Battle to the death: Windows Vista vs my hard drive

The struggle goes on (as recounted here and in these subsequent posts):

  • 105 gigabytes: size of my ThinkPad T60 hard disk when I got it (sorry, said 110 before):

  • 52 gigabytes: the total of all "known" files, programs, indexes, music, photos, etc, on the disk --and that is counting a 10-gig recover-and-reinstall partition;

  • 831 megabytes -- ie, less than 1 gigabyte: free disk space as of this morning; which leaves...

  • 50+ gigabytes: the remaining dark matter somehow consumed by Vista

Fifty gigabytes here, fifty gigabytes there, pretty soon you're talking about real disk space!

(Note to the young: this last line is a little tribute to the ancient Senator Everett McKinley Dirksen, who is often credited with saying of the federal budget in the 1960s: "A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon you're talking about real money." Apparently Dirksen never actually said that, but nonetheless... And, yes, it's time to start hacking away at those Vista "shadow files" again.)

To end this on a constructive note: I guess what I'm really suggesting, apart from an easier way for users to understand and control what is happening to their hard drives, is something like a "Laptop" setting that would automatically rein in the disk-gobbling backup functions. By analogy: many disk-indexing programs automatically suspend their indexing routines when a laptop is on battery power. Otherwise they would run the battery down in a hurry. Similarly, Vista might be more selective in making its backup copies when it knows that your hard disk is "only" 100 gigs or so in size.Just a thought!