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Problems with HDD free space (app. 40GB is "missing")

Posted on 2008-10-05
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Last Modified: 2013-11-17
During the summer I bought a Lenovo R61i notebook with Windows Vista OS (32bit "home premium"). My HDD has got a 160 GB capacity. Recently I realised, that about 40 GB is "missing". If I look in Total Commander and add the used space which is about 95 GB and the free space is 11GB. But the total capacity is about 142GB (because there is an another partition in my winchester which is about 7GB, this is the OSs' part) I checked also the space in the 'MyComputer' and the result is the same than in the TC. Can you please help me how and where can I find that missing 40GB? Thank you.
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Question by:peterbalog
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22 Comments
 
LVL 20

Accepted Solution

by:
wolfcamel earned 125 total points
ID: 22644488
under disk management you should find another partition - this is a "hidden" lenovo partition which aids in recovery
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:myhc
ID: 22644489
Right Click my computer and goto manage.
In there is a section for disk management.

You can make the rest of the HDD avalibe from there
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LVL 55

Assisted Solution

by:McKnife
McKnife earned 125 total points
ID: 22644504
The system restore points could also take up to 15% of total space. If unneeded (for example if you have an imaging solution running regularly), turn off system restore.
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LVL 20

Expert Comment

by:wolfcamel
ID: 22644519
also take into account..
IBM and all the HDD manufacturers will "define" a gigabyte as 1000,000,000 bytes

however, microsoft and hence windows report it correctly. as a kilobyte, megabyte, gigabyte should all be powers of 2.
1024kb=1Mb
1024Mb=1Gb
hence 1Gb=1024*1024*1024=1073741824 bytes
hence 160Gb Hdd will report - 149Gb in windows - less some for partitioning info, directory etc.
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LVL 20

Expert Comment

by:wolfcamel
ID: 22644533
fyi - my 120Gb HDD reports 111.79 in windows
ie
120*1000*1000*1000/1024/1024/1024 =  111.79

However..Memory in a computer is sold/labelled correctly - ie 1Gb of RAM is 1024Mb.
It is quite an old HDD sales con that has been going on for years - there was a time when they were sold and labelled "correctly"
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LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:torimar
ID: 22644864
I think the requester already knew about the fact that his 160GB in reality are only 149GB, because he spoke of a 7GB second partition and stated that some 142GB ought still to be available.

What we don't know, however, is the exact size of that large partition, Peter. Is it really 142GB as it should be?
Easiest way to check this is to go to TC, Configuration > Options > Display, place a check mark in "Show parent dir also in root of drive", then click the 'directory up' [..] in the root dir of your drive and TC will end up in the My Computer view with hard drives listed together with their exact size and the amount of free space available.

If the drive has indeed some 142GB, then the lost space can only be explained by either cluster waste (which I find highly improbable on an NTFS drive, a little more likely on a FAT32 drive) or some kind of hidden files.
If, however, the drive has considerably less than 142GB, then the rest may have gone into the hidden Lenovo Recovery Partition that wolfcamel spoke of in his first post. In case you run a backup and recovery strategy of your own, you could delete that partition in order to recover space.
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Author Comment

by:peterbalog
ID: 22645418
Yes I know that 160GB in reality is only 149GB btw. thank you for the calculations wolfcamel.
I attached a schreenshot to explain what I am talking about.
Thank you everithing again.
TC.jpg
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LVL 55

Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 22645448
What about system restore, pagefile and hiberfile? That could be huge amounts.
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Author Comment

by:peterbalog
ID: 22645624
The pagefile is already in the amount, I find the system restore files also it is additional 3GB but I don' t really know what is that hiberfile, could you give me some deatails about it?
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LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:torimar
ID: 22645692
As your screenshot proves, hidden files are already included into the calculation.
So unless you use a programme that can hide files from the OS ('Folderguard', for instance, is able to do this, as well as other privacy software) what we see is what there is.

This leaves cluster waste as the most plausible explanation. The term refers to the difference between total space occupied and actual space used (considering cluster sizes).

In order to check, do the following: While in TC, place the cursor on your very large "Users" folder and press CTRL + L. A window should pop up with all the space information available about the folder. Is there a large discrepancy between space occupied and space used?
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Author Comment

by:peterbalog
ID: 22645747
After selecting all files in C: root: i recieved this, which is less than 300 MB difference between accupied and used space. And the total is around 105GB again plus 6GB free space put of 142.
TC2.jpg
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:rid
ID: 22645780
"hiberfile" is for storing RAM data when the unit is in hibernation. AT least as big as your amount of RAM.
/RID
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LVL 55

Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 22645783
The hibefile is used for hibernation and would be found at the root level of c: and is a sbig as your physical RAM. If it is not there, hibernation is turned off.
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LVL 35

Assisted Solution

by:torimar
torimar earned 125 total points
ID: 22645830
You might want to download a trial version of Spacemonger (http://www.sixty-five.cc/sm/) and check whether it reports the same disk space proportions.

If it does: did you, by any chance, create or alter the partition in question with a third party programme? I remember that in the past certain incompatibilities within the ways that partioning tools created partitions could lead to mistakable entries in the FAT table and hence to misleading calculations of free disk space. Opening such a partition with a different partitioning tool would then sometimes give you the option to "repair" the faulty FAT or partition tables.....
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Author Comment

by:peterbalog
ID: 22647743
I runned a test with SpaceMonger, and as you can see in the picture it found 35GB unscannable folders.
That is exactly what I am looking for. Can you help me how can I make this amount of spce "free"?
Thak you.
SM.jpg
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Author Comment

by:peterbalog
ID: 22647794
Also I found the folders, now basically my question is that are these thigs necessary? Or can I somehow change the space amount they can maximum use?
SM2.jpg
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LVL 31

Assisted Solution

by:rid
rid earned 125 total points
ID: 22648532
The "unscannable" portion is in all probability a partition that can't be accessed. You have info about the FOLDER usage, but not about unpartitioned space  or hidden partitions, possibly because the program doesn't understand the partition type, or just can't see into it.. You may need a partitioning tool like Gparted or similar to view the partitioning of your drive.
/RID
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LVL 20

Expert Comment

by:wolfcamel
ID: 22649795
system volume information contains the snapshots for system restore which you can reduce the size of in system restore settings from a cmd prompt (this was/is easier in XP)

vssadmin resize shadowstorage /on=c: /for=c: /maxsize=4GB

maxsize cant be less than 300Mb
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LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:torimar
ID: 22652099
If you wish to scan through those inaccessible folders you must adjust their security settings to include permissions for your username. This is explained in the Spacemonger help files.

The \RRBackups folder belongs to the Lenovo Restore & Rescue utility. If you follow your own backup strategy, you will not need it. The same applies to the System Volume Information folders which belong to System Restore. If you disable it completely, the contents of the folders should automatically vanish, I think.

A good personal backup strategy would be:
- make regular backups of your registry with EruNT (http://www.larshederer.homepage.t-online.de/erunt/), especially before you install new software or drivers;
- image your OS partition to an external hard disk every once in a while (I use Norton ghost, but there are also free applications like SelfImage (http://selfimage.excelcia.org/);
- use a freeware backup programme to make daily backups of your MyDocuments folder.
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