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Hard disk space suddenly went down

by waavman / November 10, 2010 10:54 PM PST


I have an IBM Lenovo laptop computer with a single partition. The total hard disk space is 46 GB of which 20 GB was free which I re-confirmed yesterday seconds before transferring a 30 minute video from my camcorder that was 6 GB in size to the computer. After the video clip was transferred, it didnot play on the computer as it was corrupted for some reason. So I deleted the clip and also cleaned up the RECCLE BIN. Now when I look up free space on my computer, it shows only 6 GB free instead of 20 GB.
I even tried adding up the sizes of individual folders under C: drive and they come up to less than 26 GB which means the free space on my hard-drive should definitely be @ least 20GB. Where did the 14 GB suddenly disappear ?
I tried rebooting the system, ran disk cleanup utility, disk defrag but still the system shows only 6 GB free. Please advise me as to how to retrieve the 14 GB that suddenly disappeared for no reason.


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Go find it. (how)
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 11, 2010 12:51 AM PST
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Hard disk space suddenly went down
by waavman / November 11, 2010 10:55 PM PST
In reply to: Go find it. (how)


(1) With the suspicion that Lenovo Rescue and Recovery backup tool might have created a system backup in the hidden folder C:\RRBackups which usually takes a lot of memory, I went to Start-> Thinkvantage -> Rescue and Recovery and selected view all backups. But it reported "No Backups". From Advanced Tab I tried to delete backups and once again it said "NO Backups". So there were no backups taken on my system that would have consumed even a byte off of my harddisk let alon 18 GB off the harddisk.

(2) Then I downloaded WinDirStat tool (similar to TreeDiff) to view the sizes of all folders and subfolders and even WinDirStat came up with a total harddisk usage of 22GB whereas when I right clicked C: drive and looked at properties it said 40 GB used (thats 18 GB over) .

(3) Then I ran CHKDSK utility by right-clicking C: drive -> properties -> Tools -> CheckNow with both the check boxes 'Automatically Fix file system errors' and 'Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors' checked. It said it would run CHKDSK the next time the computer restarted. So I rebooted and CHKDSK ran for 30 minutes and SURPRISINGLY reported "Volume is clean". Even CHKDSK reported that total used space was 40GB (18 GB over what WinDirStat reported. Even when I manually added up the sizes of all Normal and Hidden folders it came up to only 22 GB used)

So if the Drive C has no errors as reported by CHKDSK where could the 18 GB have gone and where did CHKDSK get that from when reporting ?

Please advise.


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You didn't tell.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 12, 2010 1:23 AM PST

If you used treesize or if you included the folder called C:\Volume System Information.

The reason I prefer using the well worn advice is that it's well worn.

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Couldnot get back earlier
by waavman / November 23, 2010 1:17 AM PST
In reply to: You didn't tell.

yes I meant treesize. Instead I used a similar tool WindirStat whose results also didnot match the one reported by the OS and chkdsk. So I knew the problem was something deeprooted within the NTFS file system and memory management. Realizing that digging into this deeper would be more time-consuming than resinstalling the OS, I reimaged the OS on my laptop. It took me 4 hours but its finally refresing to see the available harddisk space way more than 6 GB (39 GB).
Now I would never know why the problem ever happened. One other crucial Windows bug.

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