General discussion

Unrecognized Files in System Volume Information


I had noticed a drastic reduction of the free space on my HD (Vista Home Premium) and ran a utility called Free Disk Analyzer. It turned out I have unrecognized files in the System Volume Information folder, but when I go to it in Explorer they are not there! So obviously I have no idea how to delete them.
And yes, of course I have already deleted all restore points etc., and even disabled system restore for a sec to see it this would do the trick, but it didn't. I also resized the maximum shadow storage, to no avail.

I think the unrecognized files could have been left over by Nero Automatic Back It Up, which should now be disabled, but the files are still there and I cannot get rid of them.

Any advice please? I really want to get rid of those files.



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Not sure

I don't usually like messing with the System Volume Information folder, and certainly not when System Restore is turned on.

This is a hidden folder and you need to unhide it in Windows Explorer > Tools > Folder options, then the "View" tab. Remove the tick for "Hide protected operating system files, (Recommended)". Whilst you are there, make sure that "Show hidden files and folders" is selected.

Be sure to re-hide the protected OS files when you are done, but the other can remain unhidden.

You don't say what that file name is so we can't check, but I would be wary attempting to delete just any file.


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Let's be safe here.

Tinkering with those files is not a good idea. What is known is that you can FLIP System Restore off and then on to clear that directory and free up space.

Good luck,

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Thanks for the replies, but actually when I said I cannot see the files I meant ONLY THOSE files, I can see hidden folders and everything inside the SVI folder (not corrupt files).
I can ONLY see the corrupt files with a free space analyzer, the one mentioned above, which tells me the SVI folder is over 5 GB, while in Explorer or any other viewer it is only about 500 MB...
I uninstalled Nero BackItUp, but this didn't solve the problem... One of those files is over 3 GB, which would be unusual for a normal system restore point, so it must come from something else...
And yes, I also turned SR off with no luck. The corrupt files where not deleted, probably because they were not recognized, I don't know...
This is so weird.
Incidentally, sometimes (in the past) I noticed I suddenly had MORE space, instead of less like now, particularly after a blackout. Strange, but this is what I noticed. I tried to unplug the computer, just in case, but the files are still there...

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We have ways.

In the Cnet Storage Forum we note using a bootable Linux CD (not installing! just using.)

It's very much windows to use and here's what I would do.

1. Turn off System Restore and shut down.
2. Boot by live CD of linux (no install!)
3. Browse to the System Volume Information folder and delete the files there. DO NOT REMOVE THIS FOLDER!
4. Shut down Linux.
5. Remove the CD and boot normally.

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Thank you. I was just thinking of trying Linux, wondering if I would be able to see the files, and I am glad an expert confirmed it!
I have to go out soon today, but I will try as soon as I come home.

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.... They were not there in Linux either...
I am trying to find another free space analyzer right now... I did try to delete the files within the disk analyzer I used, but again it was very strange. It told me the files I was trying to delete could not be found and they disappeared from the list, but as soon as I restarted the program they were there again...

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With another free space analyzer...

... the SVI folder went down to 656 MB, although according to Windows Explorer it is 155. Better than 5.2GB as indicated by the first program.
Anyway, I think I give up and am going to uninstall the first program altogether...
Thanks for your help!

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Try again.....

Run chkdsk on the disk and let it repair the file system....[ chkdsk /f ]......

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I actually did...

Thanks, but I ran both chkdsk and sfc/ scannow, and it didn't help.
Incidentally, I tried sfc/ scannow also in safe mode and even with the installation disk, you know, when it loads Windows from the DVD, and it says it found corrupt files but was unable to fix them...

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There's your clue.

"says it found corrupt files but was unable to fix them."

We had a machine like that. We kept the hard drive for about 5 years tossing an image of it at companies that write they have HDD repair tools. No one ever could fix that NTFS volume. In the end we took that as a sign to get the files out and start over with a clean drive. We used DBAN.

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The message disappears by itself...
Some time ago I couldn't get rid of it and gave up... Then suddenly it was gone, maybe after a Windows update, I don't know (no major update though).
Other times it didn't work normally, but it worked from the installation disk... Windows is not always logical!

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