Ways to free up 12 GB from C: ?

By barrchris ·
'd like to copy my C: drive to an external drive with 12 GB less space.
I'm stumped . . . but I believe it can be done.
When I look at top-level Folder Properties, I find very few over 1 GB - target drive has 76 GB, existing C: has 88 GB.

Would appreciate any ideas.

I've run DIsk Cleanup & used CCleaner.
I tried compressing one folder of pictures, but hardly any gain.
I've looked for Microsoft Update files named *KB* but can't find any.
This is XP Pro

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Well the easiest way would be to

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Ways to free up 12 GB fro ...

Compress the HDD that you are copying to and remove all of the Temp Files like the Page File System restore Points and so on.

Also look in the Windows Folder and do not copy the Uninstall Files.

That should free up at least 12 GIG.

However assuming that the drive is not full you may not need to even worry about freeing anything up to begin with.


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dont downgrade, instead upgrade

by databaseben In reply to Ways to free up 12 GB fro ...

the operating system itself is 30 gigs or less, depending on the version of windows.

the rest of the disk space is either allocated to your installed programs, downloaded system updates / files, shadow copies / restore points, deleted files marked as writable.

however, there is also a system error that can occur which will mis-report the statistics of the disk space. so try running a check disk to ensure the file system is properly indexed and the disk space is accurately reported.

afterwards, i would delete all restore points, deleting the saved files / updates downloaded from microsoft, set the page file to a custom size of no larger than 1.5 times the memory, run a defrag to combine "all free space", then execute a "disk wipe of the free space" and see if you can squeeze down your data.

if you still can't squeeze down your data, then you could try uninstalling the sp updates to the the windows o.s., and reverting it to a former version. sp updates are pretty large.

and you still can't squeeze down your data, you can try moving your personal files off the disk, like pics, documents, email boxes, etc..., to microsofts skydrive server.

however i really would avoid doing all of the above - not because of effort and time that goes into doing the above but due to your unforeseen foresight.

there is a very good reason why going to a smaller hard drive is not a good idea.

the reason is that if by chance you are successful with all of the above in gaining your desired 12 gigs, the small hard disk will naturally become loaded up with data again, similar to what you previously removed from the larger hard drive.

so the rule of thumb is avoid a "downgrade" of your system by switching to a smaller hard drive
and instead, see if you can "add" that smaller hard drive to your current system in order to "upgrade it "

as we don't really know all the facts to your quandary, there is a high probability there is a proven method to avoid a downgrade.

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Copy or Back Up?

by TheChas In reply to Ways to free up 12 GB fro ...

Why do you want to copy the entire drive?

If you want to be able to restore your system after a crash, you need a backup and not just a copy. Neither Windows or many programs will run if you simply copy files to another drive.
Both Seagate and Western Digital offer a branded version of Acronis backup software that allows you to make a backup of your drive that you can restore or boot from.

A backup archive is always smaller in size than the actual drive.


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Analyse and organise

by john.roblin In reply to Ways to free up 12 GB fro ...

Use WinDirStat to list the contents of the drive, largest folder first. It gives you a good idea of what's taking up the most room and if you even need or want to keep it at all. Take the opportunity to organise files including ones you'd forgotten about as they were saved in a place you weren't aware of or are other things (e.g. saved games, people often forget about those.)

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Reponse To Answer

by Lurker22 In reply to Analyse and organise

If you happen to know....
Is WinDirStat better than JDISK? And does it have pie charts showing the contents of each level like JDISK does or an alternative that gives you a quick idea of the culprits?

Thanks in advance and in hopefulness.

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Thanks - all answers are good & useful.

by barrchris In reply to Ways to free up 12 GB fro ...

Thanks to all - - I should have said that BACKUP is my goal,
so TheChas really nailed it, guessed right.

Each was very useful - altho I wonder how to find "windows SP files"
I'm running WinDirStat now - -

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XP Update Files

by TheChas In reply to Ways to free up 12 GB fro ...

In Windows XP, you will find the files for all of the updates and service packs in the Windows folder with names like KB958644.....

In XP, you should have no issues if you delete all of these folders that are over 6 months old.

While you are in the Windows folder, check the Temp folder and clean it out too.

Under Documents and settings, consider removing any extra user accounts. You still end up with the Administrator, Guest, Default and your account. But, you can consider removing additional users who no longer use the system.

What about mail files? Either Outlook Express or Outlook can have some pretty large files if you keep a lot of emails. Consider storing older email in an archive on an external drive.

Depending on your skills and knowledge, you can search for and remove left-overs from older versions of Adobe Acrobat, JAVA, Internet Explorer and a host of other programs. For that matter, go through the add/remove programs list and ask yourself do I use this program. If no longer needed, uninstall and free up space.


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Don't think too hard.

by gfielding In reply to Ways to free up 12 GB fro ...

I'm sure there are several clever ways to free-up space on your boot drive to make it fit on a smaller external drive as outlined above. My question for you is why are you intent on using such a puny drive as the copy destination? With HD space so super cheap it doesn't make sense to struggle with this. Its doable, but worth the trouble? Not really unless there is something extremely special about the drive.

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reduce space usage

by lukasware In reply to Ways to free up 12 GB fro ...

0) unhide files and folder and system files

1) download and clean tmp from oldtimer
(cleans out all temp folders and IE caches)

2) remove all the MS fixes in the hidden folder

3) remove all the MS fixes KB* in \windows

4) at cmd prompt:
net stop wuauserv
(remove \windows\software distribution folder)
net start wuauserv

5) disable hibernation

6) reduce page file size

7) remove unnecessary programs

disable system restore and delete restore points

9) some riskier size reduction tips:

10) and this comprehensive guide

XP takes about 8GB after minimal clean up and without using nlite.

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2 files to exclude

by eM DuBYaH In reply to Ways to free up 12 GB fro ...

This will definitely save on some space: omit the pagefile.sys and hiberfil.sys

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