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windows 95 disk full


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hi i have a problem with a Windows 95 pc, may seem like a dumb question but its a mistery to me, it has a 2 gb hdd and its 98% full and i cant install anything and i cant seem to find what file is causing it to be so full, it was the first 9x pc i got 5 years ago when i started getting into vintage pcs, and i remember trying to install and antivirus failing due to disk full and still is to this day, i tried looking for big files but nothing came out aside couple of 20mb files, what should i do?

ps the installation is 24 yrs old and i dont wanna mess it up


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Run Scandisk.

If this doesn't fix it - get a copy of Volkov/Norton/whatever Commander and use the "Directory sizes" function, or just select folders (with the Insert key) to see their sizes. Go into the biggest folder, repeat until you find the culprit.

Maybe it's not a single big file, but a folder with thousands of small files?

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Go to "my computer" or else "windows explorer" and look at the root of drive C:\

Look at the list of folders.... should look something like "My Documents".... "Program Files"..... "Windows"..... etc etc and whatever other folders you made. The point is, you want to be at the "top" of the hard drive. At the very top of the window it should say, "C:\"

Using your mouse, right click on each folder and select "properties" from the list. It should tell you how much Megabytes of data is in the selected folder. Go through and view the properties of each folder and write down how many megabytes are in each folder.

This way, you can tell where the majority of space is being used.

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You don't need an anti virus for Win95. It will just eat up the memory and slow the computer down, and use up what little space is left over.

Absolutely NO anti-virus program for Win95 will offer protection from viruses that are "in the wild," so to speak.

Zero day threats -- viruses that are brand new and don't have anti-virus signatures, meaning they can't be detected yet -- will infect your computer just the same as a Windows 10 computer. Therefore, if you can't have a functioning up-to-date virus scanner, then there is zero point in having one. You either have to have one that is receiving constant updates to be relevant, or it's useless.


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Hi stvpls, add my 2 cents, random suggestions, mostly routine maintenance, using Windows 98 here so some items may be different in Windows 95.

Since you don't want to mess up the install, backup the entire partition first onto separate media. If you have a Windows 95 install CD and copies of favourite software then maybe a full partition backup isn't critical, aside from important personal files.

Here a GNU/Linux liveCD is booted and second backup drive gets attached. A 2 GB partition backup would only take a few minutes from a Linux terminal using a command like 'sudo cp -axv /mnt/sda1/* /mnt/sdb1/backup_directory', sda1 is the Windows installation and sdb1 is the backup drive. There is likely lots of Windows backup software available too, not familiar with it.

There could be a filesystem issue, run scandisk as already suggested. Personal preference is to launch it from a fresh DOS boot.

If a suspect virus is filling the drive then you need to do more research to identify and fix the issue. If the system is compromised, IMHO best practice would be to reformat the drive and start fresh.

A 2 GB drive is pretty small, attach a second hard drive or USB stick and offload some data.

Ensure Recycle Bin is empty.

Run Disk Cleanup (cleanmgr.exe).

Run Add/Remove programs for anything obvious you don't want.

The failed anti-virus install likely left installation files behind. If the anti-virus program is not listed in Add/Remove Programs then manually delete applicable program directories. Anti-virus is not used here, never had an issue last few years with Windows 98 online daily using Tiny Personal Firewall v2.0.14.

Run Find -> Files or Folders (Windows-F keys), select C: drive and in Advanced tab 'All files and folders', Size is 'at least' '1024' KB -> Find Now. In results list toggle the 'size' column to sort biggest files first and review.

There's lots of information available on the internet and lots of cleanup utility programs, you'll need to decide how best to proceed.

Edited by Wunderbar98
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Just more questions... you said you looked around for a big file that may be causing problems.... can I ask you? Was this computer ever hooked up to the internet?

If so, it may not be one huge file, it may be millions of little ones in a temp folder, either used by Windows itself or Internet Explorer.

Any time in the past 25 years you ever delete the cache? If not, you may have a huge cache of "Temporary Internet Files" stored by Internet Explorer. That thing was notorious for just accumulating endless amount of picture files off the net. I don't think they ever set a limit to that thing, by default I think it was set to just run wild and store every single picture ever viewed!

Try going into Internet Explorer web browser looking at the menu.... click on "Tools," then "Internet Options," then under "temporary internet files" click on "delete Files."

Then check and see how much free space is available on your drive.

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One program to try is the Eusing Cleaner.


If you're not experienced I don't actually recommend it. But.... it could be a really simple way to "Clean" junk temp files off your computer.

If you do decide to try it. Don't run the registry cleaner... leave that box unchecked.

If I were you the only boxes I would check to clean would be:

Windows -> "Temporary Files" + "memory dumps"
Internet Explorer -> "temporary internet files"

Those are the only 3 things I'd recommend checking, make sure everything else empty.

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Other suggestions:

-If you have any .WAV (sound) files on your computer, convert them to MP3, then delete the original WAV

-same as above, if you have any MPG files, convert them to MP4 (Eusing website that I mentioned above, has a video converter that works on win9x)

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The anti-viruses name? Search on internet on how to remove it. It can really muck up a good system, their engine files are possibly unviewable. Your comments suggest it has partially installed. What I would do is take the HDD off line to try and fix it. First remove all data sources and reset the BIOS taking note of any non default settings and of course all power removed. I would also make the partition inactive first. Go to another OS or KernelEx machine and use WinMerge to copy the swap file across to a newly partitioned drive that has been formatted by Win95. The swap file is in the Windows directory. The rest of the files will be able to be copied across normally from a Win9x machine. The new drive once all files copied across, physically set it up to replicate the original. In Fdisk from a start disk make the partition active and from start disk command prompt go to the Command folder from within the Windows install folder and type sys c: then return which writes the Win95 operating system engine which makes the partition bootable. There is no need to go to the command folder if you have installed to the standard directory - Windows. To gain your original drive back as bootable just mark partition active again.

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jaclaz said:
If you can run it, good ol' Sequoia View is the most easy visual way to check for large files.

Oh, that looks much like Windirstat. Except the latter has more GUI, with filemanager type tables and numbers.

http or https://windirstat.net/
I kept seeing recommendations for this since ages, but never bothered to take a closer look, always thinking that puzzle thingee were just some graphical gimmick I don't need. Wrong! Only when finally trying it anyway discovered surprised how handy it really is, and those puzzles pieces are actually linked directly to file/folder info.

The homepage says it runs on Win95 too.
On the download page there's a tiny link "Latest installer 1.1.2"
For portable fans:
That's an exe but it can simply be unzipped with 7z, installation not really needed. Inside are lots of dll-files etc., but most are just translation files and installer-tool etc, not needed if english menus and portable use is enough. Simply extract the 2 files named Windirstat.exe+chm and it runs directly..
The download link currently redirects to sourceforge, which then "looks" as if broken in old browsers, but after about 10sec another automatic redirect will pop up the usual SaveAs dialogue. But not sure if really always works so simply... not long ago, before finally getting crucial browser updates, SF was a nightmare and redirects completely inaccessible for myself. For worst case only:
https or http://master.dl.sourceforge.net/project/windirstat/windirstat/1.1.2%20installer%20re-release%20%28more%20languages%21%29/windirstat1_1_2_setup.exe

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