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Windows 7: Unmovable files on external hard drive


23 Aug 2011   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Unmovable files on external hard drive

I am trying to defragment my external hard drive, a Western Digital passport 500gb. A lot of space is being taken up by these unmovable files and I want to consolidate the free space.

The recycle bin is empty, I have deleted the WD folder, I have deleted the "system volume information" by booting into Ubuntu live. I don't know why there was a system volume information anyway, system restore is not on for this drive.

I have "show hidden files and folders" and "show operating system files" selected and cannot see anything other than the empty recycle bin (and of course all the data on there, the data is back ups of photo's, movies, etc.) ....so what is there left that is "unmovable"? I can't see anything at all that would be considered a system file.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Aug 2011   #2

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86
 
 

Theres no point defragging an external hdd. The purpose of defrag is to optimize performance i.e. to increase or maintain read/write speeds. With an external drive, the usb interface will be the main limiting factor with respect to speed and defragging will have little impact.

IDK what immovable files you're talking about. On a system drive such as the windows partition such files may be the page file or MFT or system files or files in use but obviously these have very little to do with an external disk. Maybe you can provide some stats of the used space etc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Aug 2011   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Thanks for your reply Bill2, even if there is no point defragging I really want to know what these files are doing there now. As you say, there is a reason for system files on a system drive but not on an external drive...but the point is I can't even see any system files on the drive even when "hidden files" and "operating system files" are not hidden.



The grey squares are the unmovable "directory" files.

Can you suggest what I can use to get some stats of the used space please?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Aug 2011   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I have used Space Sniffer and it just shows what I can see anyway, the contents of the folders.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Aug 2011   #5

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86
 
 

Hmmm...I can see you have almost 300 gigs data on the wd. One option could be to move out all the data elsewhere, then format the disk, then move the data back but it would be a pain with that amount of data. BTW, I see that drive is formatted FAT32. Any particular reason? Also what defrag program are you using (the one in the snip)?

For what is occupying space, windirstat is another good option.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Aug 2011   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bill2 View Post
Hmmm...I can see you have almost 300 gigs data on the wd. One option could be to move out all the data elsewhere, then format the disk, then move the data back but it would be a pain with that amount of data. BTW, I see that drive is formatted FAT32. Any particular reason? Also what defrag program are you using (the one in the snip)?

For what is occupying space, windirstat is another good option.

Yea, I have considered moving it out, formatting it to NTFS and putting it all back but it does seem like a hassle. I might do it though.

It came formatted to FAT32 and at the time I didn't know enough to realise it would be better to format it to NTFS.

Yea, I use Auslogic Disk Defrag.

I just tried windirstat, it seems to give more info than Space Sniffer, I will have another go with it when I have time.

Thanks again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Unmovable files on external hard drive




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