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Windows 7: Missing hard drive space after upgrading to Windows 7

14 Jun 2015   #1
mnemonikos82

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 
Missing hard drive space after upgrading to Windows 7

Good afternoon all, first, thanks in advance for any help you guys can give. I recently upgraded my 10 year old custom built PC to Windows 7 and now I am missing roughly 100gigs of space from my hard drive. I am attaching the two pictures, one is the expanded disk management screen and the other is a properties look at my C drive and the top 4 folders on the C drive (by far).

The top folders consume about 110 gigs of space and the listed used space is 200 gigs (the next 3 largest folders don't add up to 5 gigs combined). I also don't show a hidden partition from the old OS in the disk management screen, so I have no idea where that 90 gigs went.

I know with the age of the system it's possible the HD is dying, but my HD test didn't come up with any errors. I've also gone through defrag and system cleanups.

Any ideas of where to look would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Case




Attached Thumbnails
Missing hard drive space after upgrading to Windows 7-current-space.jpg   Missing hard drive space after upgrading to Windows 7-paritions.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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14 Jun 2015   #2
Boozad

W7 Pro x64 SP1 | W10 Pro IP x64 | W8.1 Pro x64 VM | Linux Mint VM
 
 

Have you checked in the Windows folder for a Windows.old folder? If you performed an Upgrade Install then you'll have a Windows.old folder which holds the previous operating system, if you performed a clean install of Windows 7 this won't be applicable.

Download and run WinDirStat to see what's taking up the space.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jun 2015   #3
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

TreeSize Free - Quickly Scan Directory Sizes and Find Space Hogs

Download and run tree size free from the above link. It should show you what is using the space.

This is a common problem with many possible causes.

You can't simply add up the space used by your folders as shown in properties or in Explorer and expect it to equal the total space occupied on C.

How much RAM do you have installed?

What are your settings for System Restore, hibernation, and page file?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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14 Jun 2015   #4
mnemonikos82

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

Thank you for the quick responses folks you're awesome! Wow that was interesting. First to answer your questions ignatzatsonic: 4 gigs of ram, and I'm not savvy enough to know how to check for system restore, hibernation or page file settings. Now on with the show:

According to WinDirStat my HD was only 130 gigs in size (which is about what everthing else adds up to), so I tried TreeSize Free and got the first part of my answer immediately, so thanks for recommending that app. I've attached a few pictures of both apps. The answer to my issue appears to be a folder called "System Volume Information" which I'm guessing is a part of my system restore. According to TreeSize, it's eating up 70 gigs of space which explains almost all of the missing space (the rest I'm sure is just interspersed throughout a million different locations). Now If I had to further guess, I would say that when I did the install, which was an upgrade (not clean), even though I tried to delete all the old stuff such as windows.old I didn't delete the old restores. So I'm guessing 10 years of system backups takes up a lot of space!

So the question now is, how do I clean this up? I'm not sure any of the restore data is important to be honest but I leave that to more experienced people. Your continued assistance is very very appreciated, thanks folks!


Attached Thumbnails
Missing hard drive space after upgrading to Windows 7-windirstat-results.jpg   Missing hard drive space after upgrading to Windows 7-system-volume-information.jpg   Missing hard drive space after upgrading to Windows 7-not-accessible.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jun 2015   #5
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Yeah, it looks like you have a wad of System Restore points.

Go here:

control panel/system/system protection and poke the "configure" button.

You can control how much space System Restore uses there, with that slider.

I set mine at about 7 GB; that's good enough for at least 10 restore points on my system.

Do you ever use System Restore or have any interest in it?

Do you use Avast anti-virus?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jun 2015   #6
mnemonikos82

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

That did the trick, thank you so much. I would have never figured that out via my usual troubleshooting methods (IE Google).

Attached is the end (and accurate) result.

I can honestly say that in 10 years of owning this PC I've never used the system restore except once, and I can't even remember why it was soooooo long ago. I do use Avast though.


Attached Thumbnails
Missing hard drive space after upgrading to Windows 7-fin.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jun 2015   #7
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Post a screen shot of Windows Disk Management like you did in post 1, last picture shown--so we can confirm what you did.

Avast has a "bug" that is known to cause System Restore to go out of control. Not yet fixed as far as I know.

Keep an eye on your System Restore in case the Avast bug rears its head. That may be what has been going on.

System Restore is handy in my experience. Not perfect, but plenty good enough to keep around.

Avast may or may not eventually fix that bug. You can switch to something less buggy or live with it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jun 2015   #8
mnemonikos82

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

Thank you for the advice, is there an alternative free anti-virus that you recommend?


Attached Thumbnails
Missing hard drive space after upgrading to Windows 7-check.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jun 2015   #9
GokAy

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

To tame Avast:
- go to control panel-> programs and features -> Avast -> change
- remove the component NG (may also be called-Secure Virtual Machines or Sandbox).
- change system restore % back to 10% (windows default) or whatever you like it
- restart
- check if % is what you set
- check restore points (seems this NG delete old restore points when run out of space)
- manually create a restore point if there are none
- open command prompt ->vssadmin list shadowstorage
- see how much space it takes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jun 2015   #10
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

That Disk Management looks good.

Anti-virus choice has had many discussions on this forum, with very few minds changed. Just as a Methodist wouldn't have a lot of luck trying to convert a Catholic or a heathen. People have to come to their own decision and tend to be very protective of that decision.

Microsoft Security Essentials is probably the most commonly used free antivirus on this forum. Avast may have been second until the bug upheaval.

If you want to pay, Kaspersky is a common choice.

You can Google for anti-virus reviews and will immediately run into the semi-religious arguments to which I referred. Lots of complaining about the validity of the reviews.

Personally: I use Microsoft Security Essentials (free) and a paid version of Malwarebytes (Malwarebytes Premium). They do different things.

Malwarebytes is highly regarded, with few complaints.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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