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PLEASE HELP - but this is NOT A DUPLICATE question - please don't mark it as such before reading it. Several people marked last posting that way - clearly didn't read it. Yes, I have read through these forums for a few hours to no avail.

I have a Win7 laptop with a 750Gig C: drive. It came partitioned with 714Gig usable from manufacturer. I installed programs, music files, etc up to 285 gigs. As of a few weeks ago it showed 285 Gigs. Two weeks of house guests later and it shows HD is full. I deleted some files but it still shows 652 Gigs on this drive while there are only 285 Gigs on drive. Relevant details:

  1. I am Administrator on laptop and have fair knowledge of what I am doing.
  2. I did not restore from backup, restore from mirror, upgrade HD's or anything else that would have touched the partition structure. Just daily use as imaging machine and web.
  3. I have checked partitions under disk administrator - no change, still partitioned with 714Gigs usable.
  4. Have looked through computer C drive by hand showing Hidden files and folders - no change.
  5. I have used JDisk Report to double check - it shows I have only 285 Gigs on C drive.
  6. I triple checked with TreeSize run as Administrator and it also shows 285 Gigs on C drive - yet Windows 7 still shows almost full.
  7. I used Windows 7 Utilities to Check for Disk Errors, and Defragged the drive. No errors shown and no change after Defrag.

I am stumped, and since this is a laptop from the factory, I really don't want to have to Format my HD.


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marked as duplicate by Scott, slhck Apr 2 '13 at 6:58

This question was marked as an exact duplicate of an existing question.

Hi Chris! Please edit your original question rather than reposting it. Just explain why the duplicates do not answer your question, but try and keep the meta to a minimum (e.g. not using "NOT A DUPLICATE" in the title). Thanks – slhck Apr 2 '13 at 7:00
Thanks for making sure I AGAIN have to post this. I don't know how to remove the 'duplicate' tag that you put on my posts - and now I won't get a decent post. Clearly if you wanted to be helpful you could have told me how to do that. Thanks for screwing me. – Chris Kelly Apr 2 '13 at 12:11
Again: You would have just needed to edit your original question rather than reposting your question, and explain why it's not a duplicate. Your question could have then be reopened. I edited your previous post and reopened it in the meantime. – slhck Apr 2 '13 at 12:36
It would be interesting to see what a Linux live CD shows on the drive to make sure that the OS or some virus is not hiding something from you. – likeitlikeit Jan 21 at 21:33

There are few common culprits which you should check:

  • Recycle Bin: check it if is too big, and clean it up first: Right Click - > Empty Recycle Bin.

  • System restore points. Often, you can reclaim significant space by removing restore points: Start -> Control Panel -> System -> System Protection -> Configure -> Delete.

You can also delete all restore points from command line:

vssadmin delete shadows /for=c: /all

Note that unlike any other files, space taken by restore points cannot be counted or revealed by normal tools, because it is hidden in C:\System Volume Information directory, which you do not have permission to look inside, even if you have full administrator rights.

  • Page file at C:\pagefile.sys. Page file can grow to be rather large if you run something that needs a lot of memory. Check if this hidden file is bigger than few gigabytes.

  • Temporary files. You can amass quite significant space of temporary files in C:\Windows\TEMP and/or C:\Users\user\local settings\temp. Make sure that these directories do not have large amount of files.

  • Software updates downloaded at C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download. As you run Windows updates, you can accumulate a lot of junk in this directory - you can safely remove its contents (but not directory itself).

I have surely forgotten about few other things, but these I would look up first.

share|improve this answer
Thank you for the the thoughts. These have all been looked at already. I also killed all the system restore points. Anyone have any other ideas? Hidden Backups besides the restore points? – Chris Kelly Apr 2 '13 at 12:22

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