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Windows 7: Excessive disk usage


24 Aug 2011   #1

Windows 7 x64
 
 
Excessive disk usage

When I put my computer together, I decided that an 80 GB drive would suffice for the C: drive as the only stuff to be stored would be the operating system and programs. However, the size of C;\Windows seems to grow without bounds - it is currently consuming 31+GB, which is simply ludicrous.

How can this directory be put on a severe diet?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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24 Aug 2011   #2

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate SP1
 
 

Before we go further, could you just tell me how you got that number?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Aug 2011   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Considering that Windows alone takes about 20GB right from square 1, that's 25% of your entire drive. Then all of the apps that you install, plus any games (which can consume lots of space) and an 80GB drive is pretty small.

Also, remember you will likely have a pagefile on C: equal to the amount of RAM you have installed, and you most likely will have a hibernate file also equal to approx your RAM size. So, if you have 4GB of RAM, these two files will consume at least 8GB...so another 10% of your drive.

Finally, system restore points can take quite a bit of space. Right click my computer, properties, system protection, highlight C and click on configure and it will show the usage. I dropped my percentage on my SSD to 2% and am currently using 816MB.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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24 Aug 2011   #4

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Teerex: I use a utility called WinDirStat

pparks1: With all due respect, research indicates that a base install of Windows 7 only requires 6 GB and that it can be run on a 30 GB drive (including programs). Thus, the fatc that my Windows directory alone is 31+ GB is hard to understand. (On my notebook computer, the Window folder is 24+ GB.)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Aug 2011   #5

Windows 7 32 bit
 
 

Windows system drive does have a tendency to grow. I'm assuming you have another drive or partition available. If so, methods to limit growth of C: include:

a)install portable apps on the other drive as much as possible

For example, CCleaner portable works just as well as CCleaner installed version.
Many text editors, av scanners and other utilities have portable versions.

b) put your page file on the other(preferably physical) drive.

Since you have 8 GB ram, if you run "lightweight" apps page file use may be negligible.
If you only have one physical disk keeping it on C: may reduce thrashing. Otherwise,
stick it on the other physical drive instead.

c)limit restore point usage as suggested.

Use image backup programs to save system images to an external USB and only use a couple of Restore Points. You can use CCleaner(portable) to keep restore points cleaned manually as well as setting the max drive usage in the system protection settings.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Aug 2011   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

What leads you to believe anything is amiss? Perhaps you just have a lot of programs installed?

I have an 80 gig SSD containing only Windows 7 Home Premium SP 1 and installed applications. C currently occupies 24 GB, of which 16 GB is in the Windows directory.

Going from memory, a base Windows 7 SP 1 Home Premium installation, fully updated, occupies between 15 and 20 GB? I do seem to recall that the bare minimum Windows 7, without SP 1 and without updates, is somewhere under 10 GB.

The usual suspects for runaway size are hibernation, page file, and system restore, but we have seen some oddball situations. I'd consult WinDirStat---what does it tell you?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Aug 2011   #7

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Maybe I was not clear: The single folder C:\Windows is consuming 31+ GB of hard drive space alone. I am not concerned about hard drive space from the pagefile, Program Files, etc - those I fully understand. What I do not understand is why the OS directory is constantly growing and is so large.

WinDirStat shows the following:
  • .dll: 19.0 GB (largely due to winsxs, I believe)
  • .sys: 8.4 GB (most of this from pagefile)
  • .msp: 5.4 GB
  • .pak: 3.8 GB
  • .cab: 3.1 GB
  • .exe: 2.9 GB
  • .msi: 2.5 GB
  • .hxs: 2.0 GB
One needs to ask why the .msp, .pak, .msi, .cab, and .hxs are all being stored...

In the C:\Windows folder, the subfolders Installer and winsxs each account for ~11 GB of storage.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Aug 2011   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Just for comparison:

My Installer folder is 1.5 GB

My winsxx folder is 6.4 GB

I did not run WinDirStat, but I ran dir /s *.dll from a command prompt and it showed 10.7 GB.

I apparently have NO .pak files on my drive--at least I can't find any using dir command.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Aug 2011   #9

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by GRoston View Post
Teerex: I use a utility called WinDirStat

pparks1: With all due respect, research indicates that a base install of Windows 7 only requires 6 GB and that it can be run on a 30 GB drive (including programs). Thus, the fatc that my Windows directory alone is 31+ GB is hard to understand. (On my notebook computer, the Window folder is 24+ GB.)
Have you installed SP1? Did you clean up after it?

You might have an abnormal situation there, used space on my system partition, with programs, MSOcache, user files, pagefile and hiberfil (6 GB RAM) is 44,7 GB. What's yours?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Aug 2011   #10
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote:
research indicates that a base install of Windows 7 only requires 6
I have never seen that. The smallest of my four Win7s (a 32bit) is about 18GBs - and that is without hiberfile. But what is the problem. You should be fine with an 80GB drive. I run my systems with SSDs ranging from 60GB to 90GB (for a laptop with only 1 drive).

But you apparently have a desktop. For pennies you can add a big drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Excessive disk usage




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