Low Disk Space Warning in Windows Vista

by on October 22, 2007

An Into Tomorrow listener submitted the following question!

Q: I am running Windows Vista Home Premium on an HP Pavilion and am getting low disk space warnings. How can I go about getting rid of the warnings?

A: A full hard drive can lead to all sorts of problems! Your computer will run slowly, programs may stop working, and you may even lose some of your important data. So before disabling the low disk space warning in any version of Windows, it is important to determine if your computer is actually running out of disk space. If you have lots of disk space left, then disabling the warning is probably a good idea. But if you only have a small amount of disk space left, you should consider some alternatives.

To view the amount of disk space remaining in your computer go to Start -> Computer. You should now be able to see the amount of data stored on your hard drive. For example, my hard drive is reported as having 24.1 GB free of 39.9 GB. Since I do not deal with audio, video, or any other large files on my Vista machine, it would probably be safe for me to disable the low disk space warning. If you are unable to get statistics for your hard drive, right click on the hard drive icon and select Properties. A pie chart should appear giving you information about remaining space. In my opinion, anything less than 5 GB of free space is dangerous in Vista. Let’s assume that you have many GB of free space and you want to disable the low disk warning. About.com has posted a procedure in an article called How To Disable Low Disk Space Checks In Windows Vista. I will summarize that procedure now:

  1. In the Start Menu, type regedit where it says Start Search (looks like an internet search bar).
  2. In the Computer listing, find where it says HKEY_CURRENT_USER and click on the (+) sign. This will expand the folder. Continue expanding until you see HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion. Once in CurrentVersion, select Policies.
  3. Next you will want to go into the Registry Editor, where you will go Edit -> New -> Key. You should then see a new entry entitled New Key #1 underneath Policies.
  4. Change the name of New Key #1 to Explorer, and hit the enter key on your keyboard to apply the name change.
  5. Select Explorer and go Edit -> New -> DWORD (32-bit) Value. An entry called DWORD should now exist beneath the Explorer that you created a moment ago.
  6. Change the name of DWORD to NoLowDiskSpaceChecks. Make sure to type NoLowDiskSpaceChecks as one word. With your mouse, right-click on NoLowDiskSpaceChecks and choose Modify.
  7. Where it says Value Data, erase the 0 and put a 1 there instead. Left-Click on OK to close the Registry Editor.
  8. Restart your computer.

If you don’t have a lot of free space left on your hard drive, you might be able to get more by running the Disk Cleanup Wizard. You can get there from Start -> Computer -> Right-Click on the hard drive -> Properties. Check all of the boxes except Compress old files. You may also want to delete some System Restore files. You can accomplish this in the More Options tab. You may also want to consider purchasing an external hard drive for your laptop — ideally one that is powered by the USB/FireWire connection (bus) on your laptop.


6 Responses to “Low Disk Space Warning in Windows Vista”
  1.  

    I get the same message on my vista PC.
    Yes you can go to regedit and mess around with your registry or you can go into the drive and move some of the folders to c: drive. …Done no longer will you get the low disk message? Have a nice day

     
  2.  

    I have a friend with new laptop and Vista.
    He gets this message about the disk with restoration files on it being low isn space.
    That disk has the system files for reatoration on it. Can I move them to C:

     
  3.  

    Bill

    Not really sure what you mean. Are you trying to say he has two hard drives or at least two partitions and one of them is giving the warnings?

    If that is the case then yes you can move the files from the one drive/partition to the other to increase the free space. You will, however, decrease the free space on the drive/partition you move the files to though.

    Normally you want to make sure you have as much free space as possible on your main drive, usually your C: drive so keep that in mind.

    Thanks
    Matt

     
  4.  

    When I go through that process and get to the POLICIES folder, I open it and there is just a file called ab(default) type:REG_SZ.

    When I click it, no menu like that opens, only a small window that says “edit string” where you can change the “value”.

    I did everything in the correct order?

     
  5.  

    Hey, I was wondering if I can do this for just one drive? I have two 50GB hard drives and one 2GB hard drive, and I filled the 2GB drive with music. But now, of course, I’m getting the low-disk-space warnings, and I want to turn it off, but just for the smaller drive…any ideas?

     
  6.  

    I do not believe you can do this for just one. Doing the modification will probably do it for all drives in your system.