Very weird hard drive freespace problem..


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Mr. Man

I've been monitoring the partition that i installed XP to very closely for any unusual activity.. lately it seems hard drive space is being eaten up by something unknown. look at the screen's i've attached and you will see what i mean. Now i know windows is off when it calculates freespace by alittle, but 3 gig!! my other drives when i do the same comparison are only off by like 20 meg or so. is anyone else expericeing this?

I'm using WinXP eval patched with corpfiles.zip

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Mr. Man

heres the other picture when i highlight all the files in the root of C and goto their properties.

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=NickJ=

How much RAM do you have? its most likely pagefile.sys, the page file for you RAM that XP uses, which i don't think appears on "all files and folders". if you have a lot of RAM this can be very big, i have 288 meg of ram and the page file can be anything between 400 to 700 meg.

hope this helps you out

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Mr. Man

Heres my Task Manager so u can see my swap file size and stuff.

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=NickJ=

Yep thats the problem, you have a huge amount of RAM and therefore have a huge page file! I wouldnt recommend altering the amount of free space allocated to the page file, but if you really feel you must, here's how:

My Computer (Right-Click) -> Advanced Tab -> Performance, click "Settings"

Select the advanced tab again, and at the bottom you will see a button saying "change" for the amount of space allocated to page files. Click change and reduce the figures therein.

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PabUK

I think this is normal. I have 8gb used (C: properties) and if I select all the files and folders like you did it says they only add up to 3gb. Windows hides a lot of the files from you but 5gb?? That doesn't sound right to me either.

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Lezend

Windows XP have build in backup (system restore) it take up space as you process and it grows in size.

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Mr. Man
Originally posted by Nick_Jones  

Yep thats the problem, you have a huge amount of RAM and therefore have a huge page file! I wouldnt recommend altering the amount of free space allocated to the page file, but if you really feel you must, here's how:

My Computer (Right-Click) -> Advanced Tab -> Performance, click "Settings"

Select the advanced tab again, and at the bottom you will see a button saying "change" for the amount of space allocated to page files.  Click change and reduce the figures therein.

I honestly dont believe that having 768megs of ram will make 3 gigs of hard drive space dissapear into thin air.

Its gotta be something else.

PabUK is missing 5g so its not just me.

Lezend: Wouldnt system restore create a new file of such a size? when i search for all files of atleast 20meg. I get like 5 returned and none of them are unusuall or greater than 100 meg. very strange.

I just checked my other WinXP computer and it has a similar problem but hasnt been up as long so its not missing as much space..

My Win2k machine reports space just fine, no missing freespace.

hmm..

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PabUK

My first thought when I read your post (before I noticed I was missing 5gb myself!) was System Restore, but that is impossible in my case because I have allocated it a maximum of 250mb only.

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PabUK

I have found out what is going on, Windows is incorrectly reporting the size of combined files and folders.

Here is the proof:

If I look at C:Documents and SettingsAll UsersDocuments then it says the files and folders are using only 124mb. I know this to be ridiculous because I have gigabytes of files stored there. This is proved easily by looking at C:Documents and SettingsAll UsersDocumentsMy Music, a subfolder of the documents folder, which reports 2.4gb in the properties.

So for some reason Windows is ignoring most of the files and folders when adding up the size in the properties.

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freeza

also if you use hibernate...theres a hibernate.sys file in your root drive which takes up the same amount of ram you have installed.

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Tesseract

Here are several reasons that I believe could be the cause of this problem:

If the file system is FAT16, the cluster size may account for this because it uses up a lot of space that the file itself does not account for. FAT32 is more efficient than FAT16, and NTFS is more efficient than FAT32. I assume that the partition in question is not FAT16, but this issue occurs in all file systems, and it may be the reason this happens.

More than likely, though, it is the page file since you have such a vast amount of memory. With so much memory, I would reduce the size of the page file so that it stays the same size since you really don't need a big page file.

PabUK: This reading is probably of the contents of the "documents" folder only, and not of any of the contents of the subdirectories.

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PabUK

It is not the contents of the actual documents folder because there are no files actually in it (just subdirectories). I cannot relate the 120MB to anything in the documents folder(s).

As for page file, I know mine is set fixed at 500MB because I set it to that myself (I have 512MB). At least I know it is not taken up with nothing now, just being wrongly reported. And I use NTFS on both my partitions.

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Tesseract

There may be a hidden file in that directory. Not sure of any hidden file that could take up 120 MB, though.

The "My Documents" folder under my account takes up quite a lot of space, and when I check to see how much space the files in the directory and all subdirectories take up, it reports the same thing if I select all the contents of the "My Documents" folder and if I just right-click an empty-space in the folder.

The contents of "My Documents" folder (excluding subdirectories) is 60.3 MB. The whole thing takes up 619 MB.

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willywonka69

run scan disk

windows might be incorrectly reporting size of files

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baphomet_irl

try having a set maximum and minimum pagefile size - usually 150% of ur RAM - jus see if that makes a diff

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aco
Originally posted by Mr. Man  

I've been monitoring the partition that i installed XP to very closely for any unusual activity.. lately it seems hard drive space is being eaten up by something unknown. look at the screen's i've attached and you will see what i mean. Now i know windows is off when it calculates freespace by alittle, but 3 gig!! my other drives when i do the same comparison are only off by like 20 meg or so. is anyone else expericeing this?  

I'm using WinXP eval patched with corpfiles.zip

There seems to be a large amount of files and folders on the C: Drive assuming you have only installed XP on this partition.

I have around 9000 files in my C:Windows directory -

You have 34000!

In past versions of Windows I have encountered problems where windows creates thousands of very small (size wise :)) files.

Although these are small, the clusters which they take up are not as small....they are probably 4KB on your drive.

This may be the problem, so I would go looking in your windows directory for these such files.

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Mr. Man

Scandisk does not report any thing wrong with my hard drive, its not reporting the incorrect size.

I am using a fixed swapfile size now of 800meg. Im still missing 2-3 gig tho.

No my windows dir does not have 34000 files. The totaly contents of my C drive may, but not just the windows dir.

I wish this could be explained.. I'm leaning to think it is related to the swap file, but why then would it not count that file when highlighting all the files and going to properties? Does it not create a "file" like in win9x systems where you had a win32.swp file or somethin like that?

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PabUK

Yes the pagefile is contained within a normal file - look for pagefile.sys located in your root directory.

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Mr. Man

Ok, now i've got it all figured out. When i can actually see files on my hard disk, i can work out problems much easier.

WindowsXP has a rather annoying feature that hides your protected system files. Its under Folder Options, View tab.

The checkbox is "Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)" Once i unchecked this box, all was clear.

I saw my pagefile.sys, 400m just as i specified.

hiberfil.sys, 767m when your computer goes into hibernation, thats where the contents of your RAM is stored. A feature that i dont use anyway. I earased this file by disabling Hibernation in the Display Properties under Screen Saver, Power.., Hibernation.

A hidden-system dir called System Volume Information. ~500m This is where the system restore stuff goes. Now i have 90gig of total hard drive space, and by default the system restore disk usage slider is at max, backing up 12% of every drive. So this was very large and not extremely nessesery for all my drives, only my system drive in my mind. So under System Properties, System Restore, i changed the slider for all my drives other than my system drive to 0%. Now the folder is about ~120m thats acceptable.

So what it all comes down to is to get a accurate freespace reading without being confuesed just disable the "Hide protected operating system files" check box.

And if you dont want windowsxp eating up all your space for **** you quite frankly dont need, disable stuff like system restore on other drives, and hibernation, (which only works 1 out of 4 times).

I love being a Tech. :)

laterz.

-Mr. Man

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