Windows 7 Hard drive space

#1
Hi,
I have a question about how drive space is reported by Windows 7. I just installed an upgrade - custom - and have not installed a great deal of software yet. But I noticed kind of a disparity in the space available vs the space used.

I have a 140G HD notebook. The Windows folder shows approx 9G used. I have Norton Internet Security, and Firefox...that's it. No data is stored. When I view the disk properties, it shows I have 90G free of the 140G HD. Also, I quickly checked the properties of the remaining folders, and none exceeds 1G. The Recovery Drive is only 10G.

Where is all the space being utilized?
If something is not right, where do I look?

Thanks,

Jake
 


#2
You may want to set your Explorer to be able to view hidden and system files to see everything. You can use the Disk Cleanup Utility to remove unnecessary files. You most likely have a Windows.old folder at root that can be safely removed with it, amongst other things.

Hidden Files and Folders - Show or Hide - Windows 7 Forums

Ccleaner is a 3rd party, highly respected and much used system cleaner as well.
 


#3
I should have thought about (but didn't) hidden files, but I have already removed the Windows.old folder.

I will give the hidden files/folder a shot...

Thanks,
J
 


#4
You may want to set your Explorer to be able to view hidden and system files to see everything. You can use the Disk Cleanup Utility to remove unnecessary files. You most likely have a Windows.old folder at root that can be safely removed with it, amongst other things.

Hidden Files and Folders - Show or Hide - Windows 7 Forums

Ccleaner is a 3rd party, highly respected and much used system cleaner as well.
I "unhid" the files/folders and there was no difference.
I have also used CC in the past, but there is no way it is going to find that much on a new install....

Thanks again,
Jake
 


patcooke

Microsoft MVP
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Microsoft MVP
#6
You probably have a few GB stored in recovery partition which will be hidden.

Another problem when looking at disk size is the fact that hardware talks in terms of a K being 1,000 and a million being 1,000,000. Software defines 1K as 1024 and 1M as being 1024 x 1024. So for example a hardware definition of 20MB is 20,000,000 but in software terms this is 20,000,000 divided by (1024 x 1024) which is 19.07MB - you seem to have lost 1MB! Sorry the numbers get a bit messy but if you've managed to follow this you can see how GB can "disappear".
 


#7
You probably have a few GB stored in recovery partition which will be hidden.

Another problem when looking at disk size is the fact that hardware talks in terms of a K being 1,000 and a million being 1,000,000. Software defines 1K as 1024 and 1M as being 1024 x 1024. So for example a hardware definition of 20MB is 20,000,000 but in software terms this is 20,000,000 divided by (1024 x 1024) which is 19.07MB - you seem to have lost 1MB! Sorry the numbers get a bit messy but if you've managed to follow this you can see how GB can "disappear".
I kinda' see what you're saying, but as it stands, I seem to be missing about 28G with only Windows, Firefox and Norton Internet Security installed on a 140G HD. Even on the basis of the math you illustrate, I am still missing something here.

Is there any chance that a scandisk might turn up something?

Jake
 


patcooke

Microsoft MVP
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Microsoft MVP
#8
Have you looked at your hard drive from within control panel:

Control Panel, Administrative Tools, Computer Management, Storage, Disk Management.

See what that tells you about your disk space in real terms and how it is allocated.
 


#9
Have you looked at your hard drive from within control panel:

Control Panel, Administrative Tools, Computer Management, Storage, Disk Management.

See what that tells you about your disk space in real terms and how it is allocated.
OOPS! I think I am about to get red-faced, here. When I looked at first view, all seemed as I thought. But before I left, I read what is included under the description for C: - I forgot completely about the pagefile.sys and hiberfil.sys.

Thanks much for getting me in the right direction. I though I was going nuts!!
Best regards,
J
 


patcooke

Microsoft MVP
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Microsoft MVP
#10
Glad to hear you've sorted it.

Just a couple of extra thoughts - on these two files you've identified.

If you don't use hibernation you can get rid of hiberfil.sys - goto programs, accessories, command prompt, right click and run as administrator and then the following command in the command screen:

powercfg -h off

Pagefil.sys is used by the system to page RAM to and from disk if you are short of RAM. Depending on how much RAM you have and what sort of programs you run you may or not need pagefile (I've deleted mine completely). If you want to save this space you can do so by going to control panel, system, click on advanced system settings in the left panel, performance settings, advanced tab, virtual memory, click on change, and select "no paging file" on all drives. If you subsequently find you need it you can just change it back. It's worth knowing that some programs use the pagefile needlessly causing unnecessary disk swapping.
 


Last edited:
This website is not affiliated, owned, or endorsed by Microsoft Corporation. It is a member of the Microsoft Partner Program.