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Windows 7: Random Gain of 9-10 Gigabytes, Want to Know if Assumptions Correct

30 Aug 2012   #11
KevinLancaster

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

It was the only HD connected, but I think the problem is that I tried to clone the old copy of Windows over earlier on, it another copy of Windows recognized by my older drive.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 Aug 2012   #12
Victor S

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I've found the bet bet is to discard troublesome drives. Sure, drives cost, but they're not the expense they once were. When you add up the time and possible data loss a troublesome drive can cause, it's not worth keeping one after sectors start going bad. I will say I haven't had many drives fail. But every one just got worse after sectors failed, and couldn't be trusted.
I'd probably do diagnostics as you are doing. Can't even recall when I last did it.
Unless you're sure you are navigating correctly when using disk diagnostic and repair tools, it's best to have only the problem drive connected and use a tool that resides on a CD/DVD/Stick. Protect your working system HD.
To answer your file size questions, my sysvol files are empty. I don't use Win system recovery or hibernate. Every file is easily seen when you set your Explorer option to show hidden files.
Right now I trust Win Explorer to show all files and correctly report sizes.
I just discovered a discrepancy between the Windows folder properties when using Power Desk Pro 8.5 (which is my main file manager) and Explorer.
PD Pro shows a gig and +2000 files less than Explorer, though it looks like it's using the same Win call - the properties window is identical anyway.
Until/if I figure that out I'll trust Explorer properties.
There's a massive number of files in my Windows folder (72,776 Files, 14,944 Folders) and you need good extraction/parsing tools to sort discrepancies between different reporting tools. You might find discrepancies in byte counts and maybe total files with different tools. Byte discepancies are pretty common in my experience, and probably due to rounding, but I think this is the first time I've seen misreported file counts, so I'm disappointed in PD Pro.
I suggest trusting Explorer for byte/file counts. I've never heard of it misreporting, but could be wrong.
Anyway, did you look into imaging? Best thing since sliced bread.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Aug 2012   #13
KevinLancaster

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Quick question about SFC, to scan a Windows directory on another drive you use the offline function right? I was testing it and I used the command "SFC /verifyonly /offbootdir=e:\ /offwindir=e:\windows".
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 Aug 2012   #14
DavidE

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64
 
 

i've only used SFC for the "C:" partition i booted with, so i can't answer your last question.

i'm not sure exactly what all you have done .
maybe you are booting from the old HD?
did you change to boot priority to use the new HD with the clean install as the boot device?
maybe you didn't clean the "cloned Win 7 installation" HD prior to doing a clean install on the new HD, and that is the problem now?

i would

1) clean the new HD - here is a tutorial by Brink
Disk - Clean and Clean All with Diskpart Command

2) Get and run the Manufactures HD diagnostic utility to make sure the new HD is not defective.

3) do a clean install following the tutorial by gregrocker i gave you earlier
Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Aug 2012   #15
w1dpc

windows 7 x64 pro sp1
 
 

c:\windows
size 18.5GB (19,967,931,369bytes)
size on disk 18.7GB (20,115,978,916bytes)
contains 73,775 files 15,972 folders

this is my windows folder after a year of use. just to show how each user could be different.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Aug 2012   #16
KevinLancaster

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

I was booting from the new HD, I made sure in the boot menu, and I'd already run diagnostics on it before I tried cloning just in case it had errors. I think all the weirdness was from the partial cloning and the fact that the Windows 7 Installation only performs a Quick Format. After the cloning failed (and before I reinstalled Windows on the new drive), when I booted up it gave me two options for Windows, the first of which was broken because it was on "another device" and the second was also broken because of all the errors I described previously. I think after I reinstalled it recognize the new installation as the first copy of Windows which led to those strange follow-up events.

Just making sure of something here for future reference, the device-to-device option in Clonezilla copies right? I hope it wasn't moving files instead, because then it would be a case of sheer ignorance on my part.

Anyways, back to the hard-drive: After I ran SFC in safe mode with both drives connected, when I tried starting up my old drive again in safe mode for some strange reason it shut down. Afterwards I tried starting it in regular mode and as I mentioned earlier, it got stuck at the Personalized Settings window. I started up my new hard-drive and found files on it and I figured the system was trying to repair the other copy of Windows. I decided to unplug my new hard-drive and startup my old one alone in safe mode. I managed to get into an Administrator level Command Prompt and run SFC; however, it only got to 10% and failed. I restarted into regular mode to see if anything had changed, but nope. When I Ctrl-Alt-Deleted to Shut Down however, I noticed that Windows was trying to download and install updates, something which I didn't necessarily want with the state my hard-drive was in. So I let Windows install the one update as it was shutting down, and then I removed my USB Wireless Internet Adapter. I started the computer up yet again, and this time it managed to get past the Personalized Settings window, though Explorer didn't start up (something I thought was strange was that the process for the Personalized Settings windows was actually Explorer!) so I started it up manually though the Task Manager. However, I was logged on to a temporary account and I couldn't open any folders or programs; I shut down the computer again.

Then I had an idea: I was going to run SFC off my new copy of Windows and analyse my old one, but to make sure my older one did not interfere I had to have it unplugged at start-up. I enabled AHCI so I could plug it afterwards. To make sure the program didn't confuse errors between the two drives, I made sure that my new copy of Windows had no errors at all (weirdly enough, it had some). So I plugged in my old drive, ran SFC on it, and then... it didn't work.

The final idea I had was a simple one. I was just going to try and figure out my what data I lost again. Since Victor doesn't use Windows' in-built backup mechanics, I had no idea how much space the System Volume Information folder uses up for System Restore over three years. So I had my friend install TreeSize Free on his 3+ year old PC with Windows 7, and lo and behold, his folder took up 9.5 GB whereas the one on my old drive took up less than 100 MB. This result was actually hinted at earlier in my endeavours as Startup Repair reported no restore points whereas I knew I had many, since I never changed any of System Restore's settings and had been installing and un-installing various hard-drive analysis programs recently. Therefore, thankfully the only thing I lost was a few restore points.

I will probably perform a clean install and look into disk imaging in the near future. For now though, the original issue is effectively SOLVED.



Quick Edit: w1dpc, I actually found out my Windows folder on my old drive was actually 28 GB; I had closed the Properties window before it finished updating the first time because I thought it was done.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Aug 2012   #17
w1dpc

windows 7 x64 pro sp1
 
 

lol i did that once or twice myself. this time i waited for the thing to end.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Random Gain of 9-10 Gigabytes, Want to Know if Assumptions Correct




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