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Windows 7: Free space in C:/ Drive reduced drastically after defragmenting.

25 May 2014   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 32-bits
Free space in C:/ Drive reduced drastically after defragmenting.

Good day. Need some help here in solving this mind-boggling issue.

First a background: the C:/ Drive (the only partition, I didn't split the partition into another drive) in my laptop's HDD has total space 581GB and the last time I check I have used up about roughly half of the that. So about four days ago my laptop was laggish horrendous so I decided the HDD in my laptop could use some defragmenting (21% fragmented when analyzed). It went on for 60 hours which I did let it finish with only 2% fragmented. To my horror however, the free harddisk space has went into the red with only 39GB left.

I've run through various advises available through Google (some them lead to this forum) such as Disk Cleaner (didn't see anything of significant size there though I should've known run Disk Cleaner first before defragmenting but I didn't. Could this mishap be the cause?), then followed by Disk check/CHKDSK during start up including ticking the Scan and Repair bad sector still showing the same amount of miniscule free space. Then tried Command Prompt (run as administrator) vssadmin list shadowstorage didn't reveal anything significant as well.

So what is else is left for me? Should I defrag again? Just downloaded CCleaner and going to try it. I think I've seen this sort of situation before (free space reduced to miniscule) a long time ago but DURING defragging and not AFTER defragging.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 May 2014   #2

Windows 10 Pro x64

I`ve never seen disk defragmenter reduce the size of free space.

You should be using Ccleaner all the time
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 May 2014   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 32-bits

While the running of my laptop has certainly gone way smoother than it was, losing free space (at least 100GB) for no apparent reason after defragging is too much for me to bear. What else did I missed? Is it really the Shadow Storage/Disk Image issue that I have gathered from here and there online. Any solution that I can try?

While I do know I am quite a heavy internet user streaming Youtube videos and such pre-defrag, did those file that suppose to be temp ended up actually registering in my harddisk after defrag (didn't run disk cleanup before defragging)?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

25 May 2014   #4

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64 +Linux_VMs +Chromium_VM

A useful free tool that can help show where space is used is WinDirStat.
WinDirStat - Windows Directory Statistics
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 May 2014   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 32-bits

Free space in C:/ Drive reduced drastically after defragmenting.-windirstat.jpg

We are getting close to the culprit thanks to WinDirStat. Why did Norton did this during defrag. (I have an expired Norton Internet Security test version that comes pre-installed in laptop that I haven't bothered to delete due to laziness. Now it's biting me in the arse.)

So what move should I take now? Delete the expired Norton Internet Security (hopefully the file will dissappear) or get into it deeper. How do one access ProgramData anyway?

Meanwhile, searching for clues over Norton as well.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 May 2014   #6

Windows 10 Pro

You should always uninstall any old antivirus software.

It causes more problems then just taking up space. It also messes with performance.

Uninstall the usual way, restart and then Use the Norton removal tool:
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 May 2014   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 32-bits

Regained free space to what it should be (roughly half-ish of the harddisk)! Thanks to everyone for helping in providing step by step guides and tools! Good to know this forum and their users are reliable source of solutions if Windows 7 (and computer in general) cocked up. Consider this case solved then!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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