Turn off hibernation, delete the recovery image, turn down page file size, delete old updates. There's ways to trim Windows down.
Even more extreme is tweaking the installation image, I was able to trim Windows 7 to a bit under 4GB that way when I was installing it on a netbook with an 8GB SSD several years ago.
I just realised that I use sleep, not hibernate, so that's a good idea. I'll have a look at the page file size, but I think I already moved the pagefule to my HDD completely. There are some things that I can't work around. Visual Studio needs a few GB on the system partition, no matter where you install it. Thanks for the helpful tips!
Originally Posted by Eiko
30GB isn't even really a challenge, honestly. It's my default size for a minimal Windows Server VM. I'll bump it up to 80GB if I have to install any applications or large roles, but nothing short of a dedicated file server has more than 80GB on a boot partition on my domain. For a machine that only needs to stream videos and access a file server, 30GB is plenty. If my servers weren't managed via Active Directory and Group Policy, I would use linux and maybe boot from a 4GB USB stick.
I guess Windows Server allows control over what kinds of driver packages are preinstalled and stuff like that more easily than the retail versions of Windows. But yeah, it's only something like 12GB or so when you install it, so it seems reasonable that there is a way to keep it there.