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  1. #1
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    Removing a user account on XP increase free space on disk drive?

    Hello Win XP (Home Edition) Gurus,

    I have a Dell Inspiron 1100 laptop operating under Win XP Home Edition Version 2002 with Service Pack 3. In this laptop, I have a Pentium-4 CPU using 1 GB of RAM and have a total of 18.5 gigabytes of disk space. However, in this context, I see that I now have only 1 gigabyte of FREE disk space left. I strongly suspect that this very limited amount of free space is degrading the performance of the computer which I use primarily for getting email during weekly road trips and for watching Netflix on the road.

    Although I plan to eliminate certain data folders and applications under my own account on this laptop, I am wondering whether DELETING an old user account (which was established many years ago but which has been very rarely used) might free a lot of valuable space.

    I have no idea about how much space a user account acquires when it is established, and I have no idea about how I might delete the old account and any files associated with the old account without having an impact on my own account residing on the same laptop. I can see that there are very few folders under this old account and very few applications (Outlook Express is the most obvious.)

    How can I safely delete the old account and all folders and shortcuts under this account to increase the free space on my current disk drive?

    I did a system backup of the entire PC to an external drive yesterday; however, I am using Secunia to do automatic upgrades today. Consequently, I can see my free space slowly dropping. I welcome any insights and procedures which you might want to recommend. Thank you for your time.

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  3. #2
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    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/956324

    Under Disable other windows features, do the first part but leave the paging file be as long as it is system managed though you have so little room, the file is probably fragmented, but clear the other stuff up first so there is enough room to deal with defragmenting the page file.

    Deleting a user account will free up some space but the less it was used, the fewer old working files there will be so it won't amount to too much. You can delete any other user account from an admin user account that is not being deleted.

    Also, didn't see it mentioned but you can reduce the size of your system restore file allocation and also reduce the size of you recycle bin to free up more space.


    Then if you have at least 15% free space after all that, go in and Set the page file (virtual memory) to no page file, reboot and only defrag the drive and then Set the virtual memory to System managed size again and reboot.

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  5. #3
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    Did you ever try to use cleanmgr to clean up your disk?
    If the user in question has documents and stuff like that, the recovered space may be more meaningful, otherwise the effect may not be that relevant.

    I would also recommend the use of a tool such as Space Sniffer to check how the disk space is being used.

    Only 1 GB of free disk space will have a considerable effect in performance.
    Rui
    -------
    R4

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  7. #4
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Have you tried to clean up all the temp. files in both the Admin account and the old user account. If you have not done this for that old account before you stopped using it, I suppose it could contain a lot of files. The disk cleanup can be modified to run in a more complete state.

    There are several Threads that talk about cleaning up the various temp files, uninstall files, error logs, etc. This is one of them. This also shows a batch file I use to help automate some of these chores.

    I would also check the "$NTUninstall" or "$NTServicePackUninstall" in the \windows folder. If these have never been cleaned out these could consume quite a bit of space. If updates are working properly, there is no reason, IMO, to keep the uninstall files.

    The items F.U.N. mentioned combined with these might clean up a lot of space.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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  9. #5
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    One further caveat, in Disk cleanup, skip compress old files for now, 86 everything else.

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  11. #6
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    Disk cleanup, when run in the Extended Mode (we've talked about that many times) will clean out a lot of useless files, but DO NOT select 'Setup log files', as Windows needs those files to uninstall programs.

    What you need is a very thorough cleaning from A to Z. On systems like yours, I've sometimes removed over 100,000 junk files that have just been building up on the HD since the day the PC was installed.

    On XP, there are also 20+ Services that can be either totally Disabled or at least put into Manual mode, so they only run when some other program runs them.
    Then go into MSCONFIG and "Startup" and disable everything that you don't need running all the time.

    Then do this:

    Shorten the Boot Time in XP, Vista & Windows 7 & 8

    Go to the start button, choose run, then type msconfig and press Ok.
    On the system configuration window, choose the "Boot.INI" tab.

    Check “No Gui Boot”, then lower the timeout to a more manageable time.
    I choose 3 seconds in stead of 30. (windows won’t accept a lower number than 3)

    Next choose advanced options.
    This is where you can choose how many processors you have.
    Most modern PC's are duo core (2 processors) with some quad core (4 processors)
    then choose OK. The Windows default is only 1 core.

    Now choose apply and OK, reboot and you should see a marked decrease in boot time,
    And Run-Time efficiency.


    Cleaning up and optimizing a PC is not quite Rocket Science, but it does take some time
    and patience and a lot of experience. (I do this for a living, that's why I post here)

    Good Luck,
    The Doctor

    PS:
    I would also check the "$NTUninstall" or "$NTServicePackUninstall" in the \windows folder. If these have never been cleaned out these could consume quite a bit of space. If updates are working properly, there is no reason, IMO, to keep the uninstall files.
    Besides the above mentioned files, which might date back to the day the PC was first installed, further down in the Windows directory, there is a log file for every one of the above files.
    Those log files will start with KB and end in .log. Delete every one of those files too.
    Last edited by DrWho; 2013-07-06 at 20:58.
    Experience is truly the best teacher.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrWho View Post
    Shorten the Boot Time in XP, Vista & Windows 7 & 8

    Go to the start button, choose run, then type msconfig and press Ok.
    On the system configuration window, choose the "Boot.INI" tab.

    Check “No Gui Boot”, then lower the timeout to a more manageable time.
    I choose 3 seconds in stead of 30. (windows won’t accept a lower number than 3)
    No GUI Boot hides error messages and chkdsk progress: No GUI Boot tweak


    Quote Originally Posted by DrWho View Post
    Next choose advanced options.
    This is where you can choose how many processors you have.
    Most modern PC's are duo core (2 processors) with some quad core (4 processors)
    then choose OK. The Windows default is only 1 core.

    Now choose apply and OK, reboot and you should see a marked decrease in boot time,
    And Run-Time efficiency.
    This does nothing to increase performance: Tweaking Myth: Decrease boot time with msconfig


    Bruce
    Last edited by BruceR; 2013-07-07 at 00:00.

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  15. #8
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrWho View Post
    Next choose advanced options.
    This is where you can choose how many processors you have.
    Most modern PC's are duo core (2 processors) with some quad core (4 processors)
    then choose OK. The Windows default is only 1 core.
    You are seriously suggesting that Windows only uses a single core, no matter how many your computer has? A few seconds' observation of the Task Manager Performance tab on a dual- or quad-core machine will soon give the lie to that!
    BATcher

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  17. #9
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    Well, the problem is really only that it's two sides of the same coin; it just flopped on the wrong side in this case. It's a setting to limit the cores to something other than what is available, as a possible troubleshooting technique, though that is above my pay grade for sure.

    The confusion comes because early in the bootstrapping process, only one core is used, until the step comes where the system learns about how many cores it has to use and switches over to all of them.

    Windows will also accept a number lower than 3 (zero to be precise) for the timeout, and I've mentioned that to the good Dr in another post but I don't know if he takes or has the time to follow up.

    Hey, how about getting season 6 and 7 released to Netflix so I can watch them Dr.!

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    Thank you to all of the responders. Because I had previously run a commercial disk cleaner (WinCleaner) prior to my posting, I had very few temporary files when I ran Windows Disk Cleaner. However, when I ran SpaceSniffer on my 18.5 GB drive with only 1.2 free space, I saw the following: 7.9 GB used by Windows; 4.3 GB used by Program Files; 1.6 GB used by Document & Settings; 1.0 GB used by hiberfil; 1.0 GB used by I386; .8 GB used by pagefile.sys; and .7 GB used by various miscellaneous other things. Because I have very poor performance with only 1.2 GB of free space, I intend to focus my future efforts on pruning programs, data files, and $NT... files. Again thank you for your time and your advice.

  20. #11
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    Then disable Hibernate and eliminate that horrible 'hiberfill.sys' file, once and for all.

    Experience is truly the best teacher.

    Backup! Backup! Backup! GHOST Rocks!

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  22. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrWho View Post
    Then disable Hibernate and eliminate that horrible 'hiberfill.sys' file, once and for all.

    Hi Doc,
    Just in the event the OP does not know how to do this ....

    1. Control Panel>Power Options

    2. Select Hibernate Tab in the Power Options Properties dialog

    3. Clear Enable Hibernation Check Box...OK out

    Regards Fred
    Last edited by Just Plain Fred; 2013-07-07 at 18:02.
    PlainFred

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  24. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrWho View Post
    Then disable Hibernate and eliminate that horrible 'hiberfill.sys' file, once and for all.

    Absolutely nothing wrong with Hibernate (and hiberfile.sys) if you have the disk space. I have my laptop set to hibernate when the lid is closed while running on battery power and to sleep when connected to an external power source. hibernate will give you a faster boot than completely shutting down.

    Jerry

  25. #14
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    In this case, it sounds as though the OP does not have the disk space available for Hibernate. I would also disable Hibernate and delete the hiberfil.sys file. This is generally quite large, and if Hibernate is not used, is not needed.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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  27. #15
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    True Ted, but there's nothing horrible about hiberfile.sys if you have the disk space as I qualified my remark. Its generally around 3 gigs which is trivial for most modern hard disks.

    Jerry

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