I am facing low disk space issue from last few days. I checked with Restore,System Volume Information, $Recycled folders. But there is nothing which is occupying space. I had scanned my system for virus too.

Total size of C: is 18 GB. But when I select all folders inside C: and query for used space, it shows 20+ gb space is used.

I vacate space some how by deleting temp files, program's cache files, disk clean up etc up to (3 gb). And I ensured that no cache/temp files are recreated who can use the space again.

Even after cleaning so much data, I am again facing low disk space issue. Something is eating disk space within 15-20 mins.

  • As in Total Size, you mean 18GB of free space right? Because 20G of free space shouldn't fit inside of 18
    – cutrightjm
    Apr 15, 2012 at 2:53
  • If it is eating up disk space in a short time, viewing the resource monitor Disk Tab might reveal something. Viruses will sometimes use the temp location, as a base of repetition. On the other hand system restore finds a hole and fills it, and the recycle bin is self cleaning of older files. Any way you look at it, finding out what it is.
    – Psycogeek
    Apr 15, 2012 at 2:58
  • @ekaj, 18GB is capacity of drive and 20+ gb is used space(when i select all files and press alt+enter). looks strange but it is.
    – noquery
    Apr 15, 2012 at 3:13
  • possible duplicate of How can I visualize the file system usage on Windows? Apr 15, 2012 at 4:40

5 Answers 5


Check out Process Monitor utility from Sysinternals Suite and see what files are being written to.

Also try WinDirStat to see graphically what is taking up so much space.

Here is a good post listing many alternative disk space visualizer tools: How can I visualize the file system usage on Windows?

  • +1 for suggesting some good tools for analysis. Will update soon if i find solution or cause.
    – noquery
    Apr 15, 2012 at 3:23
  • WinDirStat helped me to find out the cause. It is BitDefender Threat Scanner who eaten my HDD space :(. I am about to delete all last updates.
    – noquery
    Apr 15, 2012 at 3:48
  • 1
    +1 for WinDirStat. Coincidentally, I'm currently running it to find out where my HD space has gone. Apr 15, 2012 at 3:50

Check out Spacemonger. It's a great easy to use utility with a really cool graphical representation of the space used on your drive. I use it all the time to quickly assess what's going on with my drives.

Could very well be the hibernate file or the page.sys file.

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  • 1
    similar to windirstat, but I like this too.
    – Rob
    Apr 18, 2012 at 15:17

I just resolved a similar problem on my Windows 7 system. It was allocating huge sections of storage on my C drive that stayed around and continued to grow. It had reached twice the size of the storage I was actually using. I found an online article about shadow copies. This can be managed using the VSSADMIN command from the Command Prompt run as administrator. First list the shadow storage. It will show the space used and the maximum for each volume on the system. VSSADMIN can be used to delete shadow copies and reset the limit. Windows was using 300GB for shadow copies and had an unbounded limit on my C drive. I reset the maximum to a reasonable value and deleted the existing shadow copies. This fixed my problem. See https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc754968(v=ws.10).aspx for information on the VSSADMIN command.


A common and often unknown problem with Windows 7 is the hibernation mode. If you don't use hibernation, you should disable it, as Windows will keep a file equal or larger to you RAM on your disk at all times called hiberfil.sys. I had a big problem with this on a machine with a 60gb boot SSD but 48gb of RAM.

There are plenty of guides out there on how to disable it. Try this one: How to Disable Hibernate


In this day and age and with modern O/S'S, (eg Windows 7 as you are using), you really can't be "gigabyte pinching". The truth these O/S's are CPU hungry, memory hungry, and harddisk hungry. The pagefile alone is default 8gb (C:\pagefile.sys) and C:\hiberfil.sys is 6gb.

Don't play with these. Though they can be modified, the performance loss is not worth it.

Get a bigger harddisk.

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