1. Don't use Explorer for such work. It is not a file/directory browser. Try Gyulas Navigator (find with google.com)
2. You may get confused that a 20GB drive is not 20 gigabytes but 20 billion bytes. Most Windows programs are inconsistent in how they report GB, MB and such. Learn the difference. It can be significant.
any advice on this would be very much appreciated.
I was running WinXP on a 20 gig Hard drive, and using an 80gig for games and media storage as a secondary drive. I`m fanatical about running cleanup programs and keeping the system running sweet and smooth, but was surprised to find that after repeatedly trying to analyse the actual space taken up on the 20gig hard drive, I keep getting anomolous readings.
If I check the space available, it says there is 9gig free out of 19.7 gig. Yet if I check all folders and hidden files (using deep search programs to analyse all files and folders - including hidden ones) the actual size of data used is only 5 gig.
So, I decided to image the drive, and create a clone on another 80gig HD (in a partition identical to the size of my original 20 gig HD) so I could tinker with it and see what was going down.
I removed (from the safe clone drive) all things like system restore points, and STILL there is 4 gig of space "missing".
This has proven to me that there isnt a fault with the 20 gig HD, but somewhere, totally hidden, is something that is reporting usage of 4gig of space.