the files to the root of the hard drive?
3) I also have the system restore disks that I made a while back, can I use these to install the files into a new hard drive and will windows 7 work?

The files that I recovered are in the following format below: Thank you in advance.

Recovered Folder files:
Intel Multimedia Files
Program Files
Program Files (x86)
Program Data
System Volume Information

When I click on the system restore application, nothing happens. No system
restore application interface, not anything. Even when I click on the
rstrui.exe application in System32Restore folder, nothing happens.
This problem is *not* a recent event for me. I bought this machine a
little over a year ago, and the first time that I *ever* tried to run System
Restore at all on this computer was approximately 6 months ago. That's when I
found out that it doesn't work. This is my first serious attempt at finding
out what is going on.
I have looked in the services to make sure the system restore service is
started (and it is).
I ran srdiag.exe, but I don't know what to look for in all those text
Also, after learning here how to gain access to the System Volume
Information folder, I see there is a folder in System Volume Information
listed as _restore{BC9F3C70-F33F-48FB-93C7-198E1A9B1607} and it has 7 folders
listed as RP15, RP16, etc. I am assuming they are the restore points which
would mean at least it is creating restore points.
So that is what I've got. Any Ideas as to what the Hell is going on?

Everything goes better with Zeppelin!!
Follow your Stairway to

This is absolutely normal. When an NTFS partition is created, 12% of the
disk is explicitly allotted to the MFT, and any writing of data into this
area is impossible. The MFT is used to hold the critical index structures
from which files on an NTFS volume are referenced. However, if there is
insufficient free space on the system then the MFT is automatically reduced
in size.

System restore files are stored in the system volume information folder
which by default, is given permissions only for the System. You can take
permissions for the folder if you're using XP Pro and see the space used and
the kind of files contained in it.

There's no particular way to reduce the size of the existing allocation to
the MFT. And why would you want to do this. As files increase, the MFT
will be broken into even more fragments later and will seriously degrade
system performance. Please see if this article helps you -

Replace the obvious with "hotmail"

"Svend Cr" wrote in message
Executive Software's Diskeeper 8 shows me two unexpected things
about my XP Pro system:

(1) The MFT on the system partition (called C) is in SIX parts.

(2) On another NTFS partition (called D) there is a surprisingly
large amount of space (12% of total partition space) reserved for
system requirements. However I switched off XP's "system
monitoring" for this drive long ago.

Defragging with Diskeeper 8 from within XP and at boot-time does
not get the MFT into fewer than 2 parts. And the defragging does
not reduce the excess space allocated to the system.


Is there a way I can see what system free space there is for use
specifically by:

(A) The MFT ?
(B) System restore points in the System Volume Information folder ?

Most importantly, how do I get the MFT into a single part and also
give it enough space?

I have used a reg hack (from to give the MFT a medium
space allocation but it doesn't seem to have made a difference.

I have never had to use XP system restore points as I back up whole
partitions by making duplicates of them. So I don't mind if I have
no space at all on any drive for system restore points.


================================================== =========
Defragger data follows in case it helps.

Volume 60_WinXP (C:
Volume size = 6,793 MB
Cluster size = 4 KB
Used space = 4,663 MB
Free space = 2,129 MB
Percent free space = 31 %
Defragmentation method = Max Disk Performance

Fragmentation percentage
Volume fragmentation = 0 %
Data fragmentation = 0 %

File fragmentation
Total files = 44,872
Average file size = 151 KB
Total fragmented files = 0
Total excess fragments = 0
Average fragments per file = 1.00

Paging file fragmentation
Paging/Swap file size = 100 MB
Total fragments = 1

Directory fragmentation
Total directories = 3,660
Fragmented directories = 0
Excess directory fragments = 0

Master File Table (MFT) fragmentation
Total MFT size = 92,523 KB
MFT records In Use = 48,607
Percent MFT in use = 52 %
Total MFT fragments = 2


Volume 60_DATA [39GB] (D:
Volume size = 39,942 MB
Cluster size = 8 KB
Used space = 25,030 MB
Free space = 14,912 MB
Percent free space = 37 %

Fragmentation percentage
Volume fragmentation = 0 %
Data fragmentation = 0 %

File fragmentation
Total files = 58,992
Average file size = 507 KB
Total fragmented files = 0
Total excess fragments = 0
Average fragments per file = 1.00

Paging file fragmentation
Paging/Swap file size = 0 bytes
Total fragments = 0

Directory fragmentation
Total directories = 5,018
Fragmented directories = 0
Excess directory fragments = 0

Master File Table (MFT) fragmentation
Total MFT size = 125 MB
MFT records In Use = 64,032
Percent MFT in use = 49 %
Total MFT fragments = 2


I've been moderating post since my multiple attempts to install .Net 1.1 SP1
have failed. I believed the problem had to do with the .Net install, but
after researching and seeing the other problems people have had with SP2 I
found that my System Restore functions are not working either!

When I go to install .Net, I get prompts asking me if I want to install, and
then another to accept the EULA, which I do, then it starts the install. I
get a "please wait while windows configures the MS .net framework 1.1". I
get a series of 3 bar graphs that complete to 100%, and on the 4th bar graph
I go to 2 bars and then it stops. Nothing other than a kill in the task
manager or a reboot will end this process. I've let it run overnight with no

I've read other posts where people have seen similar problems, and I've
tried everything in every post, a here I sit still trying to get this fixed.
Nice way to blow the holiday weekend.

I'm running A Dell Inspiron 8200 with Win XP Pro (SP2). I have Norton
Internet Security Pro installed. I've attempted each fix with Norton
Enabled, then Disabled.

I've ran SFC /scannnow - no problems found.

I have version 3.0 of MSIEXEC.exe

I've got the latest virus definitions and ran full system scans.

I've disabled System Restore, rebooted, deleted all files in System Volume
Information, rebooted, and tried reinstalling .Net 1.1 both with the System
Restore on and off.

This is not a one person problem, this is a real issue. There are too many
people out there reporting this same issue. Has anyone whose had this
problem been able to recover from it? There have been a lot of great
suggestions in other posts, but I've tried them and nothing has worked so
far. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I really believe there is something with my configuration, maybe a service
that is running, that is butting heads with the services needed to run system
restores are installs. My knowledge is limited in this area, and any insight
would be appreciated.

After recently re-installing Win XP Pro, and downloading SP1 and all the updates I am finding some strange files. In the "System Volume Information" folder are a number of oddly named files. One in particular concerns me. It is named _restore{8AAAE4EE-9BBA-4B4B-86EA-D50A5FB57E7F} It is 3.7 GB (yes, gigabytes) in size and contains 9998 files. I don't seem to be able to get rid of this monster. I can't rename it, can only partially move it (get the message'Cannot move change: It is being used by another person or program"). Folders inside this file refer to Service Pack setup and install and also registry files. I'm pretty sure I don't need this but I don't know what to do about it. Any advice appreciated.

I am considering partitioning my primary drive (system) with Partition Magic 8 and I would be very grateful if you could answer some very basic questions for me. Despite reading the help menu and PM "book" I am hesitant to go ahead.
While I have successfully formatted and partitioned my slave drive, which I use for data storage and some program files, using fdisk (NFTS), I want to be sure that I know what I am doing with my primary drive before actually doing so.
I note the warning in PM that the OS drive should not be split.
My primary drive is 20GB (FAT32), and I wanted to split it into a partition containing the OS and associated files (drivers, system volume information, recycle bin, Dell etc), and move other files to the second partition on that drive.
Is this possible without creating disaster?
My paging file is on the slave drive.

If it is possible, can I move Program files and My Documents to the new partition on the primary drive?
Should the second partition be primary or logical?
I have attached a view of the drive contents and would appreciate your advice on how I could split the contents between the two partitions, if this is feasible.
I have started this process to make backups and drive imaging more efficient.
I am most grateful for your patience with such fundamental questions!
Best wishes
Dianne Moses

Has anyone heard of Adware.WBugA? I installed an AntiVirus Program named NOD32 (free trial). It found what it said was an infected file on my D drive. I searched Google, no results were found. The file that was infected was found in System Volume Information.. NOD32 said the file was safe to delete, which I did.

I am running XP-Pro SP3 on a machine with a RAID configured dual 10,000 RPM 74 GB C drives for system and program files and RAID configured dual 7,200 RPM 500 GB F: drives for the storage of data.

I am a long time fan of ZTree for Windows (and XTree before that.)

Using ZTree I recently logged the System Volume Information branch and found 33 daily system restore points which make use of ~8.6 GB of space on my C drive. A quick inspection using ZTree suggests that the tree for each point contains substantially the same collection of files. This makes sense since I only occasionally install a new program or update an old one.

The 33 restore points seems excessive to me. Am I being unrealistic about what is needed?

I tagged the snapshot files and printed a log of them. In Excel I discovered that (based on the exact file size) there are 14 snapshots. In some cases the snapshot is unique. In one there are 5 adjacent snapshots all of the same exact size. This tempts me to conclude that the related restore points are probably all identical. I've attached a copy of the spreadsheet. I color filled the identical adjacent rows. I also attached a copy of a Word document containing ZTree screenshots that allowed me to see the disk space occupied by the restore points.

I can't make sense of when these automatic restore points are created. I hope it is not when I boot in the morning. It is enough of an imposition that Avast slows the machine to update the virus definitions every time I boot.

How many System Restore Points does it make sense to maintain?

Do I have control over what is included in the snapshot? I'd be glad to forgo my internet history, for example.

Thanks for any insights.



okay, so after booting my PC earlier today Windows System Maintenance started up without prompting and after a while had this to say:

Attempt repairs of disk volume errors
Reboot computer to repair volume problems such as bad sectors, lost clusters, cross-linked files, and directory errors.

in the next screen it says:

Restart computer and begin repairs to bad sectors, lost clusters, cross-linked files, and directory errors. Correcting such errors will allow Windows to accurately report volume information and will free up disk space.

okay, so there are problems that System Maintenance has found, okay. Got it. But not a word as to how I go about reparing these errors, just a very facile 'restart and begin repairs'.

So I assumed that CHKDSK or some other low-level utlity would automatically start on reboot but it didn't.

Sure, I can run CHKDSK manually with the appropriate switches as I have been using computers since DOS 2.0 and am comfortable in the command-line environment, but how about people that aren't?

And what's the point of a utility telling you there is a problem but not how to fix it?

I have probably missed something and would be grateful for a pointer. Thanks.


OK, I've had enough of things I can't see. How for example, can I find and view all files
named "index.dat". If you enter this into the search bar, you won't find any, but I assure you, there are dozens on the typical system. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
There're many thousands of files that can't be viewed or found. I've selected show
hidden files and protected operating syswtem files, and show common file extensions
in folder options.

The problem is these two keys typically found in desktop.ini files (which themselves are
The first says to hide this folder from the UI; the second to exempt this folder from being searched.

I want to see all such folders. Deleting these keys from the registry does not unhide the folders. The registry keys are kind of placeholders - they don't enable or create
any capabilities. These keys are recognized implicitly by the kernel and their function
exercised with (usually) some default value. Can a value be set somewhere to turn
them off? Or maybe replace or equate their function to doing something innocuous,
or a no-op.

Mounting the disk on another windows installation won't unhide the folders because
that windows copy will also recognize the keys.

Mounting the disk on a system booted from a linux live distro like Knoppix will find
all hidden folders and files. But manipulating (writing) to NTFS from Unix sometimes
has unexpected consequences.

Another similar problem seems to be Windows not displaying file/folder names completely.
Some files seem to have invisible non-displayable characters in their names. I.e., if I
navigate to the file through the UI, then copy and paste its name into a command
window as an argument to a delete or other command, it will say "No Such File" or
a similar message. So how do I see the real name? (I've already enabled show common file extensions folder option).

A different problem I encountered while trying to purge a virus, was registry keys that
contain nulls. Apparently, some legitimate keys also do. Maybe file/folder names
do too? If a name contains a null or other non-ascii character, the character should
be displayed in the UI as a meta-character: ^0 for null for example.

There may be other ways of hiding files, too, that I'm not aware of. I once had
a program rootkitrevealer, which displayed any files that are found in the file
table that don't show in the Windows UI. It was eye-opening. The Windows 7
version of that program runs as a service that I'm unable to start. There was also
another program, findallfiles or similar name on XP, that I seem to have lost. It
also found invisible files. I want Windows search to find everything... I do mean everything. I've seen forensic tools that can read the FAT or NTFS file table
completely and correctly, why can't Windows just "do it"? There are serious security
implications to not being able to "see" in the ordinary way. In windows, seeing is
exclusively through the Windows Explorer UI. As an Administrator, if I see a file that
has a weird name, an owner different than other files in the directory, permissions inconsistent with its function, or an inappropriate extension for the directory its in,
I know immediately that I need to investigate.

Some files remain invisible to administrator for permissions reasons. Administrator
is owner of "System Volume Information", but the UI shows 0 items there. Nonetheless,
through reducio-ad-absurdium methods, I know something really big is hiding there.
That's system recovery information... why hide that?? I'm not going to go mucking
with permissions on "System Volume Information", in case I invalidate shadow copy

I am trying to upgrade to Windows 7 64 bit from Vista 64 bit. When I put in the Windows 7 installation disk into the DVD drive and click "Install Now", it goes to a full-screen setup page, which reads: - Setup is copying temporary files...
- Setup is starting...
- Then an error message pops up which states "Windows could not retrieve information about the disks on this computer."

I have tried the to start the Virtual Disk on my computer by going into Services and get the following error: "Windows could not start the virtual disk on Local Computer: Error 3 The system could not find the path specified.

Then I started playing around with the Vista Device Manager. I went to my hard drive and clicked on properties and then to the Volumes tab. No data was populated so I clicked the populate button and received the following error: "Volume information for this disk could not be found."

I have updated the disk drive to the most recent driver and still have the same error.

Any information or help would be greatly appreciated.

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