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clearing up my computer

Nov 11, 2011
11,332
Milwaukee, WI USA
I am a Luddite. Somewhere around 5 years ago (or maybe more), I stopped caring about technology. But I'm not for the morgue yet. So while downloading a file from an email, I saw a graphic that said I was using 185 GB of my hard drive and had 15GB left.

Frankly I am shocked.....I have not had this computer very long....and I don't have my music collection on here.....and I'm fairly certain I don't have all of my photos on here (although I definitely have a good chunk of them).

What I would like to do is figure out WHAT I have on here.....and where it is. So I can just move it all to a couple different hard drives for redundancy and then delete them so my computer is like a blank slate.

And please speak slowly.....I am dumb as a board when it comes to computers.
 

BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
3,768
Before deleting anything, I would run a "Stand-Alone-Backup". I use Macrium Reflect, free version. Download the software, you will make this into a "Bootable" CD or DVD. Plug a USB drive in big enough to make a copy of the Hard Drive, you will need enough free space on the backup drive as using now: 185GBytes. If ANYTHING goes wrong, you have a complete check-point that can be restored to your computer drive. Easier and faster than the 8" floppy on a Vax.

I do this "a lot". I keep redundant computers, mostly Panasonic Toughbook CF-52 and CF-53. They have a caddy for the hard-drive, so I can keep a complete system disk in the case - "just in case".
 

Kevin

Code Monkey
Nov 3, 2018
280
Pennsylvania, USA
What I would like to do is figure out WHAT I have on here.....and where it is.
To find out the what & where questions, check out the free WizTree app. Point it to your C:\ drive and it'll allow you to quickly see what folders are taking up the most space and then you can drill down to each folder as needed/wanted to see what is actually on the drive taking up the space.

Antibody Software - WizTree finds the files and folders using the most disk space on your hard drive

Just be careful whacking a file unless you're absolutely sure you know what it is. Several of the Windows operating system file can eat a large amount of hard drive (like pagefile.sys & others). Don't kill them unless you're darn sure you're ready to play around trying to do a system recovery. ;) If you're not sure follow-up with the file name(s) in this thread and I'm sure somebody can point you in the direction of what the file(s) might be.

When downloading WizTree I like the 'portable app' version instead of using the installer version. That way you can download the app, unzip it to a thumbdrive or similar, and run it instantly which makes life easier (in general I prefer portable apps over the installer versions).
 

Piano

Regular
Nov 28, 2016
93
There also may be a lot of unneccesary files on your PC and you may be able to free some space up. If you're on W10 it's under storage somewhere I think. I personally use CCleaner free version.
 

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