Delete and recreate NTFS USN journal for performance gains

article #1483, updated 3 days ago

The journal can get huge over time, slowing machines down a lot. Here’s how to delete it and recreate it for C:, in CMD. The process can cause interference and conflict with Windows internals and applications, though I have not seen this happen so far. On a machine that has been in use a while, it can help a whole lot.

fsutil usn deletejournal /n C: & fsutil usn createjournal C:

Here are quick pastes for D: and E:.

fsutil usn deletejournal /n D: & fsutil usn createjournal D:
fsutil usn deletejournal /n E: & fsutil usn createjournal E:

In 2012R2/8.1 and before, we must be more specific in the creation:

fsutil usn deletejournal /n C: & fsutil usn createjournal m=1000 a=100 C:
fsutil usn deletejournal /n D: & fsutil usn createjournal m=1000 a=100 D:
fsutil usn deletejournal /n E: & fsutil usn createjournal m=1000 a=100 E:

And here’s Powershell, to do it all for every drive letter in the system:

########################################
# Delete and Recreate NTFS USN Journal #
########################################

# This script iterates through all lettered NTFS drives in Windows, 
# and deletes and recreates the USN Journal of each one.
# Considerable performance gain results if the image has been running
# for a year or more.

# There are slightly different commands between some OS versions.
$OSVer = [System.Environment]::OSVersion.Version
If ($OSVer.Major -gt 10)
{
	"OS > 10. Create uses short command."
	$ShortCommand = $True
} ElseIf ($OSVer.Major -eq 10) {
	If ($OSVer.Build -le 14393)	{
		("OS is 10 build " + $OSVer.Build + ". " + "Create uses long command.")
		$ShortCommand = $False
	}
	Else {
		"OS is 10, build > 14393. Create uses short command."
		$ShortCommand = $True
	}
} ElseIf ($OSVer.Major -lt 10) {
	"OS < 10. Create uses long command."
	$ShortCommand = $False
}	

Get-CimInstance -Query "Select * FROM Win32_LogicalDisk WHERE DriveType=3" | ForEach-Object {
	$DriveID = $_.DeviceID

	If ($DriveID -match "[A-Z]")
	{
		"Deleting USN Journal on " + $DriveID + " ..."
		fsutil usn deletejournal /n $DriveID

		"Recreating USN Journal on " + $DriveID + " ..."
		if ($ShortCommand) {
			fsutil usn createjournal $DriveID
		}
		else {
			fsutil usn createjournal m=1000 a=100 $DriveID
		}
	}
}
# End Script

Reference:

docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/administration/windows-commands/fsutil-usn

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