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Confusing Hard Drive Space


24 Jan 2013 3:51PM
I have 2 physical internal hard drives, a 250 Gb HD that holds all the system files, 2nd HD is a Samsung 1 TB sata mostly for storing photos. OS is Win 7 64 bit
If I go into Windows Explorer and select all folders on the Samsung 1Tb drive ( Show All Files is selected in Folder & Search Options) then right click on all files on this drive it shows a total of 451 Gb of files, so does that mean I have approx 549 gb (minus what OS has grabbed for itself) left to play with?.
If I move into the left pane and right click on drive E: (the 1 TB hd) and select properties, the piechart shows Used Space at 827gb and 74 gb of free space. If this is correct then I'll need to look for another Hd sonner than later.

Am I reading things wrong here, perhaps having a senior momentSmile cos Right clicking on ALL Files tells me I have only used 451 gb of space minus whatever the OS grabs for itself, but right clicking on the drive letter tells me I've used 827 gb of space incl' whatever space OS grabs for itself, aand 74 gb free space.

Hope the above makes a bit sense cos I'm no I.T guy, How do I know what which is correct.

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StuartAt Plus
10 1.1k 8 England
24 Jan 2013 4:17PM
A formatted drive will always give you less available space than the drive is billed as. So a 1TB drive will never give 1TB of storage once it has been formatted. That said, your numbers look too out of synch to simply be due to formatting differences. My guess is that you have one or more hidden files (probably system or indexing files) in the root of your E drive that are consuming a large amount of space; when you select the folder, you aren't including these files.

I tend to always unhide system or hidden folders on my machines so I can see everything that is there. You can do this in Win7 64 bit by going to Folder Options (menu in file explorer window) and selecting 'Show hidden files, folders and drives' in the View tab.
justin c 11 4.6k 36 England
24 Jan 2013 4:17PM
Right clicking on the drive letter and selecting Properties gives an accurate reading as to used and free disc capacity.
mikehit Plus
5 7.6k 11 United Kingdom
24 Jan 2013 5:12PM
I would agree with justin. The 'properties' gives the actual availability. The 'show all' may be different due to hidden files etc.
blastedkane 10 66 2
24 Jan 2013 5:18PM
Just a thought, Have you deleted much and have you emptied the trash can, sometimes until the trash can is emptied then windows can register these files on the HD in order to restore at a later date.
24 Jan 2013 7:31PM
System Restore has been turned off on E: drive (1TB), Folder & Search Options is set to View All Files, indexing has been turned off so ALL files on E drive should be visible.

Turning off Windows Search in Services has gained me a little more space. If I right click Drive E then properties I get Used Space 805GB, Free Space 96.2 GB, Capacity 901 GB
If I select all the folders in Drive E: then right click properties the total amount of files is 428 GB I would have thought from the space used by the files on drive E: I'd have about 470 gb free space left and NOT 96 GB
StuartAt Plus
10 1.1k 8 England
24 Jan 2013 7:53PM
You could try using something like this . Not tried it myself, but might give you the answer.
p12owe 2 101 2 United Kingdom
24 Jan 2013 7:59PM
Have you run chkdsk.exe?

I had an identical problem on my drive running windows XP. I ran chkdsk, ticked "fix errors" and hey presto ... found 200gb of missing space!

Might take a while on a 1tb drive but if you definitely have no hidden files, and your not using this disk for your paging file, it's probably worth a worth a try.
24 Jan 2013 8:09PM
I'll give Chkdsk a try and see how it goes, thanks
Bridgelayer 8 582 United Kingdom
25 Jan 2013 8:23PM
Right click on My Computer > Manage > Disk Management and you will find out more accurately, possibly, and if there are any disk errors.
Hope this helps. Smile
25 Jan 2013 11:45PM
Ran chkdsk no errors showing or extra partitions. Ended up just temporary copying all important files photos/music onto the system HD, reformatted the 1 Tb drive (took ages) and all seems to be well again. Reported back 931 gb of free space so were all sorted now. Thanks folks for the suggestions. Photos back where they were and all is well again.
Term 9 85 9 England
8 Feb 2013 12:32PM
if you're continually moving files around on the larger drive, in future mite it be worth a regular defrag ? mite stop this from happening again....
mlewis 10 1.5k United Kingdom
8 Feb 2013 3:17PM

Quote:If you're continually moving files around on the larger drive, in future mite it be worth a regular defrag ? mite stop this from happening again....

Windows 7 does this automatically in the background unless that function is disabled.

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