What To Do If Your Windows Drive Has No Free Space Left?

Your computer hard disk will fail if there is very little or no space left in the Windows partition. Not!

It’s odd to imagine that there are a so many myths related to computers and their working. Is it the people or is it the massive knowledge base of technology know-how that are hard for people to cope up with (the latter being the culprit).

Almost 10 years ago, i owned a Pentium II with 2 GB Hard Disk with 32Mb RAM and Windows 98. One of my friends bought a CD loaded with free flash games (of course i was 11 years old). My prehistoric computer was configured with two drives, C drive and D drive of which D drive was already full *sigh*. Flash games were the only games that worked correctly on my computer. So, i copied the entire CD on my desktop and very soon the C drive was full too. Being a novice user, i started to worry a little because i had no space left at all on my computer and my friend suggested me to delete those files i just copied into my computer or else my hard drive will fail. Left with no other option, i deleted the flash games. The fact is that, having no space in a drive has nothing to do with hardware failure. He was not the only one who blessed me with the divine knowledge of how computers work. I still meet people who are stuck with this myth!

What actually happens

Your computer will definitely boot in a healthy way if there is very little or no space left in the Windows partition. But, there are certain things you should be careful about when you encounter such situation.

  • Almost all programs are designed to create temporary files and cache. These programs will refuse to start or continuously pop up an error. I experimented this situation on my desktop with Photoshop CS2 and found out that Photoshop was smart enough to deal with it and asked me for an alternative drive (Scratch Disk Preferences) where it could store it’s temporary files and cache and let me continue using the program.
  • Such situation also might create a problem while using System Restore. As it may not be able to restore your desktop into the previous state you selected due to the non – availability of required free space.

What should you do?

  • You should clear the cache and temporary files using CCleaner (freeware). Sometimes these files get piled up into a hundreds of megabytes or even gigabytes.
  • If all this is already done, then delete or transfer files of least importance to the neighboring partitions/ backup drive with enough free space.

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  • With my 250GB HD I wonder I ever going to face it and I think 90% of computer users have good space in their computer but this article is still helpful for those 10%. Good explanation.

  • Raj

    Thanks for sharing your thought Arafat. I agree that there probably are very less number of users who encounter such issue. But, it is interesting to know how they deal with it.

  • Neville Bokdawala

    Indeed..but this is a thing of the past now… with Hard disks of 1.5 an 2TB, we have to start thinking “what else can i store, it is still so empty…:):)”

    • Raj

      Yes Neville, desktops and laptops nowadays have hard disks with a large capacities, but lets no ignore the fact that it’s in sync with computer evolution time-line. For example, there way a time when 20GB hard disks were more than enough for regular users and installed applications, played games worth hundreds of megabytes or hardly in gigabytes. Now, in the era of terabytes computing, games and applications with more than 10 GBs each program have become common. Also, the copies of high definition movies, even blue ray prints munch away much of the hard disk memory and thus giving rise to situations where the is no space left in the user’s hard disk.