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Nearly 50% of my hard drive is System & Reserved

  1. Jun 13, 2017 #1
    Is that "normal" for a machine running Windows 10? I have a 120GB hard drive and 55.2GB is being used for System & Reserved. Seems high.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 13, 2017 #2


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    Gold Member

    How much RAM do you have?

  4. Jun 14, 2017 #3


    Staff: Mentor

    Did your computer start out with Win 10 or did you upgrade from Win7 or Win8? If you upgraded (not a clean install), significant parts of the old OS are still there. That's probably not the case with your machine - the Windows directory takes up about 94 GB, or about 10% of my main drive. (I have another drive that's about 500 GB.)

    How did you get the figures for System and Reserved? I'm running Win 7, and it just shows how much is used and how much is free. 120 GB isn't all that big a drive these days. My computer (desktop) is 3 years old, but when I bought it I wanted it to have a lot of RAM and a lot of disk space.
  5. Jun 14, 2017 #4
    I agree with @Mark44 that 120G is pretty small these days. Still, what I read about Windows 10 suggests that it ought to install in far less space than previous Windows versions, and much less than 52G; which means that somehow you may have accumulated unnecessary bloat. I do remember that older versions of Windows would acquire crud quite quickly, e.g. packages required for updates would be kept on even though no longer needed. I'd suggest two things:

    1) If you haven't already, get yourself one of the various apps that shows disk storage graphically via clusters of folders & file types, so that you can look inside your System folder, for example, and quickly zero in on the files or groups of files that seem to be hogging up space; you can Google on the various folder & file names to learn what they do & whether they need to be kept. That's how I always did it when I was still running Windows, up until last year. As for what app to use, Windows 10 apparently has an improved feature for managing disk space, but I've always preferred third-party apps for this purpose. The freeware WinDirStat still seems to be getting recommendations even though it doesn't say that it's been updated for 10: https://windirstat.net

    2) Assuming you find and remove any unneeded files, with only 120G you may find you want still more room; in which case you can look for articles with tips on shrinking Windows, e.g. by turning off hibernation, etc. - see for example https://www.laptopmag.com/articles/reclaim-disk-space-windows-10
  6. Jun 14, 2017 #5


    Staff: Mentor

    Several times in the past I found myself short of storage space. Before investing in a bigger disc, I set out to delete unneeded files. Once, I converted all my pictures to lower resolution.

    In every case, I had to upgrade to a newer bigger system anyhow. In every case I regretted my efforts to conserve space and I lost stuff that I would like to have.
  7. Jun 14, 2017 #6
    I don't know why you're quoting my post as part of your comment, given that there is zero connection between what you did & what I am suggesting to the OP. In terms of being helpful, maybe you could explain how you went about getting more storage?
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2017
  8. Jun 14, 2017 #7


    Staff: Mentor

    the connection is simply that you talked about deleting unneeded files. That's what I did and regretted.
  9. Jun 14, 2017 #8
    No, you did not do what I talked about: I talked about safe deletion of certain Windows system files in cases where they aren't needed, e.g. a hibernation file. What you did was delete/degrade data files that you now wish you had back. I'm sorry for your mistake; but please leave me out of it.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2017
  10. Jun 14, 2017 #9
    I would say this is not unusual, especially for a system using an OEM install. I suggest you perform the following in order:

    1. Windows System Image backup to USB (for full system recovery).

    2. File History backup to USB (for easy file/directory recovery).

    3. Uninstall programs/apps you don't use.

    4. Run the Windows Disk Cleanup tool in admin mode to remove Windows upgrade, update, and temp files.

    5. Migrate to a larger drive if you need more space.​
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