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hard drive space missing

Posted on 2010-08-14
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
I have a 147GB hard drive on which windows says I only have 6GB free.  However, I really only have 50GB of files on the disk.  I've run chkdsk and several other utilities to see if I can find bad sectors or hidden files.  Nothing returns any errors.  How can I find out what is taking up all the space?
Thanks,
Jim
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Question by:JLEmlet
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13 Comments
 
LVL 94

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 33436565
You can look in the following areas for disk space usage:

1. System Restore (Computer Properties) defaults to as much as 12% of disk space (18Gb in your case). See how that is set.
2. Temporary files build up. Run Disk Cleanup.
3. Some third party utilities provide an undelete mechanism and use space to mirror the recycle bin. Norton used to do that.
4. You have not emptied your recycle bin.

Check these things and let us know back. ... Thinkpads_User
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:DesertCroc
ID: 33436570
Not sure which OS you have but right-click my computer and select manage. Then expand the storage node. Select Disk Managment. Check the capacity in the right hand upper window. Is it 147GB. If so look in the bottom right pane and see if it was all allocated to the one drive. If not you can right click on the unused drive and allocate it for use. Then format and you'll be good to go. (This for XP)
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Author Comment

by:JLEmlet
ID: 33436581
Thanks to both of you!

thinkpads_user:  I've done all of what you suggest except #3.  This laptop does have Norton 360 on it, but can't seem to find any refernce to mirroring.

DesertCroc: In "My Computer", it is reporting a total space of 147GB as well as in Disk Management.

Any ideas?
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LVL 94

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 33436602
My use of the word "mirroring" was purely generic. Right click on the recycle bin and select Properties. Any information in there?  Also check your Norton 360 help or documentation for "undelete" and see if that tells you anything.

Next thing: Does your computer have a vendor supplied or third party "Rescue and Recovery" ? This could be making incremental backups and putting them in a hidden folder to as well. Such backups chew up space.  

... Thinkpads_User
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:DesertCroc
ID: 33436615
In the bottom pane of that disk management window does it report the same?
I'd then look at your trash, hibernation settings and if using VIsta/7 the shadow copy settings for the amount of disk space you've got set to allow for these.
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:scarybot
ID: 33436647
Use SpaceMonger - it's free, and it'll give you a graphical map of where all your space has gone:

http://www.sixty-five.cc/sm/

It's free. Hope this helps.
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Author Comment

by:JLEmlet
ID: 33436796
Nothing in norton 360 on mirroring or undelete.
The properties of recycle bin say there's 142GB available, has the sice of the recycle bin limited to 9gb.
Disk management says the entire disk is formatted (except 6GB that is EISA Config).
I disabled restore points to see if turning off shadow copy helped - got 2GB back.

Sorry - any other ideas?
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LVL 94

Accepted Solution

by:
John Hurst earned 500 total points
ID: 33436807
Did you check for an incremental backup process (my earlier post)?   ... Thinkpads_User
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:siht
ID: 33436816
Windirstat will also give you a graphical representation of your disk and the files on it:

http://windirstat.info/

Whatever tool you choose to use remember that under Windows 7 & Vista you need to run the tool "As Administrator" (right click, Run as Administrator). This gives the tool full access to the disk so that all files taking up space will show up.
0
 

Author Comment

by:JLEmlet
ID: 33436952
I do not find any recovery/backup 3rd party software.  Also, the space monger found over 14GB that is unscannable. What does that mean?
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LVL 94

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 33436973
I don't know about space monger, but I do wonder about 14Gb unscannable and chkdsk reporting nothing. It appears to be either a disk error or other space allocated for something. But this does not square with your other comments.  ... Thinkpads_User
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Author Closing Comment

by:JLEmlet
ID: 33437111
I overlooked a back up program installed by Lenovo.  Thanks for the response.
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LVL 94

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 33437265
Thank you. I have a Thinkpad and recommend them. I see a lot of Rescue and Recovery. Glad you got it sorted out.
... Thinkpads_User
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