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Each time your computer creates a system restore point, it saves the information on your hard drive and that just takes space to store the info. If this is what is happening, I believe you can set how much space to allow system restore to use.Just to clarify, when you say memory, you are talking about disk space on your hard drive, right?

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Go to control panel, then system and when you open up system, choose the system restore tab and then click settings and there should be a slider that lets you change the amount allowed. You should leave some space because system restore can be pretty handy sometimes.

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Okay, to be less confusing stop saying memory because that refers to how much RAM your PC has. Your CPU does not use up your hard drive space. If it is system restore points that are using the space then leaving your computer on will not make a difference.If you are worried about your PC you will have to be more specific about the problems or take it to a repair shop. If it were my PC the first thingI would do is wipe the hard drive and install XP Pro and forget Vista. Vista is a bloated piece of crap! Vista is basically XP with lots of nice graphical things and a load of new bugs and driver issues.Windows 7 is scheduled for sometime in 2009, meaning MS knows Vista is a flop and are going to skip over it just like they did with ME. Save yourself some headaches and dump Vista.

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The CPU (central processing unit) is a single component in your computer, your entire computer is not a CPU, it contains one (or more) CPUs. The CPU is the processor, e.g. a Pentium, Core 2 Duo, Athlon, whatever. That is the CPU, it's a little chip that sits in the middle of your motherboard with a giant fan on top of it. The motherboard is what everything else in the computer plugs into, the motherboard connects everything else (and includes some things that used to have to be separate; motherboards now include integrated audio, video, network, etc where those used to be their own separate cards). When you build a computer you get a case (the metal box), and attach the motherboard inside the case. You attach the CPU to the motherboard, and add the fan/heatsink to cool it. You get your RAM (memory), and attach that to the motherboard. Your CPU uses the high-speed memory to store temporary data. For permanent data, you use a lower-speed hard drive, which you also connect to the motherboard, in addition to things like DVD or CD drives, floppy drives (does anyone still have one?), better video or sound cards, more network cards, etc. Last, you need a power supply in the computer that you connect the power cable to, which plugs into everything else (the motherboard, hard drives, DVD drives, etc). The computer I have now requires 2 power connections to the motherboard, an extra power connection just for the CPU, one connection for a CD drive, one for a DVD drive, one power connection for each of 4 hard drives, and 2 extra power connections for the video card. So power plugs into everything else, but the motherboard will usually supply power to it's own parts. Memory doesn't need any extra power, it gets it from the motherboard.That being said, Windows does a lot of things that eat up hard drive space. Whenever you download a new service pack or update, Windows saves that original downloaded installation file, and it also saves undo information for each update applied. I just looked at a mail server the other day that was misbehaving and the main hard drive (where Windows is installed) had 64kb of free space left. I looked into the Windows folder and found over 600MB of files that I could safely remove to free up the extra space. It is important that you first understand what you are deleting and that it is truly not needed before you delete it. It helps to do a Google search for folder names and see what people are saying. If you look inside the Windows directory you can see a folder called SoftwareDistribution that has a folder in it called Download. If you do a Google search for softwaredistribution/download and read several of the first results you'll be able to understand what that folder is used for and if you need to keep it.To help identify where all your space is being taken up, use a utility like SpaceMonger:http://www.sixty-five.cc/sm/v1x.phpWhen you run that it will show you a "map" of your hard drive. For directories that are larger, they appear physically larger. A directory with 1GB in it will be 10 times larger on the screen than one with 100MB in it, so you can quickly see where all of your free space is going and, combined with Google, what you can remove safely. Don't just go around deleting files though, find out what is safe first.As far as performance goes, just having a full hard drive isn't going to reduce performance itself (unless it's your Windows drive, Windows needs a certain amount of free space to function, so try to have at least 1GB free on the Windows drive). If you have a 290GB drive, you can fill up 280GB of that and your computer won't be any slower then if you had 1GB used. The main difference is not space being taken up, but how it's used. If you don't know what disk fragmentation is, you will want to look into that. Imagine that you write 3 files to your disk that are each .5MB, or 500kb. Let's assume those three files are written sequentially on your disk, so on your actual hard drive there is a 1.5MB block for those three files, and they are written next to each other. Now assume you delete the middle file, so now you have a block with .5MB written, .5MB free, and .5MB written. Now assume you want to save a 1MB file. It will save the first .5MB into that hole created by deleting the second file, and it will save the second .5MB in the next free space it finds. If there's not one contiguous block big enough, then you might have parts of one file written to hundreds of places on your hard drive. That makes it slow to read that file, because your drive's read head has to jump all over the place to find all the pieces. It makes it slower to read and write. You can use a disk defragmentation utility to rearrange your entire hard drive so that all files are written in one long continous block instead of being broken up all over the place. That will help keep your disk read/write performance as high as possible. The best defrag utilty out is probably DiskKeeper.

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Vista's System Restore is hardcoded to use 15% of your windows drive to store System Restore points. A new one is created each day, thus taking up more space.To be honest, I've never heared of 290GBs HDDs (Hard Disk Drives)... I think you mean 320GBs - Windows (all versions) calculate space differently than HDD manufacturers. Anyway...15% out of 290GBs is 43,5GBs. Once you reach that, no more space will be taken. Instead, the old restore points will be deleted. If you want to turn System Restore off, on Vista, go to "Control Panel" and choose "System". On the left bar, choose "System Protection". The very first screen should be about System Restore. Uncheck the mark on your windows drive, and click Apply. A warning will appear saying restore points will be deleted and no new ones will be created. Just click "Turn System Restore Off".As far as the Vista vs. XP derby goes, I'm actually on Vista's side. It has some really neat things that I've always wished for in XP. One however has to have suffered to appreciate those things. I'm talking about things like file copying (e.g. when you copy a bunch of files and one of them turns out to be damaged, you can skip it), personal folders separation and modulatiry (e.g. Pictures, Music, Videos, and even Favorites and Desktop are all separate folders which you can configure to be on any location, like another HDD for example), language selection (Instead of having to (un)install a language pack to understand instructions written for only one Windows version, you can switch it), ability to remove Recycle Bin from desktop, startup manager (no user really likes msconfig), etc.The only stuff I read about Vista seem to make it appear like an expensive b***h - pretty, high requirements, not compatible with really old folk, unless the old folk themselves invest in her. Everyone seems to forget the good things, or they just haven't experienced them (because they heared about the RAM consumption thing). RAM is cheap, drivers for new hardware (2006+) that is not yet abandoned are present, and unless you want to use something really old (and are actually stuck with it), there's no real reason not to use Vista... actually, if the drive could be plugged in and recognized as "unknown drive", then you could (in theory) use a virtual machine to get it running. Of course if 90% of what you do is with that old thing, you should use XP, but not otherwise.

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there's no real reason not to use Vista
The main thing holding me back personally from using Vista on anything or recommending it at work is the content protection. In a sentence, it's not Microsoft's responsbility to police how I use my computer, it's my responsibility. As long as Vista is using resources to encrypt and decrypt content streams and check licenses and whatever else I'm not going to use it.
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justsomeguy,I hope I'm not butting in to a thread where my question doesn't belong. But this one brought up the topic of restore points. Awhile back I had a problem requiring me to re-install Windows XP Home. I had contacted Microsoft and they sent me the installation discs which supposedly contained everything that was originally installed on my PC based upon model/serial #. Not a bad price at $10.50 including shipping and handling. I hadn't gotten the discs when the unit was purchased because the re-install was supposedly already on the hard drive.Anyhoo, I have not been able to utilize any restore point since that time. In fact, I'm not sure they were there before the crash since I had not had occasion to use them.Is there some flag I haven't set hidden somewhere other than the properties boxes?Thanks for your suggestions. I've appreciated your explanation of the inner workings of the "box" about which I know so little.Jim

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I think you're confusing two different "features".System Restore is a way for Windows to keep track of system files, registry entries and system settings. Those files are vital for Windows to run, and if a program messes them up, it can become unbootable or start giving a certain error message constantly. When you use a restore point, your system files, registry and settings are restored as they were at that point.NO PERSONAL FILES ARE CHANGED WHEN SYSTEM RESTORE IS USED. This includes anything in the user folder (Pictures, Music, etc.).What you have done is a complete PC restore with a Windows Restore CD. This is equivalent to reinstalling your Windows with a normal installation CD, but also includes all software your computer's manufacturer originally included in your Windows installation. Various OEMs include different software of theirs, often to promote usage of their other products. For example, HP includes image editor to promote their printers and scanners. Vaio includes DVD recording utility to promote Sony's DVD players, PlayStation and other stuff.In other words, Windows restore CDs include Windows + more crap you won't really need because similar software is included in Windows. If not, a free one can often be easily found on the internet.To use System Restore (not Windows restore), in Vista you must go to the Control Panel > System (or right-click on My Computer and select Properties). On the left, choose "System Protection". On the window that appears, click the "System Restore" button. THAT is the place from which you use System Restore, as described earlier. Follow the on screen instructions from there. Happy registry messing.

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If you want to check the status of system restore, you can right-click on My Computer and select Properties, and there is a System Restore tab there with a few settings.
Thanks guys for the responses.I've gone to the system restore tab and have seen the calendar which shows the dates (bold) which indicate the points in time that the system can be restored to. Unfortunately when I have selected one of these points the computer goes through the girations including the reboot and then I get the message that "My system was not restored". That is what is frustrating me since I know one of the primary objectives of the restore function is to bail a person out that has difficulty when installing new software that didn't load properly. At least I have assumed that it acts as a safety valve for such occasions. Maybe my take on the concept is in error. Any hints?
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The main thing holding me back personally from using Vista on anything or recommending it at work is the content protection. In a sentence, it's not Microsoft's responsbility to police how I use my computer, it's my responsibility. As long as Vista is using resources to encrypt and decrypt content streams and check licenses and whatever else I'm not going to use it.
This is not likely to change in Windows 7. It is most likey going to get worse as developement is being overseen by the department of justice to ensure that MS complies with their anti-trust agreement. Strangly enough unbundling IE from the OS is one of the conditions of that agreement that was not been enforced as of yet. I wonder if they will refuse to approve Windows 7 if IE is not unbundled?http://news.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/06/23/1543228As per usual the slashdotters are theorizing about governement backdoors being built into the OS and the demise of MS when it is discivered. We could only wish.Anyways, like you I am not touching any version of Windows that has DRM. So it looks like XP is the last MS OS I will ever own. I have been trying to learn Linux and plan to convert my work PC to Linux and just keep an XP box for the few games I play. Who knows, I may give in and actually buy a console even after 13 years of sayign I will never buy another one. :)
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Yeah, there are a lot of people (on Slashdot anyway) who have a lot of bad things to say about XP, but I think it's a pretty sweet OS, all things considered. It's extremely stable for me, I don't have any security issues (and don't run any security software), program and driver compatibility is as high as it gets, I can reasonably customize it, etc. I would like to use a new version of Windows, I'm sure my 8800GTX would have fun with DirectX 10 and Aero, but I'm not going to as long as buying a new monitor might invalidate all of my media files. Crysis looks just fine in DirectX 9 and I'll stick with it.I tried years and years ago to install a version of Debian, but the hardware I was trying to install it on was all the left-over crap that I wasn't doing anything else with, so nothing really worked like it should have (e.g. no bootable CD drive - ever try to install Debian off floppies? don't). That pissed me off enough not to want to deal with Linux for a while, but I've bought one of the Asus EeePCs and I'm having fun with that. The default interface it comes with is pretty useless for a developer (good for everyone else though), but it was trivial to enable the "advanced" desktop mode that gave access to a lot more preinstalled software and since then I've gotten the package manager working and installed the entire suite of GNU developer tools (GCC, etc), which was really painless to do (as long as you have instructions, which eeeuser.com has a lot of). I also had the webcam up and working with Skype within a few minutes after taking the thing out of the box, so I'm glad to see that vendors are taking Linux seriously enough to offer the support for it that they are. I heard that there's an ATI video card coming out that will support Linux out of the box, with the Linux drivers and Windows drivers on the same CD. So I'm really happy to see all of that, hopefully the fact that Microsoft understands that people don't want their crap (if they do understand it) might spur them to remove some of it. There was a time when you had to buy Windows regardless of what it had in it because it was really the only alternative, that's not the case anymore. Now it's the only OS that includes the type of DRM that it does, and if it continues to lose market share then Microsoft is going to be forced to look at "features" like that as reasons why it's losing market share.

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Yeah, there are a lot of people (on Slashdot anyway) who have a lot of bad things to say about XP, but I think it's a pretty sweet OS, all things considered. It's extremely stable for me, I don't have any security issues (and don't run any security software), program and driver compatibility is as high as it gets, I can reasonably customize it, etc. I would like to use a new version of Windows, I'm sure my 8800GTX would have fun with DirectX 10 and Aero, but I'm not going to as long as buying a new monitor might invalidate all of my media files. Crysis looks just fine in DirectX 9 and I'll stick with it.I tried years and years ago to install a version of Debian, but the hardware I was trying to install it on was all the left-over crap that I wasn't doing anything else with, so nothing really worked like it should have (e.g. no bootable CD drive - ever try to install Debian off floppies? don't). That pissed me off enough not to want to deal with Linux for a while, but I've bought one of the Asus EeePCs and I'm having fun with that. The default interface it comes with is pretty useless for a developer (good for everyone else though), but it was trivial to enable the "advanced" desktop mode that gave access to a lot more preinstalled software and since then I've gotten the package manager working and installed the entire suite of GNU developer tools (GCC, etc), which was really painless to do (as long as you have instructions, which eeeuser.com has a lot of). I also had the webcam up and working with Skype within a few minutes after taking the thing out of the box, so I'm glad to see that vendors are taking Linux seriously enough to offer the support for it that they are. I heard that there's an ATI video card coming out that will support Linux out of the box, with the Linux drivers and Windows drivers on the same CD. So I'm really happy to see all of that, hopefully the fact that Microsoft understands that people don't want their crap (if they do understand it) might spur them to remove some of it. There was a time when you had to buy Windows regardless of what it had in it because it was really the only alternative, that's not the case anymore. Now it's the only OS that includes the type of DRM that it does, and if it continues to lose market share then Microsoft is going to be forced to look at "features" like that as reasons why it's losing market share.
I've been playing with Ubuntu and OpenBSD (I know that is actually UNIX not Linux :)) and like what I have seen so far. Currently I am using an older PC for the testing and neither seems to like my nVidia MX4000 card. If I decide to stick with Linux I may have to get an ATI card.
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Unfortunately when I have selected one of these points the computer goes through the girations including the reboot and then I get the message that "My system was not restored". That is what is frustrating me since I know one of the primary objectives of the restore function is to bail a person out that has difficulty when installing new software that didn't load properly.
If u cant get it to work and the problems bad enough u could make a backup of all your files then reinstall everythin.
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