Out of Space on C Drive, Lots of space on G.

Posted on 2004-09-22
Last Modified: 2010-04-03
I am a computer idiot. So... please answer in words I can understand?
I have 2 HD's. A 20 GB HD (C) which is full and an 80 GB HD (G) that has a lot of space. I am constantly running into warnings that say my hard drive is out of space. I have removed programs, moved programs to the G Drive. Moved files, deleted emails... and nothing solves the problem.
What can I do to utilize the hard drive space on G and get rid of the space issue? Should I just get a new Hard drive and reinstall all the programs? Should I copy the C Drive with Norton Ghost, get a new drive and restore files and XP etc onto that drive.
Question by:jmitch5407
LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:Jared Luker
ID: 12129792
Getting a new drive is the perminent answer.

You could get the new drive and use the software that it comes with to transfer the data from one drive to the other.  You could also use Ghost to transfer the data if you have it available to you.  

For now, you can try to delete all your temp files (c:\windows\temp), clean up your temporary internet files (tools -> internet options).  Make sure that you empty your recycle bin.  You can try to run the Disk cleanup wizard (go into my computer and right click on the c: drive and choose "disk cleanup"


Accepted Solution

Jeff Rodgers earned 500 total points
ID: 12129873
I would look at a variety of things depending upon your Operating System, quantity of ram etc.

Some of the constants would include moving your SWAP file from C: to the other hard drive (In XP right click My Computer, select properties, CLick the advanced Tab and Select Settings iunder the Perfomance category.  Select the Advanced tab and Change the location of the Virtual Memory to your G drive.

Other options (assuming XP of course ) would be to reduce the size of the system restore folder from the factory 12% to a more manageable 5% (For a 20 GB drive that is over 1 GB saved)

Delete all of your Temp Files.

Move your My Documents folder to the other drive (Right CLick MY Documents and select Properties, Move).

Uninstall unused or unneeded software and Windows components via the Add\Remove programs applet in control panel.

Move any backup folders or storage folders ( like Windows install files (an I386 directory)) to the other drive.

Hope these helps... Its late here and my mind is tired, I am sure to think of others...

Good Luck

LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Duncan Meyers
ID: 12129879

If you're an e-mail hoarder and you have a large mail file, you not only need to delete the mails you no longer want to keep, you then need to compact the mail file. Different mail clients do this in different ways. In MS Outlook, you right-click on the top level of your personal folders, select Properties, select Folder Size and click on Compact Now.

If you have iTunes or Musicmatch or WinAmp or whatever for MP3 files, try moving the My Music directory to your G: drive. Same goes for My Pictures if you have a digital camera and all your happy snaps are on your C: drive.

Try doing a search for all .MP3, .MPEG, .AVI., .JPG, .WMA - they're all media files and tend to be space hogs.  

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Expert Comment

ID: 12129923
If you want a new hard drive like jared_luker suggested, then you should get one of these:

Deskstar 200GB, 7200RPM, Internal ATA Ultra 100 Hard Drive $80

Western Digital Caviar SE 200GB / 7200 / 8MB / ATA-100 EIDE Hard Drive $90

Expert Comment

by:Jeff Rodgers
ID: 12130028
One more thing... move your email storage to your G drive....If you hoard email it can consume a large amount of space (especially attachments).  
How you move your email would depend upon what version of mail client you are using ( i.e. Outlook Express keeps mail in  *.dbx files , while Outlook uses *.pst files)... In either case you can move your mail storage to the other drive to save space.


Expert Comment

ID: 12130723
Before you spend money on new HD's, which is unneccessary since you do have a lot of unused space let's cover some basics.  Your HD usage and partition strategy should be based on your usage patterns.  Do you know what is filling up your HD?  Do you have lots of multimedia (pictures, music, video)?  These things typically take up a lot of space.  

In general, XP and your programs should fit fine on a 20GB HD.  It's the data (especially multimedia) that consumes much.  One notable exception would be programs like games, which also need a lot of space.

So, here's what I suggest:  Keep XP and it's programs on your C: drive.  If you have games, uninstall & then reinstall them into a G:\games directory.  Then, create multimedia directories in your G: drive (G:\video  G:\music  G:\pictures).  Next, copy your multimedia files to these new directories.  Once you have verified the transfer of all these you can delete them from C: and free up your space.  This would be a great start.

Also, sometimes the My Documents folder can grow on you.  This can be moved also to your G: drive to free up space.  And it's easy to do!  Check out:,1759,1566676,00.asp
LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 12130821
You can : first clean up your C drive to get more room there, and do as mentioned above
This can involve deleting in IE temp files; deleting temp files and folders from your system ( to find them, open Explorer, do a search for *.tmp)
Then, i would suggest you redirect the storage locations for most programs to the G: drive - you can choose or make any folder for this. Let's say you moved your My documents folder to the G drive, and it contains Word, and excel documents in the folders Word, and Excel respectively. You can redirect it when you open word, under tools >options you have a tab page File locations where you can choose the new directory.This procedure, you can repeat for most programs, though not excact the same.

Expert Comment

ID: 12130952
Cant you just change G and C around, swap them physically, then install windows again...#


Expert Comment

ID: 12130974
HI there,

Y dont you make ur G: as primary drive installing some O/s into it. That would solve a major problem. If you have any O/s installed into ur G: then boot from G: rather than from c:, its just a matter of changing the jumper of harddrives, and changing the positions of the IDE cabel.

As for time being,..Pls do delete all the temp files, temporary internet files, delete all cookies.

Go to control panel, add/remove programs and start uninstalling all the non-necessary files. I am sure there will be many programs, that you would have installed for onetime use, and would have left them in ur system for next use, so uninstall all those which are not necessary for you.

Hope this helps.
LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 12130991
I think you can still live with the current configuration.

what you have to do is the following:

1. divide your 80GB drive into two partition, using a utility like partition magic, by resizing the current partition to be let's around 40GB. and building a new partition in the space left.

2. copy data from the resized partition to the new partition.

3. copy the image of the 20GB to the 40GB partition you copied the data from. ( using GHOST or similar tool)

4. Make the 80GB master and 20GB slave.

5. you can new format your 20GB, and you c:\ is now twice the size than it was before....

6. you can now put your E-Mail, temp files etc, on the 20GB disk which is slave now.

Good luck,

Expert Comment

ID: 12131012
Clean up Drive C by transferring some of your larger files to Drive G.
Step 1: Identify which files are hogging your memory by doing a search of your hard drive for files in excess of a specific size (100 MB is a good start size). This will immediately uncover your culprits.
Step 2: Select the files that are not responsible for running/operating windows and transfer them to a location on Drive G.
Step 3: Once you have done this, verify that Drive C has had space liberated (click on my computer, click Drive C, right click and select properties to see the amount of space being used).
Step 4: Do a disk clean on Drive C.
Step 5: Reboot
After you have successfully done this, you can reinstall Windows on your G drive and enter the Bios (by hitting F1 as the computer is booting up). Once there, select drive G as the primary drive and you should be set to go. Details of doing this latter part can easily be found on this site.
Good luck.

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