The case of the missing bytes!!!

  Rigga 13:17 02 Sep 04

Hi all,

I’ve worked in computing for the last 18 years, and I’ve got to admit this has me stumped. It’s probably something simple. Hopefully!!!

Let me explain the problem. OS-XP Pro SP1a using NTFS.

Open windows explorer, and in the left pane, right click the C drive and choose properties. This should give a nice graphical view and text of the space used on the drive. Mine reads,

Used Space: 7,442,649,088 bytes 6.93GB
Free Space: 3,044,581,376 bytes 2.83GB

All well and good. But I get to thinking, there’s only the OS on the C drive, why so much space used. So I go hunting for all the large temporary files etc.. clogging up my drive. But to my amazement I can’t find any.

Now here’s the thing. Using the same explorer window as before, highlight the C drive in the left pane so that the folders are displayed on the right. Select all on the right hand side (All the folders and files) and then right click and choose properties. This gives you the total size of all the selected files and folders. Mine reads

Size: 4.46 GB (4,800,010,950 bytes)
Size on disk: 4.52 GB (4,857,413,976 bytes)

Aha thinks I, it must be the hidden files and folders, so I check that the folder properties size includes hidden files which it does!

So the question is, Where is the missing 2.6GB (Approx)?

Now to further add to the mix, I recently tried to install SP2, but had to uninstall due to the fact the PC wouldn’t boot, it just kept rebooting, which is a separate problem, and I think it has to do with the DEP included with SP2 for AMD64 CPU’s.

So it probably has something to do with the SP2 uninstall maybe leaving files lying around on my C drive. But I just can’t find them! (Or do i just need my eyes testing!)

Anyone any ideas??


  cream. 13:53 02 Sep 04

System restore, by default, hogs 11% of drive space. This is the "C" drive and any partitions you have. If you were to have a 40 gig hard drive partitioned into two 20 gigs, the system restore would hog 2.2gig for each drive. Your drive looks to be just over 10gig, so system restore will be hogging 1.1gig of that "C" drive.

The recycle bin, by default, hogs 9% of drive space. So the recycle bin on yours could be hogging 0.9 gig, whether there is any thing i it or not.

This could account for 2gig missing.

You can resize the system restore settings to what you want, around 300 - 400Mb is not to bad.

The recycle bin can also be reset, right click the bin and pick properties. You will then find all the tools you need there. Mine is set at 1% of hard drive space.

  Rigga 14:11 02 Sep 04

Thanks the village idiot.

You certainly aren't living up to your name!

It seems to have been system restore that was taking all the space, I've adjusted it down to a more reasonable level.

Pesky windows, bring back 3.1 at least I used to know what was going on with my own PC then. ;-).


  cream. 19:59 02 Sep 04

Nice to see you have found your missing bytes.

Now where did I put this weeks beano? ;-)

  Rigga 20:06 02 Sep 04



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