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Drive C on Windows 7 Pro pc low on free space

Posted on 2014-11-15
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Running Windows 7 Pro on a Dell Optiplex 9600.  It's part of a small office peer-to-peer network.


Drive C is running out of room.  It is a SATA drive installed inside the pc.  I have run Cclenr tool, it deletes some files but the free disk space on drive C keeps gradually getting smaller.  There must be some logs or other files which could be deleted.  For example, backups are written to a usb drive.  What old backup logs might be lurking around if any?

What steps would you take to determine what files could be deleted and gain disk space?
I am not a computer expert.  I hope you will write detailed steps to find and remove files.

Thank you for your help.
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Question by:donpick
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17 Comments
 
LVL 97

Accepted Solution

by:
Experienced Member earned 500 total points
ID: 40445054
First, get Tree Size (Jam Software). Install it and run it. Look at the sort on the left side to see the biggest folders / files and the details on the right side to narrow it down.

Look in c:\users\username\appdata\local\temp and delete what you can in here.
Look in c:\windows\temp and delete what you can in here.

Now run Disk Cleanup (admin tools) and make sure you select Recycle Bin and Temporary files.

Do this and that gets rid of junk and will reduce your overall disk usage somewhat.

Next: Check if backups are running (Windows or Vendor). These things chew up disk space and only keep the most recent backup

Finally:  carve off older documents and store them somewhere else.

I do NOT use or recommend third party cleaning tools. Use Windows - it knows what it is doing.
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Rizzle
ID: 40445063
Delete your old system restore points and also use disk defragment to group your files together. Another thing to do is delete the hibernation files.
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LVL 13

Assisted Solution

by:Rizzle
Rizzle earned 500 total points
ID: 40445069
This website elaborates on how to delete the old hibernation file! (hiberfil.sys)

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/15140/what-is-hiberfil.sys-and-how-do-i-delete-it/
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LVL 97

Expert Comment

by:Experienced Member
ID: 40445072
In a machine with 4 GB of memory, the hibernation file may not be the major source of your disk usage. It is not on my machines.
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 40445141
You did not tell us what the actual size of C drive is. It is normL that C drive gets filled up during updates or vss snapshots (backups) but we need to know how much does it get used.
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 40445345
what i do to gain space, is the following :
-open add/remove programs in control panel, and uninstall all toolbars, + old, or not needed software
-move data to another drive (external or internal) - in most cases, pictures and videos can take up a lot of space -  you may do a search for *.jpg or *.mp3
-open disk manager, and check if there are partitions with free space left

***install a 2nd drive for copying the data is often very useful - also you my redirect my documents to it to gain space on drive #1
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 40445527
Besides running the cleanup tool thinkpads mentioned, also delete the contents of c:\windows\SoftwareDistribution\Downloads.

Backuplogs depend on what tool you used for backing up, so check with your tool...

Besides that, do you have a separate data partition, or is everything on c:\?

Make sure that in your system settings the size of your dump files is set to make minidumps, and not large dumps. Otherwise any BSOD event will create a huge dump file which takes up a lot of space.
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 40445607
also -  inspect your downloads folder, and delete what you don't need anymore
this goes also for mails, and data in my documents (often you have even more than 1 copy of the same)
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:web_tracker
ID: 40446114
The amount of time you invest in cleaning up your hard drive it would probably better to invest in a larger hard drive.... As your time is valuable or worth money.
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 40446679
you can also post the screnshot from disk manager, then we see the setup
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Author Comment

by:donpick
ID: 40451429
Hello Roshan Ejaz:   How do I remove old restore points?

Hello nobus:  I have attached files, I think the info you wanted is in one of them.
DiskManageMainPc.pdf
diskSpaceMainPC.pdf
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LVL 97

Expert Comment

by:Experienced Member
ID: 40451433
The files you posted don't provide adequate details on disk usage.

Get a copy of Tree Size as I suggested above and find out specifically what it taking the space.
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LVL 92

Assisted Solution

by:nobus
nobus earned 500 total points
ID: 40451705
since your C drive is a 160 Gb drive - can it be it is an SSD drive?
also - what is the reader partition used for?

amlso -post a screenshot of the C: disk expanded, so we see the folders

did you delete something yet? or uninstall programs?
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LVL 88

Assisted Solution

by:rindi
rindi earned 500 total points
ID: 40451793
Since you have several disks, you can uninstall software and install it to another disk. You can also make sure that the main pagefile isn't on C, but rather on another disk. Only leave a 256MB pagefile on C so that minidumps can be made.

Restore points are removed by right clicking on "Computer", selecting "Properties", "System Protection", "Configure", then selecting the disk and clicking on "Delete". You can also adjust the size of your system protection and create a new restore point there.

But first I suggest you do what thinkpads and I suggested in our first comments (disk cleanup wizard, delete contents of c:\windows\SoftwareDistribution\Downloads).
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Author Closing Comment

by:donpick
ID: 40454272
Thank you all for the suggestions.  I will be working on this pc about 2 weeks from now so I will assign points now.  If I have further questions I will post another question.  I pay for this service so I appreciate your detailed responses.
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 40454430
tx for feedback; and if you want us to join in your new Q, post the link here too
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LVL 97

Expert Comment

by:Experienced Member
ID: 40454704
@donpick  - Thanks for the update and I was happy to help.
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