Consistent Low Disk Space

Hewlett-packard / Mini 1000 netbook
March 17, 2009 at 13:19:53
Specs: Windows XP
I just bought an HP Mini 1000 Netbook, and after 3 months am having troubles with low disk space. I know the computer doesn't have a lot of memory, so I've only installed programs I need (Microsoft Office), and have removed programs I don't use. I don't keep any files on the computer, but rather on an SD card.
SO, a few weeks ago I got the first "Low Disk Space" message, and after going through the disk cleanup, it was resolved. However, it keeps on returning. I've literally deleted every file I don't use on the computer, and have recently defragmented. Every time I think I clear out enough space, my disk space returns to below 200MB. What am I missing? And how is this space mysteriously filling up?
Please help! There's nothing else to delete! haha.

System info:
- Windows XP Home Edition 2002
- 1.6 GHz
- .99 GB RAM


See More: Consistent Low Disk Space

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#1
March 17, 2009 at 13:30:22
Check out this tool to see what's using all the space:

http://www.freewarefiles.com/Xinorb...

If you want one without so many features, check out this one:

http://www.freewarefiles.com/DirDis...

WinSimple Software


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#2
March 17, 2009 at 13:31:23
I believe it has a relately small 60GB HDD. How many programs do you have installed? Do you run a program such as CCleaner to clear out all the accumulated internet garbage? Is IE still set to store 20 days worth of browsing history?

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#3
March 17, 2009 at 13:33:30
I'm still using a 40GB IDE Drive, dual booting with XP and Vista and I don't have this problem. And I have lots of music and programs as well.

WinSimple Software


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Related Solutions

#4
March 17, 2009 at 13:35:33
I don't have any cleaner programs, and I'm not sure about the IE settings... I can check those now. Thanks!

Is there any way I can go about this without installing any other programs? I'm a little overprotective of my new computer...


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#5
March 17, 2009 at 13:38:00
With the same computer?

The only programs I've installed above the Windows ones are Adobe, Microsoft Office and Quicktime. I had them all for a few months though before the problem arose, and after that I uninstalled a few that I wasn't using (to clear up more space).


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#6
March 17, 2009 at 13:38:03
"Is there any way I can go about this without installing any other programs? I'm a little overprotective of my new computer..."

None that I know of...Sorry.

WinSimple Software


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#7
March 17, 2009 at 13:40:18
With the same computer?

The only programs I've installed above the Windows ones are Adobe, Microsoft Office and Quicktime. I had them all for a few months though before the problem arose, and after that I uninstalled a few that I wasn't using (to clear up more space).


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#8
March 17, 2009 at 13:41:50
Nope, I'm afraid not. The programs I linked to are clean and don't contain any spyware.

WinSimple Software


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#9
March 17, 2009 at 14:10:07
OK thanks, I'll try that then!

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#10
March 17, 2009 at 14:11:49
You can use My Computer to do it manually. Right click on each folder and select 'Properties' to see how much disk space it's using. If you find a huge one, do the same thing with the folders inside of it. Repeat that until you find the culprit.

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#11
March 17, 2009 at 14:17:06
OK, I downloaded and ran the second program you posted. Now what to do...?

Sorry to keep on bothering you!


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#12
March 17, 2009 at 14:36:51
How do I know which folders I can/should delete? Given my lack of computer knowledge, I would probably delete necessary files.

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#13
March 17, 2009 at 14:38:03
Post the names of the folders that are taking the most space.

WinSimple Software


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#14
March 17, 2009 at 14:58:35
If the second program I linked to is hard to use, the first one may be better. Download, install, and then run it. When it comes up, there'll be a Quick Start window to appear. In the list on the left of that window, select the drive that has the low space problem and click Scan Selected right above it. It may take a few minutes. When it's done, click the "Folders" tab in the main window (beside Summary, Table, and Type tabs). There'll be a nice bar graph on the right hand side and a list on the left hand side. List the biggest directories from that list in your next post. They should be at the top of the list.

WinSimple Software


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#15
March 17, 2009 at 21:07:31
WINDOWS 30%
\ 28%
Program Files 20%
Documents and Settings 12%
I386 5%
MSOCache 4%
SwSetup <1%
SAV7 <1%

Thank you!! I gave percentages by size, not # files.


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#16
March 17, 2009 at 21:47:07
Do you have the sizes of the biggest directories on that list? If you don't mind, I'd like to see them.

Go to Start>Control Panel>System. Click the System Restore tab. Is System Restore turned on? If so, click the drive that you're having problems with in the list and click Settings. Under "Disk Space to use," what percentage of your hard drive does it show that it's reserving for System Restore?

After you've gotten that info, close that window. In the System Properties window, click the Advanced tab. Underneath Performance, click Settings. Click the Advanced tab, and underneath Virtual Memory, click the Change button. There's a list at the top of the window that pops up. Under "Paging File Size (MB)," what is the size beside the drive with the low disk space problem?

Also, do you use programs like Norton GoBack or any Norton products?

WinSimple Software


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#17
March 17, 2009 at 21:58:13
Yeah, I only have a C drive on my laptop, I keep my files on the SD card in my D drive.

System restore was turned off, but it was formerly set at 12% (1874 MB). I think it turned off last time I had very low disk space? And I apparently never turned it back on. I left it off... is that OK?

Paging file size of C drive: (initial) 1524 MB, (max) 3048 MB.

I don't have any Norton programs, I use Sophos as my anti-virus. I was planning on installing ZoneAlarm soon, but figured I should solve this problem first.

Thanks again, I really appreciate your help!


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#18
March 17, 2009 at 21:59:41
Do you have the sizes of the biggest directories on that list? If you don't mind, I'd like to see them.

WinSimple Software


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#19
March 17, 2009 at 22:00:22
Yeah, I only have a C drive on my laptop, I keep my files on the SD card in my D drive.

System restore was turned off, but it was formerly set at 12% (1874 MB). I think it turned off last time I had very low disk space? And I apparently never turned it back on. I left it off... is that OK?

Paging file size of C drive: (initial) 1524 MB, (max) 3048 MB.

I don't have any Norton programs, I use Sophos as my anti-virus. I was planning on installing ZoneAlarm soon, but figured I should solve this problem first.

Thanks again, I really appreciate your help!


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#20
March 17, 2009 at 22:03:23
You're welcome! Is there anyway that you could post the sizes of the biggest folders you listed above as well if you don't mind?

WinSimple Software


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#21
March 17, 2009 at 22:04:23
Oh right, forgot that one...

Windows - 2.73GB
\ - 2.48GB
Program Files - 1.82GB
Documents & Settings - 1.05GB
I386 - 498MB
MSOCache - 367.6MB
SwSetup - 35MB
SAV7 - 15MB


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#22
March 17, 2009 at 22:10:38
Ok totaling up all the sizes you listed gives a total disk usage of about 8.97 GB, leaving roughly 50 GB of free space left! What does your free space say now in My Computer?

Do you ever see heavy disk usage go on when you're using the computer? The only thing that I can think of that's going on is that there's a program that runs every once and awhile that caches things to the hard drive.

How often do you run disk cleanup?

WinSimple Software


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#23
March 17, 2009 at 22:20:21
Free space is still at 71.2MB... total size being 15.2GB?

I don't see heavy disk usage ever, I don't think. I've run the disk cleanup 3 or 4 times in the past 3 days, and the last few times it still doesn't bring me above the 200MB of recommended free space. I just defragmented about a week ago, leaving me at over 800MB free, which is why I'm so confused that the space disappears so quickly!


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#24
March 17, 2009 at 22:23:59
Ok go to Start>Control Panel>Administrative Tools>Computer Management, and double-click Disk Management. In the pane on the bottom right, do you see anything that says Unallocated space? Your laptop is supposed to have a capacity of 60 gigs, definitely not 17.2 gigs. The space could be unallocated for some reason.

Also do a disk check on the drive. Go to Start>Run, type cmd and press enter. Then type chkdsk c: /f and press enter. You'll probably need to reboot to scan.

WinSimple Software


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#25
March 17, 2009 at 22:30:16
No unallocated space...
just the C drive (Disk 0) with 15.254 GB, "healthy" and my removable disk.

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#26
March 17, 2009 at 22:32:34
Ok how did the chkdsk turn out?

WinSimple Software


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#27
March 17, 2009 at 22:34:15
I checked online, and my computer only has a 16GB hard drive. I suppose I should've upgraded... hm...

Should I still try the disk check?


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#28
March 17, 2009 at 22:37:34
HP's site says you're supposed to have a 60 gig drive.

http://www.hp.com/united-states/cam...

I guess you need a bigger hard drive :).

WinSimple Software


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#29
March 17, 2009 at 22:38:07
"The type of file system is NTFS.
Cannot lock current drive.

Chkdsk cannot run because the volume is in use by another process. Would you like to schedule this volume to be checked the next time the system restarts? (Y/N)"


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#30
March 17, 2009 at 22:40:41
Yeah go ahead and type Y. You should have 8 gigs left.

WinSimple Software


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#31
March 17, 2009 at 22:41:13
Oh... on the cnet site it says I have 16GB of storage on my hard drive.

Even if it was only 16GB, shouldn't I still have 8GB free?


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#32
March 17, 2009 at 22:43:14
Yeah you should have between 6 and 8 gigs left because by my calculations you're only using less than 9 gigs.

WinSimple Software


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#33
March 17, 2009 at 22:45:21
OK I'll restart and do the check disk!

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#34
March 17, 2009 at 23:06:33
I ran check disk and it seemed to be fine...
Is there somewhere I can check the summary?

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#35
March 17, 2009 at 23:09:38
The summary of....?

WinSimple Software


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#36
March 17, 2009 at 23:12:28
The disk check. I found it, and it says...

Windows has made corrections to the file system.

15992675 KB total disk space.
15703952 KB in 69674 files.
22248 KB in 4082 indexes.
0 KB in bad sectors.
183875 KB in use by the system.
4096 KB occupied by the log file.
82600 KB available on disk.

4096 bytes in each allocation unit.
3998168 total allocation units on disk.
20650 allocation units available on disk.

Does that mean anything of use?


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#37
March 17, 2009 at 23:18:33
Hmmm not really, but it does show that there are some files that are taking up most of the space on the system.

I hate to say it but I'm out of ideas. Xinorbis should have been able to specify what was taking the space.

WinSimple Software


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#38
March 18, 2009 at 00:18:32
Haha, well, you had more ideas than I did!
I'll try bringing it in to a computer place nearby. Someone has to know!

Thanks again :)


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#39
March 18, 2009 at 00:21:49
You're welcome! :)

WinSimple Software


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#40
March 18, 2009 at 10:28:24
Is it possible that it's the Recycle Bin. Could the properties have been set so high that it's keeping several GB of files?

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#41
March 18, 2009 at 10:52:10
Nope, it's empty at the moment.

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#42
March 18, 2009 at 11:30:37
I'm with Rayburn, all out of ideas. It really doesn't make any sense. Several GBs of space taken up and not showing anywhere????

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#43
March 18, 2009 at 11:46:44
Download SIW.exe. Run it and go to storage. Left click drive C. You should now see a detailed report on all aspects of that partition.

What is the cluster size showing there? File system?

When you click on storage devices, what size does SIW report for the hard drive? If you highlight the drive listing the details should show at the bottom.


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#44
March 18, 2009 at 11:57:57
Hm... I now can't.
I have 20 KB of free space, and it requires more than that. I tried to uninstall Windows Live Messenger to make space, but I need more space to remove it!
Can I save it onto my SD card and run it from there?

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#45
March 18, 2009 at 12:22:07
OK I tried that, and it's telling me that siw.exe is not a valid win32 application

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#46
March 18, 2009 at 12:29:44
Don't worry about it. Go ahead and run it. Did you download the stand alone version? If not then you should if you want to run it off the SD card.

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#47
March 18, 2009 at 12:56:00
When you say "go to storage", is that "Storage Devices"?

Under storage devices, there's Disk 0 (C:) and CD-ROM 1 which is just a USB drive. For Disk 0...
Size: 16.3 GB
Buffer Size: 1KB

I don't see cache size or file system...


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#48
March 18, 2009 at 12:59:14
Highlight the line for the c drive. Wait a little bit for the computer to refresh. In your case it may take longer. You should get a second box open below the original box. If that doesn't work then doubleclick on the line for the C drive.

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#49
March 18, 2009 at 13:23:58
Found it!
Cluster size: 4096 Bytes
File System: NTFS 3.1

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#50
March 18, 2009 at 13:52:48
The cluster size and NTFS version are good. The drive size at 16.3GB is definitely an odd size.

I suggest you download a drive fitness tool from the manufacturer's website.

In response #15 you posted percentages of use. Those add up to 77%. 77% of 16.3GB is 12.55 GB. Perhaps you have the swap file set manually to a really large size.

Right click on My Computer and choose properties> Advanced> Performance settings> Advanced. In the Virtual memory box what size is the page file?


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#51
March 18, 2009 at 13:57:33
1524 MB

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#52
March 18, 2009 at 14:23:26
I don't mean to be nosy, but what programs do you have running in the background during normal use? What programs are in your system tray besides your AV?

@OtheHill

How did you get over 12 gigs of disk usage? I totaled the sizes twice and got just under 9 gigs.

WinSimple Software


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#53
March 18, 2009 at 14:28:50
hi
for info only
is this the netbook?
http://gizmodo.com/5070119/hp-mini-...
this versionn has a 16gig ssd

it may explain the hdd size,


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#54
March 18, 2009 at 14:50:17
I'll throw somet5hing in here, for what it's worth. There is a method to hide files and folders, it's called AltDS (Alternate Data Stream). I've heard that malware can use it to hide. It might be worth checking out. There is a program that is supposed to ferret out those hidden AltDS files at

http://www.heysoft.de/Frames/f_sw_l...

Supposedly ANTI virus programs should be able to pick them up, but ...

There's information about AltDS at:

http://www.irongeek.com/i.php?page=...

(edit) Just thought of something. I wonder if there is a hidden 'Image' partition, that doesn't show up in Disk Management.


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#55
March 18, 2009 at 14:52:50
Rayburn

I don't know what numbers you are using. I came into this thread late (#42) so maybe I missed something.

Correction on my percentage. It is 73%, not 77%.
The percentages posted in #15 add up to 73%. 73% of 16.3Gb is 11.89GB. I am just using the OP's numbers.

The only other thing I can think of is hidden files may not be included for whatever reason.

You can change the settings to show all files. Look at the link below to learn how.

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/...

Also, explore your Windows folder and see if you have a temp folder in there. If so, how much data is in there?

Did you ever try shutting off System restore and then turning back on. That will remove any old restore files. You can also remove the Windows update files.

Was this computer upgraded from an older version of Windows to WinXP? Could be there are extra files you don't really need there too.

30% of 16.3GB is 4.89GB. I am running WinXP pro SP3 and my size on the disk is 2.58GB. Windows shouldn't use as much space as It appears you are using.

If you have an installation CD for WinXP then you don't need the I386 files on there either.


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#56
March 18, 2009 at 15:07:47
CGomez, would you go to Disk Management again and look at the C: drive in the bottom right block. Does it show two parts for the c: drive.

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#57
March 18, 2009 at 18:46:29
"The percentages posted in #15 add up to 73%. 73% of 16.3Gb is 11.89GB. I am just using the OP's numbers."

That's cool, no problem whatsoever. I was just curious because 30% + 28% + 20% + 12% + 5% + 4% + 1% = 100%. I believe those percentages pertain to the used space instead of the total space, atleast that's how it is on my system. I could be wrong. :) I just find it funny how the total size of the files total up to under 9 gigs unless as was already mentioned there are hidden files or spyware.

WinSimple Software


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#58
March 18, 2009 at 19:04:10
Maybe I misinterpreted the percentages. I thought that the Windows was 30/28. You know file size and disk space.

Then the OP needs to explain what the \28% stands for.

Rayburn, if that is how you had it figured then where are you getting 9GB of files from?


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#59
March 18, 2009 at 19:16:13
I figured it like this from reply #21:

Windows - 2.73GB
\ - 2.48GB
Program Files - 1.82GB
Documents & Settings - 1.05GB
I386 - 498MB
MSOCache - 367.6MB
SwSetup - 35MB
SAV7 - 15MB

All of that totaled together comes to 8.974140625 GB. It's not a big deal, I just wanted to see if my calculations are off.

The "\ - 2.48GB" is how much space the files on the root are taking up. I know 1.5GB of that is the page file.

This post sure is baffling!

WinSimple Software


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#60
March 18, 2009 at 19:24:38
I think I understand now. The percentages are not percentages of the entire disk then. Just a percentage of the total files.

That's what I get for trying to jump in on a thread at #42 without carefully reading the entire thread. I did browse all responses. Guess I just missed that one.

Don't know if I missed it but did anyone suggest emptying the recycle bin?


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#61
March 18, 2009 at 19:29:43
No problem man, happens to me sometimes too!

Yeah unfortunately the OP already had emptied the recycle bin.

WinSimple Software


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#62
March 18, 2009 at 22:01:50
Sorry, I just got home.

Rayburn - The only programs running in the system tray normally are Windows Live Messenger, Bluetooth and Sophos Anti-Virus.

1stepbeyond - Yup, that's mine! Only 16GB.

aegis1 - Disk Management only had 1 part for my C: drive, I don't have the installation CD (nor a CD-ROM drive!), Windows wasn't updated, and where can I find the Windows update files to delete?

Most importantly... I shut off the System Restore, deleting all of the old records and... I HAVE 6.99GB FREE! Hooray!

So that was taking up all of my extra memory? Meaning I should do that every once in a while?


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#63
March 18, 2009 at 22:46:00
Glad we figured it out! Good work OtheHill. I didn't think of that!

WinSimple Software


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#64
March 18, 2009 at 22:48:37
woops, sorry - the questions were for Othehill.

Thanks everyone :)


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#65
March 19, 2009 at 05:28:15
cgomez

You can adjust the amount of DISK SPACE (not memory) to use a smaller percentage of the drive. I believe what happens then is the older files are purged to make room for the newer ones.

Glad we found the source of your missing storage space.

Did you look at the other items I mentioned. i386, Windows updates and temp files?


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#66
March 19, 2009 at 14:46:20
Othehill,

I checked the Temp folder in WINDOWS, and it's at 3.84 MB

Also, I changed the max. amount of disk space (disk space doesn't = memory? woops) to be used by System Restore to 6% (869 MB). It was originally at 12% (=1894MB), which doesn't exactly explain how over 6GB of space was made free after the old System Restore files were deleted...

I don't have the Windows CD, nor a CD-ROM drive on my computer, so I didn't remove the i386 files. Where can I find the windows update files to delete them?


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#67
March 19, 2009 at 15:25:30
For you it might be better to use auto updater because it will only feed you the files needed for your system. If you download the distributable package it will be bigger.

You should already have a link for Windows Update either on the start menu or in IE. The link for the downloadable and savable versions is below.

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/...


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#68
March 19, 2009 at 15:57:27
I have my Windows updates on autoupdate already, but you mentioned I can go through and delete old ones... where would I find them on my computer to do that?

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#69
March 19, 2009 at 19:12:56
I need to read slower. You can find those files in the Windows folder. They may be blue text and start with $. May not be worth removing though. I check those files on my box. SP3 is included and it still is only 273MB. Not going to save you a lot of space.

If you delete them then you wouldn't be able to remove the updates from windows any longer.

I guess you will need to learn how to live with a 16GB hard drive. Maybe you didn't understand what type of hard drive you have, or maybe you did, and that is what has you confused.

You have a Solid State Drive. Which is similar to a flash drive. That is why it is so small.

Some things you can do is to customize you program installations. Microsoft office, for instance, can be tailored to your usage. Go to Control panel> add/remove programs and click on remove Microsoft office. You will get choices. one will be to modify. Choose that one and remove modules you don't need or use on that unit. You may be able to cut the size down considerably. That same thing works for WinXP too. You can remove unwanted features.


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