Disk Space

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Janine, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. Janine

    Janine Funster Life Member

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    My C drive is supposed to have 50GB capacity but quite often it flashes up as only having as little as 34MB space left.

    I go through the routine of running disk cleanup and getting rid of temporary files etc which gets rid of only a few MB of stuff. I've downloaded a scanner to see what uses the space, but I don't really want to delete things that I don't understand.

    Next time I check the amount of disk space available it has suddenly, and for no apparent reason, jumped to 2.5GB.

    Can anyone explain this? Is it restore points? Is it to do with sleep-mode? Can I do anything else to free up any space?
     
  2. Munchie

    Munchie Funster Life Member

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    Prolly restore points just clear all but the last one should make a big difference. :thumb:
     
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  3. bungy

    bungy Funster

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    Hi Janine

    which OS do you have?

    and how much memory?
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013
  4. Janine

    Janine Funster Life Member

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    Vista
     
  5. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    windows uses a temporary memory paging file that can grow to a massive size at times. it replaces this file every time you reboot, but sometimes it leaves the previous file undeleted. a disc cleanup frees the space back up
     
  6. bungy

    bungy Funster

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    OK - does it slow down a lot when it starts getting 'full' and is the hardrive light going like the clappers most of the time

    if so, then the chances are the windows is probably relying a lot on virtual memory, the hard-disk space Windows uses to supplement your RAM - which could explain the jumping up and down

    unfortunately - if you only have the one disk then your options are cleaning more space on the disk, reducing the amount of startup programs or putting more memory in.

    would happen to be running Norton AV BTW
     
  7. Janine

    Janine Funster Life Member

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    I use the D drive (35GB) for photos and music - there is about 8GB free space on there.

    The screen has started 'freezing' a lot recently. Would that be RAM?

    I don't use Norton or Macafee as I know they use a lot of disc space. I rely on Windows Security.
     
  8. bungy

    bungy Funster

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    does it clear itself or do you need to reboot?

    If it clears itself, it could indicate a memory problem, possibly faulty ram

    before going that route you could try taking off your start-up programs, it may help.

    go to the start button, type in msconfig in the run box.
    a new window will open, at the top of the window there are a bunch of tabs choose the tab that says start-up.

    Uncheck everything.
    Click apply then ok.

    It will tell you to reboot your computer when it reboots a window will appear that states "You are using selective start-up", try running with that for a while and see if it improves
     
  9. Janine

    Janine Funster Life Member

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    It clears itself after a couple of minutes.

    Thanks for you help - I'll give it a try.
     
  10. bungy

    bungy Funster

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    least i can do after the hours of entertainment you two have given us:thumb:

    if the start up thing doesn't help then i think you will need some new ram - depending on the age and make of the laptop it might be around £20
     
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  11. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    Always difficult to diagnose these problems remotely without access to the machine. However, it sounds like temporary files of some description are clogging up the drive.

    50GB these days is not very much at all. I don't think you can buy drives smaller that 320GB in most places and 750GB/1TB drives are becoming common on new laptops.
     
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  12. bungy

    bungy Funster

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    One thing i forgot....

    If you do ctrl-alt-del and then select task manager and then the performance tab youll now have a flashy window open with graphs and some info about memory

    Down on the bottom left there should be an entry about physical memory usage, is it a high %?
     
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  13. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    A new SSD drive would give you a lot more space and would give your laptop a new lease of life. i installed one in my 5 year old Dell M90 and it was at least twice as fast on everything.
     
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  14. ShiftZZ

    ShiftZZ Funster Life Member

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    Thats fine, but it does not answer the original question...
     
  15. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    I consider myself thoroughly chastised :Wink: When has staying on topic been a requirement of fun? I though exactly the opposite was the norm :Rofl1::Rofl1:

    BTW, I was responding to GJH's post regarding hard drives:moon2:.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2013
  16. Janine

    Janine Funster Life Member

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  17. keith

    keith Funster

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  18. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    That is certainly one option. If you are going to do it and it is practical/possible for you. I would do a fresh install of your OS and software rather than moving it across to a new hard drive.

    This will clear up any problems you have that are software based and a new install of windows is always faster than an old one. Bit Rot does seem to affect windows quite dramatically. Once the new system is up and running and you have recovered all your data off the old hard drive you could use it as an external drive.
     
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  19. capinpugwash

    capinpugwash Funster

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    Janine, as you are running Vista it is worth trying this.

    Go to the windows logo bottom left
    and click it.

    Type Disk into the search area

    Click on Disk or disk clean up in the panel

    Do a disk clean up for all users on the computer

    When you are given the disk cleanup box after you have done the first run through choose the more options box

    Choose the clean up system restore and shadow copies option and run that.

    Vista makes all sorts of shadow copies and backups and this eats into the hard disk space. It tends to grow by itself like a weed and uses up space for itself.

    HTH

    Stuart
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2013
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  20. bungy

    bungy Funster

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    Where i was leading to with my queries and pointers was that Windows uses part of your hard drive space as "virtual memory". It loads what it needs to load into the much faster RAM (random access memory) memory, but creates a swap or page file on the hard drive that it uses to swap data in and out of RAM. Cleaning up and freeing space is definatley a good thing as it allows the OS more flexibility in managing the virtual memory , especially to clean up system restore and shadow copies as capinpugwash suggests along with defragging. but it doesnt address the underlying issues...see end of post!!

    It is highly likely that on your laptop you have a limited amount of RAM and as it is a laptop the graphics card is also sharing this, and then when windows grabs its area for the windows systems files - you dont have much left for your use. (bit like payload:Rofl1:)

    The result is the system relies on virtual memory more heavily - if your HDD light is flashing away like theres no tomorrow most of the time, then this what is probably happening), this then introduces another dynamic which is the read/write speed of the hardrive, as it is a 80-90gb one id hazard a guess its about 5ish years old so it may not be the fastest drive on the planet, and as a result the system will freeze while it sorts itself out and writes stuff to the virtual memory and also reads stuff from it, this tends to be more prominent when switching between programs and windows and also when the OS decides something is inactive so can now be written from RAM and into the virtual memory- and gromits suggestion would certainly help in this area, but there are a few things that can be done which may be simpler.

    Virtual memory is placed in what is called the pagefile. The page file is typically on the root of your C: drive and is called pagefile.sys, but it is a hidden system file so you won't see it unless you have changed your file viewing settings to show hidden and system files.

    The potential "problem" lies in the fact that information remains in the page file. As you use different programs and perform different functions on your computer the page file may end up containing all sorts of jumbled up info which the OS then has to pull off the harddrive and put back into the ram when it is needed. This info can also get clogged up in the pagefile too, even when you shut down, so again exasperating the space available (windows limits the pagefile size to a % of available free hard drive space normally) well designed system dont you think :Doh:

    what you can do is get Windows to erase the page file each time you shutdown Windows then youll be starting each time with a clean area. Now vista is supposed to do this as a default, but ive seen loads of systems where it is not so it is worth checking just to make sure

    to do that - follow these steps...

    1/ Click Start button and in the Search dialogue box type: gpedit.msc
    2/ When in the group policy window proceed as follows:
    3/ Click the > button next to Computer Configuration. This will expand the menu.
    4/ Click the > next to the Windows settings option. Again the menu will expand.
    5/ Next click the > next to Security settings. The menu will expand again.
    6/ Now click the > next to Local Policies. The menu will expand again.
    7/ Now click on the Security Options.
    8/ The right hand pane of group policies will fill with options
    9/ Scroll down to Shutdowns; Clear virtual memory page file.
    10/ Now right click on this option and, from the menu that appears select Properties.
    11/ In properties check that the enables radio button is selected - if its not then select it, if it is the great(ish)
    12/ Now click OK.
    13/ Finally close group policies.

    if it wasnt set then its worth rebooting and seeing if things are better, if they are, now go back and reenable all the start up programs again from my earlier post. and reboot again, if things are still rosy...then your done, time to sit and be smug, if not - and the freezing continues...then i think you need a replacement (and bigger) ram module im afraid

    Now - if the pagefile was set to delete , then its worth looking at what is in the startup and being selective - the antivirus stuff is a must, but most others you can wait and see, alot of programs like adobe and Google load things up at start up to make it quicker for you to use - but on a low memory system this has the opposite effect. so select the ones you think you need and apply and then reboot

    If the world is better and your happy with it then you can leave it at that, but, if not - and the freezing continues...then i think you need a replacement (and bigger) ram module im afraid

    In all honesty - it would be probably a wise move to up the RAM anyway - assuming of course you have less than 1gb - if you have more then i would suspect a fault memory card and it needs replacing (bit of trend here!!)

    apologise for the long post but i think it helps if folks get a view of why they are doing certain things - and apolgise if im teaching you to suck eggs!! but look on the bright side - you now have enough info to work in a tech support role in india:Rofl1:
     
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