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I have lost 27.82GB on my HDD

By pioneerx01 ยท 6 replies
Nov 12, 2010
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  1. I am fixing a PC (WinXPx32) for a friend. He has older PC with 40GB HDD. It is NTFS formatted, I have ran a disk clean up, and I have disabled system restore as well.

    Windows folder (under root) is consuming 32.60GB when you right click > properties >size. But if I go into the folder and select all (yes hidden too) and right click > properties >size, I get only 4.78GB. Where did the 27.82GB go? Everything else on the HDD is accounted for and consumes minimal disk space.

    The drive has 840MB free at this point. I am lost...
  2. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,430   +185

    Try running ExplorerXP (i often find it pretty helpful looking at space on XP systems)
    > Click on the Size column to sort stuff by size
    > Note it starts the display right away but updates the display as it completes scanning the drive
    > so give it maybe 30+ secs or so before to finish scanning all the folder sizes

    /* edit */
    Does it help? fyi.. there's also a MS KB about fixing disk file/folder size errors under NTFS, tho i've never seen it occur or had to so myself. I've always found the "missing" space

    /* edit */
    OH. just noticed
    32GB???? That's HUGE!
  3. pioneerx01

    pioneerx01 TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 277

    Ok, I have plugged in the HDD as an external drive to my other PC. I have decide to copy the entire WINDOWS folder to my HDD just to see if there is something holding the 27GB or if it is a HDD glitch. I use TeraCopy so I can see what is being copied. It turns out that there is a folder called installer that is not visible, but contains several 119MB files.

    How would I delete it if I can not see it? I was thinking about copying all the folders (one by one) from the WINDOWS to my HDD then deleting WINDOWS, create new one and copy the files back. That should technically delete the invisible/inaccessible installer folder. Correct?

    The OS should be intact since I am working on it at external HDD, right?
  4. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,419   +77

    before you do that, just run chkdsk /r to see if the filesystem can recover lost files. It will require a reboot and will run for a very long time, but you really do need to do it with symptoms like that.
  5. ravisunny2

    ravisunny2 TS Ambassador Posts: 1,022   +9

    You can try Xinorbis to see what is using up that much space.


    It can probably help you delete some files/folders.

    Unlocker can help with the difficult to delete files/folders.


    Of course, be careful what you delete.

    BTW, is there a single windows directory ? Not windows.0, windows.1 .. ?

    Even on the 40GB, hard disk, you should have at least two partitions.

    If you can clean up enough space, use some utility to create another partition, and move your data to it.

    If you decide to do a fresh install, after backing up your data, create two partitions (at least).

    Your data should be kept on a separate partition.
  6. pioneerx01

    pioneerx01 TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 277


    That is pretty much what I did. I have imaged the entire drive just in case, copied the internal files of WINDOWS, delete it, created new one, and copied everything back up. Worked like a charm. I am on PC no 77% and defraging the crap out of it.

    Fairly simple solution for very unique problem, at least for me.
  7. ravisunny2

    ravisunny2 TS Ambassador Posts: 1,022   +9

    Should still create a new partition.

    chkdsk /r, does wonders. But sometimes it is simpler to just reinstall windows.

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