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Windows 7: What's taking up my hard drive?

16 Apr 2015   #11
mercurius

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

H Layback Bear,

Ah, so that's the problem! Thank you very much for the offer of help. That's very kind of you.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Apr 2015   #12
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

I ran into the same problem a short while back and several of the guys here, most notably DavidE, were able to walk me through how to fix it for now. Look at this thread, starting with post #6.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Apr 2015   #13
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Thank you Lady Fitzgerald for answering my call for help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

16 Apr 2015   #14
mercurius

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Hi Lady Fitzgerald,

Thanks for the link. Some of the talk in the thread though is above my technical competence. I don't follow how to delete existing restore points. Any chance you could talk a non-technical user though that?

Thanks in advance for your help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Apr 2015   #15
DavidE

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64
 
 

Here is a tutorial by Brink for deleting restore points:
System Protection Restore Points - Delete
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Apr 2015   #16
mercurius

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DavidE View Post
Here is a tutorial by Brink for deleting restore points:
System Protection Restore Points - Delete
Many thanks DavidE. That worked for me! I followed Option 1 to delete them.

Will they stay deleted or will I have to keep doing this every now and again (I am carrying on with Avast Antivirus Free version).

Just another point on that, I also selected the option 'Turn off system protection', thinking that this was the way to stop restore points being created again in future. Now I'm wondering whether this was the right thing to do. Could you please advise what the implications of this are?

Secondly, do you have a tutorial on best practice for backups and what the difference is between taking back ups and making system images? I've just wiped my back up drive and need to set it up again, but want to know what the best thing to do is.

Finally I would like to say to everyone who has responded to my query, thank you very much for all your kindness and help!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Apr 2015   #17
Brink

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Mercurius,

Turning off system protection would just mean that you will no longer have any restore points available to be able to do a system restore if needed in the future.

If you would like to keep having restore points, then you could turn system protection back on for the C: drive, and limit the space used for restore points to what you want instead.

System Protection - Change Disk Space Usage

If you keep good updated system images, then you should be fine though.

A system image is an image backup of everything (all system drives). A Windows Backup is only a backup of folders you selected to be included in the backup.

Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup

Backup User and System Files

If you like, Macrium Reflect Free is a good 3rd party option for system images. It's a bit more flexible and reliable.

Imaging with free Macrium
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Apr 2015   #18
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

If you have turned off system protection, you can't do a System Restore. You'll have to watch your hard drive free space to see if Avast continues to chew it up.

Some people have trouble with System Restore and are glad to have it turned off. I've had no problems with it. System Restore in my experience runs as expected perhaps 97% of the time. It can be a quick way of returning your system to the way it was a day or a week or a month ago. That can be useful when you've installed something you wish you hadn't or when you have unexplained problems that you can't quickly resolve. For the 3% of the time that it fails to solve your problem, you have to resort to some Plan B.

Plan B can be manual trouble-shooting or restoration of a system image.

System images are a proper "backup" of an entire partition, unlike System Restore.

I use both. If System Restore doesn't bail me out, I restore an image. I've only had to restore images twice in 5 years, but I was glad to have that option when the time came.

Best practices would dictate the use of imaging--with something like Macrium or Aomei. You'd make a new image periodically, perhaps weekly or monthly.

You have to store the images and they can take up considerable space, depending on exactly how much space is used on your imaged partitions--maybe 15 to 50 GB each.

But no reason you can't use System Restore as a first line of defense. Just have the image fallback as a last resort.

Look for a Macrium tutorial on this site by member WHS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Apr 2015   #19
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Macrium Reflect Free (here is a good tutorial on how to use Macrium Reflect).

Imaging is the best way to backup system files (OS and programs) but is too slow, space consuming, clunky, and inefficient for backing up data (other than a tiny amount). For backing up data, I prefer a folder/file syncing program, such as FreeFileSync. To use a split system like that, one should have their system files on their own drive or partition and the data segregated to its own drives or partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Apr 2015   #20
DavidE

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mercurius View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DavidE View Post
Here is a tutorial by Brink for deleting restore points:
System Protection Restore Points - Delete
Many thanks DavidE. That worked for me! I followed Option 1 to delete them.

Will they stay deleted or will I have to keep doing this every now and again (I am carrying on with Avast Antivirus Free version).
You're welcome and glad to hear you have the problem solved for now.

It's a bug that should be fixed in June/July, so you should keep an eye on disk space to see if the problem happens again.

Now that we know you have Avast FREE, you shouldn't have the option that would cause this problem.
It's caused by Avast NG, aka Avast Secure Virtual Machines, aka Avast Sandbox.
They have changed the name for this "feature" making things more confusing and difficult.

Go to Control Panel > Programs and Features.
Select the Avast program.
Click on Change.

If you see Secure Virtual Machines (aka Sandbox or NG) checked, uncheck it and continue to uninstall it.
Reboot.

Here is a screen print example of what you should see if you want to change Avast options:
I only have the basic protection installed, no optional components.

What's taking up my hard drive?-avastcomponents_01.png


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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