Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
When you install software on a drive other than C: you may be surprised to see space disappear from it anyway. I'll look at some reasons why.
I am using the trial version of Windows 7 Enterprise 64 bits. I installed the operating system on a 50GB partition, and all other applications on a separate 50GB partition, the remaining space of my 320GB hard drive is for data (word documents, audio and video files, etc). Initially, after installation, windows 7 uses around 20 GB of the partition. But after installing all the applications softwares (Microsoft Office 2010 trial, Adobe CS4, etc) the space available on drive C is only about 15 GB. Can you please explain to me why and how to avoid this situation.
I'm not terribly surprised.
One probable reason is that the system drive (typically the C: drive) is special.
However, there are a couple of other things that could be going on as well.
I'll review a few possible causes, and which of those you can control.
I'll use "C:" as the system drive and "D:" as the "other" drive as my examples throughout - your system might be different, but the concepts will still apply.
Many applications install some of their core components to C: even though they'll install the majority of their software on D:. This seems counter intuitive, particularly since it a) asked you where to install, and b) you told it D:.
The problem is that many of these applications may install shared or common components used by other applications as well - and one way for those applications to know where these common components are is by installing them in a standard place.
And that standard, "special" place is on C:.
Many applications install both programs and data, and the data may not be installed in the same location as the program.
For example, it's possible that a product might install a default set of templates or example documents into your "My Documents" folder, or somewhere else associated with your login account.
I'll bet your "My Documents" folder is on your C: drive.
You can move "My Documents" to another drive, if you like. I have these instructions for moving My Documents in Windows XP, and I believe the process is the same for Vista and 7.
Check to see if you have a folder "MSOcache" in the root of C:.
MSOcache is a copy of your Office Installation files that the Office Setup program may place on your machine in an effort to make it easier should you ever need those installation media again later. For example some features can be marked as "install on first use"; MSOcache avoids your needing to grab the installation media to perform that installation.
MSOcache can appear on other drives, but there's no reason it couldn't show up on C: as well. In fact that's exactly where I found my own copy of MSOCache.
Many setup programs create and use temporary files, and then like a five year old boy they are sometimes less than fastidious about cleaning up after themselves.
Since temporary files are typically placed in the temporary folder, and that folder typically resides on C: the result is that additional space gets used up on C: when you might not expect it.
The temporary files folder is identified by an environment variable called TEMP and is typically safe to empty. The disk cleanup utility may also clean its contents.
You can also move the temp folder to another location; see the related articles for instructions.
Of course it could be something entirely different.
One approach is to do just a little detective work as you install software. Using a tool like TreeSize Free you could take a before and after look at where disk space is being used and what's changed.
TreeSize is actually just a good tool in general to understand exactly what's taking up large amounts of space on your machine.