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Windows showing 700Gb hardrive as having 3Mb of total space and 0Mb free. Exactly 0Bytes of space, no files can be saved.

Last response: in Windows 8
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February 23, 2014 7:05:25 AM

This is a long and complicated issue to explain. And I think there is probably going to be a long and complicated answer if anyone can find one

I recently found all of the files on my computer corrupted. When I look in My Computer the hard drive shows up as being 0Mb free of 3Mb, it is a 700Gb hard drive. This means that any files that were on the computer are unopenable. Any important data was backed up to the cloud so that wasn't too much of an issue. However I have now realised that I can't save any data.

I have recently bought a 1TB Seagate hard drive, now I want to use that instead. I want to do a clean reinstall of windows on the second hard drive, However, I don't have a product key, since windows came with the computer. I have tried to use tools that are around to extract the key from the system, however they require space on the primary HD, which I don't have on the primary drive. So I downloaded the EXE on my second PC and put it onto a USB stick. When running the EXE on my broken PC I get an error because the EXE has to create a file to work, which can't happen because there is no space on the first hard drive. I have tried changing the letter for the local disk to something other than C: and setting the second, working hard drive to C: but that throws an error saying 'The parameters were incorrect' After googling I found that people advice using third party software, but again, that requires files to be created which can't happen.

I can't use the reset or reinstall feature built into windows 8 as it says there are 'missing files' There are tutorials on the web that say I should download and teh files and put them in the correct place, however, I cant do that because I have no space.

This is a big issue since the computer is my primary PC, my second one is old and feeble, it's important that I get my high end PC back.

Any ideas are welcome, thank you!


Cant save files
Hard drive appears as having total space of only 3Mb and exactly 0 Bytes of space free.
a b * Windows 8
February 23, 2014 7:59:53 AM

The product key should be on a sticker on the computer.
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Best solution

a b * Windows 8
February 23, 2014 8:03:23 AM

Hi



You probably have 3,choices
Boot up from a bootable disk to run hard disk diagnostics
Remove drive use USB to sata bridge cable or tray
Or fit inside another PC


To check for physical damage before trying to run disk management to look at partitions, then run chkdsk on currupted partition

Or if you can boot up windows can you schedule chkdsk c: for next reboot ?

Nirsoft.net have a tool to pick up keys of windows, office etc from any c:\windows you point to
It looks for registry files, registry key then decrypts required information
But with windows from major company's the key relates to windows from that manufacturer and probably won't work with other brand or Microsoft versions


Next what sort of windows 8 disk do you have :-
manufacturers oem ,
Microsoft system builder oem
or retail or retail upgrade

Also if you are able to boot up off this hard drive are there several partitions?
As if c: corrupted you would not be able to boot up

Regards
Mike Barnes
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February 23, 2014 8:11:46 AM

noidea_77 said:
The product key should be on a sticker on the computer.


There is indeed, however, when installing it says the key is invalid, I think that is because the PC came originally with Windows 7 and I upgraded to Windows 8.
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a b * Windows 8
February 23, 2014 8:22:11 AM

Did you purchase a Windows 8 Upgrade or Full Edition? If an upgrade, then you will need to re-install Windows 7 using the product key on the sticker and then upgrade to Windows 8. If you purchased the full version of Windows 8, then you can just use the product key that came with that purchase.

Here is a link to the various Windows 7 ISOs for re-installing Windows 7. This plus your product key should get you back in business. Just be sure to download the version of Windows 7 that was initially installed (Starter, Home Premium, Pro, Ultimate and 32- or 64-bit).

-Wolf sends
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February 23, 2014 8:41:48 AM

I have decided to plug the good hard drive on my broken PC to the PC I am using now. I will then install windows 8 to that, and thanks to mBarnes86 giving the Nirsoft Produkey tool, I was able to find my key and use it to install Windows 8 to the hard drive. I will then hopefully be able to boot my broken PC from the Operating system on that hard drive.
I am going to give that a go now. I will get back to you guys when its finished.

Thank you for all the suggestions and help thus far!

And by the way, does anybody know if the old hard drive which had corrupted all my files and showing only 3Mb of total space will be usable again?
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February 23, 2014 11:58:43 AM

I Installed the windows 8 installer to the USB stick, booted from it on the PC and all works well, Thank you for all of your help!
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