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Low disk space, but can't remove software

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Low disk space, but can't remove software

  • I have a Dell Inspiron 700m.

    I keep getting messages that the disk space is seriously low. When I try to remove software programs I don't need I get a message Out of disk space, error 1711. I ran the compacting tool, but it didn't help.

    I am lost and hope someone can help.


  • Try starting Windows in "Safe Mode" - F8 before Windows Starts then select "Safe Mode" (not Safe Mode with networking).  Empty the Recycle Bin and then try removing programs.

    I am not a Dell Employee

    Dell forum member since 2002

    Inspiron 15 - 5577 Laptop

    Home Built Desktop PC with ASUS Z170, i7 6700K CPU,  Windows 10 64 bit Pro. SSD drive.  Studio One 3 Recordng Studio Software.

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  • Hi Catsb

    You have two options to resolve this problem; either delete files or replace the disk with a larger one.

    Deleting files
    Try booting in to safe mode and then delete files. Be aware that you generally can't uninstall programs in safe mode as the uninstaller is not running. You boot in to safe mode by turning your computer on and then pressing the [F8] key repeatedly until the safe mode start up option becomes available. If you see the Windows splash screen appear then you haven't pressed the [F8] key early enough and will need to reboot again. Be cautious in deleting files from the Windows folder as this can stop Windows from working. After deleting the files empty the recycle bin. Then run Scandisk and defrag.

    Replacing the hard disk with a larger one
    This is one of those tasks which is quite easy when you know how. Basically what you do is:

    • Buy a replacement laptop hard drive
    • Unscrew the cover for the drive on the bottom of your laptop and remove the drive
    • Plug both the new and old laptop drives in to a desktop pc
    • Boot the desktop pc from a cd with cloning software such as Ghost or Clonezilla
    • Clone the old disk to the new disk
    • Remove the laptop disks from the pc
    • Plug the new laptop drive in to the laptop

    A great free alternative to using cloning software is to use WinPE and ImageX. This is Microsoft software which you can legally use on computers which have a Windows licence. This method assumes that your laptop and another pc is connected to a network

    • You would boot the laptop from the WinPE cd
    • Using ImageX create an image of the laptops hard drive and store it on the other pc.
    • Replace the drive with the new drive
    • Restore the image to the drive.


  • I opened in safe mode. When I tried to remove two programs I don't use, but I got error 5004:0x7e on both. It says to make sure you finish setup... It is strange because these two are programs I use to use, so they must have been set up...?  I really appreciate your help.

  • Hi Mbarraus:

    I tried the first solution (see my reply to firebird). The guys at Radio Shack said there are a lot of processes going on in the background. I don't know if that has anything to do with the inability to remove files?

    Thanks for your help,


  • Hi Catsb

    Safe mode is the most minimal form of Windows you can get without booting to the command line. This means that a lot of the functionality you are used to having is not available. For instance installing and uninstalling programs generally won't work. Uninstalling programs is the preferred method of removing programs as there are probably entries in the registry that need to be removed and there may also be files spread across your hard drive that won't be removed by simply deleting the program folder. In your case you could simply delete the appropriate folder inside c:\ProgramFiles, as it won't matter too much in this instance. If you successfully delete these folders then you will know that the files are not actually locked by open processes. It is very unlikely that these files are locked by open processes as have booted in to safe mode which only starts essential files running.