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I once completely filled my old computer's hard drive (it said 0kb left) and I noticed that after turning the computer off and then back on that the computer had freed up some hard drive space. I filled the drive again and rebooted to see what would happen. The drive automatically had some space freed up after rebooting again.

  1. Does Windows automatically free up some hard drive space when a hard drive becomes full?

  2. If so, where does the computer free the space from? (What is the computer deleting?)


Here is the step-by-step walk through of the events that occurred.

1.) I turned on my computer and went to Computer > Local Disk (C:)

enter image description here

2.) I noted the free space available was low, let's say 1GB.

3.) I copied and pasted files until the space displayed at Computer > Local Disk (C:) said 0KB free.

4.) I shut off my computer and then turned the computer back on.

5.) I manually went to Computer > Local Disk (C:) (The same place as the image linked above) and I noted the available space. It now said 500MB free instead of 0KB free.

6.) Again, I copied and pasted files until the space displayed at Computer > Local Disk (C:) said 0KB free.

7.) Again, I shut off my computer and then turned the computer back on.

8.) Again, I manually went to Computer > Local Disk (C:) (The same place as the image linked above) and I noted the available space. It now said 440MB free instead of 0KB.

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Windows Seven. Under Computer > Local Disk (C:) the space went from 0kb to somewhere near 500mb after reboot. I was not prompted of a pending file deletion. The space was "freed" automatically. –  user2348797 May 20 '14 at 12:05
    
did you mean deleted automatically? Please note, you can edit your own questions :) See the edit link in your post –  Dave May 20 '14 at 12:06
    
If the computer deleted files or is just improperly displaying the remaining space I do not know, hence why I ask. But you could say deleted if that is the only way for Windows 7, Local (C:) to display more space. –  user2348797 May 20 '14 at 12:08
    
Do you mean when you restarted, it automatically appeared on screen showing you your hard drive details (free/used space)? I have also edited your question, it was very poor (it wasn't clear), hopefully now it will return some more viewers and get some answers :) –  Dave May 20 '14 at 12:09
    
I gave you a step-by-step walk through of the events that occurred. Hope it helps :] –  user2348797 May 20 '14 at 12:24

2 Answers 2

up vote 0 down vote accepted

Most likely Windows has thrown away old system restore points or shadow copies, which occupy disk space blocks due to their copy-on-write strategy. When using a disk space management tool like TreeSize, shadow copies and restore points are listed in "C:\System Volume Information".

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When you are running low on disk space, the OS(Windows here) will look for possible free space by checking temporary files,or system generated log files, or recycled files and then notify you if any free space can be made. But its upto you what action you want to take, whether you want to cleanup or not.

EDIT:

In your case, i think temporary files are getting deleted. Softwares that generate these files can self clean.

In Windows "Disk Cleanup" does this job. Hope this helps.

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2  
You are not answering the actual question. OP mentioned that free disk space appeared after reboot without any actions from his side. –  smc May 20 '14 at 12:07

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