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Windows 10 space reporting issue

Posted on 2016-08-04
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Last Modified: 2016-08-04
I wonder if anyone can shed any light on why the disk shows as almost full despite when looking at the files on the disk you get about 1/3 of it.
 
OS Windows 10

Capture20160804.JPG
To check that there is nothing 'hidden' I turned on show hidden files and re-ran the c:\ properties and I then got this:

Capture20160804_2.JPG
Still leaves half the disk unaccounted for.
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Question by:J
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by:John Hurst
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You could have backups being made (common cause of this). Computer manufacturers install backup software.

Get Tree Size Pro (start with a Trial). Run in Administrator mode and see where the space has gone.
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by:J
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John,

Thanks, that is a very interesting program I looked and I can 32GB Windows which seems far too high and then 28.5GB of System recovery -> repair, any ideas how to get rid of the excess in these?
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by:John Hurst
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Run Disk Cleanup (Admin Tools) and when it first comes up, click on Clean Up System Files. It will re-run. Check off all the selections and let cleanup finish.  Restart after.
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by:J
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Disk cleanup only finds 29.m MB
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by:rindi
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Use the disk cleanup wizard to cleanup the system. If you just got updated to Windows 10 build 1607, it will have made a backup of your previous build and that can take up a lot of space. The cleanup wizard should give you the option to remove the old installation.
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by:John Hurst
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Even after cleaning up System Files?  That is strange.

Go to Computer, Right click, Properties, Advance System settings, System Properties, Configure settings and reduce the amount of space for System restore.
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by:J
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We don't have the 1607 build, also any ideas about the system recovery and repair that is close to 30GB
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by:John Hurst
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Windows.old can be 15GB. But if you really clicked on Clean Up System Files you should have seen this. Please check again.
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by:J
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There is no Windows.old there is a directory windows\installer and that has 18GB in it.
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by:John Hurst
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Did you try adjusting the space allocated to System Recovery?  You have not responded.

Did you click on Clean Up System Files as suggested?  You have not responded.
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by:J
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System restore is off and we don't have build 1607 but 1511
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by:J
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I did click on clean up system files as you suggested and I'm still stuck.
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by:John Hurst
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You are probably at the limit of what you can safely clean up.
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by:J
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But what is all this repair all about?Capture20160804_3.JPG
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by:John Hurst
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I do not know what you have done, and this does not happen on any Windows 10 I have or service.

Maybe consider running the Media Creation Link
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

Click on Upgrade to Windows (even though running Windows 10), allow drivers to update, click on Keep Data and Keep Applications. Allow Windows to reinstall and see if things clean up. You will get a new Windows.old file that will go away in 30 days.
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by:J
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The problem is that the media creation link / tool fails due to not enough space, I'm caught in a catch 22.
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by:John Hurst
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You need to take some extraordinary action.

Back up all your documents and make certain you have everything you need.

Delete some of the folders above. Make sure you are running. Ruthlessly delete what you can. (more than 30 GB). Delete the data you just backed up.

Then run the Media Creation Link again and Keep Nothing:  Fresh install.
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by:garycase
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Do you have File History enabled?   [Settings - Update & Security - Backup]

This is a very nice feature, but can take a lot of space.     It's a very useful feature, but it's best if you have a dedicated drive for it;  otherwise it will store the history on the same drive as the OS.    You may also (as already surmised) have a system image saved on the primary drive as well.

Simply deleting whichever of those is the case will free up a LOT of space.
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by:J
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File history is not enabled, and I can't find how to identify if there is a system image on the disk.
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by:garycase
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Go to Settings - Update & Security - Backup - "Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7)"

... and see if you have any restore images.    If so, DELETE them.
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by:J
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There are no images listed there in the Windows 7 backup and restore.
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by:garycase
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I'd do as John suggested => back everything up, then just wipe the system and do a clean install.

Do a right-click, Properties on "This PC" to confirm what version and "bitness" you have ... e.g. "Windows 10 Home" or "Windows 10 Pro" and whether it's 32-bit or 64-bit.    Then, on another PC (since you can't successfully run it on yours) go to the Media Creation link and create an ISO (to burn a DVD from) or a bootable USB flash drive.

Then, after backing everything up; boot to that DVD/flash drive and do a clean install => choose Custom and before you start delete all current partition info from the disk.    Then install Windows 10, being sure you choose the correct "bitness" and version.   You don't need to enter a key -- just click the "I don't have a key" choice when asked -- it will activate automatically since '10 was already on the system.
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by:J
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I found this thread, I think it may be linked to a dell issue:

http://www.windows10forums.com/threads/system-recovery-folder-huge-and-growing.2688/

The machine is a Dell machine too... need some more research.
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by:John Hurst
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That thread points to backup and recovery files that I pointed to at the beginning. Also these should have shown up in Tree Size.
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by:garycase
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That's almost certainly the issue =>  Just run the Dell Backup & Recovery utility and disable it ... deleting all current backups ... and you should regain all of your missing space.

Sad to see that Dell is now doing this => in the past the biggest culprit was IBM/Lenovo, who have done the same thing with their "Rescue and Recovery" utility for years.
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by:J
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John,

In Tree Size I see them, but what I can't be sure of is if they are linked to Windows backup or a Dell backup program. There is no listing in Windows backup
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by:garycase
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... I'm not surprised they don't show in Tree Size => I don't think the Lenovo Rescue & Recovery files did either.   You have to enable viewing BOTH hidden AND "protected operating system" files for them to show in Tree Size.
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by:John Hurst
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That, too, is probably a Dell issue. I can see Lenovo backups easily.

However, now you know what is taking the space,
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garycase earned 250 total points
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"... I can't be sure of is if they are linked to Windows backup or a Dell backup program " ==>  VERY easy to determine.   Just run the Dell Backup & Recovery utility.
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by:J
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Dell Backup and Recovery Utility was uninstalled a while ago, I downloaded it again from Dell ran it, it took about 20 minutes to update and then it deleted all but 12kb of the recovery partition. I have now got my near to 30GB back!

Yay Thanks Garycase & John
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by:garycase
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You had apparently uninstalled it without running it and deleting all of its current backups.    Fortunately reinstalling it allowed you to do that :-)    Glad it's all resolved.
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Author Closing Comment

by:J
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Thanks
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by:John Hurst
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You are very welcome and I was happy to help.
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