The first volume of a drive has 5GB total capacity and drive properties shows 4.8GB used space, but selecting properties of all files and folders is only 1.7GB. The drive should have over 3 GB free space according to data size, but disk properties shows less than 1GB free space. Chkdsk /r was run on the drive and no problems were found. Why the large discrepancy, and how can it be corrected?
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Any hidden files? Recycle bin? Try Windows' Disk Cleanup and TreeSize (Free). If nothing helps backup the visible files to a different drive, format and copy them back.
Lots of possible reasons, having some additional info about the hardware and how it was partitioned might be useful, most common reasons are hidden files/folders and oddball partition managers, compression and security programs, user error, etc.
Nothing in recycle bin and Windows is setup to show hidden files. This is the first partition on an internal desktop hard drive, and it was partitioned and formatted with Windows. It's also where all boot files are located, and I don't think simply copying files to another location, formatting the drive and copying the files back would allow the PC to boot.
Various programs may be helpful to see where the space is, eg. Treesize Free (I've had it installed for years in one version or another).
The Volume Shadow copies/system restore space may take a good chuck of space
Possible cause: alternate data streams
Amazingly enough, Alternate Data Streams are extremely easy to make and require little or no skill on the part o the hacker. Common DOS commands like “type” are used to create an ADS. These commands are used in conjunction with a redirect [>] and colon [:] to fork one file into another.
For instance: the command
“type c:\anyfile.exe > c:\winnt\system32\calc.exe:anyfile.exe”
will fork the common windows calculator program with an ADS “anyfile.exe.”
Alarmingly files with an ADS are almost impossible to detect using native file browsing techniques like command line or windows explorer. In our example, the file size of calc.exe will show as the original size of 90k regardless of the size of the ADS anyfile.exe. The only indication that the file was changed is the modification time stamp, which can be relatively innocuous.
Anyway it appears I may have to repartition the drive creating a larger partition for that first volume and restore an image of that partition to the resized larger partition on volume 1 of the drive.. I'm glad Treesize Free helped resolve the problem without which the problem may have remained unresolved. This weekend looking at an external usb drive I noticed similar discrepancies in drive space versus files data size which showed 148 GB used drive space while files data size showed 97 GB. I hope Treesize Free will help resolve that discrepancy too.
What is the name and location of the mystery folder ?
Treesize Free shows it in the root directory of the drive with all the other files and folders shown by Explorer. Explorer simply fails to show this folder in spite of the fact Explorer is set to show hidden folders.
There's also "View Protected Operating System Files".
WHAT IS THE NAME OF THE FOLDER? Why is it that you expect answers while failing to supply important information which was already requested? Probable answer already given, OS files, yet you do not name the folder that is the entire and complete source of the problem. FIVE FREAKING SECONDS to supply information that ONLY YOU HAVE, necessary to solve YOUR PROBLEM, yet for some reason you decide that nobody needs to know. Like not mentioning that this is a boot partition in your first post. I get tired of playing 200 questions.
Solution is same as the 5GB boot partition, this is user error. Also a near-total waste of time.
Before repartitioning the partition, I checked the backup image to find it doesn't contain the 3.2 GB folder, and simply restoring the image solved the problem. Obviously a 5 GB boot partition is neither user error nor a waste of time for this multi boot system. That partition has been that size for over a dozen years with no problems ever The only puzzling thing now is why that 3.2 GB folder showed up on the partition and how it got there. The 3.2 GB folder is obviously unnecessary since the system still works fine without it.
And the name of this folder is still a mystery. My guess is "pr0n".
Actually the folder name was simply "Files." Seems like a silly, nondescript name for a folder, but that's what it was.
I've barely used a Windows flavour newer than XP, and we don't know which flavour of Windows the OP is using, but has system restore or shadow copy etc been considered?
I doubt the folder would be called "files" so maybe that's just a name the name TreeSize has given it.
Edit. I see davexnet beat me to it.
Before you zap the other drives, try empting out system restore. In fact if you make images of your system, I'd turn it off entirely (and I do).
For XP, I don't think showing hidden files would be enough to allow the folder to display. You'd probably need to uncheck "hide protected OS files" too, assuming it is the "System Volume Information" folder, or whatever it's called for newer Windows. And I kinf of remember if you format as fat32 rather than NTFS, it doesn't get created at all, but that could be bullocks.
5GB for the system drive sounds a bit lean these days. Mine's 40GB but XP is only using 15GB of it. That's including installed programs and a few years of Windows updates. 563MB of them for me. Do you move the paging file to another partition, and if not, how big is it? There's not much room for it to grow, although I have mine set to a minimum size of 2GB and it rarely grows larger, but never shrinks.
There's also Windows ability to hibernate. The data has to be written somewhere and I think the file is always around the same size as the RAM you have installed. I assume you have hibernation disabled or has Windows been clever enough to move the hibernation file to another partition? Between the paging file and the hibernation file (if I'd not disabled it) I think that's 6GB of space gone between them.
"Files" in Treesize Free, refers to the actual files in the folder it's nestled under, rather that another sub-folder
By clicking on "files" in the left pane, the actual files in question show up in the right pane.
My son in the UK recently told me that he was getting short on space on his laptop. He only has the built in
single HDD + a few 32 GB thumb drives. Had him reduce the space reserved to Volume Shadow Copies
from the default 5% to 2%. Not only did he get some much-needed space back, he told me it seemed to make the
laptop a little more peppy in it's performance; it even booted faster.
System restore has never been turned on, and I have made backup images of systems for many years. That 5GB drive contains Windows 98SE which occupies only 1.7GB of space, and that OS hasn't been run for over 3 years now because my last motherboard upgrade doesn't support Windows versions earlier that XP. Therefore that partition remains a constant size except for some very minimal changes might be made in boot files.
I'm a long time WinXP user and relatively new to using Win10, and hello_hello is correct about need to uncheck the "Hide protected system files" which is not as easily found in Win10. In Win10 clicking the View tab in File Explorer only shows the box to "Show Hidden Files." One must click the "Options" tab to the right of the "Show Hidden Files" tab and then click "View" again and scroll down to find the check box to "Hide protected system files." This is something I didn't learn until after my reply #15 in this thread.