Windows 7 disk space hunger

My recently formatted desktop computer just started to show those nice notifications regarding system disk drive exhaustion…

Really? I gave you 60GB of my brand new SSD and I’ve just installed one third of the software I want to run! What are you Windows doing with my precious hard disk?

So yes, I admit I use Windows along with GNU/Linux. Don’t kill me for that, please.

The weird thing was the disk space run low so quickly I couldn’t believe my eyes…

I installed a nice piece of free software called WinDirStat to highlight the disk space usage on my SSD and I realized I did forget about a few little optimizations.

My little beast has 16GB of RAM and I didn’t tune anything on my Windows 7 installation, which meant I had 16GB of hibernation file and another 12GB of paging file!

C:\> powercfg -h off

Just immediately freed up a nice few gigs and some manual settings on the system page file location and size gave me back another slice of storage.

I then refreshed the WinDirStat view just to realize the Windows folder was now leading the league taking 18GB of space, half of which was allocated under a folder called winsxs: what’s all that space for? I can’t exactly tell what’s under that folder (I’m not a Windows expert by all means!) but I can tell you I was able to regain another gigabyte by just running the system disk clean tool as Administrator and remove what the tool reports as Windows Update Cleanup.

Now a little question: for which misterious reason a set of resources identified as Windows Update Cleanup should occupy a gigabyte of space and a No Free Disk Space warning should pop up instead of just freeing up that wasted space silently trying to cover up your sins?

I then realized I could save another large amount of space by moving off the SSD my iTunes folder, but to achieve that I had to create an hard link (or directory junction in Windows terminology)

mklink /J "%APPDATA%\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup" "D:\iTunes\Backup"

This, along with the iTunes Media folder relocation, performed through the application settings, saved me another 12GB of space!

My disk is now breathing again!

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