Missing Space in MS WinXP!

Posted on 2003-03-21
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-03
I have used an (additional) external HDD w/ USB port for some time. In the size of 30GB it has been a pleasure to work with. I used to store my main HDD backup, as well as a whole bunch of MP3, video, and image files. Sadly, it has never been enough for a man to have anything, so sometimes I have to delete some files to replace with another.

The problem is that a few days ago when I delete some 1.4GB of video files, there seemed to be something wrong: The files were gone, BUT I didnt get any space back in return!!!

Has anybody ever seen something like this? or any suggestions on it?


I've tried everything I could to get those space back; from Scandisk, Viruscheck, and also using some features in Norton Utilities (WinDoctor, Disk Doctor, and even Speed Disk). All of them returns negative.
Actually I dont know exactly the use  of all of them, but usually if there's something wrong with my computer, they returns some error.
Question by:crocco
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LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:Christopher McKay
ID: 8182283
Things to check:
Make certain you don't have the files stored in the recycle bin,
Make certain you don't have any temp files/folders
(Symantec cleansweep does a good job of this)
Do a scandisk on the drive to see if there are lost clusters,
Do a norton speedisk to defragment the drive.

Hope this helps!


LVL 24

Accepted Solution

SunBow earned 225 total points
ID: 8182563
> The files were gone, BUT I didnt get any space back in return!!!

This usually means they went to backup area, more frequently, the recycle bin. For me, I turn off the bin because when I say delete I mean it, and of the things I wanted to recover, they never were in that folder.

For space managment, I encourage a periodic rebuild (format) of the extra partition. It is easier to backup the files desired to keep, than to identify the files that need to be trashed to clean space.

Author Comment

ID: 8182919
HMMM.... 8'D

I think I just found the answer, somehow after I read the answer from SunBow, I managed to check my recycle bin, and somehow I went to the Norton UnErase Wizzard.

there I found a lot of things, and regained all MBs dissapearred all this time (stupid me ...)

I always think that if I deleted something by holding [Shift + Dell], those files I deleted wont go to the Recycle Bin, and they didnt; they go to Norton's UnErase Wizzard instead.

btw, @SunBow, can you explain me more about your 'space management' thing?
LVL 24

Expert Comment

ID: 8184135
I don't like enabling Norton UnErase for even more reasons. XP has option that seems to work out ok.

> btw, @SunBow, can you explain me more about your 'space management' thing?

For a closed Q after a 'B'?

Well, another term from old days is garbage collection. Over time, you accumulate files you either don't need and forget about, or you delete something and don't know it was incomplete, or ... then there's temporary files, log files, maybe old quarantines (to use a newer word), and you simply lose track quickly of difference between what you need to keep vs what you need to get rid of. So I dust off old philosophy of, even for a 1 disk system, erase the HD, restore the known good wares from CD, then if that works, add important backed up data. This effectively even cleans viruses and is best defragger you can get. It validates backups, and enables debugging of many problems that come up. Oh, and by the way, it cleans the disk to get the best amount of free space you can achieve.

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