Laptop - Hard Drive Space Question

mmj1
mmj1 used Ask the Experts™
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A friend has a laptop that was running very slow.  She had a substantial number of photos and videos on her laptop as well as a screensaver (the screensaver was a slideshow of pictures).  We moved all the photos and videos to an external drive and she turned off the screensaver.  After that she ran a "disk cleanup" and "disk defrag" -- Her computer is running much better but we can't figure out why her "free" disk space still shows about the same amount free as before we moved all of the photos and videos.  Shouldn't we see more free space since everything was moved???  Thanks,
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Commented:
Did you actually move or copy the data out.  Another is how much data 1gb or 10gb worth of pictures etc?
Most likely what happened is that the amount of items removed during disk cleanup (IE temp files, etc.) is very close to the size of her photos.
Disk Cleanup performs the following:
•Removes temporary Internet files.
•Removes downloaded program files. For example, ActiveX controls and Java applets that are downloaded from the Internet.
•Empty's the Recycle Bin.
•Removes Windows temporary files.
•Removes optional Windows components that you are not using.
•Removes installed programs that you no longer use.
Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software Engineer
Commented:
It sounds as though the media files were copied to the external drive, with the originals still left on the laptop.  This is prudent practice; in case something fails during the transfer, the originals are still there.

Is it possible that the file move was done via copy instead of cut-and-paste?  In that case, the original files are still there, have not been deleted, and are still taking up the same amount of space.

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Commented:
I do have my friend checking to make sure she deleted the files after copying them to the external drive.  Thanks for all of your help.
Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software Engineer

Commented:
As an addendum to the above, it is possible that the files were dragged-and-dropped somewhere unlikely on the system, rather than deleted.  One quick way to check for this:

Assume that there were .AVI, .MOV or other video files on the system.  These files are uncommon outside the user directories.  Use Windows Search to do a system wide search, all directories and subdirectories, including system directories, for *.AVI.  If a number of them pop up, investigate those directories to see if the supposedly deleted files ended up there.

Also confirm that the Recycle Bin is empty.  Deleted files go to the Recycle Bin, but the space is not reclaimed until the Recycle Bin is emptied.

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