Windows: Regain disk space on C drive with some uncommon methods

I admit I've been lazy and slacking on the computer maintenance side of things lately (which translates to a few years). As a result, things have cluttered up and I'm starting to constantly run low on C:.

I do however perform the usual trimming of the temp folders and restore points, which usually do the trick. I find programs that clear the browser cache to be stupid because the files are eventually redownloaded again when you browse.

So I resorted to TuneUp Utilities' Disk Space Explorer which is a bloody brilliant computer maintenance suite. The Disk Space Explorer is a nice tool that lets you see what folders/files are hogging up space on your computer.

Adobe Acrobat 9

First on the list, and somehow unsurprisingly, Adobe Acrobat. Delete the stupid installer cache files, with half the files in languages I cant even read!

Shaved: 1.22gb.

Windows Installer Cache

Much like the the previous program, incomplete or unsuccessful installations may leave horrendous cache files on your computer.

Use the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility (which is basically MSI Zap with a nice frontend) to remove the files in a safer manner. Just be careful with it. Its sort of like a big hammer so if you go apeshit with it, something will break.

Some programs will have broken shortcuts after this is run. Just edit the shortcut and set a target, or recreate a shortcut that runs the appropriate executable.

It also removes the install logs, which makes it impossible to uninstall the software. Just be sure you want to keep it ;)

Shaved: 2.16gb to 793mb (and thats just by removing Visual Studio 2005!)

ACDSee Catalogue Database

You may have noticed that I use alot of "strange images" in my posts. I'm a massive image hoarder, and that causes my image manager to suffer.

Remember to clean your ACDSee catalogue database!

Shaved: 1.6gb to 860mb.

NOD32 Antivirus Quarantine

The quarantine will store a copy of all infected files, including the gigantic (and infected) setup files that you might of grabbed off torrents.

Go to "Tools" > "Quarantine" and remove any files you know you wont need. Its a shame you cant sort by file size.

Shaved: 530mb to 5.38mb.

Compact Thunderbird POP3 Accounts

IMAP accounts will just download content from the servers when needed, but POP3 will store a copy of the email even after you've deleted it.

To delete the unecessary emails, clear your folders (inbox, sent, etc) and then delete them again from the trash folder. Now select your account, go to "File" > "Compact Folders".

Depending on how much crap you deleted, this may take some time. The first time I discovered this functionality, I saved over 1.2gb of space! Now I do this quite often, so I didn't save as much space.

Shaved: 1.66gb to 1.63gb.

Compact VMWare Virtual Hard Drives

All your VM machines need some loving too. See here to find out how to compact the virtual disks.

This will take quite some time, and the space saved will really depend on how much you use the virtual machines. While you're waiting, you can do the next part.

Vista was disgustingly slow and took the longest to shrink by far. Its ridiculous, because there wasn't even anything installed on the damn image and it took longer than overnight to complete! Vista went from being 6.59gb to 7.9gb. WTF?

Shaved: 60.3gb to 55.19gb

Clean Up Your Mess

You always have the feeling that one day, some point in your life you're gonna have to clean your room. Same deal with your downloads folder, one day you're gonna have to clean it out and remove those duplicate downloads.

Eclipse Workspace History

See here to reduce the size of your Eclipse workspace folder by deleting the local history. The local history is a backup copy of anything you save.

Clearing this also seems to speed up your Eclipse loading times.

Shaved: 943mb

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