Freeing space in Windows

I’ve now been working with my virtual dev-machine for about one year, and it starts to show. I have installed quite a rig of software like SharePoint, Visual Stduio 2008 and 2010, SQL Server 2008, Office 2007 yada-yada-yada.

I just realized that also keeping always up-to-date with all updates and service packs does has some impact on the available disk-space. I know that Windows 2008 itself is not suited for a small drive, but I still wondered how much space the windows-folder could consume.

So I looked into the windows-folder to get a broad overview of what’s actually happening there. And I noticed that the installer-folder is actually eating up quite some space.

Luckily I found a couple of great posts by Heath Steward about the PatchCache folder. To control the size of the PatchCache folder you also might want to take a look at the MaxPatchCacheSize in the windows registry.

For me, that re-gained me about 2.6 GB of disk-space. For a virtual machine running on a laptop this is quite something.

BTW: this is also applicable to other OS, like Windows 7, Vista, XP …

I just hope, that this will not haunt me some time in the future – but then again, it’s just a dev-machine.

AutoHotKey & Notepad++

OK, so I want to get a little more automated, so I figured to go with AHK. So downloading AHK is easy, and getting started using Notepad is also good for the getting started.

But before I get serious I do want some kind of comfort-environment to edit scripts. So I pick my currently favorite editor: Notepad++.

While there is actually a description on how to setup various versions of Notepad++ to work with AHK, I found some pieces were not working – at least not with my current version 5.8.1 of Notepad++. So here are my few steps to get up and running with AHK & Notepad++:

  1. Have Notepad++ and AHK installed (duh!)
  2. Instead of the bundled userDefineLang.xml of AHK I used some modified version. Just download that file to any location.
  3. Start Notepad++ and go to Display\Userdefined Language.
  4. Import the userDefineLang.xml downloaded in step 2.
  5. To get Command-Completion download API-definition and place the XML file into your Notepad++-Programfiles\Plugins\APIs.
  6. Restart Notepad++