deleting _Restore files

March 22, 2005 at 11:39:34
Specs: Windows ME, Athlon 3200

I have a problem with my _Restore/Temp folder. Its 2.3GB on a 5GB partition, containing some 29,000 files. I have just under 900 MB free and my computer is soooooo slow. I wiped the hard drive in January, Yet i have thousands of files dating from before then, the oldest claiming to have been created in 1993!

Despite having long disabled system restore, its still adding files every day. I tried to delete it in dos. It took 5 hours just to list all the files. I left the del *.* running for 30 hours, and nothing happened. I had to reboot after then as I had to do some work on my computer. I don't have a free month coming up to leave it running

Is there anything I can do to delete these files? Is there anything I can do to stop new ones being created.

All help is gratefully received
Best regards and many thanks

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March 22, 2005 at 13:36:54

I went through the same thing. All those system restore files take up a lot of room. I had some of them with spyware in them which is the reason I found out how many there were in the first place.

You need to disable system restore to stop them from creating more files and also to delete them.
You also have to start your computer in the safe mode to delete them. At least thats what I had to do. I'll check my notes and see if I can find how I did everything and get back to you.
There are people on here way smarter then me so hopefully by the time I get back to you one of them will have you all straighten out.

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March 22, 2005 at 14:06:45

I've tried deleting in safe mode, it just says access denied, source file may be in use.

As far as I can tell, I've disabled system restore, I get rid of all the unwanted rubbish on the startup system as well. As far as I can see, it shouldn't be doing anything, and my spyware and virus scans come up clean

I'm totally perplexed
Many thanks

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March 22, 2005 at 20:22:53

You will need a Windows ME boot diskette to get rid of that many files. Boot with the Windows ME startup diskette and at the A:\ prompt enter the following two commands.



The first changes the attributes of the folder to a normal folder. The second renames the folder to JUNK.

Now remove the diskette and boot into normal mode. Once in normal mode, open a MS-DOS window and enter the following command.


It should start deleting all the files. Now you can switch to doing something while the DOS window proceeds to delete all of the files that were in the restore folder. It will still take quite awhile, but it will be a lot faster than trying to do it from the DOS boot diskette, and you can still do some things with the computer while it is running.

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March 23, 2005 at 05:31:56

...Disable the system restore as you did. also in the msconfig (startup) disable the *StateMgr

restart the computer as it says...check don't show this again and ok...delete the files....go back and check the *StateMgr...don't restart...enable system restore then restart

if you just want do delete one file, and get the same results.......delete the "SRDISK.DAT" in the _restore folder...either the one on c:\, d:\, e:\, ect. depends how many partitions and drives you have

good luck

have you done the updates for the system restore?

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March 25, 2005 at 00:30:42

Hi Again

I tried following JackG's instructions and all I get from dos is the message Bad command or file name, but I've double checked everything and I'm definitely typing it in right

CrazyOne, I don't have srdisk.dat in the folder, but I do have srdiskid.dat. Are they the same thing?

MAny thanks for everyone' your help so far

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March 25, 2005 at 11:57:54


Sorry about that, indeed it's "srdiskid.dat". Was having a bad, make that a terrible day.

So follow the steps, disable restore, disable *StateMgr, restart and delete the files. Now the _restore directory (folder) is just a hidden folder. The folders within that folder, are system and hidden. Since I don't feel like giving the list and such. Just mark to show hidden and system in folder options, and they will show.

You can delete the files, in these folders, at this time. If that is what you wish to do.

But, as I said before, if you delete the srdiskid.dat {no typo}, the restore should clear itself, and restart anew. {when you first start the computer after this, you wll see a lot of HDD activity. That's it doing the cleaning, and refreshing. Might take awhile, be patient}

Do start the *StateMgr again, and also the system restore. Adjust the space it can use, to a lower setting. If, I repeat if you haven't done the updates for the restore, do them. After that, verify the space it uses, is as you want it.

Good Luck,

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March 26, 2005 at 03:45:25

Renaissance Man’s 2¢ Worth:

I disabled System Restore and PC Health a few years ago (with no problems since). Here’ why:
● They’re memory and space hogs. Your hard drive is always being accessed and nibbled to death. Both the _RESTORE folder and the PCHealth (sub-)folder(s) accumulate enormous amounts of data.
● Since it doesn’t always work when you need it (as you can see from numerous posts on this forum), it gives you a false sense of security.
● Although it is NOT the same as System Restore, you do have 5 backups (the default number) of your registry; use Scanregw /restore. Edit scanreg.ini to change the default.
● Those that seem to like it most are those who tweak WinME until it no longer works. If you don’t do foolish things, you are much less likely to need it.
● IMHO, once you tweak WinME to your liking and it’s fairly stable, the benefits of further tweaking, real or imagined, are far less than disabling System Restore and PC Health. One person reported that “After a clean install with no software, I was noticing a lot of nonsense going on: slowdowns, short pauses on the net, etc. I couldn’t take it; after disabling system restore my system was running perfectly again.”

I am NOT recommending that you disable System Restore and/or PC Heath! (Some claim it saved them from what would have otherwise been a disaster.) But, if you want to, here’s how:
● In Control Panel, System Properties, Performance Tab, File System Properties button, Troubleshooting Tab, check “Disable System Restore”.
● In Control Panel, Scheduled Tasks, disable or delete the PCHealth entry.
● Go to DOS using a StartUp Disk. At the prompt, type
deltree c:\_RESTORE.
Answer y at the prompt.
● Do NOT make a Dummy _RESTORE file; it keeps updates from installing and gives "Windows Could Not Upgrade the File %1 from %2" errors.
● In Start/Run, type msconfig, click on the Startup tab. Uncheck *StateMgr and PCHealth.
● After you reboot, you’ll see “You are using Selective Startup...”; Click on “Don’t show this dialogue again.”
● The _RESTORE folder can be created and it can fill up even with System Restore off. Just delete it-and you can do that from within Windows.

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March 26, 2005 at 17:04:50

You can also use the FIFO as well.

For the system restore. Doesnt this feature create a smaller folder?

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March 28, 2005 at 07:20:36


Yes, that would work I guess. BUt, it would have to be active/running/in use first. And also be functioning correctly {updates, ect.}

Don't receive any disruptive activity, by system restore here ;-) {and yes, it's fully functional}

Don't tweak, -- tweak, hmmm ;-)

Hmm, after a clean install, that sounds about right.

Throw the computer, out the window, door, as it doesn't work correctly, 100% of the time.


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March 31, 2005 at 09:59:35

Hi everyone

Thanks for all the advice I've been given.

CrazyOne - delieting srdiskid.dat seemed to do the trick, thanks.

I'm going to try system restore back on and seeing what happens, but I suspect i'll have to switch it right back off again. At least I know what to do now.

Many thanks again to everyone who's replied

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April 3, 2005 at 17:43:17

It's pretty easy on Windows ME. I haven't tried it on XP or others, but it might work the same way: create a bootable floppy thru Control Panel/Add-remove programs. Boot up with "minimal boot" from that floppy, then delete all the files you want. I created a .bat file to do a precise surgical strike at certain (thousand) files, which I can help you with if you want; not hard either: I did it in Excel using concatenate, etc.

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April 10, 2005 at 15:30:11

I removed the srdiskid.dat file and gained about (.17) gb of HD space. I generally keep system restore turned off except under rare circumstanses when installing a program or update I'm not sure about. I'll turn system restore on and create a restore point before installing. The rest of the time (99.99%), It's just taking up space. I would like to get it to a minimum.

Got any other improvements? and, what exactly did removing the srdiskid.dat clean? old restore point data when it rebuilt restore?

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