Dear Computer Lady,
I have windows xp. After receiving a low memory message, I deleted some old files and ran the disk cleanup. It reported over 9 million mb of memory that needed to be compressed. I agreed OK and in about 15 seconds screen disappeared like it was finished. Ran it again same outcome. Tried to defrag. it said I had 0% memory and 4% memory on 2 drives, wont let me defrag. Is there something else I can try?
There are a couple of things you can try, but first, you really should make sure you have any files that are important to you safely backed up onto either CDs, DVDs, or an external flash drive or hard drive.
Once you are confident that your data is safe, you can get started trying to free up some space on your computer.
Since you have told me that you have already tried the disk clean up utility on your computer, I am going to skip that step for now.
The first step along the way, is to go to the Control Panel, click on “Add or Remove Programs” and look through the list of programs that are installed on your computer. There are probably a few programs listed that you have not used in years, and you can free up a little bit of space by removing those programs. Depending on the type of program you remove, you might free up a little bit of space, or a lot of space.
Next, take a look at some of the files that you backed up. If you have so many photos on your computer that they filled one or more DVDs, consider just keeping them on the disks and not on your hard drive. This will mean that you will have to load the DVD on your computer to view the photos, but it can free up large amounts of space on your computer.
The same is true if you have a lot of music files, video files, and even documents on your computer. As long as you have backup copies on disk (I would probably make two copies on disks, one to use on a regular basis, and another for a backup that doesn’t get used as often) You can remove those files that you don’t use very often from your hard drive and just access them from the DVD when needed.
Once you have freed up some space on your computer, you should try running the disk cleanup again. Make sure you empty the recycle bin, and you will also be able to run your defrag utility.
Occasionally, all these steps will make no difference at all on the amount of used space on your hard drive. In cases like this, your best option, is to make sure your files are all backed up, and then run the system recovery disks that came with your computer. This will erase your hard drive, and install Windows XP again. This is something that I do for my customers quite often, and it gives them a few more years of use of their computer.