If you are like me, when you bought your computer it had an enormous amount of hard drive space that you thought you would never fill. As time passed and you continued to use the machine, you saw that seemingly impossibly large drive accumulate more and more cruft until one day you get the dreaded "Insufficient Disk Space" message. Then you make a mad scramble to see just what you can delete safely and not regret later.
is a really useful guide for folks using the Vista operating system on how to get some of that missing drive space back. This works for Windows XP users too, although to a somewhat lesser degree. Right click on the drive you want to cleanup, then choose properties. The General Tab will have a button for Disk Cleanup right next to the pie showing you how little space you have left. If you make use of all of the options in this tool, you can get a suprising amount of drive space back. Even better, check-out the advanced cleaning options and eliminate all but your last restore point. Restore points consume a ridiculous amount of space on your drive.
After taking advantage of the advice from that article, I managed to recover 22.3GB of hard drive space. That's a little more than 10% of the drive! Even better, I didn't have to make any difficult decisions about backing up or deleting music, pictures, videos, documents, or projects that I had worked on over time.