Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

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.


share|improve this question

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

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new 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

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.