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Free up your laptop's: hard drive space: windows XP restore points can take up a lot of hard drive space. Here's how to clear out old restore points and free up storage.

IF YOU'VE BEEN USING WINDOWS XP for a while, you might have noticed it's starting to hog hard drive space. The problem might be XP's System Restore option, a feature that lets you set a configuration (called a restore point) your system can "return to" if a system install or update goes awry. This is a handy feature--as long as you keep it under control.

You might have restore points dating back to the first day the machine was turned on. Keeping restore points from long ago doesn't make sense, and all that wasted disk space isn't appealing, especially on a laptop. You're probably better off deleting old restore points and creating a single fresh one.

Here's how:

1. Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Restore. Then select System Restore Settings (figure 1).

2. Check the "Turn off System Restore on all drives" box (this deletes the restore points).

3. Uncheck the box to reactivate System Restore for all system drives.

4. On the Welcome to System Restore menu, click on "Create a restore point".

5. Describe your preferred configuration in your Known OS load menu.

[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]

That's it!

Clicking on the Settings button lets you control how much disk space to reserve for restore point history (figure 2). In time, with System Restore enabled, XP will add more restore points. This isn't bad (it provides incremental restore points), but it's good to "clean house" by occasionally repeating this procedure. As with many computing tasks, you have to balance convenience and safety versus disk space consumed.

[FIGURE 2 OMITTED]

Be sure to note the disk space before and after this procedure. After you compare the two, you won't let many restore points accumulate!

MOBILE BUSINESS BENEFITS

The Windows XP System Restore option is a useful safety feature, but its restore points hog disk space. Here's how to manage restore points so they take up minimal disk space, yet still let you recover your system in the event of a problem.
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Author:O'Harra, Steven
Publication:Mobile Business Advisor
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2005
Words:333
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