C drive Disk space missing on windows 7

  • Yeasir

    My windows drive is 20 GB. I have very few programs installed, consuming not more than 1GB on that drive. But for some reason windows is showing 19 GB used.

    I have been searching all over for weeks now. I searched may sites including this blog....all saying it's either the page file/hibernation file/backup & restore/system protection files etc. etc. But i am sure in my case it's not any of these above.

    i used TreeSize Free to scan the drive, it shows only 3.4 GB space is occupied. So what ate my remaining 16 GB???!!!

    Need expert suggestion...is it any virus? I have scanned whole PC with the fully updated NOD32 antivirus program...no clue...

  • Answers
  • who.knows

    If you say that the entire partition is only 20GB, I would say Windows7 is the culprit in this case, since it already needs about 16-20GiB of Space itself.

    And that is only when you first install it, due to upgrades and eventually utility programmes, it will grow even larger, so you should consider giving it a little more space.

  • Ashtray

    That shouldn't be any virus, especially after scanning the PC. Please, give it a shot and have a look one more time using cmd command:

    dir C:\ /AH

    And see the output. Look for hiberfil.sys, pagefile.sys and such.

    Have a look at this post as well. There seems to be a System protection thing in Win7 which can build up previous versions of files in case you ever need to restore them.

  • Related Question

    windows 7 - Hard drive space issue
  • jay

    I have a single hard drive split into 2 partitions:

    • Drive C: 16 GB for Windows installation
    • Drive D: 580 GB for Programs Files and Media

    The C drive is now almost full. Using TreeSize, I see that the main offenders are:

    • c:/windows/winsxs
    • c:/program files/common files/adobe
    • the page file and hibernation file

    Is it naive to allocate only 16GB to the C drive? What's a recommended size given a 600 GB drive? And more importantly how can I resize the C partition without losing data on either?

    Extra info: Windows 7 32 bit, NTFS on both partitions, system restore points and backups don't exist on C drive, I'm installing Visual Studio 2010 (and need more space on C drive than the drive I'm indicating it to install to -- darn common files)

  • Related Answers
  • Tom Wijsman

    Been there, done that, didn't like it...

    You can move the common files to the D: drive with NTFS Junction points, you could also decrease the page file a bit as that won't hurt either and give up hibernation if the difference between a normal boot is not that high. WinSxS might decrease by uninstalling software and removing the 'ehome' things if you don't use the Windows Media Center.

    If your using one disk you shouldn't be using partitions in the way you are doing now, it decreases the performance if it needs to switch between the two partitions a lot.

    The 16 GB should be fine for above suggestions, but then I would rather take 20 GB just to be sure. 50 GB as suggested by Cheesebaron is too much (if you keep my first alinea in mind) as Windows will never grow to that size. A suggested size would be one partition of 600 GB as partitioning would only be useful if you want to move files you barely use away to the slower end of the disk, like big ISO files...

    You shouldn't be thinking of separating in the terms of your system folders, but in terms of everything contained in your user folder. Just ignore everything that's outside of your user folder as you end up running out of space like now and into performance issues. The user folder and the permissions outside of it have been invented so people don't place items outside of it and mess around with the system itself.

    Extending the partition is tricky and dangereous, be sure to have a back-up to be sure. It will be very hard as you need to move the start of the second partition which isn't supported so you will have to remove the partition and create it again.

  • Mokubai

    I would have to say that 16GB is rather small for a modern Windows based operating system.

    From the Microsoft Windows 7 Requirements page, the minimum recommended specifications are the following:

      1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
      1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
      16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
      DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver

    Which suggests that that is what is required before you start installing your own programs. I would give windows 50-100GB to give myself space to install whatever programs I might consider useful, and also keeping in mind that temporary internet files and other rubbish will get stored on that partition..

    Windows 7 has a pretty cool partition resizing ability, but I'm not sure how easy it it going to be to enlarge your system partition...

    You may end up having to use a GParted live cd or one of ChrisF's suggestions.

  • Jason Ritzke

    Your first and third offenders you can't do much about, But before you repartition you can definitely do something about Adobe (which is a HOG). Just uninstall it, delete the offending folder, then reinstall it somewhere else. It's an option to try before you do a partition resize.

  • ChrisF

    There are several tools that claim to be able to resize partitions without losing data.

    Partition Tool is one, this page has a list of others.

    I haven't used any myself, so you'll need to do some more research on the ones listed. With some names you should be able to get more information.

  • Mehper C. Palavuzlar

    Firstly, I recommend you to shrink Volume D and create some space (let's say 50 GB) to be added to Volume C. To do that, you need to defragment Volume D first. Then you can use Windows 7's "Create and format hard disk partitions" feature. Right click on Volume D and select "Shrink Volume". Then enter the amount of space to shrink in MB. This window will also show you the size of available shrink space. You cannot shrink a volume beyond the point where any unmovable files are located. If you have trouble here, you can use a 3rd party disk partition tool. After this process is done, right click on Volume C and select "Extend Volume". Now you can increase the size of your primary drive adding the extra space you just split from Volume D without losing your data.

  • Ray

    Get a live linux such as ubuntu and resize the partition with the included Gparted(free}. Partition magic and Acroonis Disk Suite will do you justice also ($$).

  • Cheesebaron

    I would probably have 50 GB for the Windows OS and just allocate the rest for programs and other stuff.

    WinSXS folder will always be very large because it stores multiple versions of DLL files and other system files in order to be compatible with most applications.

  • mcha

    if you choose only 16GB for c:/ try to install programs in another path than c:/program files/

  • kokbira

    Well, I would use 1/2 for C: and 1/2 for D:

    To resize partitions, I would use Qparted from a Linux Live CD.

    But you can also use your partitions as is: - installing only "default" programs (like MS Office, Adobe Reader...) in C:
    - redirecting your "My documents" to D:\documents
    - redirecting your desktop to D:\desktop (use TweakUI)
    - installing simple programs, games etc. in D:\programs
    - setting Thunderbird, Firefox, Trillian etc. to redirect its Application data to D:\appdata
    - creating D:\portable and putting your portable apps there
    - using more portable apps :)

    So when you do some frequent Windows maintenance (like a 3-month formatting task), your documents and apps will be safe. And you will be ready to use cloud computing ;)