Thinking of getting a larger hard drive for my desktop

Apr 27, 2010
Suburban Washington DC
I have a Dell Optiplex 7010 mini tower made in 2012 that I bought used around 2014. I increased RAM to 32 GB and in September 2016 replaced the drive with a Crucial 500 GB SSD. Now I'm seeing this which I assume isn't a good thing.

disc space.jpg

So I check the Crucial site and they have a 1TB SSD for $75. Is this a no-brainer upgrade? At nearly 7 years old, isn't my current SSD subject to dying at any time? Any reason the rest of the hardware couldn't go another 5 years? Ordinarily I'd be shopping for another 1 or 2 year old computer but they all use Windows 10. Or is there any way go set it back to W7 on a newer machine? It's not that I hate W10, I just hate the user interface with all those tiles and bizarre symbols instead of labels. I have it on my laptop and navigating around the desktop is a pain.
'all those tiles and bizarre symbols instead of labels'? No idea what you mean?

It's been so long I don't recall how Windows 7 handles product keys but you should be able to pull it out of the registry somewhere since it won't auto-activate like Windows 10 will.

SSDs live a lot longer than people think. I'd say download Crucial's disk tools and have it run a health check on it.

Amazon is selling the Crucial MX500 1TB SSD for $70 right now and a few others a bit cheaper if you want to go that route.

Do you download and/or store a bunch of stuff that's taking up so much space? You could always prune it out and save yourself the money and time installing a larger drive.
Do some housekeeping on the hard drive. Windows has built-in tools (right-click the hard drive icon, then under Properties maybe ??) that will clean up a lot of garbage. If you use something like Dropbox, it now defaults to keeping everything in the "cloud" vs on the physical drive. I presume most services do it this way now. My old laptop, a Macbook Air, only had 128gb storage and it was never an issue. My new one has 256gb so I don't foresee any issues. I don't hoard things either though and don't have programs installed just for the sake of having them just in case I might use it.
Time to clean up your hard drive.

As to those saying SSD's last longer than you think, well, just had the opposite experience with an SSD failing after 2 years with NO warning. Not an off brand either (Samsung for those who are curious).

No comment on the version of Windows... You can lead a horse to water...
Housekeeping! Deleting unneeded files, archiving keepers on backup media. Install Crystal Disk Info or similar and check the health and remaining life of your SSD.
Nearly 44% of the drive space is taken up by whatever is in the Users folder... Look there for unneeded, duplicate files, etc...

As an example, the downloads folder there will often contain everything you've ever downloaded. Decide if you actually need that...
Nearly 44% of the drive space is taken up by whatever is in the Users folder... Look there for unneeded, duplicate files, etc...

As an example, the downloads folder there will often contain everything you've ever downloaded. Decide if you actually need that...Hadl
Wouldn't have any duplicate files and hardly anything in downloads.

why not move stuff to an external drive? or do you have room for an additional drive? you can get rather large drives and install in the case? i dod a NAS on my router. works grerat for larger files and photos, music etc. then map the network drive so it's available at boot up.
Not a whole lot to delete here. 7 GB in recycle bin.

View attachment 138579
You are going on 6 years' worth of data on a fairly small SSD. . What type of files is eating your memory? If you have lots of image files, and you probably do, you may have derivative files (scaled images, RAW and jpg files, etc) and you may not want to keep all of them. You should go through them and delete the ones you don't need or want. Also get rid of programs you don't use.
Looks like you have lots of pictures. I would make sure they are backed up regardless of a replacement.
There is a disk cleanup utility in Windows that you could try to run to see if there is anything that can safely be deleted. I would think about replacement of the entire machine if it is that old, but maybe you are fine with the speed.

Another thing to think about is that Windows 7 isn't supported anymore, so you could have security and compatibility concerns.
Are these mostly pics of cars you’ve sold? If so and no emotional attachment I’d start deleting there.
Get the 2TB drive.

Add it as a second drive.
Copy/Move your pictures, documents etc to that drive and update the Shortcuts to reflect the new location.
If you are not going to update the OS, at least move the bulk of your data to a different device.

Your OS and applications can live on the 500gb drive and your user data on a second drive.
What are those Mercedes and Volvo Virtual PCs ? Those are almost 60gb alone and haven't been touched in ~3 years. There's another ~60gb of "car photos" and 12gb of shop manuals. Those are ideal candidates for an external drive. If they're truly not important, i.e. cars you sold, just put the pics on a USB flash drive.

Check what that 33.8gb unknown folder is about too.

As I said, do some housekeeping.