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Defrag made my hard drive MORE full!

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December 1, 2010 10:27:16 PM

Okay guys, I know defrag is designed to cleanup your hard drive when stuff is become cluttered on it. I noticed my drive was fairly high (Running Win 7 Pro 64-bit) so I ran defrag (It was at 24% Fragmentation). It ran for several hours doing at least 9 passes. I had 40.8 GB when I started, after it finished I now have only 10.7 GB free!!! WTF!!!?!?!?! How does defragmenting my files make my hard drive MORE FULL? Gah, now I face serious consideration of buying another hard drive as my other drive is already basically full too. I just don't get this, wth? Anyone care to explain to me why this did this? I should have just left the thing fragmented, I had more hard drive space. Don't guess I can undo it?
a b G Storage
December 1, 2010 11:16:44 PM

Defrag should not have decreased your free space, but if it found and marked bad sectors that would reduce your free space.

Did you run disk cleanup first? That finds and displays various files and folders that you may no longer need, like recycle, temporary, temporary internet files, etc. - you the choose the ones you want removed.
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December 2, 2010 12:18:15 AM

treefrog07 said:
Defrag should not have decreased your free space, but if it found and marked bad sectors that would reduce your free space.

Did you run disk cleanup first? That finds and displays various files and folders that you may no longer need, like recycle, temporary, temporary internet files, etc. - you the choose the ones you want removed.

Yep, I ran disk cleanup before and after. I discovered what the problem is though, through some searching I discovered that doing defrags if you have I think it said shadow volumes or some such it creates a ton of restore points that eat up space on your hard drive. It mentioned going under My Computer's properties and then opening system protection, going to the hard drive in question and selecting configure - and you can delete all the restore points there. Well, I noticed the percentage was set at 15% of my hard drive. That was 100+ GB!!! I dialed the percentage way down and after hitting apply I went from 10.7 GB to 117 GB free!! So glad to have all that space back, I never knew that was eating it up all this time.

If anyone reading this hasn't done so, make sure your percentage isn't turned up high on your computer - I read were someone with a 1 TB hard drive had 500 GB taken up by old system backup points! I'm certainly glad I don't have to buy another hard drive now!
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December 2, 2010 10:01:29 AM

Yeah, this seems to be a common phenomenon with Vista and Win7, but although there is an 'explanation' for it, it's not entirely clear what is happening :(  . MS seems to have no documentation on this phenomenon, but empirically it seems to occur more frequently when defragged with the 'free' defrag utilities that lack VSS support and the MS native defragger that has limited VSS support. With VSS compatible commercial auto defraggers, this seems to occurs relatively less commonly. Take it FWIW.
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December 2, 2010 11:03:20 AM

Best answer selected by RavinRivie.
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