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i'm trying to help my friend with her computer running Windows 7 64 bit Professional with SP1. Size of C: partition on her HDD is 36 GB. Free space left is less than 1 GB. Most of space is taken by winsxs - about 8 GB. She run cleanup of winsxs and gained some free space, but later electricity in her house got shut off, and then free space disappeared again, she doesn't know why. She also used tools like CCleaner and scanned her computer using antivirus software (Avira) and some online scanners. No infections were found. What else can she do?

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The free space will automatically return once the data in winsxs is no longer required –  Ramhound Mar 14 at 19:12
    
So she has a single hard drive with multiple volumes and the OS volume is 36GB? Why are people still doing this kind of thing? I thought this craze died out years ago. Shrink the other volume and extend the OS volume. –  joeqwerty Mar 14 at 19:44

3 Answers 3

36 GB for C: ?
36 GB is simply NOT big enough for Win7 SP1 x64, unless it is a brand new installation.

Even if you go to the trouble to install every single program on another drive, C: will still run full with just the stuff that Windows needs to store (for technical reasons) in C:.
Every WindowsUpdate, every other program that is installed, will somewhat increase the space needed on C:. (Some programs require more than others. Some just can't be installed anywhere else but on C:.)
This means that C: will keep growing slowly ALL THE TIME.

Even if you use a C: drive with ample space, if the Windows installation lives long enough eventually it will fill up.

Please... Resize the volumes and make C: at least 50 GB.
If you use hibernate add the size of the physical RAM to this 50 GB (e.g. for a 8 GB machine use 58 GB for C:.). This is to accommodate the (hidden) hibernate file in which Windows saves the hibernate state.

This 50 GB is a rule of thumb value that for most people will mean they can operate Win7 for 3-4 years without C: running full.
You still need to take care to install very big programs (like games that are often several GB size) on another volume.

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Win SxS might not be taking 8GB of space, it just appears that way because Explorer can't report what it does properly (hard links link to the same small amount of data over and over, but Explorer reports the size as if it was multiple copies). See http://blogs.msdn.com/b/e7/archive/2008/11/19/disk-space.aspx for the details.

Run a program like TreePie (run as administrator) to show sizes of folders on the disk and look for other large folders.

Also check System Restore, previous versions, and recycle bins.

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  1. If the hard drive is big enough a partitioning tool such as partedmagic to make C: bigger.

2.Windows has a lot of temp folders and such. The windows swap file could have easily consumed the remaining space.

In addition to winsxs windows has a bunch other places to delete built up files from.

For example:

C:\Users\_Your_username_\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5
“C:\Users\_Your_username_\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\Application”
“C:\Users\_Your_username_\AppData\Local\Chromium\Application”
“C:\Users\_Your_username_\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Media Player”
“C:\Users\_Your_username_\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Media Player\Image cache”
“C:\Users\_Your_username_\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Messenger”
“C:\Users\_Your_username_\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live\Contacts”
“C:\Users\_Your_username_\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live\Contacts\your_email@live.com\15.4\DBStore\Backup\new”
“C:\Users\_Your_username_\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Speech\Files\MSASR”
“C:\Users\_Your_username_\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Speech\Files\TrainingAudio”
“C:\Users\_Your_username_\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer”
“C:\Users\_Your_username_\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Burn\”
“C:\Users\_Your_username_\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Photo Gallery\Original Images”
“C:\Users\_Your_username_\AppData\Local\Temp”
“C:\Users\_Your_Username_\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\u7n8j42k.default”.
c:\windows\temp
c:\program files\NVIDIA Corporation\Installer2

In addition run the windows disk clean up tool in administrative mode and check the "Windows update" option. After the clean tools completes, reboot and some of the space will be released.


3.While thinking about how many hours of pain you will have to go through to get windows stable with 36gb space, go here: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148693 This will save you lots of time.

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