What happened to my disk space?

I just upgraded to Windows 7 Professional from Vista Home Premium. I used the Easy Transfer Wizard with a USB hard drive to do the file transfer.

During the installation process, after I had run Easy Transfer Wizard and removed the USB drive, I believe I saw something that said a copy of my settings would be saved to Windows.old. I didn't read it carefully and just clicked through. After the installation finished I restored my settings from Vista and went on my merry way.

Today I took a look at my hard drive space and seem to have filled it up somehow. Considering that I had removed a great many programs and had transferred many files to my network before upgrading I seem to have lost around 100GB of space. Easy Transfer found around 60GB of files to be transferred. I think I was using around 150GB before I started the upgrade.

I suspect that I either have a copy of Windows.old hidden on my hard drive, or possibly a Vista or some other partition out there.

My hard drive has been named SQ00....V05 and when I check the properties I have quite a few previous versions listed. System protection is using 15% of my drive space (around 40GB) but I seem to be missing more than that.

Any suggestions on what to look for to find out what is using up my drive space? Is there something I should look for on boot up?
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  1. Best answer
    Look for the Windows.old folder in the root of the C drive. Right click and get it's Properties. See how much space it's consuming. You can also delete the Easy Transfer file once you have run easy transfer under Windows 7, if this isn't done automatically (I don't know, since I didn't actually use Easy Transfer. I moved to 7 by way of a clean install).
  2. "I believe I saw something that said a copy of my settings would be saved to Windows.old"
    It wouldn't be just the settings that were put in that folder, but the entire contents of the previous instalation. Seeing as you backed up using ETW and restored from it, you can delete the Windows.old folder if you are sure you have all the files you needed restored.
    NB. The ETW file only restores original files to their proper locations, it doesn't replicate itself to your OS drive and remains on the external drive untill you delete it.
  3. Thanks for the replies. Search didn't find the Windows.old file so I had to manually find it. It was over 110GB. Hit the delete key and I'm back to abundant space on my drive.

    I used an external drive and Easy Transfer before I started installation. The installation must have automatically created the Windows.old as well.

    The issue had nothing to do with System Protection. It was just a matter of leftover installation files.
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