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2,862 Tutorials

Low Disk space on partition

How to find out what is filling up a drive on your PC

If a drive partition on your PC or laptop is filling up when you don't knowingly store anything in it, the chances are a rogue utility is populating that drive. Here's how to find out what is causing your drive to fill up, and how to clear space.

QUESTION My HP Pavilion laptop reports low disk space on drive D, which is the HP Recovery partition. It's 9.47GB in size, but only 32MB is free. Why is this partition filling up, when nothing is knowingly stored there? Buel

HELPROOM ANSWER HP's recovery system won't add files to the partition once it has been created, so it sounds as though another utility is using drive D. Browse the partition in Windows Explorer to see whether any filenames listed are a clue to what utility is responsible.

If you don't see any extra files, they may be hidden. To reveal hidden files and folders, open Windows Explorer and press Alt to bring up the File menu. Click Tools, Folder Options, then select the View tab and select the relevant option. You could also turn off ‘Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)'. Windows will give you a warning about this, but go ahead and be sure to reverse the setting after you've completed your investigations.

Likely culprits are backup programs, such as Windows Backup and Recovery or Norton Backup, which you may find are configured to store files on a drive other than the PC's primary disk.

If you're not sure what the extra files are, move them to another drive rather than simply deleting them.

Drive space

See all How to articles. Get free tech support in the Helproom Forum.

Visit Windows 7 Advisor for more Windows advice. Or email our Helproom Editor for bespoke advice.

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