Windows 7 deminishing disk space

Discussion in 'Microsoft Windows 7' started by dceggert, Dec 16, 2011.

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  1. dceggert

    dceggert Owner of a TabletPC Museum Senior Member

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    I have been scratching my head as to why I needed to keep uninstalling programs to gain disk space on my Q550 only to watch it disappear again for some unknown reason. It looks like the C:/Windows/WinSXS file is at least partially to blame. My directory was bloated to about 8 GB. That is a lot when you consider there is only 54 GB to work with on the 60 GB SSD. 8/54 = about 15% of the drive.

    Apparently the problem is that this directory stores all the windows update files and service packs that get downloaded and installed. I sure hope MS fixes this in Win 8 because having an ever growing directory on a device with a small SSD is going to make it useless after a year or two. MS needs to add a cleaner to the diskcleaner function so it can get purged from time to time.

    I found a site online that offered a partial solution that saved me about 2 GB; delete teh Service Pack files. To do this:

    - Open a command prompt as an administrator. It should start in the C:/Windows/System32 directory. If not, go to that directory.
    - Run the following command:

    DISM /online /Cleanup-Image /SpSuperseeded

    The Serive Pack downloaded files get purged with this command.

    For more info see:

    Cleanup Winsxs after Windows 7 SP1 install Alan's sysadmin Blog
     
  2. Frank

    Frank Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Microsoft can't change anything with WinSXS. It's a requirement for compatibility. Different versions of the same file gets stored there. Different programs use different versions of this file. So Windows must keep all those different versions available to gurantee compatibility with all programs. Else it might happen that an older program stops working after an update.

    Disable hibernation if not done already, so hiberfil.sys gets removed, which is the size of your RAM, probably 2GB or 4GB.
    Check the temp folder in Windows manually and clear it.
    You might want to compress some folders which you rarely use.
    While installing programs don't do a full install but a custom one and really only install what you need.
    Get a bigger SSD :) 60GB is not much for both the OS with the programs and your private data.
    Maybe you can use a 32GB SD card (depending on the SD card interface the Q550 uses, if it's fast or slow (older models used a slow CPU taxing interface)) and outsource some data to it.
     
  3. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    I ran into this problem with WinXp.

    In that instance, it had to do with a bug in the OS where the system restore feature, (where the computer makes a copy of the vital system files so you can go back to that point if you screw something up), was making new copies without erasing the old ones. The problem is that they do not appear in the regular file system, and so it just looks like your computer's brain is mysteriously shrinking.

    Run TreeSize to see how your total memory usage compares to the actual size of your hard drive.

    If you find, as I did, that there is a lot of missing memory, then chances are it's a problem like the one I had. (Though I'd be surprised if MS didn't fix this for Win 7).

    Anyway, what you do is simply turn off the system restore feature. In WinXp it's found under the system folder. Reboot and it should erase the previous save points, and voila, your hard drive is yours again.

    If MS is totally off the ball, then this solution might actually help you.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015
  4. Hattori Hanzo

    Hattori Hanzo Scribbler - Standard Member

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    You're right about it being vital and just shutting it off not being an option. MS could indeed add some more convenient ways to delete unnecessary parts of it, though. The link just provides tips for deleting the backups of service pack installations and afaik there is no easy way to get rid of those. And installing a service pack without backups in the first place is imo not a very wise decision.
     
  5. dceggert

    dceggert Owner of a TabletPC Museum Senior Member

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    Good points!

    I have moved all photos and videos to my SDHC card so that was a good relief, however, after having them on my hard drive for quite some time I still am puzzled by the diminishing space.

    For 'System Protection' MS has allowed some tools with Win 7. First, the amount of space can be changed. There is also a 'delete' button where one can delete all the restore points. I did, it was only worth 500 MB. So, still hunting.

    Update: Okay, here is the status:
    - deletion of service pack files - 2 GB
    - elimination of the hibernation partition - 1.5 GB
    - scanpst to fix, and then compress Outlook data files - .5 GB (I am a heavy Outlook user as a day planner and not just email)
    - defrag and compact the SSD - 2 GB

    After moving videos and pictures to the SD and the above actions I now have 7.55 GB free. When I started I only had 500 MB free. Ah, breathing room...

    I had never ran the defrag operation on the SSD; it was 22% fragmented when I scanned it. I was under the impression that SSD's did not require the operation. Surprising...
     
  6. Frank

    Frank Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    SSDs don't need a defragmentation. You gained space because of compression.
    Still, just because a SSD doesn't need defragmentation doesn't mean that Windows doesn't show some sort of fragmentation on the SSD. It's just that this fragmentation doesn't reduce the performance on a SSD (contrary to a HDD), so you don't have to do it, you gain nothing :)
     
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