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I have 320 GB HDD on my computer. All drives are pretty full. The C drive has just 1.5 GB free space. Other drives have around 5-6 GB free space. Can this be the reason why my computer runs slow? I can make space in drives except for C drive because its just 36 GB and windows 7 occupies about 20 GB. I think I can increase the size of partition but since my computer is 5 year old I am worried that playing around with it might cause damage.

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Yes, it might be the reason for a slow response on your computer. By default the page file resides on the C: drive and since the free space is less it imposes certain restrictions on the storage location of new files. Hence the computer becomes slow. There is an impending danger of losing your hard disk if you do not keep ample free space. I had a similar case before and to free space I tried to move some files from C to D drive whilst a download was going on to D drive. This actually caused my hard disk to get damaged due to space limitations and overloading.

My suggestions are: 1. Till you have ample space on the drives do not overload the hard disk. Eg: Multiple copy/paste operations 2. Delete all unnecessary files from all partitions on the computer and uninstall all unused applications. Tools such as CCleaner will help you recover a lot of unused space. 3. Move the files from your personal folders (My Documents, etc) to one of the other partitions. 4. Install new applications in a different partition since the diskspace is less on C drive. If possible, reinstall some of the existing applications on a separate partition.

Ideally you should provide atleast 50GB of diskspace to the C: drive which hosts the Windows OS. It holds the OS files, page file and the application data. If you plan to install applications requiring very high diskspace I would recommend to install them on a separate partition.

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    Just 2 remarks: 1) You can't physically damage the disk by this. But as programs (including Explorer) run out of free diskspace they may get confused and mess up the files they are working on. 2) You should keep at least 2x the size of your physical RAM free on drive C: as a safety margin. If you never use the hibernate function you can disable hibernate altogether which will free up some more space on C:. (Run "powercfg -h off" in a command-line started with admin-rights to disable.) – Tonny Oct 21 '14 at 8:46
  • Are you sure shrinking E drive and increasing C wont mess HDD up? – SamuraiJack Oct 21 '14 at 9:10
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    The OS will complain when free space is too low (<10%), only because it's harder to manage the space that's left. Modern Windows won't even defrag when you get this low. However, you can't physically fit more bits on a drive than the drive can hold, so there's no danger of physical damage. You'll just find that OS performance will suffer until you clear the low-space condition. I regularly had to resize/move/delete partitions as part of my college degree in CIS, and I never once had a failed drive. – phyrfox Oct 21 '14 at 9:19
  • @phyrfox thanks. I am gonna increase C drive partition today itself. – SamuraiJack Oct 21 '14 at 9:29
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Never let your hard drive get more than 70% full. If you study queuing theory, under most conditions, the wait time vs service load curve has a knee in the curve that skyrockets to long wait times when the load factor reaches the neighborhood of 70%.

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Also move your page file to another drive should help.

  1. Right Click Computer | Choose Properties
  2. Click Advanced System Settings
  3. Performance Tab | Click Settings
  4. Advanced Settings Tab | Virtual Memory | Click Change
  5. Uncheck Automaticaly manage page file
  6. Clicking on disk will allow you to set paging file where you want

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