Remove Language Bar from startup

Hi,

I like my taskbar to as much clean as possible. I hate the languagebar showing up in my taskbar every time I startup windows. Here is how you can remove it from startup.

Go to Control Panel -> Regional Settings -> Languages Tab -> Details -> Language Bar ->  Uncheck Show the language bar on the desktop.

If you want it back just Right click task bar -> toolbars -> select Language bar, and it will show up again.

Regards,

Mahin Gupta 

 


Cleaning Windows – reclaim your hard disk space

Hi All,

I really hate the balloon coming to my task bar saying not enough disk space on C:\ . It is really very important that your C:\ Should always have at least 15% space free so that you can defrag it. 

So here are few tips you can apply to get your hard disk space back.

1. powercfg -h off

Yes, Hibernation is a good option but it takes space equal to your RAM size in your C:\ ( By C:\ I mean the drive where your OS is installed. )

By turning off Hibernation you will get space equals to your RAM size back.

2. C:\WINDOWS\$NtServicePackUninstall$ and $NTUninstallQxxxxxx$ (where xxxxxx is a six-digit number of KB Update )

  Whenever you install any update this little species shows up. These are hidden folders. Installing updates and service packs from Microsoft creates sub folders in your Windows folder that store the necessary information to unistall corresponding update. Windows installer uses this information in case the update becomes problematic and you try to unistall them. But if you are OK with the update and sure that you don’t want to uninstall them then you can delete contents of this folders with one exception, Do not delete the $hf_mig$ folder. Windows uses that folder whenever a new update is installed. You can even automate this process by using  Windows installer cleanup utility from Microsoft. It internally uses MsiZap, the little magician, to remove all the traces of installer from your machine. You can find a good explanation of MsiZap here and here

You can also remove contents of C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download folder depending on your installation.

Edit : Today again I ran out of space in  my C:\ drive. It was displaying 600 MB as free space. I just followed first two steps :

          1. powercfg -h off

          2. C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v6.0A\bin > MsiZap.exe * ALLPRODUCTS

  and bingo … Now the free space is 4.8 GB ( My Dell Vostro 1500 has 2 Gigs of Ram )…  Great… I’M lovin it :)

– Mahin December 05, 2008

3. Location of Pagefile.sys

You can change the location of pagefile.sys and even you can split the pagefile across all partitions of your system, but make sure you have at least allocated page file size equals to RAM size + 40 MB. You can change the location of PageFile.sys by following steps 

a. Right click My Computer -> Properties -> Advanced Tab -> Performance – Settings -> Advanced Tab -> Virtual Memory – Change

b. Now select any drive, adjust Max and Min size and press set.

Splitting PageFile.Sys into multiple partition does not effect the performance. And if you have multiple hard disks then it is good idea to split pagefile across multiple hard disks, more about this from Microsoft

4. Use Disk Cleanup

Ok, a child also know this but we will do it in a good way. If you are willing to pay few bucks you can find lots of programs on the net which can help you with this. I personally use WinUtilities because it does a lot more then just cleaning. If you just want to clean stuff then A great free utility is CCleaner.

But if you believe you have already paid enough money to Microsoft for OS then you can use the tool they have provided. Launch My Computer -> Right click on the drive you want to clean -> Properties -> Disk Cleanup ->  Select whatever you want to clean and press Ok.

I wonder why sometimes Disk cleanup fails to remove all files from %TEMP% folder. So I use this trick. It is risky, do it at your own risk.

Go to command prompt-> write cd %TEMP% -> write cd.. to go up one level -> write rd /s temp ( Generally it does not remove all files since any program can have opened a file into temp folder so you will get access denied for those files. ) -> If the above step has deleted the temp folder then create again it by command md temp

5. Compress Old Files 

Windows NTFS file system comes with one very good feature of compression. You can select any file/folder and ask the OS to compress it.I usually do this with my huge folders like Setups, Books, Movies, Songs, Backup. It saves me quite a lot space.

Right click the folder you want to compress -> Properties -> Advanced -> check Compress Contents to save disk space -> Ok. If the folder contains lot of stuff then it will take a while to apply the compression.

6. WinDir

Use WinDir. WinDirStat is a disk usage statistics viewer and cleanup tool for Microsoft Windows (all current variants).It is fabulous and will help you to find large log files. Delete any unnecessary files. 

7. Outllok pst

If you are using Outlook ( You should always use outlook or any pop based mail client, instead of web based mail interface ) and you got a lot of mail, and many of them are with attachments then you should consider changing the path of your outlook data file (.pst ). here is a step by step guide to change location of your outlook personal folder file (.pst) .

8. Internet Temporary files Path

- Change the path of your temporary Internet files folder. Internet Explorer may store its cache files on your Windows drive. To move them, launch IE, choose Tools, Internet Options, and under the General tab, click Settings, Move Folder. Select the folder on the drive which has adequate space. Press Ok and Ok. You should also do the same for all other popular programs. If you are using programs like Google earth their cache might go crazy with the time. Try to change their temp folder locations.

    a. Windows desktop Search :

        – Right click on Windows Search Icon in Task bar -> Click Windows Search Options -> Click Advanced -> Click Select New -> Browse to the folder of your  choice ( Make sure you do not select any folder in C:\ ) -> Click Ok.

       – Go to Control Panel -> Administrative tools -> Services -> Restart service named Windows Search.

   b. Windows Live Mail :

       – Press Alt + M or click on Show Menu icon WindowsliveMail  on top right corner of toolbar.-> Click Options -> Go to Advanced Tab -> Click Maintenance -> Click Store Folder -> Note down the current location -> Click Change -> Browse to the folder of your  choice ( Make sure you do not select any folder in C:\ ) -> Click Ok. -> Click  Ok -> Click Close – Click Ok. -> Close Windows live Mail -> Restart Windows live Mail -> Check all your mails are there or not. If yes then Go to the location we have noted and delete all the content of that location.

   

9. ASP.Net Developers

If you are working on lot of asp.net projects then you might find  C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\Temporary ASP.NET Files folder going to a crazy size.

Ok then what to do?

just change its default path.

how?

Obviously machine.config has the answer.

go to %WinDir%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\Config\Machine.config.

In the <System.Web>  there is one section named <Compilation>, It has attribute named  tempDirectory  change it to whatever path you want.

So now your Compilation attribute will look like 

<compilation tempDirectory="D:\tempfolder\Temporary ASP.NET Files\2.0" >
I generally prefer to put my all temporary folders including Mozila,Interner Explorer etc in D:\tempfolder. It is much more convinient to remember only one location to cleanup.
    -------------------------------------

Now Below you can find just habits through which you can make sure you will not get those low disk space annoying balloons.

- Don’t clutter your desktop. Try to put only shortcuts there. Don’t put content.

- Install applications which are not of day to day use in other partition.

- If you have setup/Installer of something in your hard disk, and you do not use that stuff more then one in a week, then just install it, use it, and after making sure you have done uninstall it. This is just my habit.

- Adjust Recycle Bin space according to your needs and empty it regularly.

- Uninstall unnecessary windows components and applications.

- Delete all Restore points except the latest one ( disk cleanup will do this ).

10 ) Picasa -3  [ Added on 09-December-08 ]

I wanted to install Visual Studio 2010 -SP1 , and it requires mind blowing 5.61 Gigs of space. :(

Again I ran out of space, so I have started to work on getting my C:\ space back again, and I got one more culprit, thanks to WinDir

Picasa !!!

We all know Picasa scans our computer and prepares its own database. it uses “C:\Documents and Settings\Mahin Gupta\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Picasa2\db3″ path for this.

I checked it and it was almost 900 MB.

I tried to search on Internet how can I change this location, I checked registry also but the bad news is that you can not change this location.

So what i have done ?

I just copied all *.db files from “C:\Documents and Settings\Mahin Gupta\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Picasa2\db3″ to one temporary location. Now my C:\ has more 900 MB space.

Now if I open Picasa, then it will again ask you to rescan your computer because it has no database now. I forcefully killed picasa process ( Because there is no way to stop it in that screen ). once again copied all the *.db files into “C:\Documents and Settings\Mahin Gupta\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Picasa2\db3″  folder. Now again I opened picasa and bingo!!! all my images are back.

I will use this work around for the time being until google announces picasa version which let us to change image db location, till then watch this space.

 

Disclaimer :  Do all above at your own risk. I am not responsible if you mess with anything.

 

Hope it might help you to reclaim your hard disk space back.  If i miss something or you have some good ideas please let me know.

Regards,

Mahin Gupta