I have a peculiar problem with my laptop hard drie. I am running Windows 7 64 bit, 4 GB RAM, Intel i5-480m. My hard drive is a Western Digital, 5400 RPM. Please bear with the length - I just want to be as detailed as possible and give you all the information I have.
Yesterday I had to download a large (~2 GB) file (an installer). I'm using the current version (16) of Firefox. The download completed, and when Firefox said "scanning for viruses" it began to stall. I waited probably an hour, but everything seemed hung up. Task Manager didn't show any odd process other than "msmpeng.exe", which I understand is part of Windows Defender (which is the AV I use). Since there was no CPU usage for a long time I forced Firefox to close and restarted the computer.
Upon restart, the file I downloaded was there, but I couldn't do anything with it. Couldn't delete it, move it, or even right-click it. More significantly, I noticed my hard drive space literally dropping in real time as I was refreshing. After probably a minute, it had dropped by about 9 GB. I monitored Task Manager during this but noticed nothing out of the ordinary. I simplu couldn't stop the strange disk usage increase. The file I downloaded still showed a size of 2 GB in explorer. If I tried to delete the file explorer would freeze, and I had to close and restart explorer via the Task Manager.
At this point I scheduled a chkdsk and restarted the computer. The results of this chkdsk are attached in the text file "CHKDSK-1". (acquired from Events Viewer)
After logging in, I still noticed I was missing about 9 GB from what should be there, not including the size of the downloaded file. I was able to confirm this by running "WinDirStat" and comparing the disk usage reported by that program to the disk usage from checking the drive properties in explorer. Because the file could still not be deleted/moved/right-clicked/etc., I decided to do a System Restore to a point from earlier in the day. The restore completed successfully, and when I logged in again the problematic file was gone. However, the ~9 GB were still missing from my free space.
Next I ran disk defragmenter. It was able to recover just over 2 GB, but again comparing WinDirStat's reported usage to that from the drive properties, I was still missing 6.8 GB. I scanned my system for recently modified/created files to see if there was anything peculiar. No trace, it seemed.
I then scheduled another chkdsk and restarted. The results of the second chkdsk are attached in the text file "CHKDSK-2".
The chkdsk reports bad sectors, but I'm not able to interpret all the results in detail. Please also note that I did delete some files on my computer I didn't need just to free up disk space between the two chkdsk operations. I ran another defrag or two since then, but no additional space was recovered.
The total capacity of my C:\ drive is about 284 GB. WinDirStat reports that 218.2 GB total are being used by all files. That would mean I should have a free space of ~65.8 GB. However, right clicking the drive in explorer shows a free space of only 58 GB, and a disk usage of 225 GB. Basically, 6.8 GB of space are being unaccounted for. I am not sure if those sectors on my disk are corrupt, lost, or something else. I have attached two images. The first shows the disparity between reported disk usage from WinDirStat and Explorer. The second shows the disk management utility confirming the full 284 GB of the C:\ drive are seemingly intact.
At some point during the download of the aforementioned problematic file, Microsoft Security Essentials scanned it, my system froze, and after being forced to restart I literally saw free disk space decreasing as I refreshed the explorer window.
Can this space be recovered? I would like to avoid wiping my HD and reinstalling, so any advice or tips people have to diagnose and recover my HD would be fantastic! The computer is running fine with no issues. I'm simply missing 6.8 GB of space that should otherwise be there.
Thank you deeply for reading this long post. I appreciate the time and help!
p.s. - I replaced my name with "XXXXX" in the chkdsk logs.