HowTo: Disk space reduction on C:\ Drive [Windows 7]

Categories: Howto, Windows

I am suffering from a big time space crunch when it comes to my windows box. Unbelievable. Even a 300G disk seem insufficient! And, I am geeky enough to ensure my private stuff, work stuff & OS stuff does not reside on the same partition. Yet I get into super-duper mess! Now I am at my wits end. I cannot handle anymore lack of space or a slow system!

My current free space is about 9.26GB & yet the speed of the system is competing with Win98 systems!! 🙁

C Drive Space at the beginning
C Drive Space at the beginning

First things first. I wanna know which part of my system is taking up so much space! In geeky terms, I need a disk space analyzer for Windows. Well a simple google search gave me some brilliant options and based on a nicely detailed article1. I chose SpaceSniffer2.

  • Temporary Files: First step is to attack the temporary files. I used SpaceSniffer to find them. I found nothing major eating my disk-space so I moved on. Some of the many capabilities of SpaceSniffer can be found at their tips & tricks page3
  • Old Files: Find files that are more than 1 year old! This gave me some shockers! More than 46GB of my 100GB was untouched in over an year!! If I ignore the AppData, which cannot be deleted or moved4, then my pain points were:
    • pagefile.sys file – This was a whooping 7.8GB but then OS holds part of memory (RAM) data in this file & hence obviously should not meddled with5.
    • hiberfil.sys file – This was a staggering 5.8GB! This file has something to do with hibernation & you can use this info to free up this space6. And I did free up this space! 🙂
    • android directory – This was an unnecessary 2.2GB! Since I had long ago uninstalled all android based tools, it was a no-brainer to delete this fella outta my system.

At this point in time, solely due to hiberfil.sys, I gained about 6GB!

C Drive Space after hiberfil.sys
C Drive Space after hiberfil.sys

But I was still unhappy with the space reduction! 🙁 Gotta continue further!

Windows Disk Cleanup
Windows Disk Cleanup
  • Windows Disk Cleanup: Last but one option I got is to perform ‘Disk Cleanup,’ which I normally don’t trust. Historically I haven’t got any good results with this but then I am at the biggest space crunch cross-roads of my life! And, to my surprise, for the first time since I started using Windows I was happy with the results produced by a native windows utility. This saved be a good 18GB!! 🙂 18GB!! Boy, was I happy or what?! I was supremely excited! 🙂 🙂
  • CCleaner: Finally, I got totally greedy and chose to install the ‘CCleaner Free‘ for the ultimate cleanse! 🙂 And, this gave me another 1GB! 🙂 For the heck of it I chose to run the registry clean up as well. It guarantees me it found some milling DLLs and has fixed the issues! I gotta wait and see! 🙂
CCleaner Analysis
CCleaner Analysis

Anyways, after all these tasks (which consumed a good 3~4 hours of my time) now I am happy with a good 25.5GB of free space up from the initial 9.26GB! Am I a happy man or what?! 🙂 🙂

Final Disk Usage
Final Disk Usage

Btw, I followed these steps from howtogreek.com8

  1. The Best Disk Space Analyzer for Windows
  2. SpaceSniffer
  3. SpaceSniffer tips and tricks
  4. What is the AppData folder?
  5. Understanding the Windows Pagefile and Why You Shouldn’t Disable It
  6. What is hiberfil.sys and how do I delete it?
  7. How to Remove Programs (Windows 7)
  8. Beginner Geek : Simple Tips to Reduce Disk Usage in Windows 7

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