Hard drive space: Where did it all go?

My current rig is just about two years old and came with a sizable 300 gig hard drive. Last week I was down to 6 gigs so I went on an unistall binge and took off a load of games, deleted many files, and defragged the hard drive. I also ran ccleaner just to max out the bang for the buck, but I was only able to get an additional 42 gigs of space for a tital of 48 gigs of free space. I know that the remaining games on there are not taking up 250 gigs of space, so what is hogging all of the room? I would love to delete more stuff like save games, etc., but many of those are just hiding somewhere in Vista. Is there a way to list all of the files by size without having to dig trough folders? Are there any free apps out there to help free up some space? What could be taking up all of that room? I don’t download stuff - just patches and mods. No movies or porn; for real.

Thanks in advance!

Could be System Restore points

shows how to establish how much space it is using and how to reduce if necessary.

The simplest basic thing to do first is figure out where all the space is being sucked away. Do a properties on your programs files folder, your Documents and Setting or Users folder, and your Windows folder. I’m betting one of those is going to be freakishly huge. Could be a mutant temp folder, a giant error log, restore files, all sorts of things.




Yeah there are a lot of folder size applications out there. Disk Data, TreeSize, etc. I seem to run it once a month to keep my OCD down.

There’s one thing I’m wondering about. Whenever you get updates through Windows Update, they are donwloaded into \windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download.

The dowload creates a file without extension and a corresponding folder.

What are those good for? If I delete them, are the updates still applied to my system?

Only 300 gigs? Go grab yourself a terabyte for under a hundred.

Those are the installer files for your updates. they are stored there so that you can uninstall the update if you have to. You can delete the folder, but you won’t be able to uninstall any updates you’ve already applied. I hope that is the information you were looking for.

I’m still cranking fine on 160, but can’t wait to expand the next time I do a full upgrade (probably next generation of video cards). It would tickle me to install every game I own.

Yes, that’s exactly what I wanted to know. Thanks a lot!

I know where all my space goes - games. Games, games, games. All the way. My restore point space is limited to 500MB, and all the rest are DVD-sized (minimum) games. So when I start thinking that I have too little space, I first sum up the size of all my installed games. Subtract that and the size of Windows from total space and see what’s left. Allow for a gig or two of slack - any more than that, start hunting for tempfiles and other crap.

With the size of games these days, you might as well get a few terabyte disks (one for strategy, one for MMOs etc.) and quit worrying until things actually run slow :)

For my C: drive, I recently discovered where all my hard drive space was going (I never install games on C:). I have peerguardian on my computer, and it’s history file records anyone I ever connected to, or any IP it ever blocked. Every packet I send or is sent to me goes in that history file. It’s just a text file, so no big deal right? I just checked the size of that file two nights ago: 12 Gb. And that’s after 1 year of installing PeerGuardian. I deleted the history file, and peerguardian just started a new one. Still, that was a nice stealth way for my C: drive to be continuously getting smaller over the last year.


System Restore in XP should be using 0 space since every virus infects it first.

I’ll add a small addendum and mention that for people still using XP, those folders show up with blue text in C:\Windows and start with $NtUninstall, and can be safely deleted.

Whoa. Thanks for this post. My very good friend’s history file was 23.5 GB after maybe four years of PG use.

Wow, thanks for this.