Disk Space used XP

Posted on 2011-05-09
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have a case whose hard drive is warning low disk space.
Did a manual check on all folders and turns out the windows folder is 200Gb !
On checking size of each sub-folder there is no file / folder of this size ?
Have done usual disk cleanups in user folders.
Any idea's ?
Could a swap file cause this and if so how to check.
I have turned on hidden and system folder view.
Question by:Howardi
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LVL 17

Assisted Solution

pjam earned 999 total points
ID: 35722956
How often do you clean out your c:\windows\temp and D&S\username\Temp directories?
ATF Cleaner is a great program to use for cleaning temp files in XP.
You can get it free here:

This site tells you haow you can set maximum size for page file:

What percent do you have System Restore set on?  I recommend 3%.
LVL 125

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 501 total points
ID: 35723012
Remove all the $NtUninstallKBxxxxxx$ if not required from the C:\Windows directory/folder.
LVL 63

Expert Comment

by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 35723032
It may well be a system file doing this.
This utility is very useful for finding exactly where the space is being taken up.
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Expert Comment

by:Willy Van den Houten
ID: 35723041
Check for memory.dmp files, you should enable show hidden files and system files.

You can also use the program treesize to pinpoint the huge volume files

Expert Comment

by:Willy Van den Houten
ID: 35723047
memory.dmp files can be deleted
LVL 17

Accepted Solution

pjam earned 999 total points
ID: 35723070
To answer yone of your original questions, where is the pagefile.sys.  You must uncheck "Hide protected operating system files " in order to see it.  Should be at c:\pagefile.sys.
LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 35723477
Great suggestions so far.  

For XP windows folder could be about 5GB give or take, maybe 10 or 12GB if you've saved the undo for ServicePack 2 and 3 (those and all $NTUpdates prior to them, or as @hanccocka suggests all update undo files period) but yeah 200GB is way out of whack.

So yes do check how much % of disk space for system restore, how much for recycle bin, how much for browser cache, and how many different browsers, say if Safari, FireFox, Chrome were each also using huge % of disk over-and-above IE.

Sometimes spyware or malware create all kinds of files hiding in / pretending to be Temporary Internet Files or Temp, sometimes very very big indeed.  You've up-to-date Anti-Virus AND anti-malware/anti-spyware?  

Alternatively badly written programs might leave temp files behind without deleting them, but I'd RULE-OUT malware.

For sheer size, torrent or music ripping or temporary wav or CD burning image files might explain the huge space use (as might allowing 100% for browser temp or for system restore)

Did the folder where files you download from internet get accidentally changed from a user's documents or desktop to some folder under \windows?

Do you have many versions of Java installed?  That used to be a problem.  Uninstall all old versions, because old versions have security vulnerabilities that may be exploited, and why waste disk space on 10 different versions of Java.  After uninstalling, once you install version 6 update 25, you should find the updater properly removes previous version when updating going forward.
LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 35723506
Did you install Microsoft Search?  Google Desktop Search?
The index can be quite large, so if you have indexed 3 external drives that are 1TB each, it would be highly possible the index would be 100s of GBs.  Indexes are often 10%, plus or minus, depending if what is indexed is mostly text/documents or binary like movies photos or music.
LVL 93

Expert Comment

ID: 35726482
usuallly running a dskchk on the drive will correct it
LVL 66

Expert Comment

ID: 35759174
I'd be curious to see if it is the csc or the installer folder from treesize... That would be the best help you could give us to completely help you further...

Author Closing Comment

ID: 35779749
Deleted 200gb of tmp files out of windows folder

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