Win7 on 40GB SSD - Saving Space

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Old 04 April 2013   #1
Win7 on 40GB SSD - Saving Space

Hey guys,

I was wondering if anyone could offer me a bit of advice. I'm currently running Win7 Pro on a 40GB SSD, with a 1TB HDD for data. When I first installed Windows, it showed I had around 13GB free of 37GB. I installed Maya, rebooted, and that knocked it down to just 1.5GB free, which is bad.

I put Maya on the data drive, reduced my page file to 2GB, turned off hibernation, ran disk cleanup, and I've now got 6GB free of 37GB.

Is it safe to run things at this capacity? Are there any other techniques I can use to free up some disk space? I know its not ideal to run Win7 on such a small drive. I bought this for a Linux install last year, and that gave me around 27GB after the install.

Old 04 April 2013   #2
You're wasting your time with a 40GB SSD. Even if you free up some space the smallest thing could jack it up and fill the disk, like an automatic update or even a browser cache.
Old 04 April 2013   #3
Matthew O'Neill
Old 04 April 2013   #4
Thanks for the response guys, and thanks for the link Matthew. I've done a ton of googling trying to find answers, but its just page after page of "move your itunes library to another drive" type of advice. I'm surprised your thread didn't pop up, as CGTalk threads seem to rank pretty highly on google.

Thanks again,
Old 04 April 2013   #5
Originally Posted by imashination:

Very nice post! I hadn't seen that one.
Old 04 April 2013   #6
you could also free some space by removing old service pack backups... not sure if the "Disk Cleanup" tool still does that, but it also helps clean up other garbage on the volume.

It may also be worth while to move any temp references and/cache to the larger drive... I'ld only do that because it is such a small drive and you're also using it for system files.
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Old 04 April 2013   #7
Thanks for the reply, Troy.

I googled some of the stuff you guys mentioned and I dug this up. I think now that I know all the proper terms, my googling has been more effective :

Would it be possible to move the page file to the 1TB drive? I've got 8GB of RAM, and I rarely use more than 5 or 6, so I don't think I use it much. When I tried to disable the PF for the SSD and enable it on the HDD, Windows gave me a warning popup.

Running that command maybe freed up another GB or two. This installation is only a few days old, so maybe things havent built up much yet. Thanks again for that Matthew.

And yea, I agree Luke, I really need to get a bigger drive. I might end up grabbing a 100GB or bigger one here. It doesn't really help much to have just the OS on the SDD, and like everything else on the HDD.

Thanks again for all the help everyone,

Last edited by AJ1 : 04 April 2013 at 08:32 PM.
Old 04 April 2013   #8
yes, you can move it.

in system properties > performance settings > advanced tab > virtual memory (change...)

you can access this from control panel > system or right click "computer" and select properties.

you may have got the warning message (if you already tried this) if you didn't set the new page file before disabling the original.

just select the larger volume, and enable "system managed size", then select the "windows" (or whatever volume is the SSD) and set for no paging file.

you'll have to reboot i believe on that change.
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Old 04 April 2013   #9
I assume a 40GB drive is, relatively speaking, old. On top of that, you run it at near capacity with frequent clean-up and rewrites.
Just so you know, that's practically the perfect recipe to fizzle it out.

I would up to a 250 ASAP honestly. 130GB is still manageable (I run one) with win, linux, and quite a few apps and a handful of online style files on it when I work on something, but the margins grow thinner, and you want to keep 15-20% of it free at all times to help with wear levelling.

In the mean time, make sure you image it often.
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Old 04 April 2013   #10
Thanks Raffaele and Troy for the responses. I got my PF moved over to the disk, so I'm at 8GB free of 37GB now. The 40GB SSD is over a year old, and the 1TB HDD is at least 4 or 5 years old. I think it was one of the first reasonably priced 1TB drives.

I'm thinking a good setup might be to replace both, and partition the HDD at 128GB, 500MB, and the rest for data. I think I would then be able to use clonezilla or another bootable disk tool to clone the two Win7 partitions every once in a while, or maybe just let Windows backup take care of that. I've only been playing around with Windows for a few days now, so I'm still learning. Right now my backup consist of just copying and pasting my critical files every few days.

128 SSD:

Thanks again guys for the advice,
Old 04 April 2013   #11
for imaging your drive in windows Macrium Reflect is free and works great. It won't do software RAID partitions/volumes, but other than that it's extremely solid. Slow, but not unacceptably slow for its level of reliability.

130GB, as I mentioned, is perfectly doable, but that's provided you keep things clean and don't plan on running games or large double OS installs on it, otherwise it erodes fast.
I've had mine for a while and am perfectly happy with it, but if I had to go out and buy today, I would definitely get a 250.

For your second drive, if you want to change/extend that as well, why 1TB? It's a bad bang for buck these days, you can get a 2TB seagate barracuda for a hundred bucks off e-bay, and probably only spare change more in most shops. Your 1TB you can then repurpose to a backup drive with a usb3 sata hot seat or something like that. That's exactly what I did very recently.
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Old 04 April 2013   #12
Thanks for your continued replies Raffaele. I do appreciate you continuing to come on the forums to share your knowledge.

I downloaded and installed that tool, and Ill run it tonight. I think ill reformat one of my old cast off HDD's tomorrow, and see if I can burn the image and get it to boot. Sounds like a fun Sunday afternoon project for me. Ive never done this for a single seat license of windows before, so we'll see what happens.

Hmm... good call about the drive size. I didn't even bother looking at the 250GB drives. I thought they would be way out of my price range, but they only cost about 30% more than the 128GB drives. I guess if you consider that they should last twice as long if you've got around 100GB of stuff to put on it, that's a smart purchase.

Ill probably ride out my little 40GB SSD until the end. To be honest, I'm kind of curious to see what happens when it fails.

Thanks again,
Old 04 April 2013   #13
I agree with Raffaele 100% on the system design guidance...

Another option is DISM... it is a little more time consuming to do, but works great and you'll have zero issues with software raids and other peculiar system setups. I'm currently able to build a WIM of my system volume (120/250 GB SSD) that gets compressed to a 29GB file.

The nice thing about getting use to using DISM is that reimaging to a new disk is a breeze, and if you build the system correctly (with a recovery partition) you can re-image very easily.

The trick (or drawback if you look at one way), is to build a bootable winPE USB with your system drivers... this gets rid of the software RAID controller issues. It also allows you to make a very portable, and complete image. The drawback is, you boot from USB so you can't "work" while making the image. For me, this is ok as I only do this when a major update is done or I've installed some new software and want to retain the system volume for re-imaging.

All of my other 'daily' and project data backups are done with windows "file history" and recovery tools... they're simple to setup and good enough for a quick file recovery.

Here's a link to DISM overview:

If you're serious about setting up and maintaining a good recovery system you should consider those tools... it can be a bit overwhelming at first, but once you familiarize yourself with them it's easy.
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Old 04 April 2013   #14
Thanks for the link, Troy! I just lost a few hours of my afternoon reading about some of this stuff. I was able to make an image of the 40GB SSD, burn it to an old 256GB hard drive, and boot it.

Between all of the free Autodesk student software, Adobe Cloud, Visual Studio, Office, XAMP, Aptana, and Eclipse, I'm pretty over the 40GB SSD. I think Ill go head and splash on a 250GB unit.

This one seems to be the best rated on Newegg right now. According to the internet, this thing should last longer than the ones from early 2012. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

I'm thinking Ill just stick with my 1TB drive for now, and just make an image of the 250GB SDD every once in a while. All my files only add up to around 100GB, so I've got plenty of room.

Thanks again for the advice everyone,
Old 04 April 2013   #15
Best bang for buck and warranty: OCZ Vertex. 5 years replacement warranty.
Best reliability/performance by a long shot at end of 2012 (if you can spend the extra dough): Samsung 840s.

Samsung, now that Intel pussied out of it, is -the- only manufacturer out there making their drives truly end to end. All of it, every component, every part of the fabrication process.

They were also first to triple level cells and getting them to outperform lower MLCs instead of underperforming, which is quite a feat and indication of very good design.
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