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How to free up space on my C drive

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by helpdebbie, Jun 4, 2009.

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  1. helpdebbie

    helpdebbie Thread Starter

    Mar 8, 2009
    I need to find out how to free up space on my C Drive. Right now I only have 2% free. I tried to run my disk defragmenter, but I got a warning that it needs 15% in order to run properly. My disk cleanup dosen't seem to work for me either. I'm thinking I should delete or move some stuff on my C Drive, but I'm not sure what the best way is for me to do this. I don't want to accidently delete something important, but I'm sure I have stuff on there that I'm not useing and don't need
    I appear to be running 32-bit, Windows 2000 Professional, Service Pack 4v5.0.2195, if this is helpful to know.

    I sure would appriciate some info to help me with this, please.:)
  2. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

    Oct 19, 2002
    You can right click on My Documents and select properties. You can have it moved to any other drive and it will remain usable just as it is now, but it'll free up all the space that it occupies on the C: drive.

    Defrag won't free up any space in any case.
  3. Ent

    Ent Trusted Advisor

    Apr 11, 2009
    First Name:
    To identify files you don't need try the following:
    Download and run Ccleaner (cleaner feature, registry cleanup apparently has some problems)

    Go to your documents, pictures, etc, and sort by access date. You can use this to find the older, unused files. You know your files better than I of course, and should be able to tell what you won't need.

    If there are files (there will be) which you probably don't need but don't want to get rid of, you can try zipping them up, and deleting the originals. Zip's of most files (though not Jpeg or Mpeg) are significantly smaller than the original.

    The biggest cause of filled drives is of course multimedia, and if you have a lot of old photos (or possibly songs or video clips) you might want to try burning them to CD's.

    For uninstalling programs, Go to control panel, and Add or remove programs. Use that to eliminate any programs you don't need, without endangering windows.

    Finally you may want to run scandisk to make sure the file system has properly reset, and of course defrag once you have all those pesky holes left by other files (though as John said it won't give you any space worth speaking of.)

    It's a lot of work, but I hope this helps.
  4. helpdebbie

    helpdebbie Thread Starter

    Mar 8, 2009
    Thank you so much for your time, you gave me a lot of info.

    I'm so glad I got this before I deleted anything from my recycle bin, I probably put some stull in there that I need to zip instead of delete. I know how to open things that are zipped, but I don't think I've ever zipped up any files only opened files. Is it possible for you to tell me what I might need to know to do this, please?
  5. helpdebbie

    helpdebbie Thread Starter

    Mar 8, 2009
    thank you!
  6. Ent

    Ent Trusted Advisor

    Apr 11, 2009
    First Name:
    To zip something you need a zipping utility, such as winzip. At its simplest you right click the files/folders you want to zip, and select something like "add to archive" (depending on your program).

    Since this creates a zipped copy of the files, you will need to free up some space beforehand. You need space for both the archives and the originals for the few seconds before you delete the original.

    Alternatively go to My computer, right click C, select properties, and choose "compress this drive to save disk space" which compresses all files, or right click the folders, go to properties, advanced, compress contents to save disk space. I don't think that is quite as efficient, but it is easier.

    Don't forget that items in your recycle bin are not deleted until you empty the recycle bin.
  7. helpdebbie

    helpdebbie Thread Starter

    Mar 8, 2009
    Thank you!!
  8. DoubleHelix

    DoubleHelix Banned

    Dec 9, 2004
    Absolutely do not compress your hard drive. The free space gained is not worth the performance and instability hit you'll take.

    The only way to permanently free up hard drive space is to uninstall programs you don't use and delete data you don't want. Deleting temporary files is a temporary solution. Eventually, they'll return, and you'll be in the same spot.
  9. deandude1196


    Feb 16, 2009
    Do not try to mess with your registry. It will screw up your computer if you "fix" the FAKE problems it comes up with.
  10. flavallee

    flavallee Trusted Advisor

    May 12, 2002
    First Name:
    go to My computer, right click C, select properties, and choose "compress this drive to save disk space" which compresses all files


    You're giving bad advice. (n)

    You classify yourself as a "Beginner", so you might think twice about giving advice here.



    Once you've recovered whatever you need from the RECYCLE BIN, here are some easy ways to reclaim some hard drive space:

    1. Right-click RECYCLE BIN and then click Properties, move the slider from its default value of 10% to 3%, then click Apply - OK.

    2. Right-click MY COMPUTER and then click Properties - System Restore, move the slider from its default value of 12% to 3%, then click Apply - OK.

    3. Open these 2 Temp folders:


    C:\Documents And Settings\(Username)\Local Settings\Temp

    and then delete everything from inside those 2 Temp folders. If a few files resist getting deleted, leave them alone and delete everything else.

    4. Empty the RECYCLE BIN and then restart.

  11. Officer Dibble

    Officer Dibble

    Oct 24, 2007
    Compress C: drive???????? (n)

    It's time to have a look at what you use your computer for and ways of working.

    How big is your My Documents folder? Are there things in there that are better backed-up to DVD rather than being sat there taking up necessary disk space? Especially so if they are things like pictures you only look through once in a blue moon?

    Have a sift through your 'Downloads' folder, the place where all those interesting knick knack utilities you thought where interesting at the time but now are of little use. Can any of them be uninstalled?

    What sort of things do you have on your desktop? Any folders with all those things you were just juggling around on your PC but just didn't around to moving on?

    MP3's, do you remember that Star Trek episode, The Trouble with Tribbles? They were self replicating fluffy things that just spawn everywhere.

    Well I've just checked out my system and my 'My Documents' folder is about 4GB, my MP3's (just on my PC) amounts to 9GB!! It's amazing how clutter clutters. :)

    However, if it is the case that you really can't have this sort of clear out, then you will need to seriously consider an upgrade. For a desktop this could mean a larger or second Hard Disk Drive (HDD) or for a laptop an external back-up drive that would allow easier access to your data than a DVD.

    Compressing your C: drive will affect performance, it would be a good idea to do it to a second (slave) drive if it was necessary, but not your primary drive where access really is the priority.
  12. Rich-M


    May 3, 2006
    First thing I would do is right click My Computer, choose "Properties", then "System Restore" and slide the lever over 1/2 way and hit apply which will remove half the System Restore points and allow you to breathe a little. Then if you don't have another drive time to add one as suggested and uninstall programs from Add/Remove Programs in Control panel and then install to new drive. Then you can run defrag which will not gain you space but certainly disk cleaner will then.
  13. Ent

    Ent Trusted Advisor

    Apr 11, 2009
    First Name:

    Humph. I chose beginer so that people such as yourself could identify bad advice, allowing me to help while limmiting my capacity for harm. But this is excessive. However in this case I have promoted a perfectly standard method of compressing old files, which is indeed a way to produce space without deleting files but I mentioned the method which Microsoft does provide for the same effect, though I would not use it myself it is not my computer and I felt it unfair to only give partial advice. CCleaner (which I already warned against using registry features) is by far the best way to quickly free some first space, and though only clearing temporaries it does give a little buffer space (sometimes as much as 1GB) considering that all other processes need space too.

    I have already mentioned Mpegs, with their problem, and suggested they be removed or stored elsewhere. I also provided a reasonable way to identify unneeded files, plus mentioning how to remove programs. (Cleaner also provides an uninstall page, but I've never used it and don't know what kind of job it does, so I shan't recommend that one.) Flavallee, I am sorry you got in trouble for forgetting the quote tag when telling me off, but I do take offence at that kind of attack.


    The other thing to look out for by the way, are duplicate files. Even if a document is really important, if it has been copied and scattered ten times in different folders, you may want to look at removing a few of them. You could even make shortcuts if you need that "document" to sit in that folder. Such duplicates aren't even very useful as back-ups, sitting as they do on the same drive. Speaking of which if you don't want to dump something consider putting it elsewhere--on a cd, in internet storage sites, etc.
  14. helpdebbie

    helpdebbie Thread Starter

    Mar 8, 2009
    Thanks for all your help!!
    I have finaly been able to recover a anylsis on my issue.

    I'm including my anylsis below in hopes that you might know something about helping me.

    Volume (C:):
    Volume size = 40,005 MB
    Cluster size = 4 KB
    Used space = 38,330 MB
    Free space = 1,675 MB
    Percent free space = 4 %
    Volume fragmentation
    Total fragmentation = 15 %
    File fragmentation = 27 %
    Free space fragmentation = 4 %
    File fragmentation
    Total files = 253,439
    Average file size = 201 KB
    Total fragmented files = 5,731
    Total excess fragments = 86,464
    Average fragments per file = 1.34
    Pagefile fragmentation
    Pagefile size = 768 MB
    Total fragments = 1
    Directory fragmentation
    Total directories = 22,703
    Fragmented directories = 103
    Excess directory fragments = 2,862
    Master File Table (MFT) fragmentation
    Total MFT size = 328 MB
    MFT record count = 276,729
    Percent MFT in use = 82 %
    Total MFT fragments = 34
    Fragments File Size Most fragmented files
    486 1,942 KB \Program Files\Google\Google Desktop Search\gcdtmp6804\GoogleServices.dll
    111 1,942 KB \Program Files\Google\Google Desktop Search\gcdtmp6812\GoogleServices.dll
    243 1,942 KB \Program Files\Google\Google Desktop Search\gcdtmp6813\GoogleServices.dll
    258 1,942 KB \Program Files\Google\Google Desktop Search\gcdtmp6814\GoogleServices.dll
    441 1,942 KB \Program Files\Google\Google Desktop Search\gcdtmp6829\GoogleServices.dll
    329 1,942 KB \Program Files\Google\Google Desktop Search\gcdtmp6835\GoogleServices.dll
    292 1,942 KB \Program Files\Google\Google Desktop Search\gcdtmp6836\GoogleServices.dll
    486 1,942 KB \Program Files\Google\Google Desktop Search\gcdtmp6851\GoogleServices.dll
    288 1,942 KB \Program Files\Google\Google Desktop Search\gcdtmp6862\GoogleServices.dll
    327 1,942 KB \Program Files\Google\Google Desktop Search\gcdtmp6889\GoogleServices.dll
    143 1,942 KB \Program Files\Google\Google Desktop Search\gcdtmp6903\GoogleServices.dll
    141 1,942 KB \Program Files\Google\Google Desktop Search\gcdtmp6924\GoogleServices.dll
    252 1,942 KB \Program Files\Google\Google Desktop Search\gcdtmp6941\GoogleServices.dll
    192 1,942 KB \Program Files\Google\Google Desktop Search\gcdtmp6977\GoogleServices.dll
    128 1,942 KB \Program Files\Google\Google Desktop Search\gcdtmp6992\GoogleServices.dll
    106 1,942 KB \Program Files\Google\Google Desktop Search\gcdtmp7013\GoogleServices.dll
    134 1,942 KB \Program Files\Google\Google Desktop Search\gcdtmp7033\GoogleServices.dll
    116 1,942 KB \Program Files\Google\Google Desktop Search\gcdtmp7139\GoogleServices.dll
    114 552 KB \Program Files\Google\Google Desktop Search\gcdtmp7148\GoogleDesktopResources_en.dll
    121 1,942 KB \Program Files\Google\Google Desktop Search\gcdtmp7153\GoogleServices.dll
    206 1,942 KB \Program Files\Google\Google Desktop Search\gcdtmp7161\GoogleServices.dll
    108 1,942 KB \Program Files\Google\Google Desktop Search\gcdtmp7187\GoogleServices.dll
    126 1,942 KB \Program Files\Google\Google Desktop Search\gcdtmp7236\GoogleServices.dll
    101 1,942 KB \Program Files\Google\Google Desktop Search\gcdtmp7261\GoogleServices.dll
    179 1,942 KB \Program Files\Google\Google Desktop Search\gcdtmp7378\GoogleServices.dll
    109 1,942 KB \Program Files\Google\Google Desktop Search\gcdtmp7403\GoogleServices.dll
    228 1,942 KB \Program Files\Google\Google Desktop Search\gcdtmp7418\GoogleServices.dll
    113 1,942 KB \Program Files\Google\Google Desktop Search\gcdtmp7428\GoogleServices.dll
    125 1,942 KB \Program Files\Google\Google Desktop Search\gcdtmp7450\GoogleServices.dll
    115 1,942 KB \Program Files\Google\Google Desktop Search\gcdtmp7502\GoogleServices.dll
  15. helpdebbie

    helpdebbie Thread Starter

    Mar 8, 2009
    Thank you.
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