XP SP3 installed, free drive space reduced drastically

By abanerji ยท 6 replies
May 22, 2010
  1. I have a Compaq laptop with a 80 GB hard disc, of which C drive is 15 GB. The OS has been XP-Pro SP2, and generally, about 50% space (7 to 8 GB) in C drive used to remain free.

    I have just installed SP3, and find free space at only 3 GB. In other words, 4 GB seems to have been lost to SP3 installation process. After installation of SP3, OS has been fully patched, vetted by Secunia.
    I have also used CCleaner, but it cleaned few MBs.

    The broad breakdown of the used space of 12 GB is as follows :-

    a) Windows 6.6 GB
    b) Program files 2.4 GB
    c) Documents & Settings 1 GB : I don't use MyDocuments, and this contains only my OE mails.

    I am attaching a file showing the folder details of C drive.

    Any advice to reclaim lost space will be very appreciated.


    Attached Files:

  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    A backup copy has been installed on the hard drive... look for a hidden partition.
    You can remove it by using a partition removal program.
    Or you can reformat and reinstalll Boot to the Windows CD, and then remove all partitions when given the choice.
    Start over, and watch carefully so you do not allow the reinstall of the hidden partition.
    On top of that, that Compaq model uses part of the memory to drive the video graphics but there is no way around that.
    A clean reinstall from a cold boot, while watching for Compaq tricks will take care of the problem... but you will then need to download various software from the Compaq site... they are clearly listed.
  3. abanerji

    abanerji TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 43

    Hidden partition

    Thank you for the response.

    This laptop came without OS, and original partitions and XP-SP2 installation were done by a friend more technically knowledgeable than me. So, probably there is no hidden partition, unless you are suggesting that the hidden partition got created during the recent SP3 installation.

    Any other possibility please? What about bloated system restore?
  4. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    Possible to delete uninstalls

    You have a great deal of space devoted to the ability to unistall your service pack and patches.

    As this link shows, provided you are happy you will never wish to unistall SP3, a good deal can be deleted http://www3.telus.net/dandemar/spack.htm

    The advice on this link seems sound.
  5. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Some of the laptop recovery/reinstall disks do reinstall the hidden partition. Since your space has been limited, that is the first place to look... It can be as much as 3 GB
  6. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    The OP is asking about space that's missing on C:. How would hidden partitions be the problem????? Am i missing something? Could you explain?

    I think you're already on the right track as my first guess is also your system restores. In any event, you need to use a different tool to analyze your C: drive. Reason:
    > Windows Explorer (and your TreeSize tool) won't show you sizes of files/folders unless you have access rights
    > And, btw, running as Admin doesn't automatically give you access rights to all files/folders!

    Suggest you try Explorer XP. Be sure to look at the size it reports for C:\System Volume Information

    /* edit */
    You can also, as gbhall also suggested, take a closer look at all the space devoted to uninstalling service packs in order to get more free space. But as to "missing" space: i'm bettin on C:\System Volume Information folder

    /* edit2 */
    BTW.. Is there a reason you only allocate 15GB to your C: drive? Why not also give it more space out of your 80GB drive?
  7. abanerji

    abanerji TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 43

    Peeking into Windows folder

    Thank you. I have been peeking into my Windows folder, and decided on the following strategy :-

    a) C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download (probably SP3 hotfixes, as appears from the dates) is 0.7 GB. I am going to move this to an external device ... even if these are required again in future, most probably they can be just copied back into C drive.

    b) System Restore is bloated, and will release 1.1 GB. However, I will take backup of my entire system on two different media, and then only clear System Restore points.

    That should be ok for now, I feel.

    Incidentally, I followed MS' guide on accessing System Volume Information, and saw 1.1 GB is locked there. Also, the bloat has happened during SP3 installation. Probably should have switched off System Restore monitor before starting SP3 installation.

    My laptop is a 2007 model. 80 GB was good then, and I have not installed many programs. 15 GB C drive seemed a good thing then, because I have lot of data files, including multimedia. Also, keep an additional backup of a PC on this laptop hard disc.
    Only after SP3 got in, I panicked seeing the free space left behind.

    Not being a technical person, to re-partition, I will have to grab a more technical friend :)
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