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Windows XP -- Hard Drive Full

Posted on 2014-03-22
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Last Modified: 2014-03-22
My Windows XP has 69 GB of space. I have been watching the amount of free space since it hit 3 GB.  Something happened recently, and the free space dropped to 300 MB.  I have been uninstalling programs, but not making much progress.  I cleaned out the C:\windows\servicepackfiles\i386 folder per instruction I found on the web.  It was 500 MB.  After deleting the files in that folder, my free space increased by 100 MB???

Program files folder is 1 GB, Documents and settings is 1.65 GB, Windows is 2.8 GB.

How can the hard drive be full?

In the Windows folder I have a lot of $NtUninstallKB.....  files.  Can I erase them?
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Question by:rrhandle8
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16 Comments
 
LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:Sivaraj E
ID: 39947540
Can you check the page file size  on you C Drive, is it managed by system and you set it to something ?

On folder options please UN-select the hide system files, it is not recommended but you roll this back to previous once you verified it.

Regards, Shiva
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LVL 63

Expert Comment

by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 39947564
If you've been watching since the free space got to 3GB you probably know what everything is but you may still find a utility to list what folders have all  the bytes useful.  This one is both free and simple to use https://www.jam-software.com/treesize_free/ & might help you track down your current mystery.

The  $NtUninstallKB files are uninstallers for Windows updates that you've either intentionally or automatically installed.  They can be deleted but of course you won't then be able to uninstall the associated KB so I wouldn't touch the newer ones but the established ones could be disposed of if needed.

I'm assuming you've already played with the built-in Disk Cleanup tool in Windows Explorer to recommend you other candidates for deletion.

With USB storage devices of 120GB or greater commonly available might it be time to look at either cloud storage or off loading that data you don't need regularly?
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Author Comment

by:rrhandle8
ID: 39947566
Paging file for all drives is 4068 MB.
I have two drives same size.
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 39947569
First of all, XP support will end next month, you should really replace it with a current OS ASAP. There is no point in staying with something that old, besides, it'll become even less secure than XP already is very fast after support has ended. A very good alternative, that will run faster on the same hardware than XP did, would be Windows 7. If you don't want to invest money for a new OS, install a Linux distribution, most of them are free, and they are usually very easy to use and very complete in features and software. I can particularly recommend Zorin OS, Linux Mint with the Mate Desktop, or Korora. Check the distrowatch site for those and other distros:

http://distrowatch.com

For XP, checkout "system protection", you might have many restore points. Also check your antivirus utility, some of them keep huge backups.

the $NT***** files you can delete, they are backups of files that have been updated by Windowsupdates. You can also delete the contents of the C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Downloads folder, it contains the files downloaded by Windowsupdates.
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Author Comment

by:rrhandle8
ID: 39947575
MASQ, I tried WinDirStat last night, but not sure what I should erase.
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Author Comment

by:rrhandle8
ID: 39947576
I will post WinDirStat image.  Rerunning it now.
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Author Comment

by:rrhandle8
ID: 39947580
WinDirStat results --> http://screencast.com/t/Ujsphvu4U
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Author Comment

by:rrhandle8
ID: 39947583
Thanks for the advise to upgrade, but I already have Windows 7 and Windows 8 computers.  Trying to keep this Windows XP a live due to old client work.
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LVL 63

Accepted Solution

by:
☠ MASQ ☠ earned 2000 total points
ID: 39947584
Seriously?  34GB of .txt files?  Where are they?
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:magarity
ID: 39947588
Deleted files go in the recycle bin folder but aren't actually removed and the space cleared up until you empty that. Have you right clicked the recycle bin and selected empty it?
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Author Comment

by:rrhandle8
ID: 39947592
Deleted $NT***** files and and contents of C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Downloads .
No noticeable difference
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Author Comment

by:rrhandle8
ID: 39947597
MASQ, I did not see that last night, but then I was frustrated and tired.  Yes, something is not right there.  Don't know how to find them.  Trying to figure it out.
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Santosh Gupta
ID: 39947599
Hi,

Please use treesize as suggested by MASQ.

Also check if you have profile created by service, check and deleted temp file of that profile, if any.
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Author Comment

by:rrhandle8
ID: 39947601
MASQ,
They are .NET framework files.  I assume I can delete them?

C:\WINDOWS\system32\config\systemprofile\Local Settings\Temp\Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0-KB2833940_20131111_154219828-Msi0.txt
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Santosh Gupta
ID: 39947605
you can delete all files under Temp folder.
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LVL 63

Expert Comment

by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 39947619
In WinDirStat if you click on the top right pane on the color representing .txt files it will highlight them all on the graphic at the bottom of the screen, you can then either mouse over them to see the path or left click to place them in the left pane (you can delete from the left pane directly).
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