What can I delete from the system drive?

Posted on 2002-06-30
Last Modified: 2010-05-18
I have a multi drive system, with the C:\ drive being approximately 5 gigs, the D:\ drive being 80 gigs, the E:\ drive being 20 gigs, and the F:\ drive being 15 gigs.  This is due to two drives, the primary being a 40 gig drive, and the second being a 80 gig drive mainly for storage.  The main drive is partitioned in three parts, with the C: intended solely for the OS.  I never install programs to the C: drive.  All programs are installed to the E: drive, but every time I install something, it seems that the c: drive gets more added files. I have a very clean desktop, with shortcuts to storage folders on the D: drive for whatever may end up on my desktop to be stored within. I keep my recycle bin empty, clean out IE history and cache manually often, and go through the C: drive directory via file explorer often and delete what is obviously junk.  My management plan is to frequently back up the C: drive via an image so that I can always recover to within a few weeks if a disaster occurs.  It works great, but the C: drive is too large, and needs paring down.

When I first installed the OS, it was imagable within Norton Ghost to create an image of less than 600 mb that would fit on a CD rom.  However, it has now swelled to over 1.9 gigs, and I don't know what I can do to reduce the size of the drive.  I want to be able to back it up with an image that is of the smallest size possible so I can save the image to a CD.  What can I do to manage the C: partition?  What can I delete?  Is there anything I can do to move things from the C: drive elsewhere?  What system files can I remove?

I have a P4 with 256 mb ram, Windows 2k.  

What else do you need to know?

Question by:kencam
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • +1
LVL 44

Accepted Solution

CrazyOne earned 100 total points
ID: 7120058
Well my Winnt directory is 1.4 GB's. It is highly unadvisable to remove or move anything under this folder. Part of the reason %SystemRoot% grows in size is because the installation of service packs and updates. Also some programs still will dump files like dll's, ocx's ect in the %SystemRoot%. You can move the folders like this $NtUninstallQ252795$, $NtServicePackUninstall$ etc to another drive. These folders are related to the Service Packs, and updates. I would suggest deleting but just move them and open the registry to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\
and look for keys like this Q252795 and in the windowpane on the right change the drive letter for this UninstallString.

Also if you have not done so you can move the pagefile to another drive. MyComputer > Advanced > Performance Options > Changed and also you can manage how large this file is allowed to be.

The Crazy One
LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 7120063
Oops this
I would suggest deleting but just move them

Should read
I would suggest NOT deleting but just move them
LVL 63

Assisted Solution

SysExpert earned 100 total points
ID: 7120249
In additin move the temp, and Temp Internet files to a different drive.

A good utility to use for this is the MS TweakUI at

Thi wworks for NT as well as win9x.

I would also recommend using treesize or
 Treesize PRo from and analyze where the space is
     wasted.     you can download a full functional evaluation copy here and track  size by directory.

Also you can delete any *.avi and sound files, also unused help files.

I hope this helps !

LVL 63

Expert Comment

ID: 7120253
ALso you can get a good clean up util ( Cleansweep ) or others or download one from, that could help identify files that need to be deleted or moved.

You might also consider moving your profiles folder to a different drive, although this is still something that should be backed up !

the free util dupless will find duplicate files and then you can delete one of them.

I hope this helps !
LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 7120315
Yeah agree with SysExpert that you can move the Documents and Settings folder to another location but it still needs to be backed up at the same time as you do the C drive backup. You can also move the C:\Program Files\Common Files folder to another drive/partition however this folder would stiil need to be backed up as well when backing up the C drive. You could consider removing the C:\WINNT\system32\dllcache folder but this is highly unadvisable because it is part of the Windows File Protection scheme.

Actually there is not whole lot you can to with paring down the systems files and their dependent files. You might consider a DVD writer, which holds I think at least 2.5GB of space or use a hot swappable hard drive or USB drive to backup to.

Move or Rename the Documents and Settings Folder;en-us;Q236621

Description of the Windows 2000 Windows File Protection Feature (Q222193);en-us;Q222193
[Webinar] Disaster Recovery and Cloud Management

Learn from Unigma and CloudBerry industry veterans which providers are best for certain use cases and how to lower cloud costs, how to grow your Managed Services practice in IaaS clouds, and how to utilize public cloud for Disaster Recovery


Expert Comment

ID: 7120345
Also if the page file is on this drive you could move it to another drive.  To do this go start->settings->control panel->system. Go to the advanced tab and click on the performance options tab.  Then under virtual memory click change.  Here you can change the location of the pagefile if you have not done so already.
LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 7120355
Hmm I thought I mentioned moving the pagfile. :>)
LVL 63

Expert Comment

ID: 7120474
Other options.

1) Use NTbackup ( included with win2k ), to backup everything to a single file, and then use any good burner program, Nero etc, to write to CD-R's. Most support spanning files over more than 1 CDR.

Or you can use a splitter program do do it. Plenty of free ones a,

I hope this helps !

Expert Comment

ID: 7120589
Sorry crazy didn't see that you said that.


Expert Comment

ID: 8963752
---- CLEAN UP ----

No comment has been added lately (386 days), so it's time to clean up this TA.
I will leave a recommendation in the Cleanup topic area for this question:

RECOMMENDATION: [ Split points between CrazyOne http:#7120058 and SysExpert http:#7120249 ]

Please leave any comments here within the next seven days.


Rajiv Makhijani
EE Cleanup Volunteer

Featured Post

Comprehensive Backup Solutions for Microsoft

Acronis protects the complete Microsoft technology stack: Windows Server, Windows PC, laptop and Surface data; Microsoft business applications; Microsoft Hyper-V; Azure VMs; Microsoft Windows Server 2016; Microsoft Exchange 2016 and SQL Server 2016.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Suggested Solutions

NTFS file system has been developed by Microsoft that is widely used by Windows NT operating system and its advanced versions. It is the mostly used over FAT file system as it provides superior features like reliability, security, storage, efficienc…
Scenario: Your operations manager has discovered an anomaly in your security system. The business will start to suffer within 15 minutes if it is a major IT incident. What should she do? We have 6 recommendations for managing major incidents (https:…
Internet Business Fax to Email Made Easy - With eFax Corporate (, you'll receive a dedicated online fax number, which is used the same way as a typical analog fax number. You'll receive secure faxes in your email, fr…
Internet Business Fax to Email Made Easy - With  eFax Corporate (, you'll receive a dedicated online fax number, which is used the same way as a typical analog fax number. You'll receive secure faxes in your email, f…

911 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question

Need Help in Real-Time?

Connect with top rated Experts

23 Experts available now in Live!

Get 1:1 Help Now