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Windows XP's System Restore feature automatically creates Restore Points every 24 hours, in addition to any time that you make a major system configuration change or install new software.
In order to be able to perform its operations, System Restore claims a maximum of 12% of the available hard disk space to save the Restore Points. (Although you can alter that value from the System Restore tab in the System Properties dialog box, it's generally not a good idea.)
Once the 12% mark is reached, System Restore purges the oldest Restore Points in its database in order to make room for new ones. However, there may be situations in which you need or want to purge all the Restore Points in the database in order to free up disk space.
Follow these steps to purge Restore Points:
- Go to Start | All Programs | Accessories | System Tools | Disk Cleanup.
- Select the More Options tab in the Disk Cleanup dialog box.
- Click the Clean Up button in the System Restore panel.
- Press the Yes button when prompted to confirm the delete operation.
The Disk Cleanup utility will allow you to delete all Restore Points except for the most recent Restore Point.
Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.