Useful Tips To Resolve Shrinking Disk Space Issue In Vista

You must have noticed that the free space on the drive (normally C:\ drive) of your system keeps on shrinking. Have you ever given a thought to why this happens? Even though you haven’t installed any new programs or downloaded any huge files from the net, the used disk space in your system’s local drive keeps increasing.

Shrinking of free disk space cannot even be controlled by uninstalling some unnecessary software programs. Windows Vista itself is also unable to maintain consistency in usage rate of free disk space. This unreasonable shrinking of free disk space is one of the top issues for Windows Vista users.

There might be number of potential reasons behind this ever rising usage of disk space by Windows Vista. You need to identify the programs or processes that consume vast disk space and learn how to resolve the low running disk space issue. Just follow some easy tricks and tips to discover the possible reasons behind shrinking disk space.

You need to note that some tips require system tweaking. Vista does not turn on or enables these processes without any reason. Some of these processes are necessary to improve system speed. Hence, before implementing any of the tips, users are recommended to check out whether the settings suit their system.

Below mentioned processes and their associated files are the top disk space occupiers:

Hibernation File (hiberfil.sys)

The Hibernation File (hiberfil.sys) normally present on the local system drive is a hidden file with size same as that of your system’s physical memory (RAM). The hiberfil.sys file helps store the state of system’s memory when the PC is put into hibernation mode and restores system’s last used state when the PC is started again.

If you do not use hibernation mode, you may delete hiberfil.sys and disable hibernation mode to free few gigabytes of disk space.

Paging File of Virtual Memory (pagefile.sys)

Windows Vista uses a paging file (pagefile.sys) to store vital system data whenever the physical memory (RAM) runs out of space. By default, the size of this system managed page file is set by Vista to 1.5 times system memory size which is automatically adjusted depending on its usage. Sadly, the size of paging file (pagefile.sys) keeps increasing day by day.

Incase you have a computer with large RAM; you may reduce or remove pagefile.sys file. For systems with a RAM of only 512 MB or 1 GB, it is recommended to maintain the paging file. However, to create free space on drive (C:\), you may as well move the paging file to any other drive or modify settings to fix the maximum size of the paging file at 1.5 times RAM size.

For systems having RAM of 2G or higher, you need not set any paging file and just turn off the Virtual Memory. This will possibly help improve the speed of the system.

Superfetch Feature

The Superfetch feature loads and caches startup applications and user programs into the memory in order to launch them faster. The “prefetch” which is cached by Superfetch remains stored on the HDD and can be deleted to enhance system speed. To delete prefetch, you have to delete all the files within the folder “C:\Windows\prefetch”.

Temporary Files Originating due to Running Programs

Most of the temporary files originating due to running programs are normally stored in the folder “\Windows\Temp” or directory “Temp” under each of the user profiles. To get rid of these temporary files, just delete all files as well as folders present under the folders “C:\Windows\Temp” and “C:\Users\[logged on user-name]\AppData\Local\Temp”.

Temporary Internet Files/Caches Stored by Web Browsers such as FireFox, IE and others

Caches or temporary internet files have an ability to grow larger in due course. Different web browsers have different methods to delete these temporary internet files. Incase you use IE, you need to delete “Cookies” and “Temporary Internet Files” by going to “Internet Options”. Firefox users can select ““Clear Private Data” option and remove “Cookies” and “Cache”.

The folder “System Volume Information” used for System Restore

This system folder in Windows Vista stores data back up copy to enable system restore. It is hidden on every disk drive and called “Volume Shadow Copy”. Using snapshot method, this Volume Shadow Copy manually or automatically, records state of all the files at a specific time and saves the record in the form of a restore point.

It has been observed that data storage meant for Shadow Copy and System Restore have no bound and tend to grow beyond limit leading to shrinking disk space. Users can however set the space limit which is used by Shadow Copy and System Restore to recover more free space.

It is also possible to delete all old restore points (keeping the latest ones in place) or disable Volume Shadow Copy and System Restore.

Backup Files Created by Windows Vista SP1 and Other Updates

Windows Vista SP1 (Service Pack 1) and some other updates create backup copy of original system files to enable users to revert or rollback the system to original version once the updates or service pack are uninstalled. These backup RTM files can be removed after Service Pack 1 is installed.

Event Logs and System Logs files

The folder “\Windows\System32\LogFiles” in Windows Vista stores numerous log files. You may create some free disk space by deleting a few files and folders present in the folder “LogFiles”.

Other Temporary and Log Files

There are many junk files including some other log and temp files that have been created by a variety of application software. You can use Vista Junk Cleaner to remove these unwanted files. This cleaner batch script also allows you to schedule cleaning process so that it automatically runs to facilitate deletion of these files.

Unnecessary Preinstalled and System Files

By default, Windows Vista includes plenty of built-in files, documents, programs and freebies such as default video files and background wallpapers that are actually never used by the users. You may delete these files to free up some disk space. However, you need to note that deletion or removal of system files can lead to system instability.