Where did all my free space go?

User avatar
StuartR
Administrator
Posts: 12706
Joined: 16 Jan 2010, 15:49
Location: London, Europe

Where did all my free space go?

Post by StuartR »

One of my PCs seems to be running out of free space. It runs Windows 7 with Office 2013 and an assortment of other programs, but nothing that usually causes space problems.

When I first installed Windows it took up about 80GB of the 120 GB hard drive. This morning it got down to less than 300MB free space. I have managed to free up about 7GB by deinstalling non critical programmes and deleting temp files, but this is just a temporary holding measure. I've carried out many searches by modification data and file size, but not found where the missing 30+ GB has gone.

I do have weekly Acronis image backups going back a few weeks, so I could just wipe the disk and restore a backup, but there's no easy way to see how much free space there was when each backup was made! Alternatively I could cut my losses and just wipe the hard drive and reinstall everything from scratch.

Any suggestions?
StuartR


User avatar
HansV
Administrator
Posts: 79030
Joined: 16 Jan 2010, 00:14
Status: Microsoft MVP
Location: Wageningen, The Netherlands

Re: Where did all my free space go?

Post by HansV »

Is system protection enabled? If so, what percentage of the hard disk is it allowed to fill?
S0806.png
Have you tried a utility such as WizTree to see what takes up a lot of space?
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Best wishes,
Hans

User avatar
StuartR
Administrator
Posts: 12706
Joined: 16 Jan 2010, 15:49
Location: London, Europe

Re: Where did all my free space go?

Post by StuartR »

Thank you for these suggestions. System Restore is set to a max of 700MB.
I have downloaded WizTree, I'll install and run it soon.

I have just remembered that this computer has offline folders enabled to synchronise data from another PC that holds most of the shared data in the house. I'm off to see if one of the kids has stored something silly there...
StuartR


User avatar
StuartR
Administrator
Posts: 12706
Joined: 16 Jan 2010, 15:49
Location: London, Europe

Re: Where did all my free space go?

Post by StuartR »

EVEN MORE WEIRD. I was investigating the issue, but I'm not aware of having deleted anything significant, and now there is more than 20GB free!

Strange
StuartR


User avatar
StuartR
Administrator
Posts: 12706
Joined: 16 Jan 2010, 15:49
Location: London, Europe

Re: Where did all my free space go?

Post by StuartR »

I'm impressed with WizTree, it would have saved me quite a bit of time by showing that the \Windows\CSC folder is responsible for most of the used space - which might have reminded me about the offline files.
StuartR


User avatar
HansV
Administrator
Posts: 79030
Joined: 16 Jan 2010, 00:14
Status: Microsoft MVP
Location: Wageningen, The Netherlands

Re: Where did all my free space go?

Post by HansV »

It's a neat little utility, and the price is right! I learned about it from Don Sadler, here in Eileen's Lounge: Wiz Tree.
Best wishes,
Hans

JoeP
SilverLounger
Posts: 2089
Joined: 25 Jan 2010, 02:12

Re: Where did all my free space go?

Post by JoeP »

You might try running Disk Cleanup (Control Panel, search "disk cleanup") and use the Clean System Files button to cleanup old Windows patches.

Joe
Joe

User avatar
StuartR
Administrator
Posts: 12706
Joined: 16 Jan 2010, 15:49
Location: London, Europe

Re: Where did all my free space go?

Post by StuartR »

Thank you Joe, that recovered another 3.5 GB. I now have 26GB free out of 120GB, which is acceptable.
StuartR