full hard drives

Can I Delete Temporary Files?

Windows Disk Cleanup

Episode 1838

Larry from St. Paul, MN

Larry has a laptop running Windows 7, and he's running out of hard drive space. So he's emptied a lot of unneeded stuff and backed up the rest to free up space. But what is taking up all that room? But he has nearly 100GB of temporary files. Can he delete them? Leo says absolutely. You don't need those. Type Windows Key and then "Disc Cleanup." Select clean temp system files. And it'll get rid of them. Also get rid of cache files. Most of the time, programs should delete the temp files when no longer needed. But a lot of them don't.

What Should I Use to Backup My Data?

Seagate External Drive

Episode 1818

John from Calgary, Alberta, CAN

John wants to know if a 512GB Thumb drive is big enough to back up his data. His hard drive is 93% full. Leo says it should be fine to move data over, but an external hard drive is much safer. Thumbdrive's can fail more often than hard drives. You can use a thumb drive, but make sure you have another backup of it. Can I back it up to Carbonite? Leo says that Carbonite doesn't back up external devices. Only your main hard drive. But he definitely agrees that John needs to get his data off that main drive. He needs at least 30% free for it to run properly.

How Can I Make Room on My Hard Drive?


Episode 1810

Jack from Huntington Beach, CA

Jack's computer hard drive is only 256GB and it's full. Leo suggests moving the data to a secondary drive and using the main drive for just the operating system and the programs. He can then tell Windows in the hard drive settings where the data files should be written to. Check out the program WinDerStat. It'll give a color-coded chart on what is taking up room on the hard drive. What about user accounts? Leo says that Windows doesn't like it when the user directory is in a different drive.

Why Can't Time Machine Complete My Backup?

Time Machine

Episode 1604

Kevin from Bellflower, CA

Kevin just returned from an Alaska Cruise and downloaded all the photos and videos, but his Time Machine backup will not complete it due to insufficient free space. Leo says it sounds like his hard drive has run out of room. Even with 20GB of free space, Time Machine may be taking a snapshot of the drive locally, before backing it up. Choices: Free up space on the internal drive or buy a larger one. 

The chatroom says that if the external drive can't be seen, Time Machine will make the backup locally. So make sure it can see the external drive.