What is filling up this hard drive?

Posted on 2010-01-03
Last Modified: 2012-05-08
8GB hard drive with only 741MB free space after deleting most major programs. Add/Remove Program window image is attached (Jeanette's Software) and the total space taken by programs therein comes no where near 8GB. What is filling up this hard drive? We do need Earthlink, Earthlink Email, MS Securty Essentials and MS Office. I have also used Ccleaner to clean the hard drive. WindowsXP Home Service Pack 3. How can I free up more space? Thank you.
Question by:Dave_Molinaro

    Author Comment

    Forgot to attach file of Add/Remove in initial question.
    LVL 35

    Accepted Solution

    Open the hard drive with Spacemonger ( or WinDirstat (
    This will give you a graphical representation of files and folder according to their size. If there is a hidden spaceeater (like a huge log file), you will immediately discover it. You will also see where it would be most effective to try and save space.
    LVL 9

    Expert Comment

    first unhide hidden folders.
    From the desktop screen click on Start, then Control Panel, followed by Panel Options.

    Click on the View Tab and check the radio button "show hidden files and folders" and press OK.

    You will now be able to see all of the hidden files and folders on your computer. You can right click on the hidden folder and uncheck the hidden box and apply the changes to unhide it.

    now under "my computer" go to c:\windows\temp
    delete everything in there.
    go to %temp% and delete everything in there also.
    ( c:\documents and settings\%USERNAME%\local settings\temp  )

    now to cleanup the IE cache.

    Using Internet Explorer as your browser, open up Internet Explorer 8

    Once open and completely loaded, click on the "Safety" menu at the top of the page.

    Check the box next to: "Temporary Internet Files and History"

    Click the "Delete" button.

    Wait for the computer to completely process this, and once it finished, you're courser should return and you can close out of the "Safety" menu and resume your activity.

    see what you get back then.
    LVL 95

    Assisted Solution

    by:Lee W, MVP
    Check the status of System Restore - System Control Panel - by default, it uses a significant % of the drive for creating backups of system files and stores them in c:\system volume information (a typically hidden folder).  You can get rid of the files (at the risk of easy recoverability) by disabling system restore.

    LVL 2

    Expert Comment

    Its all from the OS and the applicationsd, also the swap files. 8 GB hard disk is too small and difficult to make space, you should replace and get a bigger one.
    LVL 18

    Expert Comment

    by:Ravi Agrawal
    Agree with vadmin.

    Download jdisk report tool & it will show it you graphically.

    You will need java installed for it to work.


    Author Comment

    Ccleaner had removed most of the files you referenced.
    That Windirstat tool is amazing but, unfortunately, beyond my ability to manage its results. What files would one normally remove? I will check out Spacemonger.
    Went from 741MB free to 1.21GB free after disabling System Restore. Wow!
    I know that I am asking an awful lot from a very little HD
    I will check out jdisk
    Thank you all. It is amazing what you all know!
    LVL 35

    Expert Comment

    I already recommended two free programmes that represent file and folder sizes graphically. Why suggest another one that even may require a Java installation, if this thread is all about saving space?

    Please use Spacemonger over WinDirStat, it has a more striking representation. The purpose of using it is to show you directly whether there are a) one or more strikingly big single files that one could investigate about (ask Google or us), b) which folders take up most space among those that do not have an essential status.
    For instance: If your system is all set well and for good the way it is now, then you probably will not consider uninstalling what is installed. In this case, there are a couple of pretty large folders that you could empty/delete. These are:
    \windows\ServicePackFiles - you will not be able to uninstall SP3 or SP2 or whatever SP you manually installed
    \windows\$Ntuninstallxxxxxxxx$ - large amounts of files that let you uninstall each single windows update or hotfix
    \windows\Installer - all programmes that were installed via MSI, the MS installer, will no longer be uninstallable via 'Add/Remove Software'

    Also, if you have a folder 'C:\i386' this may be removed if you possess a separate Windows installation CD.

    It's up to you to decide what you need to keep and what not. Spacemonger will immediately let you see how much space might be saved.
    LVL 35

    Expert Comment

    You might consider 'outsourcing' those files to a USB thumbdrive. That is of course much better than a deletion, just in case.
    LVL 18

    Expert Comment

    by:Ravi Agrawal

    sorry posted in haste. Later say your links.


    Author Closing Comment

    Great advice! l learned a lot from these experts. On this tiny hard drive I now have in excess of 2GB free. Thanks so much.

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