Why does Windows Vista delete restore points every two days regardless of available space?

Derald Hausmann January 8, 2011
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My Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit laptop will make restore points according to task scheduler set up.

However, if I have, for instance 5 GB allocated on C:\, and 900 MB on D:\, like I do now, system restore will use it all with maybe two restore points then delete the whole works somewhere between 36 and 48 hours later. If restore points are made via downloads, Windows update, or manually by me, the usual space is taken so many can be made, but they still get dumped inside of 2 days.

There are no settings in task schedular that do this, so what’s happening? After 2 days if I don’t watch system restore, there are times when there are no restore points. I could run into trouble if I mess something up and can’t restore.

Thanks for any help in advance. Derald Hausmann

  1. Delboy58
    September 7, 2011 at 9:35 am

    This may be an old thread but was it ever properly resolved? I am getting exactly the same problem as Derald Hausmann on a Windows Vista 32 bit laptop. This only started recently and I have not made any changes to my system to account for it. I have a partitioned hard drive with a large amount of free pace on each - 110g or more. Vista always creatde restore points daily by default, a bit excessive maybe but that's the set up. Now my restore points seem to last a few days till I have two or three restore points saved then are suddenly deleted. I only noticed because my free disc space had gone up from 105g to 110g. Any ideas?

    • Aibek
      September 8, 2011 at 8:56 am

      If it's an old thread the best thing would be to formulate the questions again and post as new question on MakeUseOf Answers.

  2. Joe
    January 9, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Because it made by microsoft and they know everything except how to keep users happy.

  3. Anonymous
    January 9, 2011 at 8:32 am

    The restore points keep accumulating until the maximum allotted default space is filled. Once this maximum space is full, the restore points will begin to delete automatically as the next is created.

    Some third-party tools can can cause the deletion of restore points in Windows Vista. Like Perfect Disk, Diskeeper, ZoneAlarm, Reg Cleaners...If the third-party tool is allowed to runs at boot time without running in Windows Preinstallation Environment (PE) or some version of Windows Vista, any changes that the tool makes to the disk will cause Windows Vista, once started, to invalidate and thus delete the restore points. Why are the restore points deleted? Because if a tool makes a change to the volume without going through Volsnap.sys (the volume shadow copy driver), when Windows Vista is started, it detects that it doesn’t have an accurate representation of the changes to the volume and thus can’t accurately reconstitute older versions of the file for System Restore (or any other application).

    When you are in System Restore, make sure you check *Show Restore
    points older than 5 days *to see your older restore points

    By default, in Windows Vista, SystemRestore is set to delete restore points after roughly 4,294,967,295 seconds or 136 years, which was a mere 90 days in XP !

    But if you'd like to, you can also change this interval too. Change the value of RPLifeInterval in the same key; a setting of 7,776,000 seconds (or 76a700 in hexadecimal) is equivalent to 90 days.

    Now again, how frequently you'd like to have your SystemRestore points auto-created can also be configured as follows :
    Open regedit and go to
    You can change the value RPGlobalInterval from its default setting of 86,400 seconds (24 hours) to, say, 43200 (a8c0) if u want it created every 12 hrs.
    As and how your new restore points get created, the older ones get deleted due to the available space constraint, on a FIFO or "First In First Out" basis.

    To change the frequency of the System Restore Points formation, without using the Registry Editor, you can download CSRF Utility.

  4. Mike
    January 9, 2011 at 1:14 am

    First of all I would make sure that all required services are started automatically.
    - open up Services (either through search or run services.msc)
    - set the following services to start automatic
    Volume Shadow Copy
    Task Scheduler
    Windows Backup
    COM+ Event System
    Remote Procedure Call (RPC)

    Make sure there is no problem with the allocated space.
    - open an elevated command prompt (cmd.exe as administrator)
    - enter the following command without quotes "vssadmin list ShadowStorage"
    You will get an overview about used, allocated and maximum space for Shadow Copies.

    By the way, I would consider increasing the allocated storage in the first place.
    5GB doesn't seem to be much ~ for me Windows 7 uses 3GB for 2 storage points.

    Make sure no software or tool keeps deleting them!
    For example Disk Cleanup is able to delete them using specific parameters or the GUI.
    Also Diskeeper is known to cause problems or to delete them.

    Another thing might be if some software you are using disables the System Restore in order to run without problems. Whenever System Restore is disabled all restore points will be deleted!