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disappearing Hard drive space....

by denille / October 25, 2004 7:17 PM PDT

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.
Ideas anyone?

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Re: disappearing Hard drive space....
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 26, 2004 12:11 AM PDT

1. Don't use Explorer for such work. It is not a file/directory browser. Try Gyulas Navigator (find with

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.


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Re: disappearing Hard drive space....
by AussiePete / October 26, 2004 12:16 AM PDT

You dont tell us what files system you are using or what operating system you used to format your hard disk.
Older versions of windows had a maximum capability of formatting larger disk correctly - also check for bios upgrade as older bios' have trouble with larger disks as well.
There seems something quite wrong with the discrepancies you have mentioned.
You dont happen to be using Norton systems works?
If I were you I would use the 80gig as the main disk - no doubt this is the newer and faster disk.


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Re: disappearing Hard drive space....
by denille / October 26, 2004 3:09 AM PDT

If I can reply to both posts (thanks for your time and interest)
The File system is NTFS. I`m not using Explorer to gauge the size of the drive or the used and unused space, I`m using Fix-It Utilities and System Mechanic.
The 20 Gig Drive was mirrored, and removed, the error is now reporting on the 80gig hard drive with an identical 20gig partition as the 20 gig hard drive.

"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."

I build PC`s and fault find and fix them for others. I understand that Windows doesnt report the true size of space available, and yes, I was aware that the difference can be significant :o)

I arrived here seeking answers, only after extensively working to solve what seems a rather ludicrous anomoly.
My knowledge isnt as extensive as many true tech end users, but I would consider it to be a little better than average.
If I may repeat, the problem is undoubtedly software based, rather than hardware based... simply because the problem occurred on one piece of hardware 9a 20 gig HD) and exists still after a complete clone image install onto an 80 Gig hard drive.
11gig is being reported as "used" when in actuality, only 5.97 gig of space on the drive(s) is being used by files and folders.
Somehwere, somehow, on the original 20gig hard drive, and now on the same drive image on a 20 gig partition of a new 80gig hard drive, there is approximately 4.7 gig of space being used by Windows that is , to all intents and purposes, Hidden or lost.

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