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Unable to see what is taking up space Windows 7

Posted on 2016-09-21
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Last Modified: 2016-10-21
We have one workstation with a 360SSD drive that is completely filled.  We have installed Foldersize ad what is on the drive add ups to 120Gigs, we have looked for dmp files, hidden stuff but can't seem to find what is taking up space.  Any other places you would  look?
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Question by:Peterson50
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17 Comments
 
LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:bigeven2002
ID: 41809957
Hello,

How many user profiles are on the machine?  Go to Start > Run (Win+R) and type control sysdm.cpl (include the space between words).

Once that is opened, go to the Advanced tab and click on Settings under User Profiles.  This will show all user profiles registered on the machine and how much space their profile directories are consuming.  Delete any profiles that are no longer used if need be.

Next, go to My Computer, right-click the SSD drive (assuming it is drive C) and choose Properties.  On the General tab, click Disk Cleanup which will analyze what all is taking up space and gives you the option to clear it.

Then, go to Control Panel and choose Programs and Features (if in the icon view).  If you are in category view, then click on Uninstall a program.  This will populate all programs installed and the approximate space they consume.

Other than that, the periodic windows updates will consume a lot of space as well.
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:HuaMinChen
ID: 41809961
Hi,
Try to run

dir c:\/s/w > c:\windows\t0.txt

Open in new window


and to further see all files of your Windows then you'll get known which files are occupying big spaces there!
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LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:Dr. Klahn
ID: 41809969
Check to see how much of the drive is allocated for Restore Points.  The Windows standard value is 10% of the drive, which is quite large by itself, but might have even been increased at some time in the past.

Then obtain a copy of the freeware Overdisk tool, which is a little bit old now but still a good way to see where the disk is used.  As the mouse is placed on each segement of the pie chart, Overdisk identifies it and how much of the drive is used there.  Below is a system where a significant amount of the drive is used in hidden Restore Point files.

Individual users can also accumulate an enormous amount of junk in their individual hidden temporary directories, which I find often must be cleaned out by hand.

bigeven2002 is 100% correct on the topic of Updates.  In my opinion, which may not be appropriate on a server or in a commercial environment, any Updates that are over a year old are not likely to be rolled back, and the distribution kits can be deleted.  Note that this will stab you in the back if you ever need to run SFC to do a System Repair.

Overdisk on XP system
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LVL 96

Accepted Solution

by:
Lee W, MVP earned 1000 total points (awarded by participants)
ID: 41809978
You're encountering permissions issues.  I'd suggest reviewing my article on using tools to find what is using your disk space.  https://www.experts-exchange.com/articles/28565/Using-Tools-To-Find-What-is-Using-Your-Disk-Space.html
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LVL 83

Assisted Solution

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 1000 total points (awarded by participants)
ID: 41810057
run your drive space examiniation tool as an administrator otherwise many folders will simply not show up. As AdministratorTreesize run as adminNormal User non admin
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:bigeven2002
ID: 41810072
@David, what tool is that you are using in your screenshots?  I am not familiar with that.
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 41810109
did you check the show hidden files and folders in explorer?
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:Gerald Connolly
ID: 41810375
Windirstat from Microsoft is a good tool to display what is consuming your disk space, but as Lee & David both say , you need to run as administrator to get the real answers
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LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 41810874
No, not run as administrator - run as SYSTEM!  (and Windirstat is not a Microsoft tool).
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LVL 49

Expert Comment

by:Jackie Man
ID: 41811830
Look for the system hidden folder of "System volume information" under the root directory.

The above folder is where you store system restore points.

If you do a disk cleanup and select "Clean up system files" -> "More Options" tab -> Under "System Restore and Shadow Copies", click "Clean up" button, you should notice a substantial reduction in disk usage after the cleanup.

Disk Cleanup - More Options - System Restore and Shadow Copies
Just a reminder, if you do the disk cleanup above, only the latest system restore point will be kept and all of your "Previous Versions" files (except the latest version) under Shadow Volume Copy will be gone.
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Expert Comment

by:jdmailny
ID: 41811834
What you need to do is go into accessories then from there go into disk clean up
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:Gerald Connolly
ID: 41811921
Hey Lee, I must have been having a senior moment!  :-)
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 41811948
how is it going Peterson ?
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LVL 83

Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 41853463
both answers show why the files are not shown
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