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Phantom disk space use in Windows 2008

Posted on 2010-11-19
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I am running a server with Windows 2008 Web Server 32 bit. The system drive (C:) is 40GB and is reported as having 6GB free, which should leave 34GB in use.

The size of all files reported in Explorer (highlighting all files and folders and then using Properties) and also by a utility called TreeSize Free is only 16.9GB, leaving 17GB unaccounted for.

Folder view options are set to display hidden files and system protected 'super hidden' files. The recycle bin is also empty

The usual culprit is System Volume Information folder but Shadow Copies is disabled on all drives and the SVI folder is empty (I have grabbed ownership of this to access the folder and there is one empty folder inside it called WindowsImageBackup).

Are there any other system folders like SVI that may appear empty because only the SYSTEM user has access, or can anyone think of another reason why this phantom disk space use may be happening.

Geoff
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Question by:vbgb
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12 Comments
 
LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:joshgeake
ID: 34172419
Page file?
0
 
LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:ieden
ID: 34172510
Could be the installed MS updates ($KB****) which are eating up your space. Also profiles eat up lots of space. One other feature which might be enabled is hibernation.
0
 
LVL 4

Author Comment

by:vbgb
ID: 34173114
joshqeake:

It's not the page file - I can see that in Explorer and TreeSize so it is included in the 16.9gb of files and folders

ieden:

There aren't that manu updates, all user profiles take up only 350MB and hibernation is not enabled as this is a production web server.

Any more ideas?
0
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:joshgeake
ID: 34173170
some crazy hidden embedded recovery partiton??! I'm all out of ideas!
0
 
LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 34179332
Run Windirstat tool and see where does it show the occupied space: www.windirstat.info
0
 
LVL 4

Author Comment

by:vbgb
ID: 34179429
noxcho

Thanks for the link. Windirstat is similar to Treesize and shows the use of the disk, but is also highlights the <unknown> portion of the disk (15.9GB in my case) which is causing the concern.

It shows it as unknown but cannot tell me why!

Thanks anyway - I will try a reboot overnight to see if that clears the issue.
0
 
LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 34179505
Can you take screen shot of Windirstat screen and post it here?
0
 
LVL 4

Author Comment

by:vbgb
ID: 34180102
Screenshot attached showing almost 50% of the c: drive is Unknown
WinDirStat.jpg
0
 
LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:ieden
ID: 34180209
Did someone boot this machine to a LINUX CD to do repair? If so, it could have left behind a tidy little package or image of the existing HDD install in a debugger...
0
 
LVL 47

Accepted Solution

by:
noxcho earned 500 total points
ID: 34180325
Can you download and install O&O Defragger: http://www.oo-software.com/home/en/products/oodefrag/index.html
We have been able to find out the cause of the space eating last time with another asker using this tool. Install trial and run it. It will show the big files it cannot touch.
0
 
LVL 4

Author Comment

by:vbgb
ID: 34196730
noxcho

I have tried O&O defragger and although it didn't directly find the issue it did point me in the right direction.

The unknown file area on the disk is actually made up of 294 folders full of temporary files generated by a faulty installation of Clam Anti-Virus which forms part of our Smartermail mail server. These folders each contain files of 60mb, giving a total space used of 18GB. These are all set with SYSTEM as the only user that can access them, which is why they didn't show up in WinDirStat or TreeSize.
0
 
LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 34197019
Thanks for feedback. That is the role of O&O in this test - to point to right direction.
Glad to hear it helped you.
Nox
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