My girlfriend’s PC (using Windows XP; used to use Windows 95) runs chronically low on disk space, her D: drive currently using all but 42 MB of its 1.52 GB. This causes a number of problems, the latest being the persistent notifications that disk space for the D: drive is “critically low,” and that the System Restore application has been disable until at least 200 MB of space can be freed up.
The trouble is, I have no idea what’s using up all the space, nor how to free up any significant amount. When I follow the computer’s prompts to free disk space, I end up at the Add/Remove Programs screen–which might be helpful, except that none of the few programs it lists are ones I’d like to uninstall (and they only comprise about 91 MB of space anyway).
Here’s what the Add/Remove Programs screen lists:
Adobe Acrobat (16.34 MB)
AOL Instant Messenger (no size given)
diskSpace Explorer Home Edition (2.00 MB)
IrfanView (1.63 MB)
Java 2 Runtime Environment, SE v.1.4.1_02 (1.88 MB)
Java Web Start (2.81 MB)
LiveReg (Symantec Corporation) (2.16 MB)
LiveUpdate 1.80 (Symantec Corporation) (7.69 MB)
Logitech iTouch Software (2.56 MB)
Microsoft Word 97 (no size given)
Mozilla (1.4) (no size given)
Norton AntiVirus 2002 (16.77 MB)
RealOne Player (34.34 MB)
Shockwave (no size given)
Viewpoint Media Player (2.75 MB)
Windows XP Hotfix - KB823980 (no size given)
That’s it. My girlfriend basically uses her computer for word processing and surfing the net–she doesn’t have any space-eating computer games installed, nor does she download music or other media files.
When I run the diskSpace Explorer program listed above, it tells me any number of interesting things about where the 1.52 GB is going:
Windows (using 50% of space)
Program Files (18%)
Documents and Settings (12%)
Recycled (2%) (obviously I can get rid of this)
System32 (using 54% of space)
Driver Cache (9%)
various smaller folders and files (the rest)
Within Program Files:
Common Files (using 44% of space)
Microsoft Office (8%)
Norton AntiVirus (5%)
various smaller programs (the rest)
I’ve just cleared another 30 MB or so by cleaning up the temp folders, but here’s my question: what’s eating up all the space? More importantly, what can I get rid of so that the system runs more smoothly? I’ve tried a couple of downloadable shareware disk space utilities, but they haven’t been much help (I’m assuming mostly because I just don’t know what I’m looking for). For instance, can I get rid of the pagefile.sys and hiberfil.sys files (totalling about 230 MB of space), or not? Should my System32 folder be that huge?
What can I do? Any help would be greatly appreciated.