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Free space on hard drive

By jardinier ·
One of my computers, running Windows 98 SE, has a 4.3 GB SCSI HDD.

I regularly delete all the temporary internet files and all other temporary files.

However, whether I enter through "My Computer" or use chkdsk in DOS, the amount of free space can jump up or down by several hundred megabytes for no apparent reason.

Can you explain why this is, or if there is any way to get a consistent reading?

It is quite important to me because this is my workhorse computer on which all my files are stored, and I need to know just how much free space I have to play with.

I will add a second question. The computer (P 400) has 256 MB RAM. What would be the minimum hard drive space required for the swap file to function correctly?

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by p.j.hutchison In reply to Free space on hard drive

Try reducing the max size for Temp internet files via Internet Options in IE so that will use less space.
For Paging file, you can set it very low if you want, by default, it something like memory x 1.5 ie 768MB, although you can set it to a lower size such as 256MB so at least all of memory can be swapped out.

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by BFilmFan In reply to Free space on hard drive

The issue is most likely being caused by the swap file and any open temporary files that applications create.

You might wish to increase performance by modifying the [386Enh] section of the System.ini (make a back up of this file before making changes to it). Add the line:

ConservativeSwapfileUsage=1

You may also wish to add the lines:

PageOverCommit=10
MaxBPs=768
PageBuffers=32

In general, you should let Windows choose to manage the swap file for you, rather than you manually setting a size.

As I recall, the formula for the swap file in Windows 98 was Swap= RAM X 1.5 + 12 MB

For more information on opimizing Windows 98 see:

http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/windows/98/all/reskit/en-us/part5/wrkc23.mspx

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by eduardo (PT) In reply to Free space on hard drive

Hello.
If you are running windows 98, with a variable-size swap file, it is quite normal, that your hard drive seems suddendly with a certain quantity of free space, and in the following minutes, it changes the free hard disc space.

This happens, because windows has to adjust automatically, the swap file usage, in a way that memory can be correctly managed.

So if you want to have free space in a more stable way, you should follow the advice that jul646@aol.com has posted, and configure the swap file usage, has a fixed-size swapfile.
Hope it helped.

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by TheChas In reply to Free space on hard drive

Hi Julian,

I agree with the previous answers that the difference you see in free hard drive space is mostly from the changing size of the page file.

While it can be more comforting to have a consistent amount of free HDD space showing, you don't really need a fixed size page file.
Windows will self limit the size of the page file based on the amount of free hard drive space.
If you do have limited free HDD space, setting a fixed size page file "may" improve performance.

I myself set up a secondary hard drive of at least 2GB and let Windows use the whole drive for the page file as it wants.

A very good article on virtual memory / page files is posted at www.aumha.org

Another place to look for files that you don't need is the C:\Windows\Temp folder.
I clean mine on a regular basis.
If you wish to be cautious, keep files that are less than 2 weeks old.

Chas

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by jardinier In reply to

Thank you to everyone. Your answers have been most helpful. And to Chas, note the following in my question: "I regularly delete all the temporary internet files and all other temporary files."

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by cp7212 In reply to Free space on hard drive

If you run chkdisk in Windows, instead of a DOS shell, it can pick up memory reporting errors. A typical message will state, "Windows has detected an error between hard drive reporting values." Or something to the extent of that. I have not worked with Win98 for a little while, but I remember seeing this. Go into the advanced options and untick "automatically fix errors" and tick "prompt when errors are found". Chkdsk will search and I have found this problem has always been repairable for me. I would also go with "Let Windows manage my memory" or RAM X 1.5. A higher value, if you can spare the room, is always better. Good luck.

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