Where Did All My Disk Space Go?

Ever been shocked to discover that the huge hard drive you thought you had, seems to have been somehow hijacked by data thieves who’ve filled it up with who knows what while leaving you with little room left to throw the proverbial cat! Windows might now even be warning you with something along the lines of ‘hey, you’ve got no room! Don’t pass go and forget about collecting 200 bucks!’ Okay I digress. So you’re out of room on the hard drive what can you do? Essentially you’ve three options:

  1. Install another hard drive to work with the existing one or install a bigger one to replace the existing drive. – Problem: cost money!
  2. If you’re using partitioning and have more space on another adjacent partition you can adjust the sizes using gparted. Problem: need a PhD (well not exactly but it is complicated)
  3. Most obviously get rid of the junk!

Assuming you want to try the free easy option first, i.e. getting rid of the junk, where do you start?

Clearing Your Disk of Junk (The Easy Way)!

  1. Get rid of any big files off the local drive like videos. Move them to a writable DVD, USB drive or a different drive/partition.
  2. Check that Restore is not hogging all the space. Typically System Restore can reserve up to 15% of a drive’s capacity. This is supper easy to do, check how to stop system restore hogging all your hard drive. If you don’t want to mess with this we can just kill all the older restore points which we’ll do next.
  3. Run Disk Cleanup. To do this go to the Accessories¬†item from the start menu, click System Tools and select Disk Cleanup. Choose the drive you want to clean up and let it do its thing. After a few minutes the Disk Cleanup window will open with a list of file types and the space they’ve used indicated. For now, click the More Options tab and click the Clean up… button (in the System Restore and Shadow Copies section).This will ask you if you want to delete all the old restore points except the last one. Click OK. Incidentally you can also choose to remove some programs here that you might no longer use. (Use the top Clean up… option for that).moreoptions
  4. Now go back to the Disk Cleanup tab and click the OK button to let it do the rest of the cleaning for you. (I need one for my place too – one button house cleanup! – If any one finds a product like that let me know).diskcleanup

Well you’re done, cleaned up the junk; pretty painless uh? You should have more space now, enjoy.

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