Windows Vista displaying conflicting info for HD usage

By MrElectro ยท 7 replies
Oct 16, 2008
  1. I've had a friend ask me this question, then I tried it on my computer and a couple others and they all do the same thing. I'd like to see if any of you know what's going on.

    I've tried it on my computer running Windows Vista Business 64 and I get the same type of problem. Drive properties says I am using 161 Gigs, and Folders Properties (I open my C-Drive, and do a Ctrl-A to select all files and folders) shows I'm using only 106 Gigs. What is happening to the rest? Why the inconsistency?

    Please note, I have "show hidden files and folders" turned on, and I have "Hide protected operating system files" turned off (Shown). My HD in my laptop is a 250G drive.

    I'm baffled.
  2. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Start->Run,enter diskmgmt.msc

    You see the disk management console. First question is how is the console laid out?
    - Is there unallocated (not used/not assigned space)
    - Do you have a large partition there with no drive letter (probably your recovery partition)
    Anything else you see?
  3. Ultiweap

    Ultiweap TS Enthusiast Posts: 606

    Do you have any programs in common that can use space on it. As example file downloading?
  4. MrElectro

    MrElectro TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I have other partitions, but the information I furnished was from that partition. I have a 223 GB partition. That part shows up in the Disk Properties. It also shows the amount of used space and free space. Respectively, 151 Gigabytes and 71.9 Gigabytes. Which added up equals 223 Gigabytes, which is correct. Now when I open up the C-Drive, and select all folders and files, and choose Properties, I get 274,021 files with 106 Gigabytes of space used under "Size on Disk".

    It's the files in the partition, not the disk partitions that I am getting conflicting information.

    And amagnien, no, nothing is downloading, or no open files.

    Try it on your system and see what you get. ;)
  5. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Yes, I misunderstood your issue at first.. but still have your answer :)

    While it was possible under certain circumstances for NTFS sizes to get corrupted (at least as reported under XP, as i recall), it's 99% likely what you're seeing is due to
    • When you select files and folders and get size information, you only get size data of files and folders for which you are allowed access
    • Check the size of the folder storing your System Restore data C:\System Volume Information. You better hope it's not really 0 bytes!
    • Generally, if you don't use a Windows product file explorer, everything gets counted
    • A simple way to check is get your size info using DOS. Start->Run, enter: cmd. Then type dir and voila! Do the numbers now match?
  6. MrElectro

    MrElectro TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks LookinAround.

    I figured it was something like that. I thought the option to unhide system protected files and folders would make those viewable, but now I see they aren't.
  7. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Gee, Windows almost never makes things that obvious. ;)
    (like hiding everything under the option that says "Show hidden...") They need to assure that support techs can make a living!
  8. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    I dont think MS give a toss for support techs!! I think they just couldn't care less.....about anything.....especially their users, who are clearly regarded as a collection of obnoxious children, who have to be ****-wiped every day, and certainly are not to be trusted with knowing anything about what's under the hood. But they're only half right.....
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