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What is using up hard drive space?

Posted on 2009-02-10
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I am working with a Lenovo laptop with a 160 G drive.

Properties for Drive C show 42 G used.

However, when I add up any folders off the root that have more than .5G I get 24 G.

That leaves 18 G unaccounted for.

I have check Lenovo's Restore and Recovery function and it is OFF and has been off as soon as we started working with the machine.  When I open that program, it shows no files available... so apparently none where made.

There is a 5G Fat 32 partition that is Lenovo's factory image file... but what is eating up the rest.

I have looked at the various threads here and have not been able to determine what is using up this space.

Any suggestions welcome.
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Question by:Tomster2
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Expert Comment

by:authen-tech
ID: 23604007
Install and run Tree Size Free from http://www.jam-software.com/freeware/index.shtml

This will tell you what is taking up all the space and where it is on your hard drive.

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Expert Comment

by:acroment
ID: 23604008
Check out this tool: http://www.foldersizes.com/

Also, you can check the recycle bin.

You can also run the disk cleanup wizard. Its in the start>Programs>Applications>System tools folder.

I hope this helps.
-Eric
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Expert Comment

by:kory1006
ID: 23604013
Take a look at this program called Tree Size Free.  It will tell you how much space both folders, hiddens files, and system folders are taking up in an easy to view window.


http://www.jam-software.com/freeware/index.shtml
   
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Expert Comment

by:abowar
ID: 23604021
Is XP's system restore turn on?
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by:
CrashDummy_MS earned 1000 total points
ID: 23604031
Download WinDirStat (or treesize or any other similar utility) and let it scan your drive. That will give you a graphical representation of where all the space is being used.
http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=91252

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Expert Comment

by:BrandonGalderisi
ID: 23604697
160GB hard drives are actually 160,000,000,000 bytes.  This gives the "IMPRESSION" to a lot of people that your hard drive is missing space but in fact a 160GB drive is only 149GB BEFORE FORMATTING.

Also, if you want to see where your space is REALLY being used, I recommend jDiskReport

http://www.jgoodies.com/freeware/jdiskreport/index.html
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by:BrandonGalderisi
ID: 23604700
I knew that would happen.  I was called away from my desk and didn't hit submit :(.
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Assisted Solution

by:rsmorra
rsmorra earned 400 total points
ID: 23608492
The best program I have seen for identifying lost space being consumed by lots of little files is WinDirStat.  In addition to drive usage stats by file type, it also gives you a visual Tree Map of your drive, which makes it easy to see what is using all your space.  
Each area of the map is color coded based on file type, and you can also click a file type on the list to select all files of that type, say wmv, mp3, whereever they are on your drive, and move or delete them at once.
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by:nobus
nobus earned 600 total points
ID: 23609393
dies it have the rescue and recovery installed?  then that's it.
It is the only (bad) program i know that makes recovery files in the same partition.
uninstall it
info :  http://www.pc.ibm.com/us/think/thinkvantagetech/rescuerecovery.html
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Author Comment

by:Tomster2
ID: 23624725
Will try windirstat and also check out rescue and recovery issue and report back.
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Author Comment

by:Tomster2
ID: 23713904
After doing basic cleanup (Disk Clean up, %temp%, File error checking) we now have 35.5 G used.

Running windirstat showed a total of 29.7G.  I totaled up all sizes under the c drive that were listed as greater than 1 M, and we were right at 29.7.... so what I was seeing there totalled up fine... except for the 35.5 G in Properties for the C drive.

I looked under Options in WinDirStat and selected "show unknown"... this showed a 5.9 G subfolder under Program Files"  which showed in in WinDirStat as "<unknown>".

29.7 + 5.9 nails the descrepancy... but does anyone know what it is?  Is this how system restore info shows up under windirstat?  Is this how ThinkVantage's Rescue and recovery files would show up?

Thanks for any insights.
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Assisted Solution

by:CrashDummy_MS
CrashDummy_MS earned 1000 total points
ID: 23714514
I can't speak for ThinkVantage, but Windows system recovery uses a folder named System Volume Information for that, so it makes some sense that ThinkVantage would use use something similar. Does ThinkVantage have some configuration utility that shows you how much disk space it is using, or let you limit it?
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Author Comment

by:Tomster2
ID: 23716113
The Think Vantage utility is turned off and shows no recovery point available.   I know that their is a recovery image Lenovo's but my understanding (perhaps wrong) is that this is a separate partition and would not show up as a subfolder as c:\program files\<unknown>
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Assisted Solution

by:CrashDummy_MS
CrashDummy_MS earned 1000 total points
ID: 23716249
Any folders under Program Files that you get access denied trying to open?
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Author Comment

by:Tomster2
ID: 23779085
I can open all the folders under Programs.   Checking with Lenovo on where the Rescue and Recovery files may be... (even though the program shows no backups available)  or how the image file is supposed to show up.  Will advise.  Thanks for your patience.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 23781564
did you read my post?  "It is the only (bad) program i know that makes recovery files in the same partition."
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Author Comment

by:Tomster2
ID: 23786219
Yes, I read it... but as I understand it, there is the original factory provided "image" which is in its own partition.   Rescue and Recovery... IF you let it run creates additional images.   If these are in the same partition... OK.  But as far as I can recall, we turned off the rescue and recovery program that first time it asked us to create a backup.  If I open the program, it says NO backups are available.  So it never had a chance to create additional images.

That is where I am confused as to why/what that file is.  
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Expert Comment

by:acroment
ID: 23786269
Do you have "show Hidden/system files" turned on? (So you can see them).

That may be the reason for it showing up as "unknown".

If it set to Hide, check it so that you can see the hidden files and re-run the tool to see if the name appears.

It should have a name.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 23786356
no; i think youve got it right.
the partition is for rsetting the system to factory state.
but the Rescue and Recovery makes additional images - but if you turned it off; then that should not be the cause.
read this (comment from Raijin) :  http://forums.lenovo.com/lnv/board/message?board.id=Special_Interest_Utilities&thread.id=3836
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Author Comment

by:Tomster2
ID: 23789571
For Folder Options, boxes for Hide protected operating system files are unchecked...
Show hidden files and folders is checked... both are applied to All Folders.  These were in this state before the investigation started.
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Assisted Solution

by:nobus
nobus earned 600 total points
ID: 23792513
ok - did you run a chkdsk on the drive?  a corrupt file system can report wrong data
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Author Comment

by:Tomster2
ID: 23798287
Recalled running Chkdsk when this all started, but ran it again to make sure... no change.
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Author Comment

by:Tomster2
ID: 23798412
OK.  Here is the outcome summarized for anyone else with the same issue.

Lenovo Factory Default Image is in its own partition.

Lenovo Rescue and Recovery stores its images in C:\RRBackups - but Windows Explorer will be unable to access the folder or display its properties (size, etc).

MS System Restore puts its files in c:\System Volume Information - also unaccessible  via Windows Explorer.

WinDirStat shows the size of RRBackup - in this case zero... as it is empty - no backups available as discussed above.

WinDirStat does not directly show the size of c:\System Volume Information, but will display the <unknown> component as indicated earlier in this thread (In WinDirStat you have to select Tools | Optins | show unknown).  System Restore was allocated 12% of disk space by default.   With a 160G drive that results in a lot of restore points.   Once I knocked that down, the number of available restore points dropped AND so did the size of <unknown>.

Thanks for all the suggestions... will try to allocate points in proportion to the degree they got me closer to a solution.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Tomster2
ID: 31545207
Thanks for hanging with me through this thread.  Several components to understanding what was finally going on.
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Expert Comment

by:Mike Sun
ID: 23798491
Reading this thread with interest, I did some tests on Rescue and Recovery software and hope these notes is of some help:-

Three folders (RRbackup, minint and preboot) typically always report "access denied UNLESS you boot ito safe mode so I assume that during normal startup, some R&R process locks those folders no matter what NTFS permissions are assigned in safe mode.

So booting up in Safe mode should allow full auditing of file and folders including the R&R ones.

 Cheers from Mike
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 23803208
glad i could help a bit
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