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Old 2008-04-07, 21:19   Link #1
Z3120
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Can't Delete Files I Can't Find

What the titles says. Something is taking up 1.5 gigabytes worth of space on my HDD where my Windows is on too. It's pretty weird because I'm unable to do a system restore - gives me this message saying it requires 200 megabyte of space - yet the amount of room I was able to make on the HDD was like 15 gigabytes worth, but each time I've tried, the process ends with no success and gives me that message again.

Are there any programs I could use where it'll search my HDD and allow me to delete files from that program?

Also, anyone got any freeware defrag programs to suggest?
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Old 2008-04-07, 21:42   Link #2
Ledgem
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Windows XP? Windows Vista?

You said that you cleared 15 GB, but whenever you try to run a system restore you get the out of space message. Do you still have that 15 GB of space free? Have you tried rebooting your system?
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Old 2008-04-07, 22:51   Link #3
WanderingKnight
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Something like that happened to a friend once, in front of me, and you know what had happened?

*drumroll*

The Recycle Bin. Somehow Microsoft thinks it's fine to make it a folder completely separated from the whole directory tree, which makes it impossible to find if you're really hurting for space and you don't know where to look.

Check your Recycle Bin to make sure you're not still holding something you thought you had deleted.
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Old 2008-04-08, 00:08   Link #4
Fynal_Fyre
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Aside from the recycle bin, did you perchance, hide any folders?

Also, like Ledgem said, do a reboot, then check your recycle bin, check for hidden folders, then go ahead.

As for freeware defrag tools, er, I only know Defraggler and Auslogics

I actually heard about them from a friend, so go check it out.
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Old 2008-04-08, 00:33   Link #5
Z3120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
Windows XP? Windows Vista?

You said that you cleared 15 GB, but whenever you try to run a system restore you get the out of space message. Do you still have that 15 GB of space free? Have you tried rebooting your system?
Windows XP. Forgot to make sure I mentioned it. My bad.

And yeah, I still have that space available. Rebooted the computer the night before but no change even when I filled my HDD down to the last few megabytes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingKnight
The Recycle Bin. Somehow Microsoft thinks it's fine to make it a folder completely separated from the whole directory tree, which makes it impossible to find if you're really hurting for space and you don't know where to look.
Yeah, it's empty.


As for the problem, I just realize what was the cause of it now, but I can't find the solution.

This was when I only had about a gigabyte or two for my main HDD and where my Windows XP is. I was trying to upload a Japanese game onto my computer stored in WinRar onto my computer that required AppLocale to play. I thought I didn't drag it properly to my desktop so I copied the file once more to find out it wasn't a mistake. I ended searching the file I copied with Windows' search option and found it in some sort of temp folder created by Winrar I think. I found it really strange I could only view it here except anywhere else, and it never occurred to me try and cut it paste it elsewhere. Fed up/bored of the game after a few minutes, I decided to delete the file from the Windows' search window to get my space back quickly along with the source file, it's gone too.

Now strangely enough, unless I ain't looking hard enough, with Testdisk, I've tried looking for the files I recently deleted with no luck so I can recover them.

I suppose right now, I have 1.5 gigabytes worth of my HDD unreadable.
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Old 2008-04-08, 01:31   Link #6
bayoab
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Here are a few options you can try and find out if the space is truly missing or if something else is going on:
1) Grab a copy of sequoia view. It will show you what takes up what space on your harddrive and thus you can confirm if the space is still occupied or truly missing from the drive. I don't remember if you can delete here.

2) Grab and boot off a copy of BartPE or NTFSDos and check the file system from within those programs. BartPE has an explorer like interface and NTFSdos is well... DOS. You are able to delete in both of these programs.

I don't recommend this one but I will list this anyway:
3) Grab a copy of a live CD or live DVD for Linux with NTFS read/write (ex: Knoppix).
Boot off the disk, mount the harddrive, and go hunting.
(The reason I say I don't recommend this is last time I used this trick (~2 years ago), the NTFS drivers for writing were so poorly written that the OS recommended against mounting in write mode.)
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Old 2008-04-08, 01:55   Link #7
wnmnkh
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Linux NTFS support has been dramatically improved. My work environment is mix of windows and linux, and so far I have no problems other than naming issue (you know, you cannot have file name like "Bach 1998:15.flac" because windows file system does not like file names with ":")
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Last edited by wnmnkh; 2008-04-08 at 02:12.
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Old 2008-04-08, 02:11   Link #8
Claies
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Have you ran scandisk yet? It should be able to tell you if any file addresses aren't pointing to where they should (or if any hard disk clusters are lacking an address) and such anomalies, and solve said problems most of the time (usually by giving it an address and making it visible, but it's almost always unusable garbage.

Best of luck!
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Old 2008-04-08, 04:47   Link #9
Z3120
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Auslogics disk wipe did the trick in freeing up space, but it's too bad I couldn't choose selectively on what to remove. Oh well, not like I had to recover anything important.

Thanks guys.
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Old 2008-04-08, 10:25   Link #10
EvilMink
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It could be old system restore points, by default they are set to occupy max 12pc of partition volume hiding in the System Volume Information (hidden) folder. Unfortunately there is no possibility to delete them selectively but purge leaving only the last one.
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Old 2008-04-08, 15:55   Link #11
Z3120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilMink View Post
It could be old system restore points, by default they are set to occupy max 12pc of partition volume hiding in the System Volume Information (hidden) folder. Unfortunately there is no possibility to delete them selectively but purge leaving only the last one.
That could be it too. But once I did a disk wipe on my free space, I got the space I lost from the files I tried to extract to my desktop, and mysteriously, much more space than I originally predicted I had freed was there. So that could be it, but I don't think I had that many system restore points before I performed the disk wipe as the most recent ones I ever had available was only, at most, created at the beginning of this year until I did a disk wipe with Auslogics. I'm just very glad I got my precious space back and to the help here.

A combination of laziness to backup and download habits makes me have only a few gigabytes of space available at most.
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Old 2008-04-13, 10:16   Link #12
Renegade334
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BTW, is there a way to see what's inside each partition's 'System Volume Information' folder? At least without resorting to a third-party program but just by using Windows options and commands? (if it's actually possible)

Attempting direct access only earned me an 'access denied' message and I only managed to get in by finding (if you can believe it, through an Ad-Aware full analysis) the location of a folder already deep within the SVI - and from there on it was possible for me to enter and worm my back up. I was surprised to find files I thought I had deleted a long time ago and they led me on a merry deletion spree. By the time I was done wiping everything, I had managed to free nearly three gigas on my 58.44Gb partition, which still makes me wonder how in the nine hecks it happened in the first place.

So, any piece of advice? Thanks.
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Old 2008-04-13, 10:43   Link #13
bayoab
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http://support.microsoft.com/kb/309531
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Old 2008-04-13, 11:12   Link #14
Renegade334
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Ah. Thank you very much for the tips. I'm off now for some belated cleanup. *rolls sleeves*
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