Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 07:55 am
I have a laptop that isn't that old. I do have a lot of stuff on it; pictures, programs, whatnot.

About 2 months ago, I cleaned my hard drive and took off 17Gb of crap. Old files, temporary files, programs I didn't want or didn't use. I just installed a new program (an AVCHD converter) and it isn't that big. It wouldn't work so I started investigating....I have only 1.78GB of free space.

How in the hell can I have used up 15GB in two months when I haven't done anything?

Any suggestions?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 3 • Views: 2,777 • Replies: 38
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DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 07:57 am
Step 1: make a backup....
Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 08:01 am
@DrewDad,
I am planning on taking everything of value off tonight and burning on disc. I have a feeling I am going to need to crash my puter and re-do it all.
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 08:11 am
@Bella Dea,
In that case:

Step 2: make a 2nd backup.
Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 08:12 am
@DrewDad,
Laughing

What could be the problem?

A virus?
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 08:33 am
@Bella Dea,
I have seen systems infected and then used as distribution points for movies and such. Haven't seen that much after the advent of peer-to-peer file sharing.

I'd search for folders using a lot of space.

"diruse" is a command-line tool that can tell you how much space each folder on your drive is using, but I think it's a separate download from the rest of Windows.
Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 08:40 am
@DrewDad,
Even if it just happened despite my not having loaded anything new on my computer?
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 08:44 am
Windows creates so much "junk" on its own, that it's hard to tell.

Update your antivirus, run a full scan. Next, run a couple of malware cleaners (spybot, ad aware).

Go to Windows Update and see if there are any security or critical updates available. (I suggest that you do not install hardware or driver updates from Windows Update.)

Finally, clean disk space and uninstall any unused programs.
0 Replies
 
Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 08:49 am
Will do tonight and update you on situation.
0 Replies
 
Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 09:44 am
Is there a way to "crash" my computer and bring it back to factory settings?

I have all the disks I need to put back the programs I want.

I am so tired of trying to fix this stupid ass computer.
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 10:01 am
@Bella Dea,
Most machines come with a recovery disk, which basically wipes the machine and restores it to factory condition.

If you no longer have the disk, you can probably download it from the manufacturer's website and burn your own copy.
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 10:14 am
@Bella Dea,
First thing is to delete all temporary files.
Windows isn't always good about deleting them so they can build up quickly just from visiting websites.

A couple of things that eat up space.
Your computer is doing back ups to itself.
You are running some kind of software that has restore points for the hard drive.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 10:40 am
Uninstall files from Windows Updates can take up a lot of space, too. Check under the Windows directory for folders that look like "$NTUninstall...." These can usually be deleted.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 01:42 pm
You should use a program like one of the following to discover where the disk use is occurring:

http://windirstat.info/

http://www.sixty-five.cc/sm/

And most of the recommendations given to you can be done through Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup all in one shot.
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 02:33 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:
And most of the recommendations given to you can be done through Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup all in one shot.

True, but it's not the Geek Way.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 02:35 pm
@Robert Gentel,
I downloaded No 1.

I now have a lovely 3D painting of my stuffed to the gunwales disk.

I am way too scared to touch anything.

I had a quick look at the Help files...but is there a place you can go to consult re what may safely be removed?

I have an external hard drive,and have moved a lot of non-crucial stuff there, but I had to move iTunes back to the main disk because my iphone (don't ask why, believe me) can only access it from there. This seems to have occupied ridiculous amounts of space...though I am burning and then culling a lot of music.

Would installing more memory help?

The external hard drive is huge, and practically empty, but this seems irrelevant to the main disk.


I clean regularly, btw.


FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 02:37 pm
You don't store pictures, movies, or music on your computer?
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 02:53 pm
@FreeDuck,
I store a few photos, but have culled pretty ferociously...anyhoo, they are in the external hard-drive.

As I said, I am forced to store music in the main drive, and this is clearly a problem.

I might possibly store films in the alternate drive...but I don't. I think storing one/them in the main drive would render it almost inoperable.
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 03:10 pm
@dlowan,
Yeah, I was going to say that music and movies eat my disk space the most. I have an iBook at home that is the designated iTunes machine, so we have a **** load of movies and music on it. I moved some of them onto an external drive, but I still have a bunch of kid movies on it that we use fairly regularly.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 04:22 pm
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:
I had a quick look at the Help files...but is there a place you can go to consult re what may safely be removed?


If it's in folders you don't know about you may not want to remove it. Those tools are helpful for finding out what is taking up the most space but don't help you decide what to get rid of.

The disc cleanup steps I posted above will get rid of most temp files, cache etc that you can easily get rid of, otherwise it's likely to be files (and in your case it sounds like music files) and programs. You would need to uninstall programs and/or remove files to get more space.

How big's the main hard drive? Hard drives are cheap these days, you may be able to put in a second internal one for all your files and just run Windows on the current hard drive.

Quote:
Would installing more memory help?


If by memory you mean RAM it won't help you with the hard drive space issues. Unless you have at least 50 GB on your main disc, you may just be running into basic limitations of the hard drive. With more multimedia content you really need more space (I need over 200GB for example as I have large site projects and lots of music).
 

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