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Unable to free enough disk space for defrag


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jessicas430 jessicas430 is offline
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08-Jul-2008, 02:07 AM #1
Unhappy Unable to free enough disk space for defrag
Hello, I'm a first-time poster and nearly computer illiterate-- but I'm learning.

I am using a Windows XP Pro on a Dell Inspiron 5100. My laptop is running pretty slow--especially on start-up, but more importantly, I have very little free disk space. I keep getting a little pop-up telling me I have X amount (under 200MB) of free disk space. So, I run disk clean-up, which helps a little. I finally decided it's time to try to run the disk defragmenter (it's been a long time since I have), but I need to free up 15% of my hard drive to run it.

I've deleted all the programs I'm comfortable deleting, I've deleted temporary files, lowered the percentage of space used for system restore, lowered the percentage of space used for temporary files, and I still only have 1% of free space. I've try to do some research, but everyone just says to run the defrag tool to free up space, no one says what to do if you can't run the tool.

Somewhere on this site, I found some free defrag downloads, but they haven't worked. For instance, DefragNT. I waited for 40 minutes while it analyzed disk C, and when it finished, it mysteriously closed. I waited another 40 minutes while it analyzed again, and then it froze after I tried to start defragmenting. I tried two different things from "Uniblue"; one was called "Registry Booster", and I can't remember the other one. They just "analyzed" also.

There is another issue which may be affecting my free space, I'm not sure. When I start up, there are two versions of Windows and I am given 25 seconds to choose one. Only the first one works. I am told this is a "partition" issue...I only sort of understand what this means...but, I read somewhere that this might be taking up space. I can't remember where, but I found instructions for deleting the unused partition-- but they didn't work. There was a button that should have been highlighted but wasn't, so I couldn't complete the task.

Sorry for the book I've written here, I hope you can help.

Thanks.
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08-Jul-2008, 02:48 AM #2
Well, if you have lot of music or pictures or videos, try burning some of them onto a DVD, if possible, if not try a USB Flash drive, even the 8 GB disks don't cost very much today. The main problem, however quite surely is the another, broken Windows installment, which propably has occupied quite a slice of your hard drive, and propably messed up that partition. Do you see other local drives than C: in My computer screen? If so, try out if you can move some files there, and if you have any installers or install dics for some programs, try installing them to the other drive. Ask if you are unsure how to do that, I won't explain it specificially right now. If the other partition is unaccessible, you will have to format your hard drive, delete that partition and install Windows again.
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08-Jul-2008, 02:51 AM #3
You must be logged on as an administrator or a member of the Administrators group in order to complete this procedure. If your computer is connected to a network, network policy settings might also prevent you from completing this procedure.
  1. Open My Computer.
  2. Right-click the drive you want to compress.
  3. Click Properties.
  4. On the General tab, select the Compress drive to save disk space check box, and then click OK.
  5. In Confirm Attribute Changes, select the option you want
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08-Jul-2008, 02:53 AM #4
Well, that's a way to think of it too. I wouldn't trust that enough to free as much as 10-14 % space. Of course it could work.
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08-Jul-2008, 04:23 AM #5
We'll see...
To Epsonone-

In the process of trying your suggestion, hopefully it will help enough to run defrag...will let you know...

To BG-0-

My original plan was to reformat but I couldn't get my computer to boot from the disk. I went into BIOS and made booting from cd-drive the first choice, but...no dice. So, I figured I'd try other ways to make this thing run faster.

Thank you both for your help!
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08-Jul-2008, 04:28 AM #6
By the way
To BG-0-

Also, I forgot to mention that the only drives that show up under "my computer" are the local "C" drive & the DVD/CD-RW "D" drive.

Thanks again!
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08-Jul-2008, 04:43 AM #7
There are some other tools for formatting your HD, but I can't recall any right now. One way would be to insert the hard drive to another computer and just format it through Windows' tools. Have you any information to give about your computer? Hard drive capacity, in My computer and the physical capacity? Any information makes it easier to solve this. But, just try out what you want, and then post some results. Good luck!
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08-Jul-2008, 06:36 PM #8
So close!
I finished trying Epsonone's suggestion, and it did free up quite a bit of space--I'm up to 13%, 2% more and I can run the defrag tool. Suggestions anyone?

Regarding BG-0's questions, I'm not sure where to find the information you're asking for...under "my computer", I found 512MB RAM. I don't know what RAM is-- physical capacity or hard drive capacity? (Like I said, nearly computer illiterate.)

Thanks!
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08-Jul-2008, 07:01 PM #9
When you ran Disk Cleanup, did you also cleanup up old System Restore Points? See here: http://bertk.mvps.org/html/diskclean.html Since you lowered the amount of space allocated for System Restore it may not give you back much space but worth a shot.

Also run CCleaner: http://www.ccleaner.com/
It will do a better job then Disk Cleanup in most cases. Note that by default not all the options are checked, but if you do check them it will free up more space by removing optional files from teh drives such as old Hotfix/Update files that generally aren't needed anymore. Here's a guide to the program: http://www.ccleanerbeginnersguide.com/

Here's a good and free defrag utility: http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/...agmenter.shtml

And here's something to improve boot up time: http://www.tek-tips.com/faqs.cfm?fid=4518

But if you are constantly running low on hard drive space you may want to consider buying a larger or secondary hard drive, either internal or external to store some of your files.
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08-Jul-2008, 07:02 PM #10
Just keep in mind, if you compress your files, the performance will be noticeably decreased. This is because every time the computer needs to save or access any file at all, including all the OS and Program files, they need to be uncompressed or uncompressed.
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08-Jul-2008, 09:31 PM #11
To Bob
What do you suggest?

Thanks.
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08-Jul-2008, 10:13 PM #12
For starters, see what you can remove that you don't need.

Good places to begin are each user's temp directory, Internet Cache, and old Windows Update files.

I also like to use a program called TreeSize to sort directories by size. This way you can better see where else you can remove unneeded files.

If you have removed everything you can, and still are short of space, you will get better performance by getting a larger, and typically faster, hard drive than what was installed originally. I believe that computer only came with a 4200 rpm drive. The newer ones it can use are 5400 which will give a significant increase in performance. Certainly better than a decrease. But it does cost and am not sure of your financial situation.
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09-Jul-2008, 02:55 AM #13
Also, if you're using IE - it hides your temporary internet files.

C:\Documents and Settings\<user name>\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files

Right click and see how big it is.

And its INDEX file is non-deleteable. An easy way to delete, create a NEW account, log in on the new account - and locate the OLD acount (above) and delete everything in that folder. After a few years, that index file could be 10-30mb!
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09-Jul-2008, 03:00 AM #14
Opera would be great choice to IE... I love using it. Although it seems to stockpile stuff on your HD too, less than IE does anyways. And it is easier to remove. Using a tool to do that is though more pleasant.
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09-Jul-2008, 08:03 AM #15
Just set your browser, whichever one you use, to cache as little as possible.

But since IE7 can go down to 8 megs, and if you are still running that tight on disk space, you will likely need another solution.
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