How to Increase the Size of the Recovery Disk in Vista


The recovery disk on a computer running Windows Vista is the area of the hard drive that saves backup files and restore points. When you get a new copy of Windows Vista, it already has 15 percent of your computer’s hard drive allotted to the recovery disk. For some Vista users, that’s not enough space to save all the information that they need to restore their computer in the event of a malfunction. To increase the size of the recovery disk, you must use the command prompt.

  • Boot up your computer and click the "Start" button in the lower left corner of the screen.

  • Type “CMD” in the Start menu search box, and then press the Control, Shift and Enter keys at the same time to open the command prompt screen with elevated privileges. (If you don’t do this and only press "Enter," you may not be able to make the necessary changes when you get to the command prompt screen. You get a message that tells you that you don’t have the require privileges and have to start over.)

  • Type the following command into the prompt line on the command prompt menu:

    vssadmin resize shadowstorage /on=[the drive letter for your recovery disk]: /for=[the driver letter for your recovery disk]: /maxsize= [the size you want your recovery disk to be]

    For example, most recovery disks are assigned the letter D. If you want to increase the size to 5 GB, you would type this:

    vssadmin resize shadowstorage /on=d: /for=d: /maxsize=5GB

  • Press the "Enter" key. You know that you have been successful when you see the confirmation message in the command prompt screen.

Tips & Warnings

  • If keeping backup files is more important than having free space, you can set your recovery disk size to grow whenever you need space. To do this, type “unbounded” for the maxsize value. This gives your recovery disk unlimited space on your hard drive. It will increase until there is no more hard drive space to use.

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