Hard drive not displaying correct usage?

Hi Folks,

I have a problem with my hard drive. I have a 266 mhz HP Kayak with 64MB of RAM and a 4GB HD. Recently, it doesn't display the correct properties for used and free space, when I click on my computer » C Drive » right click properties. The problem occured when I was using photoshop 7 and scanning some pictures. The properties used to read 2.9GB of free space now it only reads 462MB of free space. Is there anything that I could do to free up space in my hard drive? I have deleted all large image files that I was working on PS7, uninstalled some programs not being used and deleted files from the temp folders but nothing seem to work. Will this permantely damage my hard drive? Does it have to be replaced or can I do something to fix it?

Thanks in advance for all the replies! Have a good day!

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Have a go at defragging the HDD to see if that helps.
You may try to find out if there's a specific folder occupying a large amount of space. Treesize Professional, which you can find using Google, is a suitable tool for that. Maybe there're others, too, but that's the only one of which I know.

Have you ever tried using Checkdisk? On WinNT/2k/XP you find that by right clicking the drive, then select Properties, and then Extras. There's a button "check drive" or something like that.
The other Windows OS's have a Start menu entry under Accessories, then System Tools (or something equal), depending your Windows Version and localization.
In any case, select to make Checkdisk repair automatically. If neccessary, reboot and wait.

The errors are definetely not permanent if they are causes by software errors. But maybe there are hardware errors. In this case, you need to replace the drive as soon as possible.

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I would suggest you get Partation Magic, which is a useful tool. http://www.powerquest.com/partitionmagic/
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There is a tool called CleanMgr - it's in either the Windows directory or the System directory.  It will free space by emptying your Recycle Bin, clearing your Internet cache, and tidying up after sloppily-coded programs by deleting unused temporary files.  Most space freed using this program will eventually be reclaimed, but this may be useful until you come up with a more permanent solution.

What file system are you using?  If you're using FAT, you'll definately want to upgrade to either FAT32 or NTFS, and, in some cases, you may wish to upgrade FAT32 drives to NTFS.  What file systems are supported depends on your operating system:

Windows 95 original     later versions       Windows NT     2000/XP
FAT only                FAT or FAT32         FAT, NTFS             FAT, FAT32, NTFS
File system upgrade options may be on the Options tab of CleanMgr, in the drive properties window, or on the Start Menu, depending on your Windows version.
Better file systems will store files more efficiently, leaving more free space.
How about checking the "Sctatch Disk" folder of Adobe Photoshop. So far as my knowledge Photoshop need a folder for it's temporary working files like Windows does.

By defult it will be located at "C:\Program Files\Adobe\Photoshop 7.0\".  This folder can be customized. So, try to find where is your "Sctatch Disk" folder is located and see if there is any temporary files are there or not. If there is, by cleaning them up you should get back your free spaces.

what the hell does partition magic have to do with any of this?


You can run cleanmgr from the Start -> Run -> cleanmgr.  Are you sure you deleted all the photoshop files?  Do a search via Start -> find for *.psd

Silly question here.  I did not read where you emptied your trash can.  I've gotten flustered before myself and forgot that one.

Just a thought.

Al JeeCommented:
sppalser> that is exactly what I was going to suggest.
Right click on Recycle Bin and select Empty.
All of those big pictures you deleted are probably in there.
All these solutions deal with the symptoms not the illness. The problem is lack of space. The solution is buy a large hard drive and make life easier. 4GB is no longer worth writing home about. 80Gb is inexpensive and 120GB not much more - the solution is straightforward. Before buying a new hdd make sure your m/b and bios can support it.
I am uncomfortable that your system is so undersized and you do not know what is where, mainly, that you either cannot find the free space or you cannot find that which took it. So here is one suggestion. Start over. Partition to have two drives,  2 gb each. One is c: where you put OS. Other is for your images. You will begin with maximum space available. When your d: has not enough space, and you don't know how to free up any, the answer becomes a simple format of d: to get another 2 GB back without thinking much about it. If there is important file on d:, you'll have choice of copy it as backup to c: prior to reformat. This clears up also a few other possibles, such as a virus or worm lurling about and hiding its evil ways. Which, btw means, you should be sure and try to do a good scan before doing anything else.

Upon review of above comments, I :( guess that StoneG probably hit real problem. I don't bother to allow anything to go to recycle bin, because it only receives files a don't want restored and never gets the ones I want to recover later. Now, having it on is default, so odds are that's where the space went.

patrickab answer is similar to some I often give, you do need more space. But in your situation, I think first thing to do is find out, to learn where the space is going. Having additional space may just mean more ways to waste space until you get stuck with having this problem again.
tango71Author Commented:

Thanks for the replies and suggestions! First of all I tried defragging and scanning the system. I even did a thorough scan of the disk! Nothing seems to work and I still have the same results. Checkdisk repair is not available in Win98 I've tried looking for it and finally decided to run it by typing "chkdsk" by going to Start » run » then typing it in. My result was an MS-Dos command telling me to use windows scandisk instead.

My next option was to  downloaded Treesize Professional and the program impressed me! I am wondering which files are safe to delete. These are the results. I have 3,604MB space used; Windows take 2,927.5MB of those files, programs take 534.2MB and 123.0MB is taken by Win98CAB. The biggest folder can be found in Windows, which are the Temp folder, that is 2,330.5MB. In the Temp Folder there is one file that is 2,326.3MB it is an icon, which is labeled simply 2,326.3MB [Files]. The icon has a plain white background with a red window symbol for the foreground. I am not sure if this icon is hidden or not, since I tried to search for it in the actual folder and can't seem to find it. The next largest file inside the Temp folder is 1.2MB CA6385BF6B80A642EC48. I am wondering which files I can safely delete and which I better not touch at all? I hope with the added info someone can help me.
Al JeeCommented:
Seems as if you have accepted an answer.
If you have more questions you should open a new thread.
tango71Author Commented:
To all the experts thank you for all your replies, I reall appreciate all your help. I finally found that huge file that was hogging up all the space. It was actually 2 huge files that I found in the Temp folder. I finally deleted both files with the extendsion .tmp and the problem was solved. Now my display settings are reading correctly and everything is working fine. For the hard drive issue... I'll be solving that next week by getting a new system. I figured that I need a system with ample HD and RAM if I were to continue working on graphics. Thanks again!
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