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NO DISK SPACE - WHAT CAN I DELETE?


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#1 starman999

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 07:30 PM

Hi! I'm using quite an old laptop, xp, sp3. The internal drive is just 10GB and now full. Just wondering how I can create some space.

I've only got a few programs installed, really just the basics for web surfing + emails, plus Microsoft Office, itunes (but the itunes music files are on another drive), no photos or movies. I know 10GB is small but I still don't see why I am out of space given that I have such a minimal setup.

I've just downloaded a free disk analyzer, which displays the size of all folders/files, but am not quite sure what to look for... I see that the Windows folder is 4.6GB, Documents and Settings: 3.6 GB, Program files: 1.6GB... Within the Windows folder the three biggest folders are system32, SoftwareDistribution and $hf_mig$, which are each about 1GB.

I've already used disk cleanup and compressed old files. I've also removed a load of uninstall files plus the whole contents of the i386 folder from the Windows folder. This helped a little, but not enough! I'm wondering if there's a more stuff I could clear. Please help!

Edited by starman999, 30 September 2010 - 07:34 PM.


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#2 cryptodan

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 07:33 PM

Please perform the following, so that we can get the exact specs of your computer. This will better assist us in helping you more.

Publish a Snapshot using Speccy

Please take caution when attaching a text file to your post if you cannot copy/paste the link to your post, you will need to edit it to make sure that your Windows Key is not present.

#3 starman999

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 08:20 PM

Here's the speccy link:

http://speccy.piriform.com/results/RmdAmO52YM46taW2mTmc7kh

Just to clarify: My internal drive is actually 59GB total. The computer is setup as a dual boot, partitioned into three. My internet partition (D) is 10GB and the other two are used solely for audio stuff with no internet access (I use this laptop mainly for running Cubase...)

Edited by starman999, 30 September 2010 - 08:20 PM.


#4 Gabrial

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 08:36 PM

That's the problem with using partitions to seperate your data instead of directories. You end up running out of space one one partition with plenty on another. It also can decrease system performance by making you hard drive have too seek all over the drive instead of keeping files located together that are mostly accessed together and increasing fragmentation on your system drive as the OS tries to find contiguous freespace.

I'd use a partition resizing too like the free Easeus Partition Manager to resize your partitions, creating enough space on your system drive to move the files from the other partitions onto it. Then I'd copy the data on your other drives into folders (directories) on your system drive. Once you have the data moved, then I'd use the partition tool to delete the now non-needed partitions and expand your system partition to use the full drive.

Windows by default will keep 2, and sometimes 3 or more copies of system files on the system partition for redundancy and security purposes. Running the same OS on 3 partitions means you are using much more space than is needed for these system files.

If you are concerned about some programs messing up other programs, you can use a program like Sandboxie to isolate the program from making any actual changes to the primary system. This makes any changes it makes only visible to itself. Or alernately you can use virtualization software like VMWare or Virtual Server to emulate another computer and run a OS from a virtual drive inside a container file, even one located on an external hard drive for instance.

Edited by Gabrial, 30 September 2010 - 08:42 PM.


#5 starman999

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 09:30 PM

Many thanks for the reply Gabrial.

Perhaps I should have said in my first post: I'm a professional musician and this laptop is principally used for music production purposes: recording my own and others' music. The reason for keeping my music software (multitrack midi/audio recording: Cubase) entirely separate is that this allows me to turn off all the xp bells and whistles in the 'music' partition that slow down performance. (I'm really pushing my audio use to the absolute max: a song will often use often 100+ simultaneous tracks with many plug ins, audio files being streamed from external drives etc., so I really do need to wring out every last bit of performance). Also, I can completely disable internet access in the music partition making it less likely any virus problems reach any music I'm working on.

A couple of specialist 'audio pc' builders both advised this arrangement as being the most appropriate for my needs and I do think I need to keep the partitions. In case anyone's interested, here's some more info about the sort of tweaks that were done in my 'music' partition:

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/sep06/arti...sician_0906.htm

However I would be interested in adjusting the size of the partitions if there proves to be no easy way of clearing, say, 2GB from my internet partition... but I suspect finding a heap of files I can easily delete would be the easiest option! :thumbsup:

What I want from my internet partition really is SO minimal... should I really need more than 10 GB I ask myself!

Edited by starman999, 30 September 2010 - 09:35 PM.


#6 Gabrial

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 09:39 PM

Here's an idea that could free up some space... find the partition with the highest freespace and relocate your pagefile to that drive. The data in this file doesn't need to survive a reboot as long as you don't "Hibernate" the system. Doing this and setting the pagefile to the same settings on each of your partitions will make your three OS installations share the same swap space on the drive for virtual memory.

Another way to perform these kinds of tweaks under one operating system would be to create different users on the system, then make all the registry modifications in HKEY_CURRENT_USER instead of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE. That way the registry setting only effects the currently logged in user. You could then have one user account for your music production and one for normal usage.

Edited by Gabrial, 30 September 2010 - 09:42 PM.


#7 cryptodan

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 09:54 PM

Before proceeding with any registry modifications it is very important to back up the registry in case you make a mistake. A wrongfully deleted registry item could make your laptop a paper weight. With that said please download the following: ERUNT and make a back up of your registry.

I would also highly recommend you get an external drive move your files to it, then get a much bigger internal drive like a 1Terabyte drive to store all your data and music on.

#8 starman999

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 09:59 PM

Here's an idea that could free up some space... find the partition with the highest freespace and relocate your pagefile to that drive. The data in this file doesn't need to survive a reboot as long as you don't "Hibernate" the system. Doing this and setting the pagefile to the same settings on each of your partitions will make your three OS installations share the same swap space on the drive for virtual memory.

Another way to perform these kinds of tweaks under one operating system would be to create different users on the system, then make all the registry modifications in HKEY_CURRENT_USER instead of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE. That way the registry setting only effects the currently logged in user. You could then have one user account for your music production and one for normal usage.


Many many thanks Gabrial, but you'll have to go slowly for me - although I researched to some degree the business of making music on pc when buying my laptop, I'm not at all an expert on computers and the partitioning was done for me by Phil Rees (acclaimed audio pc builder!) along with all sorts of other little tweaks that in his experience were judged to optimise music recording performance. I must confess I'm rather frightened by the whole thing and don't want to mess with anything that might affect the (by any standards) quite amazing performance I'm getting when running my music software.

I wonder if relocating page file could impact performance in anyway and how much space would doing this create? :thumbsup:

#9 starman999

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 10:07 PM

Before proceeding with any registry modifications it is very important to back up the registry in case you make a mistake. A wrongfully deleted registry item could make your laptop a paper weight. With that said please download the following: ERUNT and make a back up of your registry.

I would also highly recommend you get an external drive move your files to it, then get a much bigger internal drive like a 1Terabyte drive to store all your data and music on.


Thanks. I don't think I'll be doing anything involving the registry anytime soon as I just don't know what I'm doing there! I have two external drives for storage and streaming of audio files and, actually, loads of free space in my internal music partitions. I suppose I really should just resize my partitions but I was hoping there might be an easier way to give me bit of space on my 'internet' partition. I still wonder why on earth I need more than 10Gb for what is an extremely minimal setup. I wonder if there are all sorts of duplicate files in the Windows folder that could be deleted...

#10 Gabrial

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 10:17 PM

Duplicate files are there for a reason. Installing a poorly configured program, losing power to your machine, a software hicup, malware infection, or any kind of thing like that can end up corrupting a system file. The duplicate files are there so the system file protection program has a source to correct these problems. Not having them there will take you back to Windows 98 type setups, making your computer vulnerable to a host of problems and crashes from incompatible or corrupt system files trying work with each other.

As far as how much space you can save, click Start -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Command Prompt.

A black Command Prompt window will appear. Type the following into it and hit Enter:

dir /a c:\pagefile.sys

This is the default location for your pagefile. It should show the size of the file in bytes (2,147,483,648 would be two gigs).

While you are there, type the following:

dir /a c:\hiberfil.sys

If you see a file there with anything greater than 0 bytes then you have Hibernation enabled on your system. If you never use this feature (XP actually hides the Hibernate button in SP3 becuase it's not that useful with large amounts of RAM these days), you can immediately disable it and reclaim the space taken by this file:

1. Open the Windows Control Panel
2. Double-click Power Options
3. Click the Hibernate tab, de-select the 'Enable hibernate support' check box, and then click Apply.
4. Restart your computer and hiberfil.sys should be automatically deleted (this is not always the case - simply delete it if Windows didn't do it for you).
5. If you change your mind in the future and would like to use hibernation, go back to the Hibernate tab as described in the first three steps and check the box 'enable hibernation'.


Edited by Gabrial, 30 September 2010 - 10:28 PM.


#11 jcrowe

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 09:50 AM

You might benefit from using CCleaner. It will help you get rid of some files that you don't need, without you having to search all over the computer to find them.

#12 dc3

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 10:04 AM

You might benefit from using CCleaner. It will help you get rid of some files that you don't need, without you having to search all over the computer to find them.


The usefulness of cleaning the registry is highly overrated and can be dangerous. In most cases, using a cleaner to remove obsolete, invalid, and erroneous entries does not affect system performance but it can result in "unpredictable results". Unless you have a particular problem that requires a registry edit to correct it, I would suggest you leave the registry alone. Using registry cleaning tools unnecessarily or incorrectly could lead to disastrous effects on your operating system such as preventing it from ever starting again. For routine use, the benefits to your computer are negligible while the potential risks are great.

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#13 dc3

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 10:07 AM

starman999

There is an another advantage to having you music files on a separate partition. If XP becomes damaged to the point that you need to reinstall it you can do this without affecting the files in the separate partition.

Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 


#14 hamluis

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 10:10 AM

IMO...any suggestion to use CCleaner should probably be accompanied by a warning to not use all the settings, particularly those which involve using the registry cleaner function.

Using the registry cleaner may result in key system files being removed from the system, which can only create problems with the functioning of Windows.

Bleeping Computer DOES NOT recommend the use of registry cleaners/optimizers for several reasons:

Registry cleaners are extremely powerful applications that can damage the registry by using aggressive cleaning routines and cause your computer to become unbootable.

The Windows registry is a central repository (database) for storing configuration data, user settings and machine-dependent settings, and options for the operating system. It contains information and settings for all hardware, software, users, and preferences. Whenever a user makes changes to settings, file associations, system policies, or installed software, the changes are reflected and stored in this repository. The registry is a crucial component because it is where Windows "remembers" all this information, how it works together, how Windows boots the system and what files it uses when it does. The registry is also a vulnerable subsystem, in that relatively small changes done incorrectly can render the system inoperable. For a more detailed explanation, read Understanding The Registry.

Not all registry cleaners are created equal. There are a number of them available but they do not all work entirely the same way. Each vendor uses different criteria as to what constitutes a "bad entry". One cleaner may find entries on your system that will not cause problems when removed, another may not find the same entries, and still another may want to remove entries required for a program to work.

Not all registry cleaners create a backup of the registry before making changes. If the changes prevent the system from booting up, then there is no backup available to restore it in order to regain functionality. A backup of the registry is essential BEFORE making any changes to the registry.

Improperly removing registry entries can hamper malware disinfection and make the removal process more difficult if your computer becomes infected. For example, removing malware related registry entries before the infection is properly identified can contribute to system instability and even make the malware undetectable to removal tools.

The usefulness of cleaning the registry is highly overrated and can be dangerous. In most cases, using a cleaner to remove obsolete, invalid, and erroneous entries does not affect system performance but it can result in "unpredictable results".

Unless you have a particular problem that requires a registry edit to correct it, I would suggest you leave the registry alone. Using registry cleaning tools unnecessarily or incorrectly could lead to disastrous effects on your operating system such as preventing it from ever starting again.

Louis

#15 jcrowe

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 10:22 AM

Yes, CCleaner will clean the registry, but that is not why I recommended it.

Go to http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner and read it's intended purpose. A small portion of this program is for the registry, and the registry tools are separated from the everyday use of the program. The basic use is to clean unneeded files that are taking up space.

I stand by my post that CCleaner would be a good tool to use to clear out unwanted/unneeded files and regain some space. I will add that I agree with Louis, that the registry tools should be left alone unless you know what you are doing with them.




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