Internal Hard Drives - "free space" varies greatly for no obvious reason, drive designation
Posted on 2009-02-19
Vista Home Premium (32), 500GB system drive (WD) plus secondary internal 500GB WD. After restoration using Acronis True Image 11, "Computer" window indicates free space on system drive of approx 360GB out of 465GB, but then after a day or so (some usage and a few reboots), free space goes up to 413GB out of 465GB.
The equivalent issue has arisen after several different restorations. I did a series of restorations starting in Jan 09 after computer had trouble booting up. Secondary internal hard drive replaced under warranty (why corrupted secondary HDD interfered with boot up is beyond me). Restored with backup file created about time of problem, but same issue of extra free space arose when I used a back up file from 7 months ago, when no known issues.
Before any of recent restorations, c: drive was showing about 380GB free. Each time I restore (using Acronis True Image, NOT Windows Restore), the free space after restoration seems to go up to about 407 to 413GB, either immediately after restore, or after some usage and reboots (initial free space after restoration has been indicated as low as 360GB).
No clean up of files, or emptying of Recycle Bin to explain extra free space.
Comparison of main folders in C: drive when shows 360GB free and when shows approx 407GB free does not indicate any missing files - the folder content is fairly equivalent. ALL PROGRAMS SEEM TO BE WORKING FINE, DIAGNOSTIC TESTS (using SiSandra Lite and Windows disk check of both internal hard drives) INDICATE NO PROBLEM WITH DRIVES OR PROCESSES OR MEMORY, ETC, AND ALL DATA FILES APPEAR TO BE PRESENT.
Size of Acronis Back up Archives also varies greatly for no obvious reasons (between 43GB and 85GB), but size of Back up archive does not seem to be at the heart of this issue (for example, whether using Acronis True Image to restore with a 60GB back up file, or with an 85 GB back up file, the C:\ drive, eventually, shows over 400GB free - though initially after restore it MAY show as little as 360GB free).
Perhaps related (though I doubt it), after Acronis restores it wipes out all Windows restore points, and often the Windows Restore utility lists a phantom C: dirve ("C: Missing") as well as an active C: drive. The Active C: Drive needs to have a check put in the box next to it for future Windows restore points to be created, and once that is done the phantom C: drive disappears, While I recognise that wiping out the Windows Restore Points can free up up to 15% of HDD, nowhere near that space in taken up by Windows Restore points in the short time between the restorations I have done with Acronis.
Also POSSIBLY related is the presence of two internal 500GB WD HDD. The computer has no trouble finding the system drive but windows system information shows the C: system drive as Disk 1, Partition 0, while the secondary internal drive is Disk 0, Partition 0, and also has an "Acronis Secure Zone" partition of about 40GB designated as Disk 0, Partition 1. Acronis reads these internal disks as the system drive being "Secondary Slave" and the secondary internal drive being "Primary Slave" . The computer shop (where still under warranty) reports that these designations are not relevant for this setup with two internal drives, as long as Windows finds the system disk right away, and it does (except when had corrupted, and non-boot up issue in January).
This question is similar to one I posted about a week ago, but I developed substantial additional information since then and that prior question is no longer open.
Since all programs appear to be working and all data present, I am NOT inclined to reconstruct my computer from scratch, but would greatly appreciate advice on what might be causing these oddities, and maybe what further tests I can/should perform. I tried to create an Ultimate Bootup Disk (UBCD) but after burning ISO onto CD with imgburn could not get computer to boot off that CD (though it will boot of Acronis Recovery CD), so have not been able to use those diagnostics. The ICH9 chipset MAY have something to do with UBCD not booting, Needed a special ISO from Acronis for that chipset to get Acronis recovery disk to boot up and work.
Any advice (except "reconstruct machine, reinstall VISTA) most appreciated. At this point I am inclined to let sleeping dogs lie while computer seems to be working fine, and if it all comes to grief later I will have backups of all programs and data if I need to reconstruct at some time in the future.