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I have quite of a problem.

I have a 120GB SSD with two logical drives. One of them is a system one, 106GB in size. It has about 70GB of files and folders (incl. pagefile.sys and hiberfil.sys).

I've tested it with a bunch of third-party software (WinDirStat, DiskState, Folder Size) and within Windows Explorer itself with "Hide protected operating system files" unchecked. It's ~70GB of a useful files and therefore about 36GB of free space, that's no doubt.

But in fact Windows Explorer (along with DiskState and Folder Size) claim that the actual usage is about 93GB and about 13GB of free space. In other words, sum of files surely is 70GB but disk usage is 93GB. WTF

In fact, it was about 101GB, but I was able to reclaim some of space by cleaning Windows update cache (perhaps I shoulda mention that I was updated recently to 22H2 and downloaded a whole bunch of updates). So far I have no files in Recycle Bin, no update cache, no restore points. I basically don't know where I could bring back another 23GB of space (from 93 to normal 70), it's driving me crazy. I've tried about everything.

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  • Windows Explorer (properties of a disk) is a pretty poor way of determining the amount of free space your disk has. Lots of reasons, most, have to do with permissions. You’re running these tools as an Administrator? How about screenshots? You likely have recently installed a feature update or are installing a feature update. Does Windows.old exist on your system. Can you provide a screenshot, as an Administrator, of the Cleanup Tool?
    – Ramhound
    Nov 21, 2022 at 22:49
  • Sure, you can see the screens here: imgur.com/a/Qyq7RTl Funny thing: why the hell hibernate file is about 32GB (my RAM is 32GB by the way) while it's actually about 14GB based on any software incl. third-party? And I'm not quite qure that the hell is "reserved storage", I've never had one before let alone so huge Nov 21, 2022 at 22:56
  • I get the same answer for Free Space from Windows 11 Pro File Explorer, xPlorer2 (Zabkat) and Tree Size Professional (Jam Software). Look for something like a hidden backup or like large file.
    – John
    Nov 21, 2022 at 23:06
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    “why the hell hibernate file is about 32GB” - Edit your question to include a screenshot with the current page file configuration. It’s simple enough to get the hibernate file to delete itself but it will come back as long as it’s enabled. Anything relevant to your question should be added to your question in the form of an edit. 28 GB for Windows is typically and around the space requirements for Windows 64-bit
    – Ramhound
    Nov 21, 2022 at 23:14

1 Answer 1

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Funny thing: why the hell hibernate file is about 32GB (my RAM is 32GB by the way) while it's actually about 14GB based on any software incl. third-party?

It looks like your hibernate file is a so-called sparse file. It has a reserved size of 32 GB but is only using 14 GB out of it.

Maybe your operating system only needed 14 GB because that was the maximum RAM used during your operating system hibernation operation. The difference auf 32 GB -14 GB = 18 GB would already explain a lot of your unexplainable difference of 93 GB -70 GB = 23 GB.

https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/win32/fileio/sparse-files

You could try to disable hibernation and delete the hibernation file to see if my assumption is wrong.

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