Jump to content

Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

Actual free drive space vs. reported %?

Recommended Posts

I've recently noticed an odd phenomenon with Windows. I've worked on hundreds of machines over the years and would consider myself, erm.. "intimately" familiar with the

performance/state of my own computer...


It would seem my system is slowly becoming a bit unstable. A bit slower than previous. 196megs, 450mhz, about 50+ gigs.


I have about 8 gigs free collectively over two drives, about 6 on my boot and 2 on the



While I'm about to do about 10 gigs worth of housecleaning/backing up, I'm still going to buy another large drive.





Because - I've noticed a trend. Ever since Windows 95 debuted, if I encountered a system or my own that had less than about 25% of the drive space available free, it performed like a hog. I remember as drives started getting really cheap a few years ago, as I kept upgrading what drove me was because of drive thrashing and slow reads/writes.


Yes, I've defragged with every different strategy. Rewritten the swap file. Resized it, altered cluster sizes, reinstalled Windoze, everything.


*I* think - having had some experience programming C, fooled with 8086 assembler, Visual stuff... not to mention a lot of experience trouble shooting computers - I think Windows does something machievellian

when your drive space falls below a certain *percentage*.


I've thought of this because after installing (I think) Pro Tools Free the other day I noticed the "disk space free" gauge on the install reading "low"; although I have *gigs* free.


Which makes me think: does the memory management of Windows, either deliberately, or as some misguided act of conservation - alter the way it doles out memory when free space hits a certain mark *percentage wise*?


It would make for an interesting conspiracy: the new computer user enjoys "fast" computing until they inevitably start pushing disk space. Then, things start slowing down; concurrently, the march of Moore's Law continues and Intel keeps churning out new processors. The consumer doesn't think "my system is sluggish because I'm low on drive space", they think "man... maybe I really *do* need a Ghz processor..."....


So tomorrow - instead of working on my own music like I want - I'm going to clean out some space. I'm going to free up 10 gigs somehow... which probably means a day of miscellaneous chores while I burn CD after CD (and hopefully don't lose track of the projects I'm backing up).


I'm guessing - no, I *know* - I'm going to get a major performance gain, even though I have over 8 gigs free right now.


Has anyone else noticed this phenomenon?


Guitar Lessons in Augusta Georgia: www.chipmcdonald.com

Eccentric blog: https://chipmcdonaldblog.blogspot.com/


/ "big ass windbag" - Bruce Swedien

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 6
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Yes it happens.I guess I thought it was the way every computer worked. then I learn a little more about them and no they should not slow down with almost full hard drive space.


I have a 10gig Drive for my boot. which I just installed Partition magic and magic boot. I spit the drive in half leaving my old OS on one but this time was so slow. and a new OS for audio on the other.


so I end up making a third partition with everything that falls in as "DATA" and the OSs partitions don't have a single file that is not needed to perform. for some reason I can fill up that one without a change of performance on ether of the OS!! on my second drive,a 20gig one, I only have audio files, I have never fill it up, so I cant tell.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think this is only a PC phenomenon. I use a G4 Mac at work w/128 MB of RAM and sure enough, it's slowed down in about 8 months of 5-day a week use. I'm not even using it for recording purposes and this puppy has slowed down (not too painful just yet).


I've noticed in the past, like with my Windoze machine that I'm typing on right now, things improved significantly when I added RAM and on another occasion, upgraded the processor (to an Evergreen--from 90 mhz to about 233).


Same thing at work with various machines--when they had RAM added, performance increased. I really think it has to do with some of the wear that is caused by reboots (shutting down & rebooting) so I reboot on the work machine as little as possible--I leave it running all night checking email.


Gates & Jobs took some great notes from Detroit...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lot's of people reported the same message with P.T. Free,although I didn't get it with the 2nd version.Although your probably right in your assertions,I do get a speed boost after reformatting and after about 2 or 3 months things slow down a little.Outside of properly set V-cache and virtual memory settings and "not" partioning ide drives I don't have much in the way of ideas.
"A Robot Playing Trumpet Blows"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also Cybermedia's (now Mcaffe) Uninstaller helps by not only getting rid of unwanted internet cache files but unwanted registry items(after an ununstall) as well.In fact as soon as I reformatt this is the first thing I run to get rid of 40 something illeagle registry entries courtesy of Microsoft.I never once had a problem with missing dll.'s by using this app.
"A Robot Playing Trumpet Blows"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you use Norton, don't forget that those protected files take up lots of space. Clean those up when you empty the trash.


If you're using virtual memory, then you need a nice chunk free unless you've defragmented recently. That's why adding RAM helps speed things up - less reliance on using the hard drive.


Also, don't forget we audio types use BIG files. That's part of the problem too - the temp files are huge compared to a few Word documents, for example.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...