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Why is my Program Files folder so large?

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January 11, 2013 8:13:08 PM

Hello all at Toms Hardware :bounce: 
I just built a brand new gaming computer, but I am in a critical position. I have a 72GB IDE HDD (Yes, IDE -__-) and it is critically full, mainly because of the Program Files folder.
Yesterday the folder was pretty large, 11GB, but while working on my computer I now see I have only THREE GIGABYTES LEFT.
The Program Files folder is now 35.3GB! And the Windows folder has grown to 11.2GB! And that's half my HDD combined! It grows about 6-8GB a day!
I don't understand why. My computer is brand new. The only files on it are Battlefield 3, Minecraft, Steam, Origin, Microsoft Office Standard 2007 and Paint.net.
Do I need to buy a new HDD?
I have a 1tb Sata in mind.
Thanks,
~Stephen. :hello: 

Best solution

a b G Storage
January 11, 2013 8:17:41 PM

Those are big programs. Yes, buy a new HDD. 1TB sata would be good....
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a b G Storage
January 11, 2013 8:20:22 PM

Probably your page or hibernation file, you can look into disabling/reducing those until you have more room (but your system can crash if you run out of RAM and completely wipe the page file).
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a b G Storage
January 11, 2013 8:23:14 PM

"my computer is brand new"....NOT...80 gb hard drives * were common in new computers about 8-10 years ago.

It is time to buy new parts.

BTW, both the Windows folder and the Programs folder grow over time.
The Windows folder grows as new Windows updates are installed, and the programs folder might grow with log files and such too. My particular Windows folder is 22 GB.

*edit 80gb IDE hard drives
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a b G Storage
January 11, 2013 8:24:16 PM

pagefile and hibernation file are in the root folder, not the program files folder. one thing that could use clarification here: was the 11GB size before installing all those programs, or did the Program Files folder grow even without you installing any new programs? The latter would suggest a virus.
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a c 179 G Storage
January 11, 2013 9:44:43 PM

You need to find out exactly what is taking up the space.
On my computer click on your "C" drive.
Then on program files.
For each folder, right click and select properties.
When you find a big size, drill down to find out what is there and why.

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a b G Storage
January 11, 2013 10:13:22 PM

WinDirStat is a great program showing you all the folders and files that take up space on your drive. Download it and try it out. It will help you a lot. Also disabling hibernate and reducing your virtual memory (page file) is a good idea. Also all the updates that wonderful Microsoft sends to our computers takes up more and more space as time goes by.
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January 11, 2013 10:31:57 PM

Also I would clean out your IE temp folder and if your program files are so big what applications did you install ? I would check your steam folder and see how big is that. Note I don't have bf3 but I bet its at least 8-10gig install alone. Play any other steam game ? or online RPG (which take 15gig+) then that could be your problem.
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a b G Storage
January 12, 2013 12:22:31 PM

As ikaz says, temp files do build up. I like ccleaner to clean up all that junk....
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a b G Storage
January 13, 2013 5:34:24 PM

The following pair can be migrated to another drive using a JUNCTION (MKLINK from CMD prompt).
- C:\Windows\Installer\. and C:\Windows\Installer\$PatchCache$\.

These folders tend to accumulate a heap of files that Disk Cleanup Wizard may ignore.

You can free up space by checking the following folders, and emptying them:

C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\IdentityCRL\production\temp
C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\RAC\Temp
C:\Users\All Users\Microsoft\IdentityCRL\production\temp
C:\Users\All Users\Microsoft\RAC\Temp
C:\Users\Default\AppData\Local\Temp
C:\Users\[user names]\AppData\Local\Temp
C:\Users\[user names]\AppData\LocalLow\Temp
C:\Windows\Temp
C:\Windows\assembly\temp
C:\Windows\assembly\NativeImages_v2.0.50727_32\Temp
C:\Windows\assembly\NativeImages_v2.0.50727_64\Temp
C:\Windows\assembly\NativeImages_v4.0.30319_32\Temp
C:\Windows\assembly\NativeImages_v4.0.30319_64\Temp
C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\Temp
C:\Windows\winsxs\Temp

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