Windows 10: Can I delete System Volume Information in D: drive manually?

Discus and support Can I delete System Volume Information in D: drive manually? in Windows 10 Support to solve the problem; I used to have the OS on D: Drive and at some point it got corrupted so instead of re formatting I installed another disk and installed the OS there... Discussion in 'Windows 10 Support' started by Sora, Apr 27, 2019.

  1. Sora Win User

    Can I delete System Volume Information in D: drive manually?


    I used to have the OS on D: Drive and at some point it got corrupted so instead of re formatting I installed another disk and installed the OS there and now I have another disk as C: and D: is my secondary hard drive ever since, but windows files remained there , ofcourse, I deleted windows files manually already but there's a folder there that contains I believe System REstore points, i can't access normally and can only access with Treesize free , the full path is System Volume Information\System Restore\Program Files\WindowsApps , and it contains a ton of app files I believe, (weird folders with names like OneNote, etc,), all dated from 2017, only one folder dated from 2018 and it was early 2018 and it weights around 2gb, and I cannot delete it, I have a ubuntu boot USB and I think I can delete from there but im not sure if its safe to do so, I already tried disabling system restore for the drive and wiping them from disk cleanup advanced options but it didn't help, the 2gb is still allocated to that folder and I cannot remove it from windows, not evne in safe mode.

    excuse me for any typos my native language is not english *Sad

    :)
     
  2. alljamin Win User

    Remove System Volume information folder from external drive

    I have currently found out that System Volume information folder on my external HDD takes around 124GB of space. Hence I decided to delete it to free up some additional space. But for now everything what I have tried did not succeeded.

    IMPORTANT:

    • External hard drive has 1TB capacity and was previously used for backups and creating restore images (not anymore).
    • It's connected via USB 3.0 port.
    • System protected files are displayed.
    • All operations are performed on the clean install of Windows 10 Pro x64.
    • Formatted in NTFS
    • I only have one 1TB drive so moving files to another drive will not be an option.

    So, what I have tried for now:

    All the instructions provided here, meaning:

    1. takeown /f "F:\System Volume information" /a /r /d y
    2. icacls "F:\System Volume information" /t /c /grant administrators:F System:F everyone:F
      ("Are you sure?") y
    3. rd /s /q "F:\System Volume information"

    This only helped me to delete one of the folders with a bunch of .db files in System Volume information folder. And I get Access denied as previously.

    What I also thought of is to create a separate partition on this drive and move all the files there then format the partition with System Volume information and merge partitions back. This did not work quite well as creating new partition also created a System Volume information folder. And it took quite a while to do the partitioning.

    I have gone though following posts:

    How to delete "System Volume Information" folder from external drives?

    How to delete a folder from external drives if names are too long (like System Volume Information/content...)?

    Any suggestions guys?

    NOTICE: I don't want to use third party software like Unlocker, Eraser or anything similar to these two. There should be a legit way to get rid of the files in Windows without third party software.
     
    alljamin, Apr 27, 2019
    #2
  3. spunk Win User
    spunk, Apr 27, 2019
    #3
  4. alljamin Win User

    Can I delete System Volume Information in D: drive manually?

    Remove System Volume information folder from external drive

    As I did not receive any other answers to my question and it is still open - I decided to provide my own answer.

    Here is the approach what does not involve installing any third party solution. The original solution can be found here.

    Here is the quick re-cap of the mentioned above solution:

    1. You need to TakeOwnership over the System Volume information folder. For doing so, you need to create TakeOwnership.reg file which can also be downloaded here.
      This is what goes inside the TakeOwnership.reg file:

      Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

      [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT*\shell\runas]
      @="Take Ownership"
      "NoWorkingDirectory"=""

      [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT*\shell\runas\command]
      @="cmd.exe /c takeown /f \"%1\" && icacls \"%1\" /grant administrators:F"
      "IsolatedCommand"="cmd.exe /c takeown /f \"%1\" && icacls \"%1\" /grant administrators:F"

      [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\runas]
      @="Take Ownership"
      "NoWorkingDirectory"=""

      [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\runas\command]
      @="cmd.exe /c takeown /f \"%1\" /r /d y && icacls \"%1\" /grant administrators:F /t"
      "IsolatedCommand"="cmd.exe /c takeown /f \"%1\" /r /d y && icacls \"%1\" /grant administrators:F /t"
    2. For the created TakeOwneship.reg file to take effect you need to run it, meaning just double-click on the newly created file.
    3. After Taking ownership (running the .reg file) you need to run following commands in command prompt (opened with Administrator privileges):
      1. Attrib -s -h -r "{drive}:\System Volume information" /S /D
      2. RD "{drive}:\System Volume information" /S

    Where {drive} is the letter what your external drive has.

    That all the steps what I have taken in order to be able to delete the System Volume Information folder from the external HDD. This worked fine for my machine Win 10 Pro x64 and I've got my extra 124GB.

    @Scott in his comments points out for a missing explanation for a more precise description of what exactly these commands do as well as proving why this method exactly works and other methods do not work.

    • Regarding to the meaning of the commands - I am not aware exactly what they do, I can only refer "primitively" that these shell commands help to take "full ownership" of this particular folder (more precise/technical description is welcome).
    • This method "works" better than others, because I was not able to find any other method what actually "work". And only following precisely these steps helped me to delete the folder in order to free up space on my external HDD.

    Hope this will help others who have similar issue.
     
    alljamin, Apr 27, 2019
    #4
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Can I delete System Volume Information in D: drive manually?

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