Virtualization, Cloud, Infrastructure and all that stuff in-between

My ramblings on the stuff that holds it all together

Vista – clearing out some space


I have had Vista RTM installed on my current laptop since it was released, I’m always running out of disk space – I just have an .iso and VM hording habit!

However I recently upgraded my laptop from a 100Gb disk to a 200Gb one, thinking that should be more than enough (famous last words..)

But not 3 months later I’m out of space again, but this time I’ve even purged all the VMs I no longer use and I am still looking at an OS/app footprint of tens of Gb, so I did some digging and aggressive housekeeping and turned up a lot of downloaded and old application data that has built up over the last couple of years.

I used TreeSize Free which is great for sniffing around all those obscure and redirected Windows folders (screenshot below is after some general housekeeping, but still!)


My data not unexpected and I can live with this


with a bit of digging I found the worst culprit(s) that I didn’t know about, AppData so I did a bit of exploring…


The size of the AppData\Windows folder was a bit of a surprise, as was the size of the temp internet files folder as I exclusively use Firefox, however this is temp files where IE is embedded into MS apps like Outlook and Office and this is where it stores its temp files.


The 95Mb Explorer directory was mainly thumbnail cache databases

It seems  lots of apps use this directory to store their data (as the name would suggest 🙂 but don’t clean up after you’ve uninstalled them – Xobni, I’m pointing the finger at you, Spotify and Google Earth also seem to keep data here, assume that’s a cache of downloaded content.


Apple seem to leave old iPod updates in here too


Next up, C:\ProgramData

Microsoft Search cache seems pretty big, but it’s useful


Apple everything… thanks for eating up all my disk space, I’m sure I need to keep iTunes 7.x ready to install!


and finally C:\Windows


700Mb of temp files! and when I looked into it there were over 12,000 files

So, in summary – TreeSize Free is an excellent tool for going exploring and visualising your actual folder by folder disk usage, you can also delete folder from within it.

by doing this I regained a serious amount of useful disk space!

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