Missing Hard Drive Space

By Duohimura
Sep 12, 2009
  1. Hey all. Not entirely sure if this is the right sub-forum to be using, but whatever...

    Anyway, I just recently got a custom-built computer from the folks at allpczone, and among the couple of problems I'm having with it, one is that I seem to be missing an absurd amount of disk space. Now, this thing has a 1TB of memory (and, for the record, 12 gb ram, running Vista Home Premium 64) , so I'm not really in danger of running out anytime soon. Nonetheless, the fact that I had only put about, say, 20-40 gigs worth of stuff onto it, and yet am down to just under 800 GB of free space (out of a total of 931, or so My Computer tells me), is mildly disconcerting.

    So I did a cursory amount of research and found the program WinDirStat, which tells me that I'm using 60 gigs. All very well and good, not completely thrilled that apparently 15 gigs are being taken up by pagefil.sys and hiberfil.sys, but as long as those are capped around there and won't keep growing indefinitely I'm fine with it. Still though, where did my other 70 gb get to?

    Unfortunately I didn't have the presence of mind to check space and write it down when I first turned on the computer, so it may well have come with that much space taken up. However, that doesn't really change the question of with what? Unless WinDirStat doesn't look for drivers or something, I'm a bit lost here.

    On a side note--I'm just now learning to use Vista, but I have a code to activate 7 that came with the copy I bought. Is 7 good/bug free enough right now that I may as well forget trying to master Vista's quirks and just go right for it? Also, how painless is the installation process/will it mess with any of my various files (which includes a large number of old x86 stuff, I guess)?

    Edit--WinDirStat actually displays, under "free space," a total memory value next to C: of 855.9 GB, stating that 794 of it is currently free. This would make the figures correct. However that doesn't explain why My Computer lists my total space as 930 GB. I know that 1TB isn't really 1000GB, but while I would have accepted 930, 850-odd seems too low.
  2. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    There have been some articles recently on 1 TB harddrives and missing space. Check out this article. It doesn't address your loss per se because the article itself deals with even more drastic loss. However, there may be some answers to your dilemma.

    Link: http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=1139&page=12
  3. MaXtor

    MaXtor TS Booster Posts: 149   +39

    Why your harddrive isn't really 1TB:

    1 TeraByte = 1,099,511,627,776 Bytes

    Harddrive makers define 1 TeraByte as: 1,000,000,000,000 Bytes

    1,000,000,000,000 Bytes works out to 931 GigaBytes.

    Gain space by disabling your pagefile:

    If you have 12GB of RAM you don't need a pagefile. I have 4GB and have mine disabled. So you can definitely go ahead and disable it:

    1. My Computer > Right Click > Properties > Advance System Settings

    2. You should be in the Advanced tab, look under Performance, select Settings.

    3. Click into the Advance tab.

    4. Under Virtual Memory select Change.

    5. Uncheck "Automatically manage my paging file size for all drives".

    6. Select "No paging file", click set. Then Ok and Apply.

    7. Restart your computer for it to take effect.

    Gain more space by disabling hibernation:

    1. Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Power Options > Edit Plan Settings > Change Advanced Power Settings

    2. Sleep > Hibernate After

    3. Lower settings down to zero which will set it to never (and disables hibernation).

    Cleanup all your temporary files from all your programs. I recommend CCleaner, it's free.


    That's all I got for you. Do some googling or wait for someone else to reply. :)

    As to your question about Windows 7, yes it beats the hell out of Vista. :p
  4. Duohimura

    Duohimura TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Okay, well, apparently it's all system restore files, having screwed around with permissions and gained access to the system volume info folder and such, which explains why I regularly lose a chunk of gigs even without downloading anything new. The computer is set to use a max of 140 gigs for system restore, which is like, twice what I actually have on it right now, so yeah...

    Um, two questions then--1) 20 gigs ought to be MORE than sufficient for system restore files, correct? 15% of a terabyte is a hell of a lot of space, and as I said it's ALREADY using more space than if I was to actually back up every single file on the computer. I figure that I might want something relatively big just because it's a big computer, but seeing as I don't know what sort of information a system restore folder actually records, if there's a certain percentage of the hard drive space it needs to actually create a working restore point, I figure I should know before I mess with it.

    2) While screwing around with permissions, I got a lot of "could not apply security settings to this folder" and I tended to cancel out at that point, at which point it warned me I might have created an inconsistent state or something where I had access to some but not all files. I removed the permissions anyway, but I canceled out of it doing the same thing during that process--should I be concerned, bearing in mind that I intend to make vista dispose of most of these restore files?

    Oh, and if I upgrade to 7, will I probably have to go through this again? I mean, it's not bothering me as much now that I know my hard drive isn't just bleeding space into the aether.
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