C drive full and slow. Using XP

Posted on 2007-10-20
Last Modified: 2010-04-03
I am using xp and when I do a defrag I notice only 15% space left on my C drive. I have eliminated what I can see. What procedure can I use to clean useless old files from my C drive. All storage is done on my E drive which has 50% space left. I use C only for the operating system and some program files. It is 20gb of which 85% is in use.
Question by:ji2000s

    Accepted Solution


    Two things.  First thing is to go to the start menu and hit the run command.  then type in cleanmgr .  It will than compress files and show you which files it recommends getting rid of.  put check marks next to those files and hit next.  It will than compress the files further and should eliminate some space.  If you use outlook express, you can actually go to settings there as well and compress your files.  

    Another good tool which is free is ccleaner.  You can download this at

    Hope this helps

    Author Comment

    Not the solution. I need a program that will assist with finding and removing all files I do not need on the C drive as I use C only for XP and some program files. I need to find old hidden files and remove as many as possible.

    Author Comment

    My drive seems like it is going to fail if I do not remove some files. I just need to ID files that can be removed without interrupting any programs , of DLLs needed.

    Expert Comment

    Have you tried Tuneup Utilities?  That is decent software as well and has a free trial.  It will find orphaned files that aren't used anymore
    LVL 23

    Assisted Solution

    by:Alan Henderson
    I'm not aware of any program that will do exactly what you want.
    Norton Utilities (part of SystemWorks) comes close.

    You can do a search of all files in Windows Explorer using *.* as the search value and choose a file size of (say) over 10MB.
    Then list them in order of size.
    But you need to be able to identify redundant files yourself.

    This will find duplicates:

    And I agree with jabramsja regarding cCleaner. It's an excellent tool and will free up some space but it won't identify redundant dlls as far as I'm aware.

    You could also move your virtual memory (swap file) and your temporary internet files to another drive.

    The best way of fixing your problem is to reinstall Windows.
    LVL 70

    Assisted Solution

    I assume when you say you've "... eliminated what I can..." that you deleted all of the files in Windows/Temp and all of the old Windows Update files (set Windows Explorer to show hidden files; then look in Windows and you'll see a bunch of files like "$NtUninstallK..." => these can be safely deleted).

    I would also install Treesize to see what's using the space ... this will often identify something you weren't aware of (perhaps you have a program that's keeping its data on C: ==> for example, is your mail client configured to keep its mail storage on E: ??)

    Finally ... are C: and E: physically different drives ... or are these partitions on the same physical drive?   If they are partitions on the same drive, you can easily resolve this by:  (a)  resizing E: about 10GB smaller; (b) "sliding" E: to put the free space next to C:; and (c) resizing C:    For details on how to do this see my comments in this post:

    Expert Comment

    vallis.  It will not identify redundant dll's.  I agree with you on the norton systemworks It has a lot of nice features.  I just don't like the bloatware.

    LVL 91

    Assisted Solution

    Sinc eyou have free space on your other drive, i would recommend :
    -copy your documents to the disk with the free space
    -from add remove programs, uninstall all programs not needed anymore
    -run a disk check on your drive
    -defragment it
    reboot and test
    LVL 15

    Assisted Solution

    Windirstat will show you what's taking up all the space. It's free.

    BootitNG will let you do a resize, taking free space from E and adding it to C. You just need the free version.

    Also if you have a huge memory dump you can safely remove it.

    If you turn off hibernation you can save a lot of space used up by hiberfil.sys
    LVL 95

    Assisted Solution

    by:Lee W, MVP
    I wrote this for server, but if it can apply for XP, it does.  (Meaning Exchange doesn't run on XP, so that won't apply, but the DLLCache does apply to XP and like the article says, it can be moved).

    And of course, the big question is, what's using the space now?  don't tell us generically, "just programs and OS" be specific - what is using it and how much is using it.  Do you have many pictures, mp3s, Videos?  What?  The article talks about a tool you can use to help determine this.

    And the computer isn't going to die with only 15% of available space.  My laptop only has about 1-3 GB available on a 30 GB C: partition and it runs just fine.
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    Forced accept.

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