Disk space descrepency

Posted on 2014-01-16
Last Modified: 2014-04-02
Nice catch on this one (I was only looking at the DB size).  This is another server where if you go through the D drive folders and count up the data space used its ~ 10GB, but cacti is showing this as 30GB used.  Can you have someone take a look at this as ~ 20GB of space is being used by some unknown entity?  Can you advise what is using this space (this is a big difference)? Thanks again for taking a look here
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Any thoughts
Question by:BuffStateIT
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:Andy M
ID: 39785325
Have you checked for hidden/system folders? You could also try using a tool like Treesize to see exactly what space is being used on that drive.
LVL 17

Accepted Solution

Chris Millard earned 20 total points
ID: 39785490
I have found that using TreeSize or WinDirStat, even as administrator, won't show the full picture - however, you can do something sneaky and run them under the SYSTEM account.

Download PsExec (part of PsTools from

Install either TreeSize or WinDirStat

Then, open a command prompt as admin and change to the directory where you have extracted PsTools.

Once there, type the following:-

psexec -i -s <full path to either TreeSize.exe or WinDirStat,exe>

an example of this might be:-

psexec -i -s "C:\Program Files (x86)\WinDirStat\WinDirStat.exe"

Running one of these programs under the SYSTEM account will allow those programs to traverse ALL directories - even those not normally accessible by an admin.

Author Comment

ID: 39785651
are then any TechNet or Microsoft articles people might know of that the individual can just read so that this does not become my responsibility but more theirs, since it actually is theirs.

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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:Chris Millard
ID: 39785684
Not that will go into accessing folders and files under the SYSTEM account since really, you're not supposed to be able to do that...
LVL 82

Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 39786427
You really want to get into explaining the complexities of filesize and blocksize i.e.a 1 byte file occupies 512 bytes on disk (blocksize) and the components of the hidden system files (system volume information) (shadow copies/restore points, etc) ??

Author Comment

ID: 39789885
will chkdsk help to synchronize the folders and the gui display of space descrepency. and if so how would I do that? Thanks
LVL 82

Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 39789912
chkdsk will only help if there are unallocated blocks marked as in use.
LVL 27

Expert Comment

ID: 39796459
You haven't mentioned which OS is being used so we can't be too specific, but there are many elements of recent versions of windows that consume disk space on the quiet.

The 'system volume information' folder is one of the biggest culprits, as it contains shadow copies etc.
The recycle bin causes confusion also as it stores files and takes up disk space, but doesn't show up under normal circumstances.

I've not seen a guide on this, but running Treesize (as advised by @Morty500UK) is a good start as it will look at folders you may not normally see (make sure you 'run as admin')
LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:Chris Millard
ID: 39796504
@totallytonto - as I've mentioned above, simply running Treesize as admin won't necessarily show you the full picture which is why I've given direction on how to run under the SYSTEM account.

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