Running out of Disk Space ?

Tech, Tools, Windows

Even with a big hard drive (100GB), I somehow manage to fill it up lots of data and one day I realize that the disk is out of space. I am sure its the same case with many others as well πŸ™‚

To overcome this problem, you are left with 4 options

  1. Buy a new additional hard drive.
  2. Backup some of the unused files onto a DVD/CD .
  3. Upload/Backup data onto a free service such as AMD Live! Media Vault
  4. Cleanup your hard drive.

Option 1

First option is again a short term solution, since within a short time it will also be filled up and you will be back to the state where you have to again make a choice! Basically it results in an “infinite” loop !!

My blogroll friend Shiv has a 250GB hard drive and he says even that is not enough and surprisingly he is contemplating on adding additional drives !

Option 2

The second option is a pretty useful one, but you need to take care of labeling the media and also storing it properly. There should be a proper catalog of the data written on the media (CD/DVD) to avoid duplication.

And with “writable” DVD’s become cheaper by the day, this solution is definitely recommended. And if you have a dual layer DVD writer, you can write double the amount of data on a single DVD.

On the downside, not everyone has a DVD writer and so for a few this solutions is also ruled out.

Option 3

AMD Live! Media Vault gives you a private and secure place to upload, store, access, and share your personal videos, photos, movies, music, and files. You can:

  • Store files securely on the web. Get 25 GBs of FREE online storage.
  • Access your files from any web browser.
  • Share all your files quickly and easily, without file size restrictions.
  • Host videos, audio, images, and more on the web.
  • Backup your files and data safely and reliably.

However in a bandwidth constrained environment (like in India), this option is also not viable. But for people with T1 or T3 connection this solution is definitely recommended.

Option 4

In order to cleanup or backup your data, the first thing you should do is to find out the folders/files taking huge amount of data. In Windows, you could use the Search feature to find the large files but you have to bear with the “infinite” amount of time it takes to search !

And in Windows there is no way to find the size of a folder without seeing the properties of the folder.

FolderSize for Windows helps you to overcome this problem and it adds a “Folder size” column in the windows explorer.

(Note that when there is a “+” next to the folder size, the final value is still being calculated )

DiskState from Raxco is a much better/faster tool than FolderSize. Here is a snapshot of how DiskState displays the hard drive information.

As you can see from the snapshot, the information displayed is pretty useful in finding the folder/file taking the maximum space. And each item in the list is a hyperlink and you can dig deep into the folder to find the culprit.

Using DiskState you can eliminate wasted disk space by deleting old and temporary files at your command or on a schedule. In addition, you can also get a complete listing of duplicate files over all your drives using a powerful 128-bit MD5 signature to ensure that files actually are equal.

However in windows there is a DiskCleanup application which should be run regularly to clean up the “Temp” directory and the Temporary Internet files.

Please leave a comment if you would like to suggest other methods of cleaning up the hard drive πŸ™‚

Helpful Links

10 Hard Drive Cleanup Tips

Cleanup your hard drive

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Rahul Sep 23, 2006 Link

    Hi Venu
    One more thing that takes up a lot of space is the temporary files that are created by applications such as browser, Winace, AV, application updates etc. I have found a software called CrapCleaner which removes these temporary files. CrapCleener is a freeware and it can be downloaded from

  • Shivaranjan Sep 23, 2006 Link

    I actually got 660GB total storage which will also run out soon. I have over 300+ (I stopped counting after 300 :D) Cd or Dvd and managing is difficult. If you need to retrieve data it is a big problem as you have to search the whole bunch of CD’s or DVD’s. The best option in the future is the Bluray disk technology which can hold upto 50GB in a dual layer disk. But the affordability question again arises.. Right now it is best to analyse your data and we need to use the delete button in our keyboard. πŸ˜‰

  • Ryan Sep 24, 2006 Link

    Yeah Venu in my laptop I have a 40 GB hard drive and only have 3 GB free πŸ™ I have an external 300 GB with a lot of my files, but it’s my iTunes library that takes up most of the space on the 40. I tried running it off of my external hard drive but ran in to too many problems so I can’t really expand my library until I get a new computer.

  • Venu Sep 24, 2006 Link

    Rahul, Diskcleaner in windows also does the same thing I believe. Does crapcleaner do more than what diskcleaner does ? Anway I will download and check it once..

    Shiv, 660gb :-O I was assuming it to be around 300GB. I still wonder what data you have ?

    Ryan, when did u get the windows machine, I usually see you commenting from a mac πŸ™‚
    Yup MP3 takes the bulk of data in most of the machines.

  • Rahul Sep 24, 2006 Link

    Hi Venu,
    Disk Cleaner only removes the temporary internet files and files generated by the MS office and some online updates that were downloaded. It is very “Microsoft” Specific. Where as the crapcleener removes the temporary files that were created by other applications like Metacaffe, Symantic AV, Winace, NERO, Quick Time etc…
    I run CC every month and it removes approximately 300-400 MB of “crap” data.:)

  • Thilak Sep 25, 2006 Link

    I use a software called DupKiller to delete duplicate file…

    It saves lot of disk space

  • Thilak Sep 25, 2006 Link

    Opps I forgot to the URL

    Ahha now the comments are working….

    The problem occurs only on my Desktop… On my Macbook Pro, Comments work !!

  • Thilak Sep 25, 2006 Link

    Venu, Please delete this comment… I’m just testing !!…..

  • Venu Sep 25, 2006 Link

    I see you use netscape, it was my favorite browser before I started using firefox πŸ™‚

  • Thilak Sep 25, 2006 Link

    Actually I have two desktops (old one & new one) + a Macbook Pro… So I tried to leave comments on your blog from each one of them…

    Just to test…

    Comments worked on FF and Safari… but it didn’t work on Netscape.

  • This is my first comment over here. I like this blog a lot.
    I liked this blog entry the most though, the way you said it was just amazing!
    See ya Later πŸ˜‰
    P.S. – CSS update?

  • Tood P. Oct 26, 2007 Link


    I started to use as a solution. It really help me.

    Tood P.

  • Horbis CD/DVD Labels Apr 14, 2010 Link

    I used to get more space by disk clean up which temporary, thumbnail and other files too. It’s helpful a lot to get more space. You added one more advantage for everybody to get more Disc space. Thank for sharing useful information.

  • Wonderful read.