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low drive space


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#1
Kristina

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I've been trying to clean up space on my drive C for a long time. The more I clean, the more I see the space gets filled again and I find myself with low disk space again (less than 15%). So I've been looking for all kinds of tips...For now I managed to move the pagefile.sys on another drive following instructions and freed 512MB...also tried CCCleaner, but it didn't free up too much space...also deleted old restore points.

The ultimate thing I found with WinDir Stat is that the Windows Installer files are occupying most of the space on my C drive. Then I heard of the MsiZap G! to delete the unnecesary install files and uncompleted installations. But I really couldn't figure out how to use it. I downloaded from Microsoft site together with windows install cleanup, but the msizap.exe file doesn't run: the window shows up for a second and then disappears. I downloaded from other locations too (difficult to find others) and the same, couldn't run the file. Also don't know how to use the G! option...

Please help. :) Any suggestions to free up more of unuseful files on C are welcome. Or ways to move files on my bigger drive where I have a lot of unused space.
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#2
Samm

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Hi Kristina

To use msizap, you need to open a command (DOS) window. Do this by going to Start -> Run.. then type CMD (click OK)
At the command prompt, type msizap G!
I recommend you create a system restore point before running it though.

Other suggestions for freeing up space on your C drive:
1) You can move the contents to My Documents to your other hard drive. To do this, create a folder on the other drive called Documents (or whatever you like). Next, right click on the 'My Documents' icon on your desktop & select 'Properties' In the properties box, click on the 'Move' button. Browse to the newly created folder (eg d:\documents for example) and click on it once to select it. Click OK.
When asked if you wish to move the contents of your current documents folder to the new location, click yes.

2) Empty the temporary Internet cache if you haven't already done so. You could also move this to the other drive (in IE, go to Tools->Options->settings and follow the instructions)

3) Uninstall any programs you no longer need

4) Defrag the drive

Edited by Samm, 16 November 2008 - 06:39 PM.

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#3
Kristina

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Thank you, Samm!

I moved msizap.exe to the location shown in the DOS window. Ran it and it freed about 1GB on my drive, which is more than I've had in a long time. Now I have 2,7GB free out of 9.7.

I already keep My Documents in the separate drive E. I also have D for downloads and the new added M for larger storage.

I moved the Temporary Internet files on E as well, that should be useful in the future. :)

As for the programs, it's hard to decide on any more to uninstall. In fact, I need to install some more of Adobe programs for a project, so I think I'll need further space. Maybe I should install the new programs to a different location other from default location on C? I was also wondering if I can move some of the programs in C:Program Files to one of the other drives..don't know if it's possible without first uninstalling them.

I ran again WinDir Stat and the space on my drive C currently looks like this:

Windows - 4.1GB size on disk ( shows 4.9GB when I check from My Computer)
Program Files - 1,8 GB
Documents and settings - 0,54 GB
Sys. Vol. Information - 0,32 GB

Edited by Kristina, 17 November 2008 - 03:30 AM.

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#4
Samm

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You're right - you can install new programs to a different location but if you wish to move existing ones, you'll need to uninstall them first, then reinstall.

I'm not sure what else to suggest other than investing in a larger hard drive! Or if your second drive is internal, then swapping them other. This does usually mean however that you would need to reinstall everything from scratch. The only way round this would be to use a drive imaging program that can replicate the contents of your C drive to another drive.


The only other thing you could do to free up a bit more space, is to move the temp folders...
EG
Create a folder on the E drive called temp
Go to Control panel -> system -> advanced ->environment variables then edit the location of the temp & tmp variables to read e:\temp
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#5
Kristina

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You're right - you can install new programs to a different location but if you wish to move existing ones, you'll need to uninstall them first, then reinstall.

I'm not sure what else to suggest other than investing in a larger hard drive! Or if your second drive is internal, then swapping them other. This does usually mean however that you would need to reinstall everything from scratch. The only way round this would be to use a drive imaging program that can replicate the contents of your C drive to another drive.


The only other thing you could do to free up a bit more space, is to move the temp folders...
EG
Create a folder on the E drive called temp
Go to Control panel -> system -> advanced ->environment variables then edit the location of the temp & tmp variables to read e:\temp


I think this will be something to do from now on, start moving the programs from C, meaning uninstalling and then reinstalling them on another drive. Btw, is there a way to change the default installing path for programs which is C:Program Files? Sometimes programs install there by themselves without letting me choose the path I think.

I don't know where I could get this drive imaging program from...is it possible to get it from the net? That would be great to make a mirror drive of C, then I would keep on one the Windows and on the other the Program Files. I already have enough free drive space per total on my computer, my problem is just the old C drive which constantly gets filled up with new programs.
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#6
jt1990

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Western Digital and Seagate make disk mirroring utilities - I've used both of them in the past and found them to be very effective. The one thing I would caution you about using them on, is this: They make an *exact* mirror of your drive. That means it copies all your temporary files, all your programs, and any spyware or viruses you might have on there.

Also - I don't believe you can use the software on just any drive. If you're going to use the WD tools, you need to be copying the files to a WD drive, same with Seagate.
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#7
123Runner

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When you install new programs you have to watch the screens and verify the install path. It is at this time that you can direct the install to another location/ drive.
However, some programs will not allow a change. You have to let them go to the default location. It is what it is.
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#8
Samm

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I can't remember the last time I came across a program that hasn't let me change the installation path. What you often do have to do though, is select 'custom' installation first if it gives you the option to. If you select standard installation, some programs will install to the default location without asking you first.

Re. drive imaging - I don't know if there are any good free ones out there but Paragon Drive Copy looks quite good & only costs $30:

Paragon drive copy
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#9
Kristina

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Thank you very much for the advice. I guess the solution for me remains to manually reinstall the programs. Or talk to someone who could help me make a drive imaging, since I don't know much about compatibility or technical requirements. And also take care to choose the path for new programs from now on.

Till then I'll try to reinstall programs. However, there's the problem of programs which already have information stored. For example my Nokia PC suite, with all my messages and archives. How would I reinstall such kind of programs without losing this info? :)

Btw, I already have problems with using the Nokia PC suite software, my mobile doesn't connect anymore since a few days. It makes the sound of connection but nothing happens...but that should be another topic I guess. Where could I post such a topic?

Edited by Kristina, 23 November 2008 - 11:00 AM.

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#10
Samm

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I know nothing about nokia suite software but couldn't you back up your manually? i.e just make a copy of the files you to keep on the other drive before uninstalling it?

As for the new topic - we don't have a specific forum for mobile phone stuff so post your new topic in this forum.
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#11
Kristina

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I know nothing about nokia suite software but couldn't you back up your manually? i.e just make a copy of the files you to keep on the other drive before uninstalling it?

As for the new topic - we don't have a specific forum for mobile phone stuff so post your new topic in this forum.


It lets me copy the messages, but I lose all the details, such as date, name, number, preview... Thank you, I'll start a new topic later then on my problem with the PC suite.

Anyway, I'll try to back up what is possible. I also noticed some programs' folder can just be moved :) When starting the program and it's searching for the .exe file I browse for it in the directory where I moved the program. Could this work or may lead to some problems later on?
Also some dll files can't always be moved and some remain in the initial folder. Guess that's not really good, even if the program still works when I start it again.

As for uninstalling, many of the programs in the Program files don't appear in the Add/Remove list of Windows or in the CCCleaner list (where there are a few more). Do I just try to move the folder of those...or how can I fully uninstall them and then reinstall again?
Also some I don't even know what they're about...they're like rests of old installations or many are empty folders with smth like 0 bytes..what's the use of all of those? are they really not occupying any space or there are some more hidden traces of them occupying space?

ex of almost empty folders:
MSN gaming zone, Hostxpert, IDA, microsoft frontpage, Microsoft.NET, xerox...
what do all of these stand for? do I need to bother about them or just leave them there? :)

Edited by Kristina, 23 November 2008 - 01:08 PM.

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#12
Samm

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Hi

MS Frontpage folder is created when you install MS Office even if you don't install the frontpage component. I'm guessing maybe the same is true of microsoft's NET framework. MSN gaming zone is obviously part of MSN. Hostxpert appears to be a utility for resetting your host file. No idea what IDA is.

As the Microsoft ones are installed as part of other programs, I suggest you leave them as they are for now, especially as they aren't really taking up any space.

If hostxpert and IDA don't appear in the add/remove programs list, then it's safe to assume they've probably already been uninstalled and these folders can be deleted.

You mentioned that yu've been able to move some programs across without reinstalling & they've worked ok. You may well find this is the case with less complex programs. Some more complex ones however are likely to have registry entries to other files (eg dll's etc), the locations of which may be incorrect if you move the program manually.
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#13
Kristina

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Thank you!

I guess I'll continue checking which programs can be moved and which not. If .dll files can't be moved, then I'll simply move back the rest of the program. If moving works I connect .exe files to the new location and things seem to work fine from there.

For the programs which don't appear anywhere (in add/remove or I know nothing about them) like you mentioned that IDA, I assume they may be old rest of programs and just delete them.

I think this should solve things for now..if new programs will be installed on the other drives too space shouldn't be filled back too quickly. I'm not sure, but I guess only lots of big memory programs could fill up the C space again. Thanks again for all the suggestions and help.

Anyway, for now the priority seems to buy a new monitor, cos the old one looks soon ready to crash. :)

As for the Nokia PC suite, it seems the problem is the usb cable which doesn't connect right anymore, yet another thing to buy...

Edited by Kristina, 27 November 2008 - 03:20 AM.

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#14
Samm

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Good luck :)
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