You'll have to look at the software on the machine. I'm not
going to try to guess at all the things that are badly behaved.
System Restore uses space, but as far as I know, there is a
setting that caps how much space will be used to hold
that kind of info.
All I can say, is I've read posts before, where the poster
is frantic to free up space, and as quickly as it is freed,
or other "protect the user from themselves" software, that
keeps spare copies of stuff. (It might not even be obvious,
when you open Task Manager with control-alt-delete, as to what
that software might be. For example, you might have installed
a "software suite" with many component parts, and one of those
innocent looking components is the culprit.)
If you were gradually using the space yourself, your efforts
to clean up would have a more "linear" effect. You'd clean up,
have a small amount of space, and find that gradually, over
a number of days, you depleted it.
But in the case of misbehaved or mis-configured utilities,
you get hardly any relief after a cleanup. The next day,
the computer is whining again, that it is out of space.
In some cases, it'll be out of space, right after a
Which is why I don't recommend turning on drive level
compression. All that is going to do, is leave you in
a worse mess than before.
You can get a larger drive put in the laptop, but beware
that there are a lot of cretins working in the industry.
Before taking a computer *anywhere* for service, purchase
an external drive, and *back up* your email database files
and any data files you value. It is quite popular, if a
dude was going to install a larger hard drive for you,
to reinstall Windows and blow away all your hard work.
Also, with a laptop/notebook, *make sure* you've prepared
your recovery or restore CDs. Or arranged to order them from
the laptop manufacturer. Don't take the laptop anywhere
for service, unless you have that set of CDs or DVDs. Many
people forget to prepare the recovery CD/DVDs when they
take delivery of the laptop. Some companies make it easy
to order replacement disks, while other laptop companies
might as well be located on the Moon, for all the service
they may provide you.
1) Backups first. Since bad things happen, especially with
retail external drives, I'd actually want two external drives
with my valuable files on them. I have heard of cases where
a set of backup files is lost, because the external drive
fails a few days after it is delivered to your door.
2) Recovery discs in hand.
3) Then consider your options...