System Properties mis-reporting used disk space?

65 pts.
Tags:
Hard drives
System monitoring
Vista
I am using Windows Vista (32-bit) on my computer. Lately, I have noticed that the reported "used space" on my hard drive (via right-click/properties) keeps rising dramatically while I add very little to my computer. I then made sure that I had turned on options to show system files and hidden OS files so that I could add up the used space. What I found is that all of the files on my computer added together total 44.2 GB, while the usual right-click on the C-drive (selecting Properties) reports that I have used 65.2 GB. I re-checked the math and the folders and still come up with a 21 GB difference - almost 1.5 times the size of what the files/folders add up to. Does anyone have ANY idea what could be happening or why the difference is so large? I am at a loss, but I'm also concerned that this may spell trouble of a different type since it looks like it deals with the OS somehow. Many thanks in advance.
ASKED: July 4, 2008  4:31 AM
UPDATED: July 7, 2008  2:29 PM

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It could be any number of things.

The most likely cause is you have a lot of system restore points. That data is stored in the system recovery folder. You don’t actually get access to that folder so when you add up all the used space in the folders the number will be different than that amount of spaced reported as used on the physical disk.

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