Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Fight for disk space

I'm sure all of us encounter the disk space problem in C drive with Windows more often than not. I encountered the same problem recently. Of course I've tried the usual tricks of uninstalling all software I don't need and using windows disk clean etc...But still I was left with around 500 MB of free space from my 12 GB size C drive. Then I set out to find out how to solve this more methodically. Following are the steps I took and I feel some of them will be helpful to anyone out there when they need to gain some breathing space in the C drive in quick time. (I have a hp compaq nx7010 laptop running windows XP SP2) 1. First thing is to find out where exactly all u'r space has gone. Right clicking on each suspecting folder and finding out the size is not a scalable option. So I found 2 very easy to use freeware.
  • TreeSiz - Gives u a chance to scan the folder of u'r choice and provides a break down of how each folder had consumed space.
2. Using these two tools I found that there are 2 files consuming around 5GB of my hard disk space
  • hiberfil.sys
  • pagefile.sys
hiberfil.sys is used by the windows hibernation feature. It uses up roughly around 3GB of disk space and my feeling was that I prefer to have more disk space instead of hibernation which anyway gives me weird problems with my hp laptop. So I disabled hibernation and got the space back from hiberfil.sys. In the same windows you should be able to find some information which gets rid of all fancy XP animation stuff which can provide you with better performing OS. Try those too.

Now to the page file. The pagefile is an integral part of windows and you can't get rid of it. What you can do however is to have a minimum size page file running on your C drive while you have the bulk of the page file running on a different disk (or at least a different partition). You first need to know what you are doing by reading this. Then you can find out how to do it by reading this. After carrying out the above 2 tasks I was able to gain nearly 4 GB of my disk space and the mere fact of having your page file in a non-frequently accessed drive is bound to make your system perform better. Please share any un-common ways to gain disk space in windows and in the process improving the system performance.
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