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Losing hard drive space

Posted on 2006-07-15
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Last Modified: 2010-04-03
Still running out of hard drive space.
All suggestions were tried.
None has worked.
had 12 gigs left 2 weeks ago.
last weekend message popped up thad hard  drive was less than 200 Megs.
deleted, moved, copied to CDs and recovered 4+ gigs.
it's almost gone again.
Ran multiple spyware and virus programs.  Nothing found.
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Question by:ycguy1117
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by:rindi
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How about more info, like what is your OS, what software are you running, what those suggestions were which you tried?
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by:ycguy1117
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XP Pro, office 2003.
Norton. Pandaware, Acronis, ZoneLabs Pro, Spyware Doctor, Webroot spy sweeper, Spybot search & destroy,
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by:rindi
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Checkout norton. There used to be versions out there that had their own "recycle bin", I think it was called "Norton Protection" or something similar. When you delete a file it gets moved to the recycle bin. If you empty that, it is still inside the norton protection bin. Make sure you also empty the norton protection bin. Also, if norton goback is included, there will be restore points made and all these use space...
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by:garycase
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Last time you asked this, I asked you to post the display from TreeSize here -- especially any folders that show "Access Denied" in the TreeSize display.    As I noted before, if you do that, we can tell you where your lost space is going ...

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by:DireOrbAnt
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Right click on top level directories (say from C:) then properties. Look at the size of each ones.
Only deal with the ones with at least 1G in them. When you find the one taking the most space (program files or whetever), drill down into it and do the same until you find what's taking all the space.
You can select multiple folders and do the same to reduce the time taken to do this, then narrow down to one.

It could be log files from a program of some sort, etc..

Another way to gain space on XP NTFS is to use windows file compression. That works great on logs for one.

I fyou find the program that creates those files then the options will be obvious: uninstall, tweak program settings, compress folder, create a daily batch file that purges files...
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by:glenn_1984
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I had a similar problem several weeks ago.  Did reams of testing and checking.
Eventually -- backed up drive -- reformatted --- restored --- problem gone.
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by:garycase
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... in addition to posting the details from TreeSize  (in case you did NOT try it before -- you said you tried "all suggestions", but clearly did not try posting the info from TreeSize -- the download is at:  http://www.jam-software.com/freeware/index.shtml)  you should also post the make/model of your computer.   Some manufacturers have pre-installed programs that can use significant amounts of space (especially IBM on their Thinkpads).
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by:ycguy1117
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i have the tree size info but can not figure out how t post it.
there is one entry that has "access denied" and there are files i can not access.
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by:garycase
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You could do one of two things:

(1)  Just retype the lines that show "Access Denied" here  (be sure they're exactly as shown)

or

(2)  Do a screen capture and save it as a .jpeg;  upload the jpeg to any of the various free picture posting sites; and then post a link to it here.
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by:garycase
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... for example, you can upload it to www.imageshack.us, and then post a link to the picture.

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by:ycguy1117
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Here's a link:
http://img111.imageshack.us/img111/8431/treesizetn8.jpg
It shows about 26 gigs although there is about 50 gigs on the C drive.
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by:DireOrbAnt
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There is 25G in your trash???
On purpose?

Right-click recycle bin properties, set it lower in %. Remember 1% = 1G on a 100G drive.
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by:ycguy1117
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no, 25,000 k is 250 megs, not 25 gigs.
i did clear that out.
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by:DireOrbAnt
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Yikes, sorry about that.
So the C drive contains 25GB and if you right-click properties windows tells you that the disk size is what? 50GB?
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by:DireOrbAnt
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So TreeSize tells you you got 8G on the root (most likely your Windows swap file). Maybe that's the source of your problems?
The other big dirs are the expected ones: PF, Docs and windows.

If your HD has like 30G total, then you should narrow down where those big files are by going down the tree and finding where they live.
You could also set your pagefile to max at xGB to avoid autogrowth.

If your HD has more native space than that, TreeSize is not seing it...
Any other user on that box?

Did you recently run Error Checking and Defrag on C?
What about other partitions? Can you go to My Computer->Right-click->Manage->Storage->Disk Management and tell us what you see (or post another shot)?

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by:garycase
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What does Disk Management show for the structure of the disk?  (Right-click My Computer; select Manage; click on Disk Management; and post what it shows for that disk drive -- the partition structure).

Also post what you get when you right-click the drive in My Computer and select Properties.  (total size; used space; free space).

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by:ycguy1117
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there is a total of 55.89GB.
I have 1 partitions; i created the second drive, D.
there is a total capacity of 49.54 GB on C and 6.35 on D.
c has 200 megs of free space, d has 5.54 Gigs of free space
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by:garycase
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"... I have 1 partitions ..."    
"...  i created the second drive, D. "

==> These are in conflict.   Obviously you have TWO partitions;  one is 49.54GB and one is 6.35GB.
EXACTLY how does Disk Management show these partitions?  (the details at the top:  Volume, Layout, Type, File System, Status, Capacity, Free Space, % Free)


==>  Let's take a look at what you have stored in System Volume Information.   There must be something there other than Restore points;  so do this:

(a)  First, get rid of all the restore points (this will delete all of your restore points; so whatever's left in System Volume Information will be the "extra" stuff we most likely do NOT want.  To do this, right-click on My Computer; select Properties; click on the System Restore tab; and check the "Turn off System Restore on all drive" box;  then click Apply.   Wait for it to complete; and then close that Window.

(b)  Now load Windows Explorer and do this:  click on Tools - Folder Options - View tab;  Check the "Show hidden files and folders" button;  Uncheck "Hide extensions for known file types";  Uncheck "Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)"; and Uncheck "Use simple file sharing (Recommended)".   Click on Apply; then close this Window.

(c)  Now, with Windows Explorer, select C:\System Volume Information in the left pane;  right-click and select Properties; click on the Security tab; click the Advanced button; and check the "Inherit from parent the permission entries ..." box.  Click on Apply; wait for it to finish; and then close this Window.

(d)  Windows Explorer will now show the contents of that folder; and TreeSize will now show how much space it's occupying as well.   Simply right-click on the C: drive; choose "TreeSize" (assuming you still have it installed -- if not, install it again); and see how much space System Volume Information is using.   Post the results here => and if it's a large number post a screen shot of the contents of the directory (from Windows Explorer).




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by:ycguy1117
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Can't do it.
get the following:
"System restore encountered an error trying to enable/disbale one or more drives. Please restart your machine and start again."
I did and get the same message.
This sucks.

I also tried to change the partition and take back a gig from d to c.  couldn't do that either.
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by:garycase
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Okay, then skip step (a) and do (b), (c), and (d) => and post the results.
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by:ycguy1117
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26, 712 Megs in system volume info
Screen shot of windows explorer:
http://img160.imageshack.us/img160/416/systemvolumeinfodl5.jpg
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by:DireOrbAnt
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garycase got it right. Turn off System Restore and the _restor dir will go away, taking 25GB with it.
You probably want to turn it back on after but with less % of disk :)
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by:DireOrbAnt
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If it's not working from there, you could try Disk Cleanup (Start->Accessories->System) and under More Options tab, choose to clean all but last restore point.
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by:garycase
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26GB in System Volume info !!!  System Restore is SUPPOSED to have a maximum possible setting of 12% of the drive -- that would be about 6GB.   So clearly it's "messed up".

First, right-click on My Computer, select Properties; click the System Restore tab; highlight C:; and click on the Settings tab.  Where is the slider at?  (what %).   Try moving that to the left -- to perhaps 5% and then clicking Apply (wait awhile while it does this).   This may not work since something's wrong with System Restore -- but give it a try first.

Post back with the results and I'll suggest a next step ...


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by:ycguy1117
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the slider is at 12% and you're right, it does not work.  apply stays grey.
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by:garycase
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Double-click the "_restore..." folder within System Volume Information (double-click it) and post a screenshot showing the files within it.
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by:garycase
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It may not work either (since System Restore is "hosed");  but try running Disk Cleanup (Start - All Programs - Accessories - System Tools - Disk Cleanup) and selecting the "Clear all but the last restore point" option (under more options).
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by:garycase
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... just noticed that DireOrbAnt had also suggested using Disk Cleanup.   Have you by any chance already tried this?

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by:garycase
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If DiskCleanup won't work either, do this:

Open Registry Editor and make the following changes:

Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SystemRestore.
If a "DisableSR" value doesn't exist, go to the Edit menu, select New, DWORD value, and create the value.  Set the value to 1 to disable System Restore.  (If the value already exists, just set it to 1)

Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\sr and change the "Start" value to 4.

Close Registry Editor and reboot your system.

Now go to the System Volume Information;  highlight the "_Restore ..." folder; right-click; and DELETE it.
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by:ycguy1117
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by:DireOrbAnt
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ycguy1117, have you tried using Disk Cleanup to delete them (from previous posts)? If not try the Reg stuff from garycase.
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garycase earned 500 total points
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Each of those folders is a restore point.  You can try just right-clicking on them (one at a time, or in a group) and selecting DELETE.   But the system probably won't allow that while System Restore is active.  The registry modifications I posted above will turn off System Restore and disable the service.   You should then be able to delete the restore files and regain all of your space :-)
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by:ycguy1117
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so, now what am i going to do with all of this space? :-)
I owe you a big one.

will i be able to recover the system restore or is gone for ever?
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by:garycase
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Your restore points are gone;  but you should be able to re-enable System Restore.   Just go to the System Restore tab and re-enable it (if you disabled it with the registry mod);  or if it still shows as enabled, just Disable it;  then Apply; then Re-enable it and "Apply".   The "slider" should now work;  I'd suggest you set it to about 5%.

Lecture time:  If you'd "listened" to my suggestion in your last question this would have been resolved a long time ago :-)
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by:ycguy1117
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Good morning.
I can not restore the system restore.
I can't get to the slider, either.
Screen shot is at: http://img138.imageshack.us/img138/2687/restoreay0.png.
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by:garycase
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Since this whole problem was some kind of corruption in System Restore, you MAY not be able to use it without doing a repair install of XP.

First, try this: Click Start - Run;  and then type "sfc /scannow" and then click OK.   IF the corrupted file is cached; or IF you have a full Windows XP install CD; this MAY resolve it.

A couple of questions:

(1)  Did you disable System Restore using the registry modification above?

(2)  Do you have a Windows XP CD with SP2 on it?
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