How to Add a Few Gigabytes More to Your Windows Drive’s Free Space

lion-mascot

Two months ago, I wrote a post about freeing up a few gigabytes of disk space in Windows. Now I am back with more actionable ideas to free up even more space on your hard drives.

Scan Folders for Their Sizes

First of all, I wanted to see the folder sizes on my primary drive where all my software is installed or located. This would help me determine likely space hogs.

There are several ways to go about this but I like to use the following two solutions.

diruse

First, there is the command line way. This way is not for everybody but I am a tinkerer, so I like it.

Microsoft released a Support Tools package for Windows XP SP2 back in 2004.

Download it and change the downloaded WindowsXP-KB838079-SupportTools-ENU.exe executable file’s extension to zip.

You can find out how to change a file’s extension in my previous post.

Then open the zip file with 7-Zip and locate the following file:

Extract diruse.exe from inside the zip file.

Extract diruse.exe from zip archive

Extract diruse.exe from zip archive

Now you are ready to use this nifty little tool.

diruse.exe help output in Command Prompt

diruse.exe help output in Command Prompt

Launch Command Prompt from Start > All Programs > Accessories and enter the following command:

This will display all folders located on drive C: that are larger than 250 megabytes.

Important Note

Of course, you need to specify the location of diruse.exe as it is on your computer.

GetFoldersize

Then there is the graphical way.

Download the portable version of the free GetFoldersize utility.

Extract the zip file’s contents to its portable folder, then launch GetFoldersizePortable.exe.

In the right pane of GetFoldersize’s window, select the drive you wish to scan and click on the Scan button.

scan-getfoldersize

GetFoldersize — Scan

You can then scroll the output in the left pane of the window and see which folders are bloated and unnecessary.

Here is what came up in my scan…

NVIDIA NetService Updates

As it turns out NVIDIA leaves behind all update files to its hardware that it downloads.

These abandoned and useless update files are stored at "C:\ProgramData\NVIDIA Corporation\NetService".

nvidia-netservice

C:\ProgramData\NVIDIA Corporation\NetService

As you can see on the screenshot, the files take up almost 4GB of space. How nice…

I removed the whole contents of the NetService folder with no troubles at all.

retry-as-administrator

You will need admin privileges to delete the files

You will need administrative privileges to remove these files and folders. Well except for the NVNetService.log file which cannot be removed.

Visual Studio Package Cache

The "C:\ProgramData\Package Cache" folder contains installation packages for Visual Studio — a lot of them.

package-cache

C:\ProgramData\Package Cache

I actually had to check my Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features list of installed programs to see whether Visual Studio is still installed on my system.

I installed and uninstalled Visual Studio earlier this year, but sometimes the uninstall process isn’t thorough enough.

Anyway, if Visual Studio is not listed there, it should be safe to remove the folder altogether.

To be extra careful, rename the folder to "‐‐Package Cache" and restart your computer. If an error message pops up as Windows starts up, rename the folder back to its original name. If not, remove the renamed folder to claim back the drive space.

remove-package-cache

Warning — Folder is not empty

Windows will warn you that the folder is not empty. Continue anyway by clicking on the Delete All button.

Results

As a result of these clean-up efforts, I was able to claim back more than 4.77 GB of hard drive space — that’s 4.3% of my primary SSD’s drive space. Not bad.

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