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Decreasing Hard Drive Free Space

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The free space on my hard drive keeps shirinking. The total size on my C drive is 15 Gigs. The free space is now down to 3 Gigs. At one time it was maybe 8 Gigs. What should the free space be for the average user who uses his computer for just basic stuff? Where should I look for unncessary files or programs or whatever that is taking up space? Thanks. My understanding of computers is very rudimentary.
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You don't have a very large drive to begin with and XP has grown will all the updates plus what you have installed as programs or downloaded as files. You could get an external hard drive and move files to it. Something else you can do is get another larger hard drive and move your whole operating system over to it, including all your files. This is not so easy for a laptop, but pretty simple for a desktop. You should want one arout 40-60gb, but you could go as large a 160gb if your BIOS supports it. I don't think I would go larger than that on such an old machine. If you buy a new drive it will probably come with a software disk that will let you do that. For a used one you can download the software from the drive maker's site and use it. If the drive maker doesn't supply it there is still good software that is free which can do it.
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Mr Freeze

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download and run cleanup
it will clean crap off your computer


next you can gain space by adjusting system restore
press Windows Key and Pause/Break Key
system properties will open
click system restore tab
there should be no check in system restore check box(turn off system restore)
move slide back to 3%
click ok

next defragment your harddrive
start/run/ dfrg.msc //click ok
click on defragment

if your not needing any programs in add/remove you can uninstall them with windows clean up utility... download it from here


click on the program you want to remove
that should gain you more space

Edited by Mr Freeze, 28 March 2008 - 08:45 PM.

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Mr. Freeze's post has some good suggestions, they will definitely help free up some space.-

The only change I'd suggest is to use the normal Add or Remove Programs in Control Panel to uninstall any programs you don't need. Save the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility for programs that won't uninstall any other way.

Also, to see what is using space on your hard drive, install a program called SequoiaView. Gives you a great visual picture of what is using up drive space. Get it here: http://www.win.tue.nl/sequoiaview/
Before running SequoiaView, you should make all files and extensions visible. Do this by:

Control Panel / Folder Options / View Tab.
Select Show hidden files and folders.
Uncheck Hide extensions for known file types.
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