Lost 40GB Disc Space of My Hard Drive

80 pts.
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Hard drives
Storage
User account management
How could I recover the disc space? I deleted a corrupt user account, the account was deleted but the amount of data is had, I lost that much memory from my hard disc. Can't see any old files, don't know why I lost 40GB from my hard drive. Please help.

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Ref: Lost 40GB Disc Space of My Hard Drive

I’m again. I should write the query in detail. Please have a look.

Hi,

My only user account got corrupted yesterday and whenever I was logging into it, it used to open with a TEMP profile. Then I made a NEW administrative user account and copied all the data from my OLD account.

That way I could recover 40GB data from my OLD user account.

Now, logging into the NEW user account I deleted the corrupted OLD user account through “Control Panel”> “User account”.

OLD account was deleted, I didn’t let windows keep any files as I already copied earlier. I let windows delete all the files in the OLD account BUT probably nothing was deleted.

Though I can’t see the old account, I didn’t gain 30 GB disk space. As I copied all data from OLD to NEW I already used 40 GB. So after deleting OLD account I should recover 40 GB but donno what happened. Please guide me how to recover 40GB space. Please help.

Well, I have Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition with Service Pack 2.

Thank you,

Discuss This Question: 17  Replies

 
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  • Robert Stewart
    It sounds like you copied data from a corrupted account, created a new account, copied the data to the new account, and then deleted the corrupted account. If this is the case and all of this was done on one computer, you will not see a big gain in hard drive space, especailly if you copied all the data from the corrupted account to the new account, you just moved the data from one account to another, the data is still there and the amount of hard drive space freed up will be minimal.
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  • Sobbhulbhal
    You are right. You got the problem correctly. But could you please help me out with the way to recover the hard drive space? I cannot fix this problem. :(:( Thank you.
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  • Pressler2904
    Let me (possibly) restate the obvious, using some numbers made up for this example: You have a 200GB HDD, with 60GB in use. Your profile is corrupt, so you created a new profile and moved 40GB of data to the new profile from the corrupt profile (total space on the HDD now used = 100GB) You deleted the old profile (and in theory, the original 40GB worth of data), but your disk usage is still at or about 100GB. If this is indeed correct, try first setting the windows swap file (virtual memory) to 0MB (providing you have at least 1GB RAM in your system), restart the system and defragment. Set the swap file back to your preferred amount (usually, but not always "Let Windows manage...") and restart again. What is your total disk usage now? If this does not work, more in depth diagnostics may be called for: keep us posted.
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  • Sobbhulbhal
    Adding to "Pressler2904 | Jun 2 2008 5:07PM GMT" Really very nice explanation of the problem. Really very lucid. I should have explained in that way. Many thanks to you guys for spending time on my problem. Well, I have 120GB hard drive with 1Gb RAM. Previously, disk used space was approximately 50GB now it became 90GB. Lost approximately 40GB. Now, following your steps, from the "System Properties" I changed the "virtual memory" (Initial was: 1524MB and Max available was: 3048MB) to 0 MB. Then restarted the system and defragmented. Then I changed the "virtual memory" setting to the previous amounts in MB. I gained approximately 500MB only. So, it's for sure that the problem is not fixed by this way. Please guide me how it can be fixed. Thank you again.
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  • Vlvpk
    Hi, In Windows XP one option is there called System Restore feature which will create restored points to track the changes in Windows. Which will occupy the space. If you doesn't have any OS issues except this space issue. U can go ahead and turn off the this, so that it may resolve ur issue. Note: if u turn off System Restore you can no longer restore Windows XP to an earlier time. When you turn on System Restore, Windows XP creates restore points to track changes in Windows. After you turn on System Restore, you can restore Windows to the time of the earliest available restore point. To do this pls go through the below link. I hope this will for u. Thanks Vlvpk
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  • Vlvpk
    Hi, Sorry it's not publishing properly Pls go through the below link http://support.microsoft.com/kb/310405
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  • Sobbhulbhal
    Adding to " Vlvpk | Jun 3 2008 5:48AM GMT " Hi, I also thought that probably it's due to system restore points. I already deleted all the restore points. I usually delete old restore points and keep the latest one. So, I deleted but gained only approximately 1GB space. Well, in my system I have kept the the disk space usage for "restore points" as 7% (in my case which is 7913MB). So, whatever be the case probably, I might gain max of 7GB. Then where did the other space go ? :(:( May be I am wrong in this regard. Please suggest me what to do.
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  • Robert Stewart
    I'm still confused, if you copied the data from the corrupt profile to the new profile there is going to be minimal gain in space. If you deleted the data and then did not copy it to a new profile I would then say you will gain some hd space. If you copy and delete 40 gb from one profile to another profile you have really not deleted anything, you only moved it so there will be a minimal space gain. If on the other hand you deleted and did not copy the 40 gb to new profile then I would say you should see 40 gb gain in free space. Someone please tell me if this assumption is wrong. My point is that if you copied the 40gb of data over to the new profile you will not gain any space, just the copied data in a new profile on the same hard drive.
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  • Robert Stewart
    I think the confusion is where the data is stored, most application data is not stored in a profile, one way to check the difference between the two is to go into the properties of the user profile and see how big the profile is, then check this against how much space is used on the hard drive. I guarantee the used space on the hard drive is bigger than the user profile.
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  • Pressler2904
    One way to make sure that the space is regained is to back up the required data (40GB +/-) and "nuke and pave" your system (format the hard drive and re-install the O/S and applications), and then restore your data. Sort of a brutal way to resolve the issue, but it works... If you don't feel that such a drastic measure is required, there is a program called "Spacewatch Pro", available as a fully functional download (30 days) from Sharpeware (http://www.sharpeware.com/html/downloads). Use it to analyze your hard drive and see what and where your largest files are. It may be that the MSIE log file (index.dat) has grown too large (there will be several copies, at least one for each profile on the system, including "default user"). You will need to go to the command line to remove them, as Windows will not allow you to. Also, do a thorough cleaning of all temp and otherwise unnecessary files on your system (for ALL profiles). Look at the size of your default user and all user profiles: perhaps one of them has grown overly large (I've seen profiles as large as 20GB; there is usually no upper limit on size unless disk quotas are enabled). Since you've deleted swap, defragged and deleted restore points, I would have to agree that your issue does not lie with the profile itself, but with data (valid or otherwise) outside the "normal" structure. Are you confident that there is not data hidden in an alternate data stream (unlikely) or that you have not been "rooted" (also less than likely)?
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  • Sobbhulbhal
    Adding to "Pressler2904 | Jun 3 2008 6:23PM GMT" Thank you all again. No I haven't kept the data any where. Let me give you how I can find the inconsistency regarding the total space. I have only one drive (named "C") In the folder option I have enabled the option to show the hidden files also. Now, after opening "my computer" when I see the properties of "C:" drive, it shows the following Total 106GB Free 16GB, So I'm using 90GB. Now as I mentioned that I can see the hidden files also. So when I click "C" drive then the disk opens and shows "Documents and Settings", "WINDOWS", "Program Files".. etc etc folders and a couple of hidden files too. Now if I select all the items and try to see their properties, it shows me that total space is taken 50GB. But surprisingly, when I right click on a black space (inside "C" folder) I can see the total space taken is 90GB. I don't know where the rest 40GB is. Well, formatting the last thing I would try. Actually, I have some softwares installed in my machine for which I don't have the backup CD's. Those are not free-wares that's why I don't want to do that. Please suggest me something. I'm sure that I haven't kept the data any where. It's my laptop which is playing the game. Thank you all again.
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  • Vlvpk
    Hi Sobbhulbhal, As u said that u have enabled the option to show the hidden files, Which will show u the hidden files only, not the system files. To view this u have to uncheck the Hide protected operating system files in the folder options. So that u can see the hidden system files also. Now u can select all files and check for the used space. Note: If you doen't have access to some folders like system volume information ( Even ur the administrator ) it will show u the used space for this folder as 0 bytes. Hope this will for u Thanks Vlvpk
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  • Robert Stewart
    Again I'm confused in your previous posts you stated you copied data from a corrupted profile to a new profile what are you expecting to gain? You deleted from the corrupted profile but copied the same data to the new profile. Is all this being done one machine (hardrive)? If so, again you will not gain anything, just for numbers sake look at this 100G HD (no free space available all 100G is being used), You then copy 40G of data from a profile on this HD to an external drive, then delete the 40G of data from 100 G HD, now you should have 40G of free space on said HD (60G is being used), now you copy the 40G from the external drive to same HD but to a new profile, the HD will then be back to 100G. Unless I"m completely off base, if so please someone tell me.
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  • Sobbhulbhal
    Adding to "Robert Stewart | Jun 4 2008 3:11PM GMT, Again I’m confused in your previous posts you..." Please let me explain again the problem to you. I'll take help from "Pressler2904 | Jun 2 2008 5:07PM GMT" because it was really very lucid. Let us use some numbers made up for this example: I have a 200GB HDD, with 60GB in use. My profile is corrupt, so I created a new profile and moved 40GB of data to the new profile from the corrupt profile So, total space on the HDD now used = 60GB + 40GB = 100GB. Now, I deleted the old profile (and in theory, the original 40GB worth of data) so my disk usage should be =100GB - 40GB = 60GB, BUT my disk usage is still at or about 100GB. This is the problem. Please think again and please let me know if you have any clue.
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  • Robert Stewart
    Yes but you stated you copied the 40G back to a new profile on same HD if you delete 40G from a HD and then copy 40G to the same HD, the result in used HD space is the same, it is just in a different location than it was previously. This is the clue, you have just copied the same 40G of data you deleted from the old profie to a new profile so used HD space and available HD space will be the same. You might see a slight gain because cookies, favorites, documents, this is the kind of stuff that is stored in user profiles and with a new profile there should be little if any of these files utilized until you use the new profile. Unless you used the File and Settings Transfer Wizard which will copy this stuff into a new profile. Hope this makes sense to you because it really is just a simple Math problem. You will not gain any HD space if all information in previous posts is correct.
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  • Sobbhulbhal
    Adding to "Pressler2904 | Jun 3 2008 6:23PM GMT .. One way to make sure..... “Spacewatch Pro”" Thanks Pressler2904. I downloaded Spacewatch Pro. And I could see a lot of duplicate folders. But I'm not able to delete any duplicate one. Even in command line when I typed "dir /s /b " it does not show me the files or folders but the space watch is showing me the duplicate folders and files. Let me give u a real example of this; means what spacewatch is showing to me: The name of my pc is SD. I have only one drive "C". In my OLD profile's my videos I had a folder "Tom and Jerry". I copied that to my NEW profile along with all other data. Now, spacewatch shows the count for that folder as 2. That means this item has been duplicated but it is showing the same path for both. \\ SD\ C$\ Documents and Settings\ New\ My Documents\My Videos\ Tom and Jerry. Now when I tried to delete the files in it it says, "can't read from the source." As I mentioned I tried from command lines. It's not even showing any duplicate items. Can I delete them in any other ways through command lines?
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  • Pressler2904
    You should see two entries in SWP (Space Watch Pro): 1. C:\documents and settings\%old profile%\My Documents\My Videos\%file name% 2. C:\documents and settings\%new profile%\My Documents\My Videos\%file name% I do understand that SWP is showing two entries; what puzzles me is that you state that the two entries show the same path (????) If you are getting a "cannot read from source" error, it usually indicates either a locked disk (unlikely for a WinXP installation's hard drive), corrupt files (which usually but not always will not be able to be copied at all), or a failed/failing HDD. Because of the history we've been discussing, I would suspect that the files themselves may be corrupt. Now this may be due to software/file/OS corruption, or it could be hardware related. What brand and how old is your HDD? To be honest, this is an issue I would need to see in person to really be able to diagnose effectively any further, as there are several tools I'd normally pull out of my magic bag at this point..... Try to obtain or create an Ultimate Boot CD for Windows or a BartPE CD and see if you can access the HDD externally. If so, see if you can identify what issue(s) might actually be occurring here. That's what I would do next. Pending I could not delete duplicate files that way (and pending I did not see evidence of a root kit - tool(s) also available on the current UBCD4Win distribution), I would verify the integrity of the HDD and memory to make sure that your "foundation" is secure before doing any additional work.
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