I'm currently using a 640gb internal hard drive for my laptop and it says the maximum capacity is 596gb. This is not the problem. The problem is that the local disk shows 10.1gb available on the drive out of 596gb, meaning I would have to be using roughly 586gb. But when I select all for the local disk and hit properties the total I am getting is 472gb in use. I understand that there are some hidden windows folders that are not taken into account by looking at the value in properties, but a 104gb disparity seems a little ridiculous to me.
Can anyone explain to me why these numbers are so drastically different?
There are space reserved for the recycle bin, pagefile, hibernation etc. The default for recycle bin is 10% of total disk space about 50Gb. The recovery file which is hidden is many tens even hundreds of Gb recovery if not switched off in OS.
Windows takes a huge amount of space by default. You can reduce that and still be covered.
Open the Trash can and you will find a space setting there. Reduce it to 2 or 3G max, go to system properties, System Protection and there is a configure button. Again drop it down to a value you are comfortable with. At least in half.
System properties, Advanced, set the page file from auto to be equal to your system ram - max...
I would turn off hibernation, but thats my personal opinion.
The recovery file which is hidden is many tens even hundreds of Gb recovery if not switched off in OS.
How can I get rid of that? I have the original install discs and use externals to back-up any files that I actually care about, so I don't really need that feature. I see the option to get rid of restore points, but not one to deal with recovery.
Control Panel\System and Security\System
then on left panel select system protection and turn it off. The recovery files will be deleted as soon as you turn it off too so you don't have to look for it to delete it. Reclaiming your space is just a few clicks away!