Windows 7 - How to cleanup HD?

Asked By magineer0 on 13-Aug-12 05:07 AM
I have a Dell Dimension 8200 running FF with XP, SP3 , Windows Firewall, Av=
ast antivirus, Spywareblaster, and all the programs work well together and =
are up to date.=20

I regularly use Ccleaner, Defraggler and disk cleaner but I=92ve noticed th=
at my used portion of my HD is growing although I have not added any new pr=
ograms. Is there another better way to clean my HD besides disk cleaner so =
that will remove the excess that is building up?=20


Paul replied to magineer0 on 13-Aug-12 06:00 AM
You can use SequoiaView, to look for "space hogs".
It gives a visual representation of the contents of the drive.

(Picture of output is shown here.)

You can download either the ZIP or EXE version. You should
be able to do the install with either of them. The EXE is
as good as any.

The purpose of seeing the size of the files, is to get some
idea of how to attack the cleanup problem. Not everything
is a job for CCleaner like programs. Sometimes, it is your
user data that is taking up the space.

If it was an emergency situation ("need space fast"),
you can turn off System Restore, and free up maybe 5% of
the disk. Which might be better than nothing, if you are in a hurry.
But them, it leaves you with no Restore Points, if you ever
need to take the system back to a previous date, and fix
a registry issue. But for some posters, this is enough
to solve their immediate problem.

Sometimes, a software package added, something that "protects"
the user from data loss, is storing additional data on the drive,
and chewing up free space. Only you know, what software has
been added to your machine, and we cannot guess about stuff
like that for you. Some of that software just keeps eating
and will not stop. And un-installing the software package,
is one way to fix it.

glee replied to Paul on 13-Aug-12 09:03 AM
I find the freeware "Scanner" with its pie chart configuration to be
easier and less confusing for most people to interpret than those

Mousing over the pie sections tells you what is in them.
Glen Ventura
MS MVP  Oct. 2002 - Sept. 2009
CompTIA A+
(PeteCresswell) replied to magineer0 on 13-Aug-12 09:40 AM

That happened on my #2 daughter's PC to the extend that C: was
used up.

Turned out the cause was Windows Updates - which left folders
behind in C:\Windows named like "$NtUninstallKB2501581$".

Those files could be deleted with no impact on the system as long
as nobody wanted to uninstall the corresponding update.

I use a much cruder approach for my system.

- I partition the drive into C: (System) and D: (Data)

- I exercise the discipline of never keeping data
on my system drive - only on the data drive.

- I create a system image at a time when I know the
system is good (uninfected by malware, no
space hogs)

- I keep track of any installs/uninstalls/updates that
have been done since the image was created.

- If I even *think* the system's getting goofy,
I just re-image from the good image, re-install
whatever has changed, and create another "Good"
image.  Takes 30 minutes absolute max.
Pete Cresswell
Char Jackson replied to glee on 13-Aug-12 11:05 AM
Alternatively, if you like bar charts better than pie charts, there is
always the free version of Treesize.
Paul replied to (PeteCresswell) on 13-Aug-12 01:02 PM
I have seen claims, that a failing Windows Update, can attempt to
install over and over again, increasing those folders and
taking up space.

In which case, you would  want to resolve the Windows Update issue.

If there is an issue, I think Microsoft provides free support
for Windows Update related issues (because, it is their fault).

magineer0 replied to (PeteCresswell) on 13-Aug-12 04:48 PM
ugh I have not added any new programs.

I think the same thing is happening with me. So how do I delete those files=

magineer0 replied to magineer0 on 13-Aug-12 04:43 PM
Avast antivirus, Spywareblaster, and all the programs work well together an=
d are up to date.=20
that my used portion of my HD is growing although I have not added any new =
programs. Is there another better way to clean my HD besides disk cleaner s=
o that will remove the excess that is building up?=20

I should have added that I have separated my HD into partitions with the OS o=
n the C: partition and all my data on the D: partition.
Bill in Co replied to (PeteCresswell) on 13-Aug-12 06:04 PM
I think an equally good approach IS to keep both your data and your system
together in the same C: partition, and image them regularly so that BOTH are
backed up.  And you can keep generational images if you want.

it is just one less thing to worry about backing up that way, as BOTH your
system and your data are collectively backed up (and equally well, can be
restored together).   (But I also do have a separate partition for music and
video files since they are so large, but which do not need to be regularly
imaged and backed up).   This keeps the image size manageable (about 25 GB).
Plus it only takes about 15 minutes to image OR restore that (complete)
image of both, so that is not an issue, either.  (That image includes ALL the
system and data files (except for a music and video collection).

This way you do not have to worry about keeping track of separate backups for
the system and data, as it is all there together.
hot-totty replied to magineer0 on 13-Aug-12 06:08 PM
together and are up to date.

Oh stop wasting time and reformat the HD and start everything again.
You should reformat the HD every two years to clean it out.
aeroloose replied to magineer0 on 13-Aug-12 07:10 PM
You can use CCleaner to remove them.  Select "hotfix
uninstallers" in the "Cleaner / Windows / Advanced" section.
I have almost 700MB on my PC, but I have not needed to
recover that space yet.
(PeteCresswell) replied to magineer0 on 13-Aug-12 08:37 PM

I just open up c:\Windows, select the directories, and hit

Some systems may hide "System" files and C:\Windows may be a
Pete Cresswell
(PeteCresswell) replied to Bill in Co on 13-Aug-12 08:40 PM
Per Bill in Co:

YYMV, but I do not like it.   I only want to back up a system when
I am sure it is a-ok.   Doing "regular" images seems to me like
asking to back up a compromised system.... which may be the one I
choose to restore some day.
Pete Cresswell
glee replied to hot-totty on 13-Aug-12 08:44 PM
Bill in Co replied to (PeteCresswell) on 13-Aug-12 08:52 PM
But that is sometimes a problem, as sometimes it may seem ok, and then you
discover later that it was not.   That's one reason why I keep a few
generational images, not just one image backup.

I am not sure your approach is much different than mine in that regard, since
if I have discovered a problem after using it for a day, then I will not back it
up that night!   I will rollback to the earlier image backup).

By "regular" I mean I image it very frequently (sometimes at the end of each
day, assuming there are no problems), and save that one as the latest image
backup (which is constantly updated, since it is overwritten).  But I also
have some earlier images (which I call generational images) saved, too.

(Usually the "line of demarkation" in when to save a new image is when I
make a fairly significant change to the system, at which point I will store a
new image backup).
Bill in Co replied to glee on 13-Aug-12 09:04 PM
Oh c'mon, Glen.    Stop being so descriptive and explanative in your answer.
It might confuse the poor guy.   LOL.
glee replied to Bill in Co on 14-Aug-12 07:32 AM