Windows XP Why is Explorer lying about content of System Volume Information on my USB drive?


Senior Member
I am seeking to get rid of unwanted material on my system prior to backing it up. I have been surprised to learn from programs such as Glary Utilities Disk Space Analyzer that I have on my external hard drive F a huge System Volume Information folder--16.32 GB. Windows Explorer tells me when I hover over it that this System Volume Information folder is empty.

I don't know why, but I also have three recycler folders on F (F:\RECYCLER\S-1-5-21-583907252-413027322-1644491937-1003, F:\$RECYCLE.BIN\S-1-5-21-2484592151-740140206-2423288594-500, and F:\$RECYCLE.BIN\S-1-5-21-2125141960-1437340588-1803697834-3250. They appear to be identical with the recycler bin on my internal hard drive C. Windows Explorer is grossly understating the size of those bins.

My biggest concern is this. My toolbox programs tell me that some of the biggest folders and files on my system are in the System Volume Information folder on F. The view that they give me make clear that this folder's contents are largely things I want to get rid of, in fact in many cases copies of things I have already chosen to destroy from F with the shredders of my toolbox programs. But Explorer denies me access to the System Volume Information folder on F. So how do I get rid of the System Volume Information folder on F?

Dell Computer Dimension 2400 (desktop) 2003
Operating System
Windows XP Home Edition (original and pre-installed) 32-bit SP3
reinstalled 02-20-2014
Intel Pentium 4
Northwood 0.13um Technology
2.00GB DDR @ 166MHz (2.5-3-3-7)
Dell Computer Corp. 0G1548 (Microprocessor)
Default Monitor ([email protected])
Intel 82845G/GL/GE/PE/GV Graphics Controller (Dell)
80 GB Seagate ST380011A (ATA) 28 °C
3.94 GBGB Lexar USB Flash Drive USB Device (USB)
500.11 GB HGST USB Device (external hard drive)
Optical Drives
Unimodem Half-Duplex Audio Device
Any harddrive windows sees will default to about 10% recycle unless you tell it not to... the most likly way you got 3 of them on a external drive, was by plugging that drive into someone else computer and then sending something to the trash bin.

Have you got a copy of the xp iso or disc so that you can re-install it from fresh--- if so then thats your best bet at this stage.

So how do I get rid of the System Volume Information folder on F?
Format (after back ups) the drive is the only 100% way but if thats not an option then post a screenshot of it... could be an non-windows issue that we can work around.
Thank you very much for your response, ussnorway. I didn't have a copy of the real XP disc come with my Dell.

I did find my way to System Restore's settings, and I checked there for no System Restore storage on my USB drive. Hopefully that will solve the problem.