Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    478
    Thanks
    311
    Thanked 162 Times in 74 Posts

    Computers: Where is my harddrive space going?

    Hey guys. Forgive me for posting this here, but I didn't really want to create a new account on a PC forum I've never been to to find out more info. So hopefully there are atleast a couple computer-savvy people on CA who can help me

    Ok, so my query is rather simple: where is all of my harddrive space going? I've had my computer for about four years now, and, naturally, as I add games and programs to it, the space has been going down. But I've noticed that it keeps going down gradually even when I'm not adding new games or programs. My increasing itunes library is the only thing that has been steadily increasing over the last year and a half or so, and that is only 20 GB.

    Ok, so I'm speaking rather vaguely. Let me clarify some things:
    I empty my recycle bin regularly
    I empty my internet files daily
    My computer self defrags weekly

    Most puzzling to me is this: I have 61.9 GB out of 222 GB as of right now on my C drive. Logic tells me that if I look at the properties of every folder in my C drive, they should all add up to about 160 GB, right? Well, they add up to 123.3 GB. So where is the unaccounted for 37 GB?

    This problem became evident to me months ago, so I looked for ways to free up hard drive space, and I learned to use the "Disk Cleanup" program. I looked at the files I could delete, and apparently I hadn't deleted my computers temporary files ever, so over 4 years I'd accumulated 20 GB. I deleted all of them, but it only freed up about 10 GB of my actual hard drive space! I just did disk cleanup again this morning and deleted 3.2 GB of crap, and, similarly, I only freed up 1.3 GB of real hard drive space. In a reverse situation, I downloaded a 1.9 GB patch for a game, and my harddrive space went from 65 GB to 60.6 GB. I don't know if it was the patch itself or something else happened in the course of yesterday to today, but I have 4.4 GB less space and I can only account for 1.9 of it. wtf?

    So yeah, I realize this isn't a computer forum. But I'd appreciate any help from anybody who is capable
    thanks!
    Last edited by ChristianWeeks; June 3rd, 2010 at 02:26 PM. Reason: adding more info


  2. Hide this ad by registering as a member
  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    225
    Thanks
    63
    Thanked 91 Times in 58 Posts
    I have a possible guess, but obviously I can't say for sure or anything. Have you looked at how big your system restore points are? System Restore can eat up a lot of hard drive space.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    478
    Thanks
    311
    Thanked 162 Times in 74 Posts
    Hmm. I have not, considering I don't know what that is

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    69
    Thanks
    11
    Thanked 66 Times in 18 Posts
    Which cleaning software?

    A free cleaning utility that i frequently (read OCD) utilize : http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner

    Might be worth a shot...

    Some other things that might be contributing :

    System Restore
    Saved Update Files (Upon checking on this recently formatted computer, there are approximately 2.14gb of saved update files). Unless i'm mistaken, these are files which are saved by windows when an update is applied, and can often be deleted without much consequence, one of the few potentially being that if a particular update irks you, or you would otherwise like to "rollback" an update, the saved update files are gone...

    However, a computer of four years could potentially accumulate a rather hefty mass of files...

    And to elaborate, System Restore uses hard drive space to automatically create "backups" of the computer, which in themselves might not be very immense, but the space allocated to this purpose could be rather beefy...

    Another piece of software you might try, http://www.tune-up.com/products/tuneup-utilities/

    Tuneup does occupy some RAM, and silently devour other system resources, (it actively runs), though, it can be a rather handy tool for maintenance...

    It may also be internet files, provided you don't clean them...
    If you're using firefox, press ctrl+shift+delete, click on details, check whichever you would like to clean, select the drop menu, select whichever you care to, and then "clear now"...

    Bear that clearing some of the internet files will delete cookies, and you might be logging into websites again, not a very involved task, potentially, however, if you might forget or not recall passwords or logins for various websites, you might consider the aforementioned, or prepare for cleaning, or something :o...

    Anywho, i hope the aforementioned might be of some potential assistance , luck to you...

    PS. I apologize if i might be taking for granted your fluency with computers and i apologize if my apologizing for potentially taking for granted your fluency with computers somehow inadvertently suggest that i am somehow superior with computer fluency, i don't claim to be, nor would i, i am just trying to assist somehow, no offense intended ...

    Feel free to PM ...
    ...

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Torrance, CA
    Posts
    6,797
    Thanks
    2,276
    Thanked 4,262 Times in 2,074 Posts
    There are a few things.

    Whatever drive size you have is not going to be the full amount you receive.

    When you format a drive part of the allocation has to go to pagefile and indexing. So the larger the drive more of that space will be allocated. http://www.fluther.com/59599/why-don...ied-on-drives/

    In addition, your computer may have a backup partition that is allocated in case your computer goes b0rk. Course if your hdd dies it's useless.

    The other part goes to temporary files when you install programs. A lot of times installation packages do not get erased and eat up hard drive space.

    If you're curious as to see what takes up Hard Drive space, download a program like WinDirStat to see where it's being allocated to.

    http://lifehacker.com/219058/geek-to...rd-drive-usage

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    478
    Thanks
    311
    Thanked 162 Times in 74 Posts
    Haha thanks for your help. Your help is in no way condescending, and considering I'm the one asking for help, I wouldn't have minded if it were.

    I'll look into system restore and saved update files and those programs you showed. But it's not internet files, as I delete them daily. Do you know if there is any particular kind of file or program that wouldn't show up under my C drive but would take its space? I mean, I know that I can find programs and stuff that will help clean up my computer, but I don't think I can clean something up when I can't find it. Where are those 37 GB!? haha

    Similarly, I don't suppose you know why I only get half to less than half of my hard drive space back when i delete something in Disk Cleanup?

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    69
    Thanks
    11
    Thanked 66 Times in 18 Posts
    Yeah, as Arshes Nei mentioned, hard drive manufactures take for granted that "100kb = 1mb, 1000mb = 1gb", etc...

    From : http://www.dslreports.com/faq/9716

    "There is probably nothing wrong. Imagine a world where a "foot" was 12 inches to one person and 11 to another. The only thing common to the two people with yard sticks would be the size of the inch. Their yard sticks placed side to side would be different. There are two gigabytes, two megabytes, and two kilobytes, each meaning something slightly different then its counterpart. It so happens that 2 ^10th power is almost 1000 (it's 1024) and 2 ^20th power is almost 1 million (it's 1,048,576) and 2 ^30th power is almost 1 billion ( it's 1,073,741,824). A kilobyte is 1000 bytes to person counting in decimal and 1024 bytes to a person using the binary representations. The only thing common to the two measurement systems is the size of a byte.

    Your operating system uses both binary and decimal representations of hard drive space depending on where you look. The hard drive manufacturers use the decimal representation. I've seen people complain that HD manufacturers are using the most beneficial numbers to rate their products, but I don't agree with this. If you use the decimal system you know exactly how many bytes your hard drive will hold without having to think about it. If you use the binary representation, you have to do a calculation to figure the exact number of bytes your hard drive will hold.

    Let’s use the example of an 80 gigabyte hard drive. A typical 80 gig will have 80,048,390,144, but Windows will report that as 74.5GB in some places. If we calculate 80,048,390,144/1,048,576 we get roughly 74.55, (binary) gigabytes. A 160 GB drive would be 160,000,000,000/1,073,741,824 or 149.0116119 (binary) gigabytes. To get the values in (binary) megabytes simply divide by 1,048,576."
    ...

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    2,522
    Thanks
    438
    Thanked 437 Times in 209 Posts
    If you often experience crashes whilst working in photoshop, be sure to clean out your temp folder as in these cases photoshop does not delete the temporary cache files. Depending on history states, dimensions of the document and the amount of layers, cache files can eat some space up - I've had ones in the order of 16 GB.
    Brendan Noeth


  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    69
    Thanks
    11
    Thanked 66 Times in 18 Posts
    Sorry to be spamming this thread, you also might consider a hard drive visualization tool, it essentially breaks down which directories occupy what, etc...

    Dunno if it might be of much assistance, but it might be worth a shot...

    Free : http://jgoodies.com/freeware/jdiskreport/

    Also, the saved update files might not appear on the disk usage, as they might be closely guarded by windows (if you're using windows as an OS, for instance...), or otherwise invisible...

    Luck to you, again ...
    Last edited by ws.iono; June 3rd, 2010 at 02:50 PM.
    ...

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Torrance, CA
    Posts
    6,797
    Thanks
    2,276
    Thanked 4,262 Times in 2,074 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by ws.iono View Post
    Sorry to be spamming this thread, you also might consider a hard drive visualization tool, it essentially breaks down which directories occupy what, etc...
    Yep. Already recommended, read my post I listed WinDirStat. (Although my link actually also lists other programs along with the one you mentioned).

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    69
    Thanks
    11
    Thanked 66 Times in 18 Posts
    Sorry about that, Arshes Nei ...
    ...

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Algonquin Land
    Posts
    92
    Thanks
    13
    Thanked 29 Times in 11 Posts
    Indeed file visualization tools are handy to find hidden monsters.

    I like space sniffer a lot.

    Tarc

  14. #13
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    London
    Posts
    14,074
    Thanks
    4,224
    Thanked 6,738 Times in 4,642 Posts
    If you have made a restoration disk it might be time to reformat your hard drive. It's pain reloading all your software, emails, bookmarks, passwords etc, but it will free a lot of space and make it run quicker. 4 years is a pretty long time and there will be tons of clutter that will have accumulated that unless you know what you're doing is hard to get rid of. Ccleaner as mentioned above is pretty good. There is also SpaceMonger to find out what is taking up all that space.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Torrance, CA
    Posts
    6,797
    Thanks
    2,276
    Thanked 4,262 Times in 2,074 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Black Spot View Post
    If you have made a restoration disk it might be time to reformat your hard drive. It's pain reloading all your software, emails, bookmarks, passwords etc, but it will free a lot of space and make it run quicker. 4 years is a pretty long time and there will be tons of clutter that will have accumulated that unless you know what you're doing is hard to get rid of. Ccleaner as mentioned above is pretty good. There is also SpaceMonger to find out what is taking up all that space.
    Actually the better recommendation is to replace the hard drive. After that many years the failure rate goes up now a days (good idea is about 2-3yrs). Of course you can do it with less of a pain with Bart PE and and imaging software for free.

    I'd of course also advise backing up everything important too onto another drive.

    Forgot, you can also at least put the old drives in an enclosure and use them as secondary backups, but remember their age.
    Last edited by Arshes Nei; June 3rd, 2010 at 04:10 PM.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Norfolk VA
    Posts
    336
    Thanks
    141
    Thanked 51 Times in 41 Posts
    If you're using Photoshop and have the C:/ Drive as the scratch disk, this will decimate space over time, I use CS3 still and I know for a fact that my scratch harbors all sorts of memories from the past. I have mine set to a pair of 36GB Velociraptors I copped real cheap and set up RAID, but I still noticed them gaining weight constantly. Also as mentioned before, turn off indexing bro, it is a resource and space hog meant for PCs with simple purposes. Backup and restore is a space killer too, check those options to have each successive backup overwrite the last and make sure it writes to a network location or USB drive. Run that CCleaner and reboot. If you still have bloat, you most likely have an application or process that is storing info regularly. Oddly enough, I've read where the Hibernate function wasn't successfully deleting previous session info and storing it under a weird alphanumeric named file nested in the system folder. This turned out to be the side effect of a malware issue.
    Chipsterology Sketchbook - Open for crits - 24hrs
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=126257
    Twitter: Chipsterology

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    478
    Thanks
    311
    Thanked 162 Times in 74 Posts
    thanks guys this has been very helpful / informative

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 3
    Last Post: October 10th, 2008, 07:50 PM
  2. I got another quick question about computers...
    By JJ McKool in forum Artist Lounge
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: March 27th, 2007, 03:19 PM
  3. Computers
    By bLux in forum Artist Lounge
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: November 26th, 2006, 05:22 PM
  4. Computers and the digital art world
    By Pseudomantia in forum Artist Lounge
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: September 25th, 2006, 04:28 AM
  5. i hate computers (sometimes!!!)
    By robinchyo in forum Art Critique Center
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: October 30th, 2004, 10:54 PM

Members who have read this thread: 0

There are no members to list at the moment.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Designed by The Coldest Water, we build the coldest best water bottles, ice packs and best pillows.