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Windows 7: 1TB HDD shows completely full even though only using 120GB...

05 Oct 2015   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64Bit
Bad HDD 100% Full After ChkDsk & Cloned SSD also 100% Full - Fix?

I've seen questions about this from other people and the suggestion is to replace the HDD with a new drive and reinstall the OS. I've also seen where this was related to a large System Restore cache, which is not the case here.

I have a customer's Lenovo laptop with a 1TB HDD and about 120GB used space. The 1TB HDD had some bad sectors, causing a failed clone to a new 250GB SSD. After a check disk with repair to correct the bad sectors, the drive showed up completely full in Windows (30MB free out of 1TB) even though WINDIRSTAT confirmed there was only 120GB in use.

Because Windows 7 reports the 1TB HDD is full, I couldn't clone to the destined 250GB SSD - I had to clone to a new 1TB SSD. That clone succeeded and now the data is in a safe location. The brand-new 1TB SSD boots into Windows and you can load programs just fine, however the new 1TB SSD still reflects that the drive is full so something must have carried over from the old 1TB HDD that's causing it to reflect the wrong usage amount.

When you try to connect the 1TB SSD to any computer it shows up as completely full as well.

Since I can boot into Windows and everything seems to work, and I am now working off a brand new 1TB SSD, I feel I should be able to correct the reported disk use, but cant figure out how to do it.

I need some guidance with this one, as I've never seen this before.

I appreciate in advance any suggestions to reinstall Windows, but this post is seeking expertise in repairing the issue as everything else appears to be intact.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Oct 2015   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

Hello Praetas!

I could suggest you use another software to determine what kind of space is taken by what type of files/software. Also, please check System Restore and how much space it has taken. Delete all but the last restore point then go in Restore settings and make sure the amount of space it's allowed to use is not more than 5%. Also, it could be a virus/malware that's causing the large HDD taken space.

Post back afterwards. :)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Oct 2015   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64Bit

Thanks for the reply - we tried WinDirStat and FileTree Viewer, and they both reported the same 120GB of used space. As I mentioned in the original post, System Restore was disabled - it's not taking any space. As for the malware/virus idea, it only showed up after doing a check disk with repair. While unlikely I may do a virus scan just to rul eit out.

I'm looking for more of a 3rd party program that can re-scan the new 1TB SSD and repair the file system. As I said, Windows boots, everything works - it just reports the drive is full.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

06 Oct 2015   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

In that case, the issue could be caused by an abnormally high in size page file. Besides the chkdsk, you could also try and check and repair the file system using sfc, following this article:

If these don't work perhaps others could give better ideas, or a simple reformat should fix the issue. :/

Good luck!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Oct 2015   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64Bit

I will try a System File Checker and see if that works.

Reformatting is the easy "workaround". I want the "fix". I've already exhausted a lot of the basic troubleshooting steps.

Interestingly I've also tried to boot off the Windows disc to get into the Repair Console and it claims the version of Windows is incompatible.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Oct 2015   #6
Layback Bear

Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709 Windows 7 Pro/64

Please complete this tutorial by Golden.
This will allow members to have a look at some important information.

Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Oct 2015   #7

7 Pro x64, 10 Pro x64

What software did you clone it with, and yes a disk management pic would be much appreciated.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 1TB HDD shows completely full even though only using 120GB...

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