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Cleaning Up Restore Points

The System Restore feature of Windows XP and Vista is great for backing up your system files, but one major drawback is that it uses a great deal of disk space. Saving a snapshot of your system before you install or uninstall software and the periodic or daily saves can use up to 15% of your total drive. Therefore when you're in the cleaning mode you may want to delete all but your most recent restore point. This can free up a considerable amount of disk space while still giving you the ability to restore your PC with the latest restore point if you run into problems.

If you're using Windows Vista you may also have additional backup features enabled, such as shadow copies and Windows Complete PC Backup. These features can also take up considerable space, which is cleaned up as well when removing your restore points.

For both XP and Vista, you can delete these old restore points from the Disk Cleanup tool that was discussed in the previous section. After the tool loads, select the More Options tab (see Figure 5), click the Clean up button under the System Restore section, and click Yes or Delete on the confirmation box.

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