How to Set System Restore Space Allotment

Whoever said you can’t go back in time clearly didn’t know about the System Restore feature. In System Restore, you can return your computer to a previous state in case of malfunction. The restore point may be set manually or an existing restore point may be used.

The System Restore feature backs up your registry, files in the Windows File Protection folder, local user profile, COM+ and WMI Databases, IIS Metabase and other specific file types. System Restore can also back up most drivers. With the System Restore feature, you have a fallback in case your system fails to work properly.

Note that System Restore does not affect email, documents, photos and other personal files. These files may only be restored if you have made backups prior to deletion.

However, System Restore has experienced some backlash because of the amount of space the feature occupies by default on the system drives. The default size is 12MB on each drive. However, using a registry tweak designed for Windows XP, you can change the size of the space System Restore occupies on the drive to suit your preference.

If you would rather not risk editing your registry, an alternative method is also available. Instructions will follow after the registry method.

Registry Method

  1. Click Start and go to Run. Enter regedit. Your registry editor will come up.
  2. Look for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE found at the upper left hand side. Expand the folder by clicking on the little cross.
  3. Now go to SOFTWARE. Expand the folder.
  4. Look for the Microsoft folder. Expand the Microsoft folder and go to Windows NT.
  5. Expand Windows NT and go to CurrentVersion.
  6. Expand CurrentVersion to get to SystemRestore.
  7. Now look at the right side of the registry editor. Check and see if DiskPercent is present. If the value is there, go on to step eight. If DiskPercent is not there, follow the instructions below to create it.
    • Right click on the right hand pane of the registry editor.
    • Select New and then select DWORD.
    • Rename the new DWORD value DiskPercent. You can also right click on the new DWORD value and select Rename.
  8. Double click on DiskPercent. A new box will pop up.
  9. Enter the percentage of the disk you would like to allot to System Restore. If you put in 20, that will be equal to 20%.
  10. Exit the registry and reboot.

If you would like to avoid the risks associated with registry editing, you can also use the method below to achieve the same results.

Non-Registry Method

  1. Right click My Computer.
  2. Go to Properties.
  3. Now go to the System Restore tab.
  4. Select the drive you want to make changes to.
  5. Use the Settings button to define the space you want System Restore to occupy.

You have now successfully allocated space for the System Restore feature.