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Windows 7: Help Needed Cleaning Disk

10 Sep 2012   #1

Windows 7 64 bit Premium
Help Needed Cleaning Disk


I have read numerous posts about people who have said their hard drives are filled up and they don’t know what’s caused the problem. I am one of those people and after trying numerous suggestions from other posts, I am at a loss.

About a week ago, I reinstalled Windows 7/64 onto a 120GB solid state drive (formatted/partitioned during Windows install to usable space of 111GB). There are no other drives on my system and the solid state drive is formatted as a single C: drive (plus of course the hidden windows partition) and Windows is installed on it.

First I did all the usual stuff like running disk cleanup, including cleaning up system files under the More Options tabs (e.g., I cleaned System Restore and Shadow Copies). I also verified (Control Panel – System – System Protection) that my current disk usage for System Restore files is zero (I even turned off system protection). Max usage for system restore was 3% (or 3.35 GB).

I have had a few Blue Screens in the past few days and don’t know if that is relevant, but I have also run a boot up disk check. As I have 24GB of RAM, I thought the space could have been used by a memory dump file hidden from me, so I looked around for any memory dump files (*.dmp) and could not locate any. Hidden and System files are set to display.

Finally I installed and ran both TreeSize and WinDirStat to try to determine what folders might contain a large amount of storage to help me narrow my search. Here is the strange point; both programs indicated about 75GB of disk usage so that means I should have about 36GB free and earlier this morning, I had about 36GB free. Then tonight, I noticed my drive was almost full showing only about 1GB of free space when I look at the drive through Windows. So unless I am reading TreeSize incorrectly, there seems to be a conflict and I can’t figure out where to look next. I am hoping someone can help me. Here is a screenshot of TreeSize.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Sep 2012   #2

Windows 7 Pro x64 SP1

Calzone65, welcome to the windows 7 forum.

You seem to have plenty of memory so I would recommend not having a page file which should free up space. Also you might want to get rid of the hyberfile. Both of these hidden/system files on your C drive take up a lot of space.

powercfg.exe /hibernate off

Is how you can remove and turn off the hibernate file.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Sep 2012   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

Did you check your shadowstorage. The command is:

vssadmin list shadowstorage
My System SpecsSystem Spec

10 Sep 2012   #4

Windows 7 64 bit Premium

Some very good suggestions, thank you. Here are the results:

1) I disabled hibernate via powercfg.exe /hibernate off and that freed up some space.

2) I disabled paging that that freed up some space. By the way, I misstated, I have only 12GB of RAM but I still believe that is enough and don't need the paging file.

3) I had previously checked my shadow copy using vssadmin list shadowstorage and determined the following
Used Space: 0 B
Allocated Space: 0 B
Maximum Shadow Copy Storage space: 3.351 GB

I am still having difficulty understanding why TreeSize now reports 53.1GB used, which on a 111GB drive should yield 57.9GB of free space, but Windows is indicating that I have 23.4GB of free space. By my calculations I am still missing 34.5GB of free space and can't "find" that missing space. I believe something is still wrong. Below is a link to an updated screenshot of TreeSize.

I also installed/used WinDirStat and got similar results. WinDirStat indicated I have used 51.2GB of space on my 111GB C: drive, which would indicate to me that I should have about 59.8GB free not the 23.4GB free indicated by Windows.

So in summary, the above changes did reduce some disk usage, thank you, but as that usage was reduced, TreeSize and WinDirStat both accounted for the reduced usage (e.g., the usage reported from both programs was reduced). I keep thinking that if TreeSize says I have 51.2GB of "used" space, then on my 111GB drive, I should have about 57.9GB of free space but Windows is saying I only have 23.4GB of free space. That means to me there is about 34.5GB of “missing” or “hidden” free space that I am unable to account for. Are my assumptions/calculations correct? I am interpreting TreeSize correctly?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Sep 2012   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

Can you post a picture of the WinDirStat results/window.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Sep 2012   #6

Windows 7 64 bit Premium

whs, here is a screenshot of the most recent WinDirStat
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Sep 2012   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

Hmm, there is indeed nothing unusual. And you are sure that C is 111GB - not the total disk.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Sep 2012   #8

Windows 7 64 bit Premium

Maybe I am not reading WinDirStat correctly. When I look at the WinDirStat screen, I assume that I have used 51.2GB of available storage.


But when I look at my drive properties, I see that I have used 88.8GB of available storage.

My Drive Properties:

Am I reading something wrong?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Sep 2012   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit

I notice that the drive properties shows that compression is enabled.

I assume the 88.8 figure would be even higher without compression.

Or is it possible that the WinDirStat 51.2 figure represents post-compression and 88.8 is without compression?

Re page file: all I have read suggests that you should still use a small one---some programs expect to find a page file of some type. I use 1 GB minimum size and 2 GB maximum size.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Sep 2012   #10

Windows 7 64 bit Premium

Thank you ignatzatsonic for your comments.

I removed compression on my drive and here are the updated WinDirStat and Drive Properties screenshots. The effect was negligible. I still am not sure why I don't have more free drive space assuming I am reading from WinDirStat that I have only used 51.4GB of disk space out of 111GB, which means I should have about 59.6 free versus my drive properties telling me I have 22.9 free. I understand I may have some hidden files, but 36.7GB (59.6 - 22.9) of hidden files seems excessive. And wouldn't WinDirStat see/calculate hidden files anyway?

Drive Properties:

P. S. I turned paging back on but set the limits from 100MB to 1GB for now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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