Fastest Way to Delete a Really BIG file

Posted on 2006-03-28
Last Modified: 2010-04-13
I have a windows 2000 Server, SP 4 with an 80 gig hard drive.  There's very little free space left on the drive, about 100 megs.  One of the files  occupies 17 gig and I want to delete it.  I'm wondering what's the "fastest" way to delete the file.  In the past when I've tried something like this, the system has taken quite some time to delete the file, and CPU usage has gone to 100% during the delete process, sometimes as long as 20 minutes.  In the past when I've deleted a file like this, I've done it remotely, via an ftp client.

If I issued the delete order via the Windows Explorer GUI, or via the command prompt, would the delete occur faster?


Question by:sfjacobs
    LVL 43

    Accepted Solution

    Hold down shift while deleting from explorer or do a DEL command from the command prompt.  Depending upon what the file is it is possible that explorer and/or the antivirus program on your computer tries to scan the file when you highlight it in explorer -- I'd open the folder in explorer, select it once hold down shift and press the delete button on the keyboard myself...

    LVL 43

    Expert Comment

    by:Steve Knight
    (Holding down shift stops it moving to the recycle bin BTW)
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    In my experience the command prompt is the fastest way to delete the file.  However, this is based on perception only; I haven't conducted any tests to ensure my observations are correct.

    For reviewing a really full hard drive, I use explorerXP, which is a truly tiny download (.4MB) and install and allows me to graphically browse the hard drive while showing the _Folder_ sizes, so I know where my clogs are.

    LVL 2

    Expert Comment

    You could try booting into the recovery console and deleting from there that way you won't have explorer doing anything to the file
    LVL 43

    Expert Comment

    by:Steve Knight
    Thanks for the points & grade...


    Write Comment

    Please enter a first name

    Please enter a last name

    We will never share this with anyone.

    Featured Post

    How to improve team productivity

    Quip adds documents, spreadsheets, and tasklists to your Slack experience
    - Elevate ideas to Quip docs
    - Share Quip docs in Slack
    - Get notified of changes to your docs
    - Available on iOS/Android/Desktop/Web
    - Online/Offline

    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…
    Digital marketing agencies have encountered both the opportunities and difficulties that emerge from working with a wide-ranging organizations.
    Sending a Secure fax is easy with eFax Corporate ( First, Just open a new email message.  In the To field, type your recipient's fax number You can even send a secure international fax — just include t…
    Excel styles will make formatting consistent and let you apply and change formatting faster. In this tutorial, you'll learn how to use Excel's built-in styles, how to modify styles, and how to create your own. You'll also learn how to use your custo…

    737 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

    18 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now