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Solved: Hardrive full of nothing! Need Help!

Discussion in 'Windows Vista' started by RobinBjerke, Oct 10, 2008.

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  1. RobinBjerke

    RobinBjerke Thread Starter

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    Hi,

    I have had a problem over the last couple of days which is related to my C:\ drive. I have partitioned a 500gb harddisk into a C partition with 30gb dedicated for my OS and related files. Windows itself takes up 7gb, and then I expected some extra in files and such.

    Now my problem is this: When in on My Computer (Or just computer, as vista calls it) the bar underneath my C disk icon showed (Right after reformatting) that I only had 16gb free space. A coupkle minutes later it showed 15.4gb free, and a couple minutes after that: 14.3gb free. as of now it says 13.6gb free. This is without installing or savibng anything on the disk. I reformatted the drive because the problem had arisen before, except that it had got to a stage where I had about 64kb free space, and so the computer would not boot.

    The interesting ting is this: I have never installed any major programs besides video driver, firefox and such on my C drive. I saved all my files in my D partition. When I select the C disk and right click\properties I get the same information as when I look at the disk from My Computer, but when I enter the disk and ctrl+a and then select properties, the space drops to the expected value of about 9gb.

    So I pit my question to you fine people: What is taking up all this space? I know this sounds strikingly similar to recent questions within astrophysics. The issue though, is that I can't do anything about it, and I cant delete files that are non existent!

    Please, if anyone has encountered this problem and knows what to do, or just knows what to do. Please help me!

    Thank you.
     
  2. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    Probably volume shadow copies and System Restore. Vista automatically adjusts the amount of space used by those according to the amount of free space.

    But it would not allow a drive to get to 64 kb. So something else needs to have been wrong at that point. If you have nothing else installed, and no infections, a lot of space may be used, but it will never get too low.

    You can test by removing all the shadow copies and all but the last restore point on the second page of Disk Cleanup. That will show you (almost) how much your files, the MFT mirror, and the MFT have used.
     
  3. RobinBjerke

    RobinBjerke Thread Starter

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    Hmm... but why does the "Phantom space" increase continually without me having done anything?

    What are shadow copies and how do I do what you just advised?
     
  4. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    Run Disk Cleanup.

    Shadow copies are part of Vista's System Restore facility. Copies of replaced files are stored in case they need to be restored to the originals.

    You can probably read about them in Help. But I would say that 30 GB's is very small for a Vista partition. I had 30 filled up within a couple months. I'd go with 75 to 100, depending on what apps you intend to install. Encarta or AutoCAD can fill up that much space very quickly.
     
  5. RobinBjerke

    RobinBjerke Thread Starter

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    well.... that emans I have to format my whole disk, ah well... Still though, would shadow copies double the space required? i mean, I had a laptop with an 80gb hdd, and partitioned it the same way, and it works fine. It had vista home basic, but I dont think there is that big of a difference.

    I tried what you said, but it only freed up 1gb, so now I have 14gb free... again...
     
  6. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    You can change/enlarge/shrink partitions within Vista's Disk Management, if that is what you mean. Just give it plenty of space, and you shouldn't need to worry about it unless there is an infection or problem program.

    Right-click Computer > Manage > Disk Management.
     
  7. RobinBjerke

    RobinBjerke Thread Starter

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    thank you very much!
     
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