Missing disk space on local drive C:

Posted on 2009-12-18
Last Modified: 2012-05-08
I'm completely confused on where my disk space has gone.  On a 40G drive C: all storage space gone and it should not be.

The environment is the machine is part of a windows 2008 server active directory domain with folder redirection enabled through group policy.  

The my documents, desktop, etc. are being storaged on the server.  The files are sync'ed with the PC and I also have offline files enabled.

I have cleaned, defraged , chkdsk /f the hard drive.  Not to mention I deleted a lot of stuff off the my documents folder and also moved a considerable amount to other drives and media.  Everytime this is done, more space is freed up, but within a few hours the freed up space is gone.  The freed up space has sometimes been as much as 3G.  We have not put files on the drive, but the space on the drive just disappears.

On the server and the local PC the 'my documents' folder is only about 2.5G.  The sizes pretty well match when looking directly at the server drive and then looking at the 'my documents' from the user's PC.

In my latest troubleshooting procedure I've looked at every directory on drive C: to see what the disk space is for every folder.  Everything seems normal, and in no way accounts for the entire drive when logged into the domain (what I did was look at every folder off of drive C: and viewed the properties).  Each one looked good and nothing equaled 40G.

Now the odd thing, if I logged in as administrator on the local machine, not the domain, and did the same thing, looked at each subdirectory, everything looked just the same, except for the windows directory.  The windows directory in the situation was 33G in size.  Only when logged in locally does is show this size.  When logged into the domain, the windows directory was much smaller, but I don't remember the exact size.

I'm about at wits end with this and I'm considering wiping the drive and reinstalling everything, but I really don't want to do that.  Any ideas on what is going on?  I've downloaded an application to show the largest files, etc and I'm planning on running it to see what I can come up with.

Last side note, there are about 50 pc configured this way and initially only one machine had this problem.  Now I have another one that is showing the same symptoms, but not yet as bad as this.

Any ideas?

Question by:dcmense
    LVL 8

    Accepted Solution

    Chances are you've got some temp files taking up space

    Download Xinorbis, run it and it'll show you where the space has gone - it visualises your Hard disk to show which directories take up the most space
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    How large do you have your swap file set to?  This could be your missing space.
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    otherwise try this

    It will break out size by directory.
    LVL 7

    Expert Comment


    check If hibernation is enabled. it Creates the file called Hiberfil.sys. You can use below link to disable hibernation  and delete the file. This will free up lots of space

    LVL 23

    Expert Comment

    If your hard drive is very low on free space the OS may not be taking all the space it would like and will take any additional space that is freed up.
    You need a larger drive.
    LVL 24

    Expert Comment

    You can check for viruses/worm on your server.
    I have seen this issue mostly with Symantech Endpoint protection manager,which used to consume its space by not detecting the virus/worm.
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    Where is the pagefile stored on the server? You will not see it when you are browsing the directory so it is easy to miss. If you download the treesize utility that Jlucht recommended, you will be able to identify it.
    LVL 11

    Assisted Solution


    Author Comment

    Based on various pieces of information this is what I figured out and now have it working.  I used windirstat and discovered that a directory, c:\windows\csc, had over 30G with of files in it.  In investigating further the files are all offline files.  I used 'tools', 'folder options', to delete all the offline files.  Once it finally completed the deletion process I now have all the space back and my available space is holding steady.  No longer is my available space disappearing.

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