6 Ways to Free Up Hard Drive Space Used by Windows System Files

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by starcraft, Oct 16, 2013.

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  1. starcraft

    starcraft Registered Member

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    Here is an article I'd like to share. originally published at http://www.howtogeek.com/173713/6-ways-to-free-up-hard-drive-space-used-by-windows-system-files/
     
  2. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

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    Thanks :thumb:.

    Here's another tip: delete older registry transaction files (.regtrans-ms and .blf). You can use a free program like UltraSearch to search for these. I freed up ~600 MB by doing this. CCEnhancer also cleans registry transaction files, but there were many more that CCEnhancer missed in my computer.
     
  3. MikeBCda

    MikeBCda Registered Member

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    I used to delete those uninstallers right after updating -- easy enough on XP since they're in folders right at the top of the main Windows folder. My only concern was that newer cumulative updates, which usually clean out older stuff they replace, might need them. But I never ran into any problems that way.

    They're a little harder to find (and properly identify) in Win 7, so I was delighted to see their relatively recent addition to the disk-cleanup tool.
     
  4. emmjay

    emmjay Registered Member

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    This may end up being a necessity. There has been talk (isn't there always!) that there will not be a W7 SP2.
     
  5. allizomeniz

    allizomeniz Registered Member

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    I was able to find a bunch of .regtrans-ms files in Vista with Agent Ransack. I made a backup image then deleted all the ones the system would allow; it freed up 180MB. Maybe not a huge number, but when you're trying to conserve disk space it's quite a bit. So far I haven't experienced any negative consequences as a result of deleting them. :)
     
  6. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    At one stage my computer was creating hundreds of MB of these files daily. Not sure why. After a week or so it stopped happening. I used this TBOS script to delete them...

    Code:
    C:
    CD \Windows\System32\config
    list files *.regtrans-ms
    list files *.blf
    del file *.regtrans-ms /y /q
    del file *.blf /y /q
    list files *.regtrans-ms
    list files *.blf
    
     
  7. acr1965

    acr1965 Registered Member

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    using this method I cleaned up 2 GB of files.
     
  8. hayc59

    hayc59 Updates Team

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    In theory CCleaner does all this for you ..right?
     
  9. Dave0291

    Dave0291 Registered Member

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    Theory, yes. But I have found that CCleaner, especially in regards to registry entries, will not do a thorough job. To be fair to the program, none of the options I have ever tried have done what I would call a wonderful job at cleaning. It seems to me that nothing quite works like good old fashioned manual labor. Provided you first understand where and what you are cleaning.
     
  10. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

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    If you use CCEnhancer with CCleaner, there is an option named "Registry transaction files" or something similar to that. On my computer that option found between 25 and 30 MB of registry transaction files to delete. When I did it manually with UltraSearch, I found nearly 600 MB.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2013
  11. Dave0291

    Dave0291 Registered Member

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    Mr. Brian, is there a PUP or anything included with UltraSearch? I was able to download the executable from their official website, but when I try to run it my security stops the process. Unfortunately, Avast only gave a generic message and asked if I would like to exclude it from protection. I didn't go any further until I understand the issue.
     
  12. Zero3K

    Zero3K Registered Member

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    I just installed it without being asked to install a 3rd party offer.
     
  13. majoMo

    majoMo Registered Member

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    Thanks a lot, MrBrian, for the 'Registry Transaction Files' info about.

    ♦ I used 'SearchMyFiles' from Nir Sofer, to find in my Win 7 system such kind of files. Then I added an entry in my 'Winapp2.ini' CCleaner'file to clean them in future with CCleaner.
    ♦ Maybe useful to someone else also:
     
  14. Cruise

    Cruise Registered Member

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    Excellent thread - thanks for the tips - keep them coming!

    Can anyone suggest a straight-forward (and safe) method to get rid of all 'excess language' files in Windows? o_O
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2013
  15. CloneRanger

    CloneRanger Registered Member

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    I searched through windows for both .regtrans-ms & .blf & also in the registry, but only found 4 .blf entries only in the REG.

    .blf.png

    1 - I wonder if it's because i'm on a FAT32 drive ?

    2 - The first one is related to VSS, so i'm a bit reluctant to delete it. Also i'm not sure if it's worth/safe deleting the others ?
     
  16. allizomeniz

    allizomeniz Registered Member

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    I think .regtrans-ms may be something introduced in Vista. I searched XP but found none; Vista had a lot.
     
  17. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

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    I believe this is for NTFS volumes only on Vista and later.

    I wouldn't touch those registry entries.


    You're welcome :). Thanks also for the CCleaner Winapp2.ini changes. I'd be cautious about deleting very recent such files though (see below).


    Not that I know of. I use Avast also but I didn't receive any warnings about UltraSearch. Did Avast's DeepScreen flag it as bad? (I don't use DeepScreen.)

    You can use other search programs if you're uncomfortable with UltraSearch.

    ----

    Background info on .regtrans-ms and .blf files:

    From http://www.nuonsoft.com/blog/2011/0...ransactional-ntfs-and-transactional-registry/:
    From http://www.forensicswiki.org/wiki/Windows_NT_Registry_File_(REGF):
    From http://serverfault.com/questions/42...building-up-by-the-thousands-why-and-can-i-de:
    From http://file.org/extension/regtrans-ms:
     
  18. CloneRanger

    CloneRanger Registered Member

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    .

    OK, Thanx :thumb:

    OK, Thanx, & for the helpful links :thumb:
     
  19. majoMo

    majoMo Registered Member

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    In my tests some of that files can't be deleted; in fact some are in use by system. It seems that the majority files, that we found, are unneeded, since the "protection against registry corruption" fails; then "when something in this process fails, you end up amassing these files" [from your quoted info]. When the corruption process ends user can to have your experience then: "After a week or so it stopped happening".

    Since I don't use CCleaner daily, but only when I want to do a cleaning maintenance (to clean junk files/registry, chkdsk and defrag disk and registry, to do an image with Macrium/RedoBackup, etc.), to clean these transaction log files can't hurt the system.

    Again, thanks for the info about these kind of files.

    ;)
     
  20. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

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    Here are two methods for hopefully safely deleting .regtrans-ms and .blf files:

    Method 1: (hopefully the safest and also most thorough)
    1. Note the current time.
    2. Open a UAC-elevated command prompt. Type ktmutil tx list (Windows 7) or ktmutil list transactions (some other Windows versions). This lists the active transactions for your system.
    3. Use a UAC-elevated search program (such as UltraSearch) to search for .regtrans-ms and .blf files. Delete those .regtrans-ms and .blf files that a) don't contain the identifier of any active transactions listed in step 2 in the filename, and also b) whose last modification timestamp is older than the time noted in step 1.

    Method 2: (maybe less safe, but probably pretty safe for real-world use)
    1. Use a UAC-elevated search program (such as UltraSearch) to search for .regtrans-ms and .blf files. Delete those whose last modification timestamp is older than 7 days. You can use a value different from 7 days if you wish; larger numbers of days are safer but result in fewer files that potentially can be deleted.

    For either method, if you're having problems deleting some of these files, make sure you're using a UAC-elevated search program (such as UltraSearch) or file system browser (such as Q-Dir) to delete them.

    Per majoMo's last post, it might be safe to try deleting all .regtrans-ms and .blf files because the operating system may lock those that are in use in an active transaction, but I don't know for sure whether this is guaranteed behavior in all cases.

    ---

    @majoMo and @CloneRanger: you're welcome :).
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2013
  21. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Also, see Post #6. You can delete the lot in C:\Windows\System32\config.
     
  22. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

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    Interesting note: problems with transactions can cause some system problems. From CLFS transaction logs - Reset:
     
  23. majoMo

    majoMo Registered Member

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    Interesting info indeed.

    More one reason to clean such unused files.

    :cool:
     
  24. xxJackxx

    xxJackxx Registered Member

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    Be sure to run a full system backup before doing any of these things. Deleting system files is always risky.
     
  25. mantra

    mantra Registered Member

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