Friday, February 19, 2010

Reclaiming Hard Disk Space on my Windows PC

For the past several months, I've been struggling with my Drive C because it has been running out of space. My System Tray would keep popping warnings that the space left is critically low. I would then clear my IE cache and temporary files just to free up some teeny-weeny space. It has become an almost daily routine.

I decided to spend some time this morning tinkering with Free Disk Analyzer from Extensoft. It gives you a graphical overview of your storage allocation down to the drives/folders/files. It can sort files or folders by space used and you can quickly isolate the space-hoggers.

It seems that a large chunk of space is eaten up by temporary files in my c:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Local Settings\temp folder. It looks like its acting as the general dumping ground of several applications for their temporary scratch area. And several files there look like they were already abandoned by their application and left to just gather dust.

Sorting them by space used and by date allowed me to determine which temporary files are most likely abandoned already and deleted them. After the 2 minute exercise, I was able to reclaim a whopping 11.3 GB of space on my Drive C! Yey!

I will try the other free tools at Extensoft. Their version of the Windows Explorer / File Manager looks very interesting.

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