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How do I safely remove 600GB file from System Volume information folder?

Posted on 2011-03-04
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have a 1.5TB volume on a Windows Server 2008 R2 system that has a 600GB file in its System Volume Information folder. This file is of the form:
FVE2.{GUID}

There are several other FVE2.* files but they are under 1MB. I searched for the GUID in the registry and found it in:
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\BackupRestore\FilesNotToBackup]
"FVE_Wipe"=\System Volume Information\FVE.{GUID}

It is not an exact match (FVE2 vs. FVE) but seems related. I searched the WWW for "FVE_Wipe" but could not find anything.

Shadow Copy is not (and has never been) enabled for any volumes on this system. Neither the GUI nor command line VSS tools (vssadmin list shadows, vssadmin list shadowstorage) report any shadow copies or associations. As a test, I enabled Shadow Copy on the volume and forced a snapshot. Then I deleted the snapshot and disabled Shadow Copy. I saw new files (with different names) appear and dissappear but the FVE2.* files were untouched.

We don't have any backup software installed on this server nor do we have the native Windows backup feature installed.

NOTE: The volume is encrypted with BitLocker.
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Question by:CMT Michigan
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Expert Comment

by:davorin
ID: 35045060
http://www.theeldergeek.com/system_volume_information_folder1.htm

System Volume information folder is used for storing system restore points/information.
You can do a purge of this folder by simply disabling system restore and re-enabling it again.
If your system is working without problems it is good to create manually a system restore point manually as soon as possible.
You can also set the size of disk size used for it.
There is also an option to get access to that folder and delete the items you presumably don't need, but previously mentioned option is "cleaner".

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Accepted Solution

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CMT Michigan earned 0 total points
ID: 35053340
This now appears to be related to the BitLocker encryption/decryption process, which was occurring at the time this file was discovered. When the process completed this file was removed.
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Author Closing Comment

by:CMT Michigan
ID: 35107021
I'm accepting my answer because I discovered additional information that explained the behavior. I did not award any points for this.
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Expert Comment

by:tommarsh
ID: 37798317
We have a similar situation with 2008 R2, but Bitlocker, VSS and System Restore have never (ever) been enabled on this system, and the drive in question is not a System drive. We're losing about 50gb out of 100gb to wasteful "system volume information" files, which are obviously a waste.

My question is this: I can't enable/disable System Restore (it is disabled by policy) and while I could pursue changing the policy, I'd prefer to know how to solve this problem without re-enabling arcane (and unwanted) portions of Windows which we intentionally shut-off.

Is their a method to cleanup this stuff? "Disk Cleanup" has been added per Microsoft's instructions, but doesn't "see" the naughty System Volume Information we need cleaned up, so it obviously doesn't delete it either.
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