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Best program to visualize file system usage on Windows?

My daughters Windows Vista laptop has a 160Gb hard drive with the main C: partition set to 135Gb.

Windows is reporting that the drive has about 2Gb of free space, but I can only find about 65Gb of files. I've tried this by opening C: in Explorer, doing Control-A and then "Properties". And I've tried using TreeSize Free. And, yes, I've changed the folder options to display hidden and system files.

Any suggestions? I'm worried there may be a rootkit on the machine.

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Jul 3 '11 at 8:59

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marked as duplicate by Nifle, Daniel Beck, random Jul 3 '11 at 17:33

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4 Answers 4

I see that you have a low free disk space. I suggest you to first start "Disk Cleanup". Just press Win key and type "cleanup".

Then go to Computer Properties, System Protection, C: and see how much space is claimed by System Restore. You might want do set this setting lower.

If you want to check for rootkits, just google for "rootkit removal tool" and download Sophos, Kaspersky or some other AV tool.

But I think that a majority of the claimed space is in "C:\System Volume Information", where System Protection keeps its files. You'd have to take ownership of this folder, if you wanted to view/delete its contents.

And another thing: go to command prompt and run disk error checking: chkdsk c: /f (press yes, and restart computer)

Edit: see if your disk has bad sectors (chkdsk output). But also download Hard Disk Sentinel from http://www.hdsentinel.com/ to see SMART HDD diagnostic data. I hope not, but it's better to be on the safe side.

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Maybe you have formatted this partition using Fat32.

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Its a bit of work, and needs a little research to use effectively but this sounds like something for rootkit revealer.

There's also been some cases where this has happened with lenovo laptops using the backup utility (rescue and recovery). No mention of what your laptop is, but you might want to try turning off any third party backup utility to see if it makes a difference.

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Running a chkdsk /r command will repair any free space issues if it is due to file system errors.

Open an Elevated command prompt, type in chkdsk /r and hit enter, confirm the scheduled chkdsk and restart the PC, chkdsk will run before windows loads, it may take some time to complete, do not interrupt the process, when it is done windows will continue to load, recheck your free space.

If you suspect a rootkit or other voracious malware see my post here, go the the EDIT section and make the Microsoft System Sweeper boot CD-thumbdrive, boot from it and do a full scan, remove anything it finds.

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