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Questions on XP Pro OS size


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#1
THX1136

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I am trying to get my manager's PC running more reliably. He had been complaining about slow performance. I checked the HD (75 gig) and it was FULL! I was going to defrag, but could not as there was no space left on the drive. Some docs and other files were hastily moved or removed to make space to try to defrag. There was an identical, spare, non-working PC at the station so I installed it's HD along with the RAM figuring I would move all the remaining docs to it. After all that there was still 66 gigs on the original drive. When I go to Add/Remove Programs there is not enough there to account for the 66 gigs. Other than some ATI stuff, Open Office and what appears to be normal Windows components the biggest thing was Office 2003 which I did a manual uninstall of as I could not uninstall it with the crammed HD.

When I defrag now it will not do the whole drive. Still showing tons of red in Disc Defragmenter. I'm contemplating doing a repair of the OS - or maybe a fresh install. (I'm even thinking there might be some registry corruption.) But was wondering if I can clear out any more of the drive before taking that step. Everything left appears to be of the necessary variety when looking at Add/Remove Programs.

Bottom line: How big should the OS be? Is there any way to clear out what appears to not be there? Could I move stuff like the ATI stuff over to the second drive? I've heard that doing so could mess up Windows being able to access the programs and they seem to be important/necessary. I don't want to make things worse, but each careful step seems to present a newer hinderance. I come from a Mac background with only an elementary knowledge of Windows. I checked out the tutorial here on doing the repair of XP so I am prepared to undertake that if need be. Thanks in advance for any help or insight that is offered.
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#2
peterm

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Hi THX136
It is not a registry problem.
"size on disk" first. Windows allocates space for files in "clusters" or "allocation units". The size of a cluster varies, but ranges from 512 bytes to 32K or more. On my C: drive the allocation unit is 4096 bytes. What this means is that Windows will allocate 4096 bytes for any file or portion of a file that is from 1 to 4096 bytes in length. A 1 byte file? That takes up 4096 bytes "on disk". 100 byte file? Still takes up 4096 bytes on disk. A 4097 byte file? That takes up 8192 bytes - one complete 4096 byte cluster, plus another 4096 byte cluster to hold the extra byte.
Click on me
And this by (Posted by: Bruce Williamson at April 8, 2010 7:52 AM)
System Restore. It uses disk shadowing and stores the data in the System Volume Information folder, which is hidden and a system folder. However, that folder will show up as 0kb in size, unless you change the security permissions as an administrator, and then go into the folder.

I ran cmd as administrator and ran vssadmin. To see used, allocated and maximum space, I used the command: vssadmin list shadowstorage

Cheers
Peterm
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#3
rshaffer61

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Two steps to help:

Download TFC by OldTimer to your desktop
  • Please double-click TFC.exe to run it. (Note: If you are running on Vista, right-click on the file and choose Run As Administrator).
  • It will close all programs when run, so make sure you have saved all your work before you begin.
  • Click the Start button to begin the process. Depending on how often you clean temp files, execution time should be anywhere from a few seconds to a minute or two. Let it run uninterrupted to completion.
  • Once it's finished it should reboot your machine. If it does not, please manually reboot the machine yourself to ensure a complete clean.



Background info courtesy of DonnaB Thank you


As for TFC, this is a tidbit of an article I found a while back by a MicroSoft MVP.

TFC (Temp File Cleaner) will clear out all temp folders for all user accounts (temp, IE temp, java, FF, Opera, Chrome, Safari), including Administrator, All Users, LocalService, NetworkService, and any other accounts in the user folder. It also cleans out the %systemroot%\temp folder and checks for .tmp files in the %systemdrive% root folder, %systemroot%, and the system32 folder (both 32bit and 64bit on 64bit OSs). It shows the amount removed for each location found (in bytes) and the total removed (in MB).

Before running, it will stop Explorer and all other running applications. When finished, if a reboot is required the user must reboot to finish clearing any in-use temp files.
-- TFC only cleans temp folders.
-- TFC will not clean URL history, prefetch, or cookies. Depending on how often someone cleans their temp folders, their system hardware, and how many accounts are present, it can take anywhere from a few seconds to a minute or more. TFC will completely clear all temp files where other temp file cleaners may fail.





Download Auslogics Defrag from the link in my signature below. Auslogics Defrag in my opinion is better because:

It does a more comprehensive job at Defragging
It will actually show you what it is doing
At the end of working it will show you how much speed you picked up
You can view a online log of the files that Auslogics defragged
Please do not run any other Auslogics programs other then this one as they may cause unwanted results.
http://auslogics.com...defrag/download
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#4
THX1136

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Thanks Peter! I had forgotten about how that works. (It was one of those "DUH" moments). Does that account for the large amount of fragmentation I see? I had used the"properties" on the c drive to ascertain what was used and free. Thanks for the link to Leo's page also.
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#5
THX1136

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Rschaffer, thanks for the info. I appreciate your suggestions and links to the software help.
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#6
peterm

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in a nutshell yes
the 2 programs that Rshaffer61 suggest will help

Cheers
peterm
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#7
rshaffer61

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Are you still having problems with your issue?
It has been 15 days since your last response and I was wondering if the issue has been resolved?
If so can you explain how it was resolved so others may be able to fix it if they have the same issue.
If not please let us know and we can continue with helping you to resolve the issue.
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#8
THX1136

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The help I was given was somewhat effective. I do have most of the issues resolved, but I still cannot fully defrag the C drive - even using the auslogics Defrag. I still have a LARGE amount of fragmented space on the drive.

To fully address my issue I did have to do a "repair" of XP. Ztrucker helped with that in a different thread. If anything I would like to know if I can move items off the C drive over to another installed drive to make more space on the C drive so I can fully defrag the C drive. Other than the necessary system files, video card (ATI) stuff and Open Office there is not a lot of other programs on the C drive that aren't OS related. It still shows only 15% of the C drive "free". The drive itself is a 75 Gb drive so around 64 GB is used. It seems that for what little is on it the space occupied should be less (even given the fact of how things are written to the drive as Peterm explained). As I have things running well now I am not wanting to wipe the drive and start over. I have advised my manager to save ALL docs and other non-program related files to the second drive since it has plenty of space for those kinds of items. (In fact I ran Auslogics from the second drive to avoid putting more stuff on the C drive.)

If it sounds like something untried could be of help I would be open to that. If it turns out that things should just be left as is that's fine too.

Thanks again for the help already offered. I greatly appreciate it.

Edited by THX1136, 22 January 2012 - 08:41 PM.

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#9
rshaffer61

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There will always be some files that will not be defragged.
Have you tried to uninstall any programs you don't use or need anymore?
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#10
THX1136

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I did uninstall everything that was non-essential. Right now, if memory severs, the only non system related stuff is Open Office, WinAmp and Google Chrome.

Edited by THX1136, 22 January 2012 - 08:52 PM.

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#11
rshaffer61

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OK I want to take a look closer so I need you to do the following.

Please Run the PCPitstop.com OverDrive Full Tests

Here's how:

You must use your Internet Explorer for this procedure. (doesn't work so well in Firefox or others). If your machine is running Vista or Windows 7, you must Select IE to “Run as Administrator”. After completing PCPitstop OverDrive you can close your IE browser and re-open it Normally so that you are no longer running as administrator.

Go to: http://www.pcpitstop.com
Click on "Free Computer Check-up" listed below PC Pitstop OverDrive
In the User Login - Click on "Sign up FREE!"
You'll need to submit a valid email address and create your own password, then click - Create Account(button)

Now enter your email address and password to Log in, Select - Scan this system Now!(button)
You will then be asked to download an ActiveX component and allow it to install.
It is safe and does not compromise your privacy.
Follow the on-screen prompts to install the ActiveX and to allow the Full Tests to be run on your machine.

The Full Tests take about 2 1/2 - 3 minutes on most machines.
When complete, a Results - Summary - Recommended Fixes will be displayed.

Please post the URL internet address, from your Results, back here into this Topic Thread so that we can review the configuration and present performance levels of your machine.

Note: During the graphics 2D and graphics 3D testing, your screen will display some rapidly moving objects.
If you are sensitive to visual flashing, it may cause dizziness. Therefore, look away from the screen during that portion of the testing.

After reviewing the results we will be more informed and may be able to provide better recommendations for you to work towards improving your machine's performance.

While PCPitstop does offer a variety of Paid Products, the PCPitstop OverDrive testing is FREE. Please ignore the references to Paid Products. We prefer to provide manual solution instructions that you can apply directly to your machine.

Best Regards
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#12
THX1136

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Thank you for the input. Just to be clear this is my manager's PC. The only time I have to try things and perform tasks is when I'm not doing my regular work and my manager's PC is free (ie: he's not there using it). It is running XP Pro with SP3 installed. Also, as I mentioned in a previous post, the PC is running well now after Ztrucker's help.

What caused my concern was the fact that when I run Disk Defragmenter on other PCs I usually end up with mostly "blue" and very little "red" space. With this PC it only defrags a small percentage leaving mostly "red" space and very little "blue". If I were to guess at the percentage of red it would be 92%.

I will try to get to your suggestion tomorrow, but depending on my work load it may not be until Wednesday. I will post as requested after running PCPitStop.

Again, thank you for your time.
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#13
rshaffer61

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You are welcome and no problem with the time restraints. We all know real life is a priority. Take your time :thumbsup:
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#14
THX1136

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Here's the url:

http://www.pcpitstop...?conid=24764065

Hope I did things right. Some stuff was not exactly as described, but most were.

Thanks again.
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#15
rshaffer61

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OK I think we have finally found a problem.
Did you install a toolbar named Zango?

I see Pc pitstop has flagged it as being a potential issue and should be installed. IMO this has always been a issue with me and steer clear of it. If you haven't installed it intentionally I think we may be on to something here.
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