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Windows drive size reporting error


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#1 apefist

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 02:16 PM

Hey guys,

I'm working on a computer and it is having an issue I've never really seen before.

The computer has two physical drives, both 500GB. Drive 0 is C: with the operating system, system reserved, and recovery partition.

Drive 1 is D: with the whole drive as 1 partition.

Windows (both in explorer and disk management) reports that drive D: has only 66 GB of free space left.

However, other methods report that the drive has only 34 gigs used, so approx 432 GB left.

These methods include just selecting all files and directories visible in the drive and checking properties, and running WinDirStat on the drive.  If I check the option "Show Unknown" in windir stat there is a giant file (or block of space) that windirstat estimates around 300 gb

I even changed it to show hidden files and folders as well as show protected operating system files but all the did was reveal the "$RECYCLE.BIN" folder which Windows reports to be 4KB.

I have tried researching this online but so far haven't found anything that really helps.

Does anyone here have any idea as to what might be happening?

Thanks!



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#2 hamluis

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 03:43 PM

Ahh..a real mystery :).

 

I'd never even noticed that Unknown option...probablybecause I only want to see files and never have a problem accounting for disk space.  Anyway, I just clicked on it and I see a small file (less that 100MB) on each partition.  I really don't care to guess at what it is, the size makes it unimportant on my systems.

 

If your system shows a 300GB file/structure...I can't imagine what it might be.

 

Well...I think I have some explanation, see http://blog.windirstat.info/20061013/unknown-space/ .

 

Mine are so small because I don't use System Restore and my System Volume folders only have tiny bits of data in them.

 

If you want to test the above explanation...simply disable system restore, run chkdsk /r and then reendable it.  If the unknown doesn't disappear (check it before you reenable SR), then we need to try harder to find out what it might be.

 

Louis



#3 apefist

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 05:21 PM

Hi, thanks for replying!

 

So some more info.  I think I forgot to mention in the OP, this is a Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit laptop.

 

I went in and looked at the System Restore settings ("System Protection" tab in "System Properties").

 

For drive D: it says that System Protection is off, and under that in Disk Space Usage it reports that current usage is 226.81 MB and max usage is 30% of the drive (or 139.73 GB).  For drive C: System Protection is on with 9.45 GB used and a 2% max (10 GB).

 

I ran chkdsk /r to completion and it reported that there were no errors found in the file system, and I also ran sfc /scannow which said Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations.

 

I have virus checked the system with updated versions of Microsoft Security Essentials, Malwarebytes, and Spybot S&D 2.  None of them found anything major.

 

At this point I'm thinking it could either be a faulty disk, a program working incorrectly, or some kind of deep-seated Windows corruption

 

This is actually the second time this is happening.  My friend brought me this laptop so I tried a few things but couldn't find any readily apparent solution so I backed up the data, formatted the drive and put the data back on.  A few weeks later he came back and said the free space was disappearing again.  Sure enough I checked it with windirstat and there is another giant ~275GB unknown block.  This definitely was not there right after I did the reformat (checked with windirstat immediately afterwards).

 

For right now I'm just going to have him replace the drive and see if that helps.  I was just hoping that maybe somebody had seen something similar to this before and could help shed some insight.

 

Thanks!



#4 jonuk76

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 05:24 PM

Do you/he use Windows Backup?  Does it perhaps save to drive D:?  The files created by Windows Backup are hidden although you should see one file, with no size reported called your computer name (e.g. in my case "Jon-PC")

 

Another thing is that Linux allows you to view things on the disk that are normally well hidden by Windows when it is running.     You could download a live CD, boot from it and have a look around the drive.  Puppy Linux is a relatively small download.


Edited by jonuk76, 29 January 2014 - 05:34 PM.

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#5 apefist

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 05:28 PM

Do you use Windows Backup?  Does it perhaps save to drive D:?

 

This was it!  Thank you for suggesting that!

 

Sorry, I know that probably seems very basic but I have never used the Windows included backup tool before, and thus hadn't seen this behavior.

 

Once again thank you jonuk76!



#6 jonuk76

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 06:15 PM

No worries :)  Glad it was something simple in the end.


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#7 hamluis

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 06:48 PM

:thumbup2: , nicely done.

 

I would not have thought of Windows Backup since I've never used it :).

 

Louis






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