Hard drive getting filled by itself

By omer
Dec 15, 2009
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  1. For some reason my hard drive almost reached it capacity of 140 GB when in fact there is no more than 60 GB on it.
    I tried to erase and defragmenting and nothing works.
    I am assuming that it happened due to shortage of memory, so now the OS is using the hard drive's memory.
    Is there a way to have those lost GBs back?
    I think it is a problem with shadow files, but I haven't found instruction on how to erase them.
  2. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Tell us brand and model of computer, or your motherboard, configuration, and which operating system and service pack is installed. Depending on how you performed the erase and defragmenting, the information on lost gigabytes may be recoverable... assuming you are using a standard OS with the appropriate service pack. You would, of course need to have adequate memory and the correct drivers. So tell us more.
  3. omer

    omer Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    It is Vista, but I don't know which service pack it is.
    I tried to clean the hard drive with Ccleaner, but it didn't work.
  4. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    What is your memory configuration. Do you have enough for VISTA?

    You can use your VISTA disk to reinstall VISTA in repair mode... and that may fix a number of issues... In most cases, that will not remove your programs or data... just fix VISTA
  5. yangly18

    yangly18 Newcomer, in training Posts: 242

    Question is did you try to reformat the disk as well?
  6. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,358   +167

    Hi Omer

    Your problem is not due to a shortage of memory.

    And Raybay, your debugging advice here is as insightful as shaking a magic 8 ball for answers. LOL
    > Why send the user on wild goose chases when it's clear you don't have a clue?)

    Now Omer could you please
    1) Answer yangly18's question: As i assume you;ve tried deleting files and defragmenting, but you haven't reformatted yet have you?
    2) My first guess (tho can be other things) is that Windows has filled your drive with old System Restore checkpoint storage. (It shouldn't but it does happen)
    > Rt click My Computer->Properties. Click System Restore tab.
    > Check Turn off System Restore on All drives. Click OK
    > Check your disk space once Windows deletes the old System Restores
    3) Also note that Windows Explorer does NOT show you everything on your hardrive (e.g. all that System Restore Space (which may be MB to GB) will normally appear appear in Explorer as 0 bytes!). I suggest you use jdiskreport to see what's really on your drive and how the space is being used
  7. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 4,576   +76

    I like to add and which is most over looked is Sync files or what is called Offline files that store and use up much more data then the System Restore does. If your sharing folders from another system the OS dumps a copy of them onto the HDD thus making that extra free space fill-up quick. That can be deleted under Folder Options then on Offline Files. Delete the files then change the space allowances to zero and disable offline files and System Restore. Note System Restore can be disabled in Device Manager, Services.msc and in group policies (XP Pro).
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