Found 13th Jul 2010
Time for my periodical question about my laptop.

Please bear in mind I know zilch about computers and will need answers in plain English, with any instructions fully explained. Because I am thick!

Here is my question-

My laptop is a Dell Inspiron, 6400, now a couple of years old, and running on windows vista.

When I click on my computer, it says my OS (C:) drive has 31.6GB of 99.6GB free.

I don't have anything in particular stored on the lappy, i.e. no films, pics, music and nothing else that should be taking up the space.

Any ideas what this could be, if I need it, where I find it and if necessary, how to delete it. I remember a while ago, a guy at my old work who fixed my other laptop said that you should never try and allow it to get this full as it can slow thlappy down?

Please remember- plain english !



  1. Misc
  2. Laptop
  1. Misc
  2. Laptop

Empty Recycle bin and switch off system restore

download Ccleaner

Original Poster

Thanks - how do you go about switching of system restore?

Think i can manage the other two!

Empty norton recycle bin as well if you use that product

Vista can get very large, I have had it over 25Gb on one of my PCs (with system restore files, shadow copies etc), particulalry if you have installed the service packs.

You could run "Disk cleanup" which is one of the options on the Windows menu.

But as you have 66Gb free I would not worry about it.

Also may want to delete all temp internet files, cookies and history. Remember that will also mean youll have to manually login again to your stored sites (username password). Also you may want to find out which folders contain the 'high' amount of data. For Vista there should be 3 main folders on your c: drive - Windows, Users and Program Files. Leave Windows alone but right hand click/properties on the others and find out if the data is high in the rest. If its Program Files then an installed program is the culprit, if Users is high then it will be data that your user accounts have accumulated (which can usually be whittled down).

Personally i hate 'Disk Cleanup' program as more often than not they dont know what data you really want to keep... i just dont trust them. You can pretty much do the same as they do if you spent a little time going through the folders on you hdd.

There is also a program called "compcln.exe" which can be run and free up a lot of disk space. I have run it before and it clears out a lot of old files.

This will only run if you have service pack 2 on.

Here are the instructions on how to run it…spx

Note I would not leave System restore turned off. If you do you will never be able to do a restore if anything goes wrong.

I would turn off system restore (to remove the old restore points)

Then turn it on again.

Then create a system restore point so you have a good "restore point" just in case.

This is particularly important if you are going to do a lot of file deletion by following all the suggestions above.

Original Poster

very helpful - thanks again

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