Windoze 7 should it occupy 200 gig of disc space?
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  1. #1
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    Default Windoze 7 should it occupy 200 gig of disc space?

    Hi All:
    I'm having recurring problems with my main design computer.
    It's a Dell T7400 running Windows 7 Professional.
    About once every couple of years it tells me that I'm running out of hard drive space.
    Keith (former business partner) has done all the IT in this incarnation of the shop including setting up and maintaining the computers.

    His solution has always appeared to be: add another or a bigger hard drive.
    I've got a terabyte of drive space in two drives each of about 500 GB; one is the OS and software drive, the other just gets data.

    So I get the message again a couple of days ago. Your drive is nearly full...blah blah blah.
    I look in the data drive...it's about a quarter full...higher than I think is reasonable for the amount of stuff we've actually done over the past couple of years, but not too terribly bad.

    The OS drive on the other hand is crammed to the rafters, and the Windows folder alone has over 200 GB of Microsoft crap on it.
    Is this even remotely reasonable?
    All my other Windows 7 boxes use up about 20GB for the equivalent folder.
    I look in the "Programs" subfolder and there's all kinds of software I don't ever intend to use on there, and when I open the Control Panel there are a LOT of programs many of which I've never even heard of.

    The "Users" folder in the OS drive is also chock full; it's got 80 GB of stuff on it; 150,000 files in 15,000 folders, and that's right after a disk cleanup.
    The cleanup this morning got rid of about 80GB of crap from the data drive, but the cleanup on the OS drive hardly budged the proportion of the drive that's being used.

    So my question: is this as it should be for Windows 7??
    Is there something wrong here?
    I'm being told I need bigger drives yet again, but after only 2 years since the last meltdown??
    Can I safely go through the Control Panel with a broadaxe and wipe out all the crap I don't use?

    My old old XP box that has been running since 2001 and has never been on the internet has a whopping 110 GB total capacity of which 38GB are being used, and that's in 17 years of continuous use with the OS AND the data all on the same drive.
    It's run flawlessly all that time with never a burp a fart or even a hiccup.

    So I eagerly await all opinions.
    Be aware though, that I'm no computer whizz...far far from it, so speak in short sentences with words of one syllable please!

    Cheers

    Marcus
    Implant Mechanix • Design & Innovation > HOME
    www.vancouverwireedm.com

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    No, it is most definitely not as it should be for Windows 7. Yes, there is something wrong here.

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    Are either one or both of these drives an SSD type?

    Fred

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    I use a program called windirstat to help diagnose what is taking up space when I need to clean up a drive. It's free and will break down visually and by % which files/directories contain the most data. That way you can tell whether the space is taken up by multiple applications or whether one particular area is getting bloated. With that info you can figure out a specific course of action. You may just need to remove a few unused programs, or you may find that one program or system process is creating a ton of files (could be a cache or set of temporary files that can be deleted).

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    Hi Fred:
    Nope, both are mechanical drives.
    I have been encouraged to go with SSD's but I;m not sure why it matters.
    I always thought drive space is drive space and the main benefits of modern SSD's are read/write speed and drive longevity because of the absence of moving bits.
    Am I missing something important?
    Cheers

    Marcus
    Implant Mechanix • Design & Innovation > HOME
    www.vancouverwireedm.com

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    You could have many restore points being saved. Windows folder should def be under 50GB. Check your settings on that, may also want to run a quick malware scan.
    The 'User' folder will be large as that contains all your downloads, documents, pictures etc for ALL users.

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    Not to mention drivers, updates, etc... Windows gets larger as time goes by, but 200Gb is crazy. Time for a re-install methinks.

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    >>>The "Users" folder in the OS drive is also chock full; it's got 80 GB of stuff on it; 150,000 files in 15,000 folders, and that's right after a disk cleanup.<<<

    users
    username
    >my documents
    > my pictures
    >my music
    > my videos


    oh, and probably the recycle bin

    and downloads

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    Quote Originally Posted by implmex View Post
    I always thought drive space is drive space and the main benefits of modern SSD's are read/write speed and drive longevity because of the absence of moving bits.
    Am I missing something important?
    SSD or mechanical is of no consequence as far as storage size, you're correct. +1 for a new install. Manually move all your files to a temporary storage device (make a back-up of this) and reinstall the OS to be rid of the extraneous key-stroke loggers, data reports, malware et al from both MS and illicit sources (is the distinction necessary?).

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    @implmex
    You didn't mention what applications you are running but there are some general guidelines to follow no matter what application you are using.

    All CAM software generates temp files, log files, etc-. I clean out my computer once in a while and there is always 5-10GB of crap. Some of our computers which rarely get cleaned out have had as much as 200-300GB of junk fles. For simplicity, and because it's free, use something like CCleaner. It will get most of your temp files cleaned out and you can have it clean up obsolete registry entries as well. Our IT department eventually made us uninstall CCleaner because it also toasted old Windows log files which the IT dept used but I use it on my home computers and it cleans up things fairly well; not 100% but probably at least 95% of the junk. So Windows will create a ton of junk files and also your CAM system as well. Recently an old Mastercam computer in our shop had a full disk and the issue was tracked down to some kind of Mastercam temp file which was constantly growing and eventually filled up all the hard drive free space; it was a 260GB file if I recall correctly. Also I think some CAM software can create backup files too so in effect you are doubling the amount of space you are using.

    FYI my Windows folder is 31GB and my Programs folder is 80GB and I consider my system running well with very little crap on the disk. I have a lot of software installed and my computer it's also the doc server in our office for our Siemens NX help and tutorial docs.

    Your next computer should have a SSD for sure, there are zero reasons IMO to buy mechanical drives ever again, even for expansion. The new motherboards support the M2 ssd specification and it's really fast but even if you buy a typical sata-III drive you will see huge performance gains. Boot time is a lot faster, programs start quickly; overall disk reads and writes are way, way better than the best mechanical drives available. Older sata ssd's can slow down on huge writes but then again mechanical drives are sloooow at doing everything. Overall ssd's are a great benefit and speed everything up on pretty much everything so your day to day tasks are greatly benefited.

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    Marcus,

    Thanks for the reply. Obviously my suspicions don't apply in your case. If you are wondering why I asked, google something like 'read write to SSD problems' and see what you get.

    Our IT guy takes care of some 60 pcs/macs as well as a numerous servers. Most of the trouble he has had come from 'overworked' SSD drives that start to have write failures leading to all sorts of problems. As a rule we now put OS and programs on SSDs and have data stored to more conventional drives.

    Given that most PCs are now shipped with SSD drives, this can't be an epidemic problem and improvements in the technology may have already made this problem rare or non existent....at least during the warranty period

    Sorry for side tracking you with the question.

    Fred


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