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Wierd hard drive space problem

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August 23, 2007 6:51:35 PM

Hi.

A few minutes ago, I started up my computer, and saw the "low disk space" message in the bottom right corner. I found this odd because I had JUST reformatted the previous week, and since then used up only a few gigs of space. I have 2 partitions. (C) and (D). I went into "My computer" and saw that my (C) drive only has 40mb of free space. (The C: partition has a total size of 97gigs.) The (D) partition is perfectly fine.

I am going to scan my computer for spyware/viruses, but I doubt that will help.

Does anyone know what could be causing this?

Btw, the (C) partition contains my windows installation, if that matters.

My systems specs:

Pentium D at 3.2ghz
1 gb ram
Maxtor Hard Drive. (It says Maxtor 6V300F0 in the device manager if that means anything to you.)
Windows XP Home.
a b G Storage
August 23, 2007 7:10:33 PM

You are getting that message because you have 40mb free space.... so that is normal.


Now, what could cause this?
Hard drive issues and windows reporting issues can cause this issue.
You should run Error-Checking in the hard drive tools menu. This will scan for problems that involve reporting space used (ex: MFT).

Also, you will want to download a hard drive testing tool from the HDD manufacturer you use. This will determine if the hard drive was the cause of the corruption, or the OS.
August 23, 2007 8:21:28 PM

If the checking reveals that everything is OK with the file system and the drive itself, then there must be a file or files that are using the space.

WinDirStat (Windows Directory Statistics) will give you a graphical representation of the entire file system and enable you to easily track down where the space is being used.
Related resources
August 23, 2007 9:27:07 PM

Thanks for the replies.

I ran the error-checking, and it didn't find any errors.

I downloaded the drive testing utility from Maxtor. First a ran the "short" test. It detected an error, and told me to run the "long" test. When I did so, The scanning utility froze after it detected the error. It stopped scanning, and I couldn't abort it, so I restarted the computer.

What's going on? =x
a c 154 G Storage
August 23, 2007 9:52:11 PM

Drive might(99% chance) be dead....if the quick test gets an error then it must be fairly bad and logged in SMART and the test got it....RMA time
a b G Storage
August 24, 2007 1:26:47 AM

Correct.
The quit test tests the SMART error log. This does not mean your drive is dead, infact, there are tons of different types of smart errors and acceptable thresholds.

Regardless, this means that your issue is a hardware issue and not a problem with the OS (Which happens from time to time regarding reporting wrong free space).

Back up your data quick, it can only get worse, and it can get worse VERY fast.
August 24, 2007 3:06:53 PM

I solved the problem why so much disk space was taken. I have some screen recording software on my computer, and the hotkey was set to a button I use quite often. >.<

So should I still be worried about the error in the test? Like I said, I just reformatted, so there isn't anything to back up.

Edit: Ok. So I scanned with the testing software from Maxtor once more. This time, the long test didn't freeze. it detected 3 errors, but was able to repair all 3. (The errors were LBAs or something.) So is all good?

Also, is testing the hard drive for errors something I should be doing on a regular basis? I haven't really thought about it before.

Thanks again everyone.
a b G Storage
August 24, 2007 8:38:46 PM

You should be backing up on a regular basis.

Hard drives can fail at any moment, even brand new ones.
a c 154 G Storage
August 26, 2007 5:25:15 AM

I guess i should be more careful with how i say it. Smart has told me of eminent failure of a drive and i had time to get the files off it before it went for good.
August 26, 2007 6:26:34 AM

Go into WINDOWS RESTORE...deleat all but the newest restore point and then set the RESTORE space to 2%.

If you have installed alot of programs after the reformat then they all take up a restore image/slot. If you have not changed the defualt size that could be 12% of that 'drive'.

Edit your PAGEFILE to 2GB of size or Windows goes ape **** and creats alot of space that does not show up as "used" yet won't let you use it.

Even with a 300GB drive I used to get those messages or not be able to un-rar files when I had plenty of free space showing...now it just freaks out with a bit over 2% free.

Also you really don't NEED to install much other than the OS on "C".
Try moving games/movies/apps folders to the other "drive" and just edit your shortcuts.

Z
August 26, 2007 6:38:38 AM

nukemaster said:
I guess i should be more careful with how i say it. Smart has told me of eminent failure of a drive and i had time to get the files off it before it went for good.


S.M.A.R.T does not always work the way it should and more often than not tells you NOTHING befor the drive crashs.
When in doubt run SpinRite 6.0 in mode 5 (can take 18 hours or more!) and it will refresh/repair/recover all files and most often make "bad" sectors "good" as well.
Mode 5 will read/write/reread/rewrite all data 5 compleat times befor moving on. Really bad/corrupted files are logged and you can set it to RECOVER that file only. It will just cycle until the data is recovered (each read the head is a bit +/- from 'dead on').
www.grc.com
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