Windows Vista forum

General discussion

Lost Hard Drive Space

by kevjohn418 / May 7, 2007 10:09 AM PDT

I have recently bought Windows Vista Home Premium and I am having a problem. For some reason I am missing about 20 to 30 GB on my hard drive. I asked my Computer Information Technology teacher and she doesn't know what is happening. I am completly stumped. I built my computer from the ground up with Windows XP Pro SP2, and nothing was wrong with it, at least not before I installed Vista.

I have a Seagate sata 250GB HDD

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if your saying........
by mark04276 / May 7, 2007 10:20 AM PDT
In reply to: Lost Hard Drive Space

you have a 250 GB hard drive and only have 220-230 Gb without anything on it, then that is normal. This happens during formats. If you think it is something else, you may need to explain a little bit more.

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by kevjohn418 / May 7, 2007 10:28 AM PDT
In reply to: if your saying........

i guess i havebad math, what i ment to say is that i hav about 190GB and only a handful of programs installed. sorry about that

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Most likely...
by John.Wilkinson / May 7, 2007 10:37 AM PDT
In reply to: sorry

One important thing to note is that hard drive manufacturers and most software developers use different definitions for the work Gigabyte. The former uses 10^9 while the latter uses 2^30. The difference is that for every 100GB your hard drive is labeled as, Windows will only report 93GB, or about 7GB less. There's nothing's just a difference in definition. Thus, that 250GB hard drive actually has about 230GB of storage capacity, give or take a little. Adding up the free and used space should equal about that amount. You can then use the handy program TreeSize (freeware) to find out where your used space is being utilized the most, finding any potential large files/folders you may want to delete.

Hope this helps,

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by kevjohn418 / May 7, 2007 10:44 AM PDT
In reply to: Most likely...

John thanks that program helped alot


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Still Missing
by kevjohn418 / May 8, 2007 2:07 AM PDT
In reply to: Most likely...

I used that program and it shows that i am using up 11GB but I am still missing about 20GB can anyone help

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Give all the info listed
by mark04276 / May 8, 2007 2:29 AM PDT
In reply to: Still Missing

go to windows explorer, right click on C: the choose properties.

used space: ?(GB)
free space: ? (GB)
Compacity: ? (GB)

How big you think your hard drive is: ? (GB)

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stats of HDD
by kevjohn418 / May 8, 2007 7:53 AM PDT

respectively to your post

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Still missing on my HD too...
by rimb1172 / June 7, 2007 2:29 PM PDT
In reply to: stats of HDD

I have Vista Business that I bought with a new IBM/Lenovo X60 Tablet and I am experiencing vanishing HD space as well. Tens of gigabytes have gone AWOL...

I've disabled System Restore, deleted restore points, ran CHKDSK, and I got some space back. However, things still don't seem to be adding up right:

On my C: Properties

Total capacity 88.3 GB
30GB Free Space

From TreeSize and from my own manual folder sizing count:
Users: 9.12GB
Windows: 8.84GB
Program Files: 6.06 GB
Other crap: 5.11 GB
TOTAL: 29.13 GB

So, 30 GB Free Space + 30GB of files = 60GB... What happened to the other 25-28GB? I *should* have something like 55GB of free space, but I only have 30GB. If I were short 2-3 GB I wouldn't care, but I'm missing almost 30GB.

CHKDSK found "No Problems". However, TreeSize did find a directory called "RRbackups" which had an ! next to it along with [Access Denied!] This is listed as 0MB, but is the only possible place I could see all this space going.

Is this a Vista or a Lenovo thing? Anyone know anything about it? A 100GB drive was more than adequate on my WinXP T40, but I've had my X60 for less than a month and I'm running out of space and I've barely put anything on it...

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It's an IBM thing...
by John.Wilkinson / June 8, 2007 8:39 AM PDT

IBM offered "Rescue and Recovery" as a suite of utilities designed to help recover from crashes and corruption, and also backup key files to facilitate later restorations. This 'service' was transferred over to Lenovo when they bought out the product lines. I'm not sure how much disk space it normally takes up, but access is denied by default to prevent accidential corruption of the recovery data. I believe you can uninstall Rescue and Recovery through Add/Remove programs, and then delete that folder if necessary. You can also try using MoveOnBoot to forcible oust the folder from your hard drive.

Hope this helps,

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Re: It's an IBM thing...
by rimb1172 / June 8, 2007 1:42 PM PDT
In reply to: It's an IBM thing...

Thanks John. I'm looking through the R&R application now. I did their optimization routine and saved about 1GB. I'm debating if I want to nuke the entire R&R application since I'm not absolutely certain if this is the source of the problem...

The problem is that the RRbackups directory isn't viewable under my standard Explorer view even if I enable viewing of hidden files. I only found out about it after I ran TreeSize. Is there another setting I can use to be able to see and/or access this directory? I'd like to be able to see if this is actually taking up the missing 25GB before I decide to blow it away.

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You could try...
by John.Wilkinson / June 9, 2007 6:41 AM PDT

First, enable the viewing of Protected System Files and Folders just as you did hidden files and folders. That will enable you to find it, though I can't say you'll be able to access it. If you're still denied you can try taking ownership of the folder, granting yourself access. If that also fails you'll need to access it from outside Windows...if you have a Linux CD or can browse your hard drive from another computer you may be able to look through the folder's contents.

Good luck.

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Re: You could try...
by rimb1172 / June 9, 2007 4:12 PM PDT
In reply to: You could try...

Thanks. I'll give those a shot and let you all know how it goes.
It just seems unusual to take up 25GB for backup files. 4-6GB I can understand, but 25GB seems really excessive. I assume that I'm not the only one out there with a Lenovo X60 Tablet with Vista... Anyone else have this same problem?

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Thinkpad X60 Tablet Vista Missing HD Space Solved
by rimb1172 / June 13, 2007 11:20 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: You could try...

Thanks again John for pointing me in the right direction.

It was in fact the IBM Rescue and Recovery Backups that were taking up all that space. A full 30+ GB of backups... sheesh.

I can't speak for HP or Dell systems. However, for IBM/Lenovo users, after going through all this and finally sorting it all out, here is what I'd recommend:

1) Leave Windows/Vista System restore *ON*. Yes, it does use up some space, but on my last system (Thinkpad T40) it saved my *** more times than I can remember when I installed a driver or application which went psycho on me. When I turned it off in my tests, it saved me about 4-5GB of space, i.e. some but not that much. Honestly, with all the things that can go wrong with a driver or application install, sacreficing that amount of space is worth it. It's probably the best single feature MSFT added into Windows. If it starts using up too much space, just go in and delete the old restore points. It's fast and easy.

2) DISABLE the IBM/Lenovo Rescue and Recovery Backups. Go to the ThinkVantage Rescue and Recovery utility, click on "Set Schedule and Preferences" and uncheck the "Schedule Your Backups" box.

After Ok'ing that, on the main R&R menu click on "Advanced" and select "Delete Backups". You should see a list of backup files that it has made in the hidden RRbackups directory. Mine totalled over 30GB, over a third of my HD. Check the files you want to delete and click the "Delete" button.

*NOTE*: Do this when your Thinkpad is plugged in and you have a LOT of time to do it. When I deleted the first few files as a test, it took literally 2 1/2 hours for R&R to delete it. The odd thing is that when I went to delete the largest remaining file, it took all of 10 seconds. Go figure. So the point is, be prepared for it to take a LONG time. It may not, but just be prepared.

After all was said and done, I went from having 19GB of free space to 58GB of free space. *Much* better...

A final note on backups: I can't necessarily blame MSFT, IBM or Lenovo for what they did since many people just don't back their stuff up and then go screaming to their customer support lines when they spill their caramel lattes all over their notebooks. Instead of trying to back *everything* up like ThinkVantage R&R does, here is what I do:

1) I organize all my work in subdirectories under a single working directory
2) I got a 300GB Western Digital network drive for about $200 from Amazon and hooked it up to my router
3) I got a neat file sync tool from Allway Sync ( to backup my entire working directory tree onto the WD network drive. The first sync is rather slow because you are limited by the speed of the 100BaseT network interface. Later syncs go pretty fast since it only updates files that have been changed. After that, I configured Allway Sync to sync my files everyday at dinner time. I just leave my X60 on and my work is automatically backed up daily.

The R&R backup seems like a hamfisted way to approach backups. If my HD takes a dump, those files are toast anyways. If my HD went south, I'd have to reinstall my OS and applications which is a pain in the butt, but not catastrophic since my work is backed up on the network drive.

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And thanks for reporting back...
by John.Wilkinson / June 13, 2007 12:03 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: You could try...

I was aware of R&R, but assumed it was limited to a 'reasonable' amount...30GB is outrageous, in my opinion. I'll have that tidbit added to the forum stick covering missing hard drive will be an eye-opener for other IBM/Lenovo users.

Thanks for the update.

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My drive space
by flymo888 / June 27, 2007 2:52 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: You could try...

Hi All,

I had a few problems with loss of drive space too but since following the info on the R & R thing i've since got almost 9GB back. I have only had this Lenovo desktop for about 2 weeks and was stunned to see so much space disappear for no apparent reason. I installed a couple of things but not 9GB's worth.
I still keep the Windows Restore thing up and running and regularly back up most things to DVD as well.
Many thanks for the info, very very useful.

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by photocraig / April 27, 2008 5:52 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: You could try...

Thanks so much for your long explanation and procedure. That enabled me to lighten the load on my X61s' hard disk by almost 50% -- yes, about 60GB on a 160 GB hard drive. That Restore and Recovery utility is crazy!


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I've had a similar problem too
by Naeena / November 10, 2008 2:50 AM PST
In reply to: Re: You could try...

I got a Lenovo Thinkpad - and I've been experiencing a lack of harddrive space. I never make any RRbackups, so that shouldn't be the issue for me atleast. But still with a total of 142 GB, 32 GB used (showing when I mark everything on C: in properties) and only 40 GB free space - Where is my 70 GB's? - I did a full RR, back to fabric and I got all the space back, next time I missed 40 GB, and I did a full fabric RR again, and it went back to about 40 GB again, and it just keeps doing that over the months I've tried to sort this over and over - until I did a full fabric again and it couldn't complete the windows installation again and I just got sent a new harddrive because they claimed it was a faulty harddrive even though I did all the HDD scans and it passed every single one.
I am just finished installing windows on it again, and already now when it's only taking about 20 GB, I only have 99 GB free space, so I'm missing out of 20 already. Missing 20 GB I can live with - but not when it's 40-70 of a total of 142.
What's causing this?

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In our forum sticky we explain this.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 10, 2008 3:08 AM PST
In reply to: Re: You could try...

If you don't find it, just make your own new post rather than bury it here.

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Vista eating up disk space
by cmueller32 / February 18, 2009 3:23 AM PST
In reply to: Re: You could try...

OK i have exactly the solution to document here for you all. in this case I was looking at this issue for a person that had an Lenovo T61.
ALL PROGRAMS - ThinkVantage Rescue and Recovery
Once open go to the advanced menu and delete the backups. it will show you a list of backups. Delete as you wish.

Christopher Mueller
(and friends) Happy

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Lost disk space you could try
by brian362 / June 16, 2009 8:20 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: You could try...

Go into the following Directory- PROGRAM DATA\TEMP.
1. Take note if any particular program is present it will probably be the cause.
2. Delete the contents of the TEMP directory but not the TEMP directory.
NB. you cannot harm you system as they are only tempory files.
I was losing space and kept deleting files and programs to stay ahead.
When.I did the above and found 30 gigs of lost space,I also found the culprit.
I hope this helps
Regards Brian

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System Restore
by linkit / May 8, 2007 5:54 AM PDT
In reply to: Still Missing

On large hard drives, System Restore will use 12% of space. Turn off Sysstem Restore and then see if that "missing" space is recovered. Turn System Restore on again when you are finished (if you desire).

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(NT) That is, the default is 12%.
by linkit / May 8, 2007 5:55 AM PDT
In reply to: System Restore
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Good thinking and
by mark04276 / May 8, 2007 7:19 AM PDT

Hibernation as well, doesnt that take up space too.

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(NT) Hibernation space = about the size of installed RAM
by linkit / May 8, 2007 8:16 AM PDT
In reply to: Good thinking and
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Hopefully This Thread Is Still Open...
by J.Cleaves / May 15, 2007 9:42 PM PDT
In reply to: Most likely...

I've installed the TreeSize util and got some really interesting results. I wanted to send this out there and see if anyone else got something similar. This is off my DEV/Work machine, and it looks like I'm missing about 12GB off a 30GB partition.

- C:\ 17,476 MB
- - Windows 8,194 MB
- - Users 3,107 MB
- - (Other Folders and Files approx. 8 GB)

But on the status bar it states - Free Space: 240 MB (of 30,000 MB) One thing I have noticed, is that I do not have access to the SysVol. Could that be taking 12GB?

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Holy ****! System Restore Is Hungry!
by J.Cleaves / May 15, 2007 9:55 PM PDT

Sorry for replying to my own post here, but I thought everyone should know this. I just turned off System Restore on the C: drive and watched my free space go from 240MB to 14.18GB. Yes, GIG! System Restore was using just short of HALF the drives space. Has anyone else seen this?

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Turn off system restore?
by cchoate / May 16, 2007 10:26 AM PDT

Sooo glad to have found I'm not only one. Thought I was downloading a virus or something on my new computer from flash drive or some other program/thing. Trying to solve this problem for two weeks!!! How do you turn off system restore and hibernation? Is Treesize freeware ok or do you need professional???

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system restore - turn off
by mark04276 / May 16, 2007 10:44 AM PDT

control panel/system

left side select Advanced System Settings

go to System Protection Tab

Uncheck boxes to the drives

select ok

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by cchoate / May 16, 2007 11:18 AM PDT

My SW_Preload(C:) went from:
182 GB free of 225 GB to an astounding
212 GB free of 225 GB!!


What about Treesize? Personal or Professional?

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by linkit / May 16, 2007 12:57 PM PDT
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