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Windows 7: How I'm saving hard drive space


22 Dec 2009   #1

Windows 7 Professional 64
 
 
How I'm saving hard drive space

Now days, conserving hard drive space isn't too big of a deal. But I recently upgraded to a 30 gb OCZ Vertex SSD, so I'm a bit more conscious about how much space I'm using on my C: drive (which is the Vertex). Unfortunately it seems like Win 7 doesn't give you quite as many options for removing Windows components as XP did. Not that XP's options let you trim a lot of fat.

With 30 gb to play with, I want to put as much as practical on the SSD to take advantage of its speed. And I also want some free space because TRIM and garbage collection for SSDs needs space to move things around. So here is what I've done to keep things small. By the way, this is a desktop PC, not a notebook.

-Used vLite and removed the language packs, sample images and sounds, screensavers, and TV tuner drivers. Total savings: about 2 gigs.
-Disable hibernation and use sleep instead. Total savings: the size of your RAM (in my case 4 gb).
-Reduce pagefile size from 4 gb to a minimum of 512 and max of 1 gb. Total savings: The size of your RAM minus 500 mb. In my case, 3.5 gb. I know some people will claim to disable the pagefile entirely, but I'm erring on the side of caution.
So in my case, I have freed up 9.5 gigs with this alone.

After installing Office 2010 beta, I saw that the MSOCache folder was 650 mb. Some searching lead me to find out that this folder contained the install files for Office. They are needed when you update Office, so I ended up moving this to another drive (some registry editing was necessary and a symlink just in case something else tries to drop files in c:\MSOCache.)

So after all this, I've installed a good portion of my applications and I'm only using 10.4 gb. Included in this 10.4 gb are the following:
-Office 2010 without Outlook or OneNote
-Firefox with Flash, Java
-Thunderbird with all my email
-OpenOffice
-Visio
-Foxit Reader
-Macrium True Image (disk imaging for backups)
-Squeezebox Server
-Ccleaner
-MozBackup
-Windows 7 Firewall Control
-Microsoft Security Essentials (I'm trying it instead of AVG Free)
-System Restore is using 380 mb of a possible 1.2 gb

There are a few other little things installed that I'm not listing, and I still have more things to install. But as you can see, you can get Win 7 down to a manageable size, install quite a bit of essential stuff, and not take up a ton of room.

So that's what I've done so far. Any other tips/suggestions for saving space are welcome.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

22 Dec 2009   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Why not just move the page file entirely to your secondary storage drive? That's what I did to save space on my 80GB Intel SSD.

Also, you can move the browser cache locations for firefox and IE to your storage drive as well..saving the small temp writes. While it won't save you lots of space...it will save you quite a number of writes on the SSD drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Dec 2009   #3
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

You are doing very well. I am at 17GB on my 80GB Intel but I gave Windows 7 only a 42GB partition. The rest is a data partition.
One thing you can do is reduce the shadowstorage to a max of 300MB (which is the minimum allowed) and do more frequent Macrium backups. I do one nearly every day to the internal HDD and it takes only a few minutes for the system and data partitions together. Once in a while, I also take one to an external disk for additional safety. That takes about 25 minutes.
For a while I ran with a page file of 200/200MB (which is also the minimum), but that was neither here nor there.
But overall I think you will be fine. You have 20GBs to go and that is a LOT of space.

PS. My 60GB Vertex I just flashed to FW level 1.4 (for Trim). That will go on another system. But there I will move my data to an HDD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


22 Dec 2009   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x86-64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
You are doing very well. I am at 17GB on my 80GB Intel but I gave Windows 7 only a 42GB partition. The rest is a data partition.
One thing you can do is reduce the shadowstorage to a max of 300MB (which is the minimum allowed) and do more frequent Macrium backups. I do one nearly every day to the internal HDD and it takes only a few minutes for the system and data partitions together. Once in a while, I also take one to an external disk for additional safety. That takes about 25 minutes.
For a while I ran with a page file of 200/200MB (which is also the minimum), but that was neither here nor there.
But overall I think you will be fine. You have 20GBs to go and that is a LOT of space.

PS. My 60GB Vertex I just flashed to FW level 1.4 (for Trim). That will go on another system. But there I will move my data to an HDD.
Not necessarily, Dragon Age: Origins takes 20GB to install. I'd be careful with removing too much stuff from 7 - things might break.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Dec 2009   #5
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Frostmourne View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
You are doing very well. I am at 17GB on my 80GB Intel but I gave Windows 7 only a 42GB partition. The rest is a data partition.
One thing you can do is reduce the shadowstorage to a max of 300MB (which is the minimum allowed) and do more frequent Macrium backups. I do one nearly every day to the internal HDD and it takes only a few minutes for the system and data partitions together. Once in a while, I also take one to an external disk for additional safety. That takes about 25 minutes.
For a while I ran with a page file of 200/200MB (which is also the minimum), but that was neither here nor there.
But overall I think you will be fine. You have 20GBs to go and that is a LOT of space.

PS. My 60GB Vertex I just flashed to FW level 1.4 (for Trim). That will go on another system. But there I will move my data to an HDD.
Not necessarily, Dragon Age: Origins takes 20GB to install. I'd be careful with removing too much stuff from 7 - things might break.
That must be a game you are referring to. I never touch them. So maybe I am "safe".
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Dec 2009   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x86-64
 
 

Yes, but 1TB hard drives are standard now so paying more for a 30GB SSD doesn't make sense, more speed or not.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Dec 2009   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Frostmourne View Post
Yes, but 1TB hard drives are standard now so paying more for a 30GB SSD doesn't make sense, more speed or not.
The performance benefits are certainly worth it to some. Unless you are using an SSD drive...it's hard to understand. I can understand some who wouldn't feel the loading time benefits were worth it. For me, I went from 12 second load times in games like Wolfenstein to 2 seconds. I felt this extra performance and no noise justified my purchase price. Not to mention, no reason for prefetch, no reason for indexing, no reason to defrag, etc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Dec 2009   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x86-64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Frostmourne View Post
Yes, but 1TB hard drives are standard now so paying more for a 30GB SSD doesn't make sense, more speed or not.
The performance benefits are certainly worth it to some. Unless you are using an SSD drive...it's hard to understand. I can understand some who wouldn't feel the loading time benefits were worth it. For me, I went from 12 second load times in games like Wolfenstein to 2 seconds. I felt this extra performance and no noise justified my purchase price. Not to mention, no reason for prefetch, no reason for indexing, no reason to defrag, etc.
I'd rather keep 1TB than the benefits of a tiny SSD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Dec 2009   #9
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Frostmourne View Post
Yes, but 1TB hard drives are standard now so paying more for a 30GB SSD doesn't make sense, more speed or not.
The performance benefits are certainly worth it to some. Unless you are using an SSD drive...it's hard to understand. I can understand some who wouldn't feel the loading time benefits were worth it. For me, I went from 12 second load times in games like Wolfenstein to 2 seconds. I felt this extra performance and no noise justified my purchase price.

I can only agree. It is a completely new system feeling. And the 30GB Vertex was sold at Newegg for only $99 a couple of weeks ago. I was tempted to get two of them for a Raid0 setup. That really flies at 360MB data transfer rates. But now I got 200MB which is not all that bad either - even compared to some of those 15,000 RPM Fujitsus that are not cheap either. And for mass data, I use the HDDs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Dec 2009   #10

Windows 7 Professional 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
Why not just move the page file entirely to your secondary storage drive? That's what I did to save space on my 80GB Intel SSD.

Also, you can move the browser cache locations for firefox and IE to your storage drive as well..saving the small temp writes. While it won't save you lots of space...it will save you quite a number of writes on the SSD drive.
I may move the pagefile off the SSD as I fill the drive more. But for right now I've got 500 mb to spare for it.

I did change my browser cache location to RAM, forgot about that. I followed a tip on the OCZ formums regarding this.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
One thing you can do is reduce the shadowstorage to a max of 300MB (which is the minimum allowed) and do more frequent Macrium backups. I do one nearly every day to the internal HDD and it takes only a few minutes for the system and data partitions together. Once in a while, I also take one to an external disk for additional safety. That takes about 25 minutes.
I'll have to look into that. So far I've only made one image as a clean start point. It is time I make another.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Frostmourne View Post
Not necessarily, Dragon Age: Origins takes 20GB to install. I'd be careful with removing too much stuff from 7 - things might break.
I don't game anymore so I don't have to worry about something taking up that much space. Regarding breaking, that is why I didn't remove much with vLite. On my first vLite install, I removed the Tablet PC stuff (I think) and it broke the snipping tool. So I did it again and was much more conservative and just took out the things I was pretty sure I could remove.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Frostmourne View Post
Yes, but 1TB hard drives are standard now so paying more for a 30GB SSD doesn't make sense, more speed or not.
That's easy to say until you use one. I made no other changes to my equipment other than the SSD and it is like an entirely new machine. Night and day. It really is that big of an improvement. The drive I have now is $99 at Newegg after rebate. It is tempting to get another and run them in RAID 0. Kidding...I'd better not.

Thanks for all the tips, encouragement, and info guys.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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