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Vista error--You are running out of disk space on RECOVERY(D

by geralda / November 23, 2007 12:35 PM PST

I have a new Dell Laptop(7mo.old)with Vista Home Basic 6.0.6000
with the following specs:

Memory:1GB/ Hard Drive:120GB/ Intel Core Duo 2MB/ Vista PC Restore
MS Office/Word Home edition/Norton Antivirus/Adobe Acrobat 7/HP printer,copier,scanner,/Roxio DVD/RW

I have not stored music/videos/or pictures on the computer and only minimal text documents. I have never manually requested Recovery.

I have had nothing but trouble with the Vista but have managed to solve most until now.

Suddenly I started getting a popup which says: "You are running out of disk space on RECOVERY(D:)"-->Disk cleanup-->Cleanup files-->Recycle bin which shows only "normal.dotm=17KB(this I had to remove to make my Word program work but have been loath to delete because I don't know if I may need it in the future) and besides it says that "amount gained by deletion = 0KB.
I have read all of the threads on CNET concerning this but most are for XP and don't seem to apply. I am very loathe to tinker with the registry since I really know very little about computers. I would deeply appreciate any help(in simple specific language please).

Thank you. A senior novice

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You might post this in the Vista forum. . .
by Coryphaeus / November 23, 2007 11:16 PM PST
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(NT) Are you using Vista's backup feature?
by glb613 / November 24, 2007 12:27 AM PST
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I really don't know.
by geralda / November 24, 2007 7:48 AM PST

I am really computer naive and Vista has made it even worse. I assume that Vista's backup was being done automatically because after this error appeared I have gotten popups that say it is time for a backup but when I click on it this "running out of disk space in Recovery D:" comes up as above.

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For some reason
by glb613 / November 25, 2007 4:44 AM PST
In reply to: I really don't know.

Vista tries to use the recovery partition when using the backup program/utility. That partition shouldn't be used for anything but the recovery information.

I'd check out the D or recovery partition for anything that shouldn't be there. Be sure to change the drive/destination when using the backup.

BTW, never use a partition on the hard drive for your backup data. If the drive fails, all is lost.

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Thank you
by geralda / November 25, 2007 10:11 AM PST
In reply to: For some reason

Unfortunately,I have no understanding of "partition" or how it works. This has all happened spontaneously. I did not even know that anything was being backed up- I thought that I had to manually backup to a cd which I admit I have not done.

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Thank you, Glb13
by geralda / November 25, 2007 11:18 AM PST
In reply to: For some reason

Unfortunately, I don't understand anything about partitions or how to check the D drive "for anything that should not be there". I wouldn't know whether something should be there or not. I have not done any recovery since I have had the computer(7months).

To this point all of the backups were apparently done automatically and I knew nothing about them. A backup popup didn't start appearing until I got the Recovery Error. I don't even know how to do a backup manually to the hard drive. As I mentioned above,I thought I had to backup to a CD(none of this on my old Windows 98 that I know of).
Amazing how much this old brain of mine is having to learn just because of Vista.

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hi im running out of space on recovery r
by gary beeso / November 17, 2008 9:19 PM PST

i have a lap top its a vista program and a dell computer i don.t use it much at all and i know very little about them if you can help me out it would be great thank you for reading my report have a good day thanks gary

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What happens ...
by Kees Bakker / November 17, 2008 9:26 PM PST

if you do what Vista is asking you?

That is go to Computer, go to d:, right click and select disk cleanup.


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Gary, You'll Want to Read All The Posts In This Thread..
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / November 17, 2008 11:27 PM PST

You're seeing something that's fairly normal on Vista, (not good but normal), but it can be curtailed by following the various procedures in those posts.

Hope this helps.


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(NT) Well.....what does Dell Tech Support say ???
by VAPCMD / November 24, 2007 10:49 AM PST
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Thank you ,Rick
by geralda / November 25, 2007 10:43 AM PST
In reply to: Here is your solution

One of my big problems is that essentially everything I have on the computer was installed by Dell when I got the computer. So when things go wrong,I don't know whether to go to Dell,Microsoft or where.

I went to the site you mentioned and have copied down the instructions. Before I start, I have to find out how to act as "administrator". I got no instructions on this when I got the computer. I am the only one using it. Can you help me with this since I apparently have to sign as administrator before I can follow the instructions you have referred me to.

Second question is what size I should set the Maxsize for Recovery System?

Sorry to be such a dummy about all of this but my other OS was Windows 98 and I didn't have these kinds of problems(for at least 8 years)so all of this backup and recovery are new to me.

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One helpful tool you can use
by PudgyOne / November 25, 2007 11:12 AM PST
In reply to: Thank you ,Rick

Is the Dell Support Center

It can be downloaded here

Drivers and support can be found here

Type the service code and follow the instructions. The Dell Support Center will also tell you what the service code is.

Since you didn't provide the model number, you can find the manual to download at Dell's website.

Go to Microsoft and get all your Windows updates.

Download Java from here

Go here and download update checker and it will tell you what programs you have and which ones need updated. Be selective. The FREE ones download, the paid one do NOT. You may have to pay again if you download them.

As for the Recovery System size, Dell recommended 2GB. You may want it to be 3GB, if you can spare it.


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Thanks again, Rick
by geralda / November 25, 2007 11:29 AM PST

Thank you for all of the links. I am sure that they will be very helpful.The Dell Support Center comes up automatically when I go to IE but I find it very confusing to find information on(this site is much more newbie friendly,I find). I know my service code and model etc and I believe that Java automatically loaded from some other website I went to. I am not much for downloading programs(unless I must) but will keep your last link in mind.

I really appreciate all of the time you and the others have taken to help. Now I will try to do as you say.

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I saw that your
by PudgyOne / November 25, 2007 3:55 PM PST
In reply to: Thanks again, Rick

Adobe was out of date, so I figured your other programs, like Flash Player, Shockwave Player and Java may be also.

Good luck,


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Thank you for the advice
by geralda / November 26, 2007 7:34 AM PST
In reply to: I saw that your

BTW I went to the Dell site for correcting the Recovery D:
I was able to open the elevated command prompt ok:
My used shadow copy storage space is: 13.705 GB
allocated " " " " ": 14.165 GB
maximum " " " " ": 14.981 GB

but when I tried to change the Max Disk Space allocation for system recovery to 2GB I keep getting a notation: Invalid command.

I have repeated the command several times in different ways but still get the same error message.

Ispent the whole day today going through all of my computer. I find that when I was trying to read some CD's of pictures a friend sent to me, I apparently downloaded Corel Photoshop and there are thousands of KB's of pictures that just look like an arrow on a blank page. That may be where some of the memory has been taken up. I am not sure whether I can just delete all of them but when I tried on one of them I got the message: There is not enough disk space to carry out this operation.

I am getting more and more confused.

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From what you posted
by PudgyOne / November 26, 2007 10:24 AM PST

You said

My used shadow copy storage space is: 13.705 GB
allocated " " " " ": 14.165 GB
maximum " " " " ": 14.981 GB

I guess you'd want to make it 17GB, since the maximum is already set at 14.981GB


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So frustrated
by geralda / November 26, 2007 11:38 AM PST
In reply to: From what you posted

After giving up because I could not resize it to 2GB as the Dell instructions said I closed it down for the day. When I tried to go back to it again, I couldn't even get the first part because it asked me for "elevated administrator privilege". Finally I went to Dell chat which is difficult at best because I have only dialup service and he told me to start a new account which I did. I then could get the first part but not the second because I got the message:"a required option is missing" and the example said I should insert another drive like a CD drive. I am totally at a loss.

There have been 7 months of monthly backups? Do you think that if I deleted the earlier ones of these it would help solve the space problem?

I really feel that I am imposing on you but I deeply appreciate your help because you talk in standard English rather than computerese.

Thank you so much.

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I did read that
by PudgyOne / November 26, 2007 1:44 PM PST
In reply to: So frustrated

you can turn off System restore but...

you have a chance of losing something if, you need to go back. Mark sure your computer is running great before you do this. It's usually done when a virus is in the computer to remove it fully, so it's been done before.

Type in the cmd like before and maximum it to 17GB

Sound like a plan to me.


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Recovery Partition D Full
by Wattski / November 25, 2007 2:06 AM PST

I have the same problem with my desktop and the recovery partition D and in another forum I am getting some rather intricate but effective help with it. As you are a novice, here is what you can do.

All of the factory installed programs were slightly out of date by the time you received your computer and are being updated automatically when you sign on to the internet. The Windows operating software (Vista)is automatically allowing the updates to download to your recovery partition and filling up the allotted space on your D partition. This is a built-in function of Windows software. To stop this from happening anymore temporarily you can turn off Automatic Updates. Do you know how to do that?

You have plenty of RAM so I assume it is not affecting your computer's performance negatively except being somewhat slower (?). You can turn off the low disk space error message by doing the following procedure.
Take your time and don't be afraid. Computers these days are very forgiving and if you make a mistake you can use System Restore. This I found the easier way when I was learning to how to do things with it.

1. Click Start, Click Run, enter "regedit", click OK
2. Locate and click the following key in registry


3. On the Edit menu point to New and then click DWORD value
4. Type NoLowDiskSpaceChecks, and then press Enter
5. On the Edit menu, click Modify
6. Type 1, then click OK
7. Restart the computer

This will remove the Low Disk Space error message and will not harm you or your computer to do it.

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Devil's advocate question .... what happens when
by VAPCMD / November 25, 2007 3:41 AM PST

the Hidden/Recovery partition fills up ?????

Killing the disk space warning eliminates the 'annoying notice' but doesn't solve the problem .... just defers the inevitable.


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You didn't read my post
by PudgyOne / November 25, 2007 3:52 AM PST

Dell tells you how to resize the partition to 2 GB.


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I read your post...did you read my question?
by VAPCMD / November 25, 2007 5:38 AM PST

Unless it's set to a much larger size, it's going to fill up again and again and require the same action over and over . . isn't it ?

This looks like a continuing/perpetual problem to me that will
alarm the casual user requiring action they didn't have to deal with previous in operating systems. Easy to understand you're running out of disk space when you can see the disk but not so easy when you get notice about something that's filling up and you didn't know you even had it.

But don't misunderstand...I put together my systems from components and don't encounter some of the problems experienced by big box buyers. I'm just trying to look at the dilemma the same way as some users will view it.


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Dell must figure that
by PudgyOne / November 25, 2007 7:06 AM PST

the backup partition of 2 GB would be enough for expansion.


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Agree . . . but this issue goes beyond Dell, right ?
by VAPCMD / November 25, 2007 8:47 AM PST
In reply to: Dell must figure that

Suspect there will be many others asking the same questions the future.


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killing the low disk space message
by Wattski / November 25, 2007 10:45 AM PST

Yes, I realize that, VAPCMD. The person who asked is a novice. It is not going to hurt Geralda's system at all to do it.

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Not a problem here...just noting the possible impact across
by VAPCMD / November 25, 2007 11:13 AM PST

a wide spectrum of non-tech users. Lot of folks really just like to turn it on and go. Maintenance...what's that ?

Actually makes me wonder why I hadn't seen the type of post before.


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Thank you, Wattski
by geralda / November 25, 2007 11:07 AM PST

I hope I am not repeating myself--while typing an answer to you the page suddenly disappeared.

You are right that there have been 7-8 Windows updates since I got my computer. I didn't even know that they were happening until I got the message about the low disk space so I went exploring. Unfortunately they did not say to which disk they were making the updates. I asked them to notify me before automatically adding any more but all of them are labelled "important"(do the updates erase the old material that the new are replacing or do they just leave all of the old stuff on using up memory?)

Thank you for the interesting information which I will add to my gradually increasing computer knowledge. I think that I will try Rick's advice from Dell and see if that works(even if temporarily-Maybe MS will make an update that corrects it eventually--I am an optimist).

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Just one thought...the only reason Dell or Microsoft takes
by VAPCMD / November 25, 2007 11:46 AM PST
In reply to: Thank you, Wattski

action is because users report and push the to address such problems.
None of this makes sense to me and I've building, upgrading and repairing PCs for a good while. I decided to learn more to avoid unwanted surprises

Placing data in limited-sized, hidden partitions where users can't simply go in and delete what they don't want that generate cryptic warning messages is not user friendly way of addressing problems.

Just my 2 cents.


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you are right of course
by geralda / November 25, 2007 1:14 PM PST

I will try to find a place on the Dell and MS websites to address this complaint to.

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