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- Posted on
- Petrus Tax
November 3, 2011, 12:18 am
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I fix, upgrade, clean, defrag, etc. computers (most of them come with XP)
donated to a Sharing Center in my church. These are then given away for free
to people who need them.
Usually I take out any programs and files that appear to be superfluous to
my clients (their needs are limited). Still, usually over 5 GB on a typical
When I do a fresh install, I fill less than 3 GB with XP and some other
useful programs my clients will need.
I have always wondered how to explain the difference of, let say 2 GB +,
between the two cases.
Any explanation will be gratefully accepted.
Pagefile and hiberfile can be huge, compared to those numbers, and
might account for some difference.
A tool I like, for a quick visual comparison, is SequoiaView.
It represents files as squares and rectangles, and if you hold your mouse
over one of them, you can see the filename and path. For example, I
can see C:\pagefile.sys and C:\hiberfil.sys in the window of
SequoiaView. I use the program, to search for possible reasons
for a partition being "bloated". So it allows maintenance, and the
location of "accidental" large files you might have forgotten while
working on the computer.
Another reason for a "mature" install to balloon a bit, is System Restore.
By default, on my C:, that can occupy up to 8GB. I try to remember to
turn that down a bit, to around 3GB, as the retention of registry copies
that results from allocating up to 8GB, means you have restore points
that are really too old to be useful. (Too much can go wrong, if you
go back three months with a restore point.) So you can also make a
small adjustment to that if you want.
After a reboot or two, you might find with System Restore installed,
it's captured at least one Restore Point. The space it uses can be
cleared, by turning System Restore off and on again. And if you need
to observe the actual contents in System Volume Information (and don't
want to hack the permissions), the fastest way to do that is with a
Linux LiveCD. The NTFS driver in Linux, doesn't really pay attention
to permissions, and that means Linux is very nice for visiting nooks
and crannies in Windows file systems.
On a "mature" installation, which has been to Windows Update a few times,
you could also have a few hundred megabytes of stuff left over from
their installation. The files in that case, are there in case you
need to uninstall the patches. It's good, if a Windows Update trashes
something, and you need to reverse the effects.
Anyway, with SequoiaView, you can have a look for yourself. And then
report back, what you find.
certainly will try out SequoiaView and see what I find out.
Since I am of Dutch descent, I like to explain to you that the word
'onderzoek' (literally 'under' + 'seek') means 'research'. The SV program
should be based on research and therefore work.