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size of vista


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#1 craz

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 12:47 AM

Hi ladies, gents and good old geeks

Is it normal for vista to take up 22 gb of my hard drive? I have a 100 gb HD, split into C and D. C is like 96% full (which is odd becuase yesterday it was 94% and I have not added anything)



I tried to include a screen print of my windirstat, but it did not want to cooperate. Would be happy to send a report though...

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#2 Andrew

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 01:28 AM

Starting in Windows Vista, the construction of the Windows directory causes system tools to report that it takes up more space than it actually does. Specifically, it's the WinSxS directory in the main Windows directory that is the "problem."

The WinSxS directory is almost completely populated by what are known as "hard links." Think of a file as a specific location on the hard drive's physical surface. Each file has one or more entries in the Master File Table. The MFT is basically the Table Of Contents for the hard drive. When anyone opens a file, Windows uses the MFT to find the specific location on the hard drive to find the file. Each actual file on the hard drive, however, can have any number of entries in the MFT, each with a different name and possibly other directories. The WinSxS directory uses this feature to have a central location where all the important files in Windows exist without actually making a copy of the files on the physical hard drive. This space-saving technique ironically makes it seem that Windows is using significantly more space on the drive than it actually does.

Further Reading:
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/e7/archive/2008/11/19/disk-space.aspx
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_link

#3 Allan

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 06:53 AM

Is this a new installation? If not, it's probably system restore and or hibernation. You can see what is using the space with a utility such as treesize (http://www.jam-software.com/freeware/)

#4 craz

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 08:06 AM

Thanks gents. No, it is on a system that has been used now for about 4 years so is not a new install by any means. I am in fact having some back up issues. It keeps failing the back up. I was having it go to D, but changed to my external, and it still won't back up, so perhaps that is a thread I need to pull on a bit more.

And thanks for the clear and easy explanation, watchman. All these entries in the MFT... is there something I can do to release all that space the multiple entries are causing?

#5 Allan

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 08:10 AM

In addition to what I suggested above, there are certain types of malware that will eat up hd space. Again, a utility such as treesize can be helpful to identify where the space is being used.

#6 craz

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 11:39 PM

can I ask how much space your vista is taking up?




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