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I have a 1 TB drive which I split into roughly 5 partitions of 200GB give or take. The windows partition ~200 GB last November was fairly heavily used ~150GB and because I was aware of this I have consciously avoided installing anything on this partition since. The partition however kept filling up, ~190 GB. Recently windows update started freaking out with "I'd like to update but space yo" etc. etc. occasionally this would trigger a crash, especially when I was compiling something.

This weekend I got a gap to fix this, so I whack Visual Studio, ~ 5 GB, run clean disk, ~100 MB, and hit defrag. I also found a button to fix windows update so I was hammering on that guy too. Boom I go from from 15 GB free to 30 GB. Somehow I gained 15GB of free space. I was going to wipe the "C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download" folder before I did this and that was ~4GB of data and windows cleared this folder in the process so that explains 4 of the 15GB. Where the heck would I have gained the extra 11GB ?

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    What exactly is your question? There are applications that will give you a visual representation of what is taking your disk space. – Ramhound Jun 24 '19 at 3:10
  • Possible duplicate of How can I visualize the file system usage on Windows? – Ramhound Jun 24 '19 at 3:11
  • @Ramhound thanks for the speedy response, I was more curious about whether or not the defrag would clear up enough space to suddenly give me an extra 11 GB ? it seems odd. It feels more like the page file got moved and freed up some remaining space. I'm just surprised that removing 5GB of stuff essentially gave me an additional 15 GB due, in part, to the removal of cached update files. I was wondering what else would've been cleared off the machine. I suppose it's impossible to say really. – Carel Jun 24 '19 at 10:50
  • It would heavily depend on how you setup your system. It probably doesn't. Using a utility like what Ramhound suggested or the built in clean up tool (which reports the sizes) would probably the easiest to figure out what's taking up that space. – Seth Jun 24 '19 at 11:29
  • Defrag will give you nothing back. That isn't what it does. I would guess either junctions referring to the same directory tree or alternate data streams that weren't showing up when looking at a particular set of files. To really know, you would have needed to take the @Ramhound visualize the file system path before you started but even most of those won't work for alternate data streams. – Señor CMasMas Jun 24 '19 at 19:51
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Defrag will give you nothing back. That isn't what it does. It just shuffles around used blocks.

I would guess either junctions referring to the same directory tree or alternate data streams that weren't showing up when looking at a particular set of files.

To really know, you would have needed to take the @Ramhound link to visualize the file system path before you started but even most of those won't work for alternate data streams

Good luck! :)

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  • I'll snap shot it next time. Thanks for the reply. – Carel Jul 1 '19 at 19:30

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