View Full Version : Hard Drive Advice

Colonel Angus
05-28-2015, 04:29 AM
Computer nerds experts,

Do you have any suggestions on how I can clean up my computer's hard drive. I have a 101gb hard drive on a ~8-9 y.o. computer that runs Windows Vista & have recently been alerted that it's nearly filled. I've run a disk cleanup (twice) & deleted some random files, but right now it has about 3gb left (after I had it up to 5gb of free space, it went back down to 3).

A few days ago I did a Malwarebytes fullscan & it found nothing. Before that I used CCleaner, so it doesn't make sense that all that hard drive is being used.

Thanks in advance.

05-28-2015, 04:41 AM
If the HDD is as old as the rest of the computer I'm surprised it even still functions tbh. I have one HDD that's a good 10 years old but I've had some trout the bed in less than 2. Really imo your biggest issue is your using vista. it's just super resource intensive. Add in you have a itty bitty HDD and once your HDD have been written and rewritten several times it slows down. Oh and having your HDD over half full slows things down a lot. Your computer has physical disks it has to go through in your hardrive so it can be a slow process in the computing world. Really, upgrading is the only thing I can offer for advice. or just start uninstalling games and stuff you don't use.

05-28-2015, 04:48 AM
Yeah, you can open the uninstall program thing in the control panel and it will list the size of space all the software is taking up. If you do things like file sharing you generally have one large folder allocated to that program, and in my experience, the uninstaller generally takes that into account (i.e. saying uTorrent is taking up 59gb or something)

05-28-2015, 04:49 AM
If you're not comfortable with adding a new harddrive into your computer, you can always get an external drive that connects via USB to keep pictures/videos/files on to keep space on your main drive.

Colonel Angus
05-28-2015, 04:50 AM
Thanks. I'm just trying to hold out until Windows 10 comes out. IDK if I'm going to be able to, though. Might have to settle for 8.1 temporarily until they release 10. My computer has been slow for quite some time. I guess I may have to do a purge of things I really don't need anymore.

05-28-2015, 04:54 AM
Look into a SSD(Solid State Drive) when you get a new setup. I paid $99 for a 250GB SSD and it takes about 20 seconds for my desktop to fully boot up. I also run a second 320GB HDD that holds my steam library and then a third 465GB HDD for random junk like pictures, shows ect.

05-28-2015, 11:59 AM
Look into a SSD(Solid State Drive) when you get a new setup. I paid $99 for a 250GB SSD and it takes about 20 seconds for my desktop to fully boot up. I also run a second 320GB HDD that holds my steam library and then a third 465GB HDD for random junk like pictures, shows ect.
Note that SSDs have a much higher cost/storage ratio, so depending on your uses it may not make financial sense. Windows 8 and beyond substantially increased boot times even on non-SSDs, so it may not be an issue. That said, performance is still fairly incredible on SSDs.

For your current dilemma, I'd recommend a program like WinDirStat:
Running it will produce a visualization of where your hard drive storage has gone. If it's not being eaten up by music/movies/games, then I'd suspect Windows Update has stored all of its downloads somewhere and not cleaned up after itself.

05-28-2015, 02:56 PM
You should seriously consider replacing it with one that is larger and faster. Ask friends for help if you don't know how to install it.
100 GB isn't a lot.

Try getting a 500GB or 1TB hybrid drive. That would make a lot of sense for you, I think.

Old Manus
05-28-2015, 06:56 PM
Uninstall unused programs and check your RAM. I remember Vista creating xbawkshuge pagefiles back when I had it. If you've got stuff like music taking up space there's always the cloud.

05-28-2015, 11:35 PM
Eliminate hibernate. Also unused system restore points. These will need to be done manually I believe.

05-28-2015, 11:48 PM
I doubt hibernation files are gonna take a lot of space for him. With that old a PC, he's probably not got more than two GB of RAM at most. A hibernation file would never be larger than 2 GB in that case.

Is this a desktop or a laptop?

You might want to just go through your HDD manually. Check each of the folders at the root of your HDD and see how much space they take. If there are dozens of folders inside those again, select half of them and check the size of that selection, then half of that, and half of that until you're left with just a couple of large folders. Chances are there's going to be a lot of space taken by the windows folder, users folder and program files folder. Be careful before deleting things in these folders, especially the windows folder. Figure out which programs are associated with the big folders in the "program files" folder, then uninstall them and if needed manually delete the remains.

But really, replace it with a new HDD and reinstall windows.

Colonel Angus
05-29-2015, 12:06 AM
Thanks for all the suggestions, guys.

Hibernation was only 863MB~, but I got rid of it w/ disk cleaner. It's too bad, because I liked Hibernation as Trend Micro takes a lifetime to load every boot.

Sorry, I failed to mention it's a laptop.

I've deleted Quicktime last night & am in the process of deleting the other useless Apple programs I don't use anymore because of VLC. I also have all these ArcSoft programs that I'm not sure how they got on my computer. I think when I downloaded the Easyshare software from my camera it came along w/ it. I also need to get rid of that, as I just plug in the camera & manually take photos directly from it.

I should chuck all my music, because I still have the CDs & could just listen to it on Youtube.

What's the best way to get rid of the extra System Restore points? I've seen a couple of suggestions. One was just wrong (@ least for Vista) & the other just confused the hell out of me.

05-29-2015, 12:56 AM
If you decide to keep this laptop going after you get a new setup, a hybrid drive like Stu suggested would be ideal for it. And relatively inexpensive.

05-29-2015, 01:45 AM
my name isn't stu!

05-29-2015, 02:02 AM
my name isn't stu!

Oh sorry Mirage I thought stu had posted about the hybrids :p My bad! But now your name is Stu ;)

Colonel Angus
05-29-2015, 02:25 AM
:lol: I was wondering who the heck was Stu.

BTW, I deleted the 3 Apple Programs & suddenly my computer is running faster.

05-29-2015, 04:20 AM
Shoeberto = Stu

Old Manus
05-29-2015, 10:04 AM
Treesize (https://www.jam-software.de/customers/downloadTrial.php?article_no=80&language=EN&) is a useful program for finding out where all your hard drive space is going.