Published by Marco on 18. Dec 2015 08:12:31

If you're like us at Encodo, you moved to SSDs years ago...and never looked
back. However, SSDs are generally smaller because the price (still) ramps up
quickly as you increase size. We've almost standardized on 512GB, but some of us
still have 256GB drives.

Unfortunately, knowing that we all have giant hard drives started a trend among
manufacturers to just install everything, just in case you might need it. This
practice didn't really cause problems when we were still using by-then
terabyte-sized HDs. But now, we are, once again, more sensitive to unnecessary

If you're a Windows .NET developer, you'll feel the pinch more quickly as you've
got a relatively heavyweight Visual Studio installation (or three...) as well as
Windows 8.1 itself, which weighs in at about 60GB after all service packs have
been installed.

Once you throw some customer data and projects and test databases on your drive,
you might find that you need, once again, to free up some space on your drive.

I wrote a similar post last year and  "those tips & tricks"
 still apply as well.

[System Cleanup is back]

One additional tip I have is to use Win + S to search for "Free up disk space by
deleting unnecessary files" [1] and run that application in "clean up system
files" mode: the latest version will throw out as much Windows Update detritus
as it can, which can clean up gigabytes of space.


[Remove Old Visual Studios]

The other measure you can take is to remove programs that you don't use anymore:
for .NET developers that means you should finally toss out Visual Studio 2010 --
and possibly even 2013, if you've made the move to the new and improved 2015
already. [2] Removing these versions also has the added benefit that extensions
and add-ons will no longer try to install themselves into these older Visual
Studios anymore.

However, even if you do remove VS2010, for example, you might find that it just
magically reappears again. Now, I'm not surprised when I see older runtimes and
redistributables in my list of installed programs -- it makes sense to keep
these for applications that rely on them -- but when I see the entire VS2010 SP1
has magically reappeared, I'm confused.


Imagine my surprise when I installed SQL Server Management Studio 2016 -- the
November 2015 Preview -- and saw the following installation item:


However, if you do remove this item again, then SQL Server Management Studio
will no longer run (no surprise there, now that we know that it installed it).
However, if you're just doing cleanup and don't know about this dependency [3],
you might accidentally break tools. So be careful; if you're too aggressive,
you'll end up having to re-install some stuff. [4]


[1] The reason I write that "it's back" is that for a couple of versions of
    Windows, Microsoft made it an optional download/feature instead of
    installing it by default.

[1] Be careful about removing Visual Studio 2013 if you have web projects that
    still rely on targets installed with VS2013 but not included in VS2015. I
    uninstalled 2013 on my laptop and noticed a warning about an MS target that
    the compiler could no longer find.

[1] The fact that Windows still can't tell you about dependencies is a story for
    another day. We should have had a package manager on Windows years ago. And,
    no, while Choco is a lovely addition, it's not quite the full-fledged
    package manager that aptitude is on Ubuntu.

[1] Speaking from experience. Could you tell?