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Vista Ultimate -- Phantom space usage on drive C

Posted on 2009-04-08
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Recently, a Dell tech support person helped me install VISTA Ultimate 64 bit. I have not installed any other programs on it except VIPRE antivirus and CMS BounceBack backup software. When I view the drive structure through My Computer, I see that 48 GB of the drive space is being used up. However, when I add up the size of all the files and folders on Drive C, including the windows folder and hidden files, they add up to only about 17 GB. The size of bootable back up ceated by CMS Bounceback is also about 17 GB.

I contacted the DELL tech representative. He said that the difference between 48 GB and 17 GB are the Windows files on C. I said that I do not find this much descrency on my XP computers. He said that Vista behaves differently.

Does anybody know what may be the matter with the space usage on my computer?
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Question by:SeekingKnowledge
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GarthSnyder earned 75 total points
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Take a look at the free version of TreeSize - that will help you pin down the missing space.

I'm guessing that you do not have "show hidden files and folders" turned on. Go to an Explorer window, hit Alt briefly to get the menu bar up, then choose Tools->Folder Options and pick the View tab. Turn on "Show hidden files and folders" in the Advanced settings box, and uncheck "Hide protected operating system files."

But basically, the Dell guy is right. If you have been installing Microsoft updates, you probably have 10+ GB of ca-ca in your  C:\Windows\winsxs directory. Essentially, MS got tired of people complaining that updates broke older software, so Vista now uses a "side-by-side" system in which it maintains many versions of the same library. Nothing is ever really obsoleted or deleted - Windows Update just adds on the new versions.

You probably have a pagefile.sys and a hiberfil.sys in the root of your C: drive as well. All this together can easily account for 25GB or so.
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_ earned 50 total points
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Most probably the Swapfile and/or Restore point(s).
I don't have a Vista rig around at the moment to tell you where to look, but try turning off the System Restore and see if that 'fixes' it. And check to see how big the swapfile is.
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by:exceter
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What programs you have installed on your PC?
What is the total size of HDD? and its partitions?

coral47 probably right...
I think you have "Restore point on", and it does not delete old backups.. so the size is increasing
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Thank you much.   : )
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