Hard drive is full of space and it shouldn't be

By treetops · 10 replies
Aug 18, 2010
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  1. My brother called me and told me his computer was full of space when it should not be and when he deletes something a few days later the space is taken up again without him adding anything. I am going to head down there in a few hours. He has windows xp on a laptop, he uses norton. My guess is he has to many restore point and or backups with norton. I already had him run ccleaner. Its a hour away so if anyone like to add suggestions that I can look at when I get up there I would appreciate it.
  2. ravisunny2

    ravisunny2 TS Ambassador Posts: 1,986   +12

    Perhaps you should take Unlocker and GParted with you.

    Also a registry cleaner (wisecleaner), and defragmenter (MyDefrag) could be handy.

    A linux live cd, such as knoppix, could be useful too.
  3. g4mer

    g4mer TS Maniac Posts: 310

    Had that problem. Download SpaceSniffer. It shows you whats on your hard drive.
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    first run->cleanmgr to delete temp stuff.

    monitor the resulting freespace.

    if still very smalll
    1. disable system restore (which will remove ALL existing restore points)

    2. then reenable it and set the size to 2-4gb
  5. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    I haven't used SpaceSniffer (but will also now checkit out :) ) but a;sp take a look at [post=913937]JDiskReport[/post]
    > Gives color pie charts to easily visualize where you space is allocated on the disk
    > Click on the pie to drill further "drill down"
    > Handy tab to see the top 50 largest files on your disk

    And, yea, look and/reset System Restore space (tho to see its actual current size, you need to give yourself ownership to C\System Volume Information (otherwise it will always appear as 0 bytes)
  6. g4mer

    g4mer TS Maniac Posts: 310

    SpaceSniffer is really easy to use...It shows you everything you have on your hdd including hidden stuff like system restore points and you can manually delete stuff from there...I would recommend that program to everyone that has low space issues...
  7. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,073   +219

    Hey thanks for all the feedback I used space sniffer, its a really impressive program. They only had 5mb free space so :). I turned off restore firstly however for some reason it did not erase the old restore points even after a restart. So I got the sniffer going, low and behold it was norton, yeah I know big surprise right? Its backup had 28 gigs of space taken up, my brothers wifes laptop has 56 gigs. So I uninstalled norton and erased all the back up data with sniffer. I then put avira free on it with malware bytes. My bros wife really does not feel safe online without a paid for anti virus anti spyware firewall combo. I know avira and malware bytes are amazing free programs. Do they scale the same when bought or is there something better?

    For future reference, to anyone using the search feature it seems nortons backup was on the fritz or a setting was accidentally changed to make it backup to much.
  8. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    Some background on Making Backups.

    Unless you use a tool like Ghost or Acronis True Image, it is a waste of time and HD space
    to backup the entire HD. Only the tools above create an image which will properly restore
    the entire disk.

    MS Backup is only useful for backups of

    XP C:\Documents & Settings
    or the Vista & Win/7 C:\Users​
    where all the user files, contacts and email are stored.

    It should be obvious that ALL BACKUPS need to be on some external media.
    I create ONE backup on the C:\ to allow quick access to some basic data, but the
    real data that is most current is on CDs
  9. ravisunny2

    ravisunny2 TS Ambassador Posts: 1,986   +12

    So the freewares don't work well ?

    I was trying to identify a freeware which could make a restorable image of just the system partition in XP-SP3.

    Sorry, treetops.

    I completely forgot about the space analyzer.

    Some freeware are Xinorbis, WinDirStat, and SpaceSniffer.

    Fortunately, g4mer pointed that out.
  10. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184


    Hi ravisunny. If you're looking for good freeware to create disk and/or partition image backups checkout EASUS Todo Backup.

    It's a basic subset of the functionality on Acronis True Image. It will
    > Backup images of disks and/or select partitions
    > Let you mount and view backup archives
    > Let you restore either from Windows or via Recovery CD

    Some of the things missing in EASUS (that you'd find in Acronis)
    > Incremental and differential backups (EASUS is only full backups)
    > EASUS only does sector-by-sector backup imaging so it will requires more space then if one chose to use Acronis' option to only bckup allocated sectors

    Now i'm curious. Which Norton product were you using??? (as i'm not sure offhand why the antivius would create huge bckup files. Or was it another norton product??)
  11. ravisunny2

    ravisunny2 TS Ambassador Posts: 1,986   +12


    Thank you for the tip.

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