Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

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

I've been running WinDirStat to clean up my harddrive. One folder it reports as consisting of 2GB files, and it's also showing these files, but using explorer or the command line, there is nothing there.

I've run CHKDSK /F /V /R 2 times, but it does not report any errors. What's going on here?

I've gathered some info in a screenshot (a bit german, but you should get the idea):

Screenshot with WinDirStat, cmd and Explorer

Not sure one can actually read this, so here goes:

  • A Folder C:\Program Files (x86)\Alpenverein\Alpenvereinskarten Digital 2010 is shown in WinDirStat containing 2GB worth of map files, but this folder does not show up in cmd or Explorer.
  • Opening the properties of a map file, the Common tab shows 50MB size while the details tab shows 0byte size !??
  • WinDirStat can open a cmd prompt to this path, although it apparently isn't there!?? (dir . yields "File or Directory not found") Explorer doesn't show anything (obviously I've checked it to display hidden and system files.)

What's going on here? What can I do?

share|improve this question
up vote 5 down vote accepted

There is a feature called "Virtual Store" that is activated when a program tries to save user data to the Program Files folder; it will get saved to the Users\<yourname>\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files folder.

Check if you have this folder and if the files are there.

share|improve this answer
Amazing, thanks. Files found there. – Martin Sep 21 '13 at 20:46
Yup. The Virtual Store helps older programs by silently redirecting writes to the Program Files folder, which requires admin access, to a separate folder. Safer and helps spot malware. – surfasb Sep 22 '13 at 1:31

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .