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Unexplained loss of space on SSD C: drive/Windows 8

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January 29, 2013 7:27:03 PM

Hello,

I have a three-month old PC which came with a 128GB Crucial SSD drive. I am running Windows 8 Professional on it. Everything has been working very nicely since I got it.

I recently noticed however that my C: drive is getting extremely low on space. I checked all the usual things, ran WinDirStat, etc. and the only sizable content I could find is the good old WinSxS folder. However I eventually noticed that WinDirStat is telling me that the files only actually occupy 62GB in total. If I select everything on the C: drive and open the Properties window, that also tells me that there is about 62GB used. Yet the "My Computer" and "Disk Management" windows both tell me that there is 7GB free from 119GB in total, which means that I have apparently actually used 112GB.

Where has this additional 60GB gone, and how can I get it back?

I noticed that the free space fell from 11GB to 7GB since yesterday, so at this rate I'm going to find the C: drive is completely full any day now. Please help!

Many thanks,

Adam.
Related resources
January 29, 2013 8:53:29 PM

Hi guys,

Thanks for the links and tips, but I think I've pretty much already done everything in there. The problem isn't with how to reduce the space I'm using, but rather with why the space I'm using and the space I have left don't come remotely close to adding up to the drive capacity.

Hopefully this image will help to explain:



As you can see, my C drive has a total capacity of 119GB, of which I have apparently used 59GB, and I have 10GB left. That leaves 50GB unaccounted for.

The only thought I've had is that there may be files on disk that I don't have permission to access and so they aren't being counted in the "all files" Properties window -- for example, Windows Store apps that I have installed. I tried uninstalling a few of these and my remaining disk space increased by ~0.5GB, but the Properties window showed exactly the same amount of space used, which increases my suspicion that this may be the case. I do have a few apps and games installed, but I'd struggle to believe that I have 50GB of them...

Adam.
a b * Windows 8
a c 542 G Storage
January 29, 2013 9:04:18 PM

Run Disk Cleanup and click on "Clean Up System Files".
See what comes up that might be able to explain the space usage.
January 29, 2013 9:07:20 PM

I've already used Disk Cleanup to clean up system files. Running it again now, even if I select every one of the possible sets of files to delete, it only reports "Total amount of disk space you gain: 15.8 MB". :-( I've already removed all my old system restore points too.
a b * Windows 8
a c 542 G Storage
January 29, 2013 9:13:56 PM

And in Disk Management you only have 2 partitions?
The System Reserved partition (350MB) and your C: drive (118.9GB)?
January 29, 2013 9:16:21 PM

Hi Dereck47,

On that drive, yes, that's exactly what I have. I've a bunch of other drives installed too, and I'm not having any issues with those, just with the disk used for the C: drive.

Adam.
a b * Windows 8
a c 542 G Storage
January 29, 2013 9:22:05 PM

That's weird. Probably best to make sure you are on the latest firmware version of the drive, then Secure Erase it to restore it to fresh-out-of-the-box condition, and do a fresh install of Win8 on it.
January 29, 2013 9:24:15 PM

Hi Dereck47,

Oh how I'd desperately like to be able to avoid having to do that! :-) I've a feeling you may be right though. Unless it is some peculiar Windows 8 feature where it's hiding content away from Windows Explorer, I can't see any logical explanation for how it can be in this state...

Thanks for the suggestions!

Adam.
a b * Windows 8
a c 542 G Storage
January 29, 2013 9:28:45 PM

Make sure only your SSD is connected until after installation is complete.
a b * Windows 8
January 29, 2013 10:50:36 PM

-it could be normal where on the ssd if you have been running a database on the drive, or a bunch of drive tests. (drive retires blocks after 3-5 k writes)
- it could also firmware bugs relating to failures in GC or TRIM functions. I would check for known firmware bugs but DO NOT INSTALL the fix until you have your data backed up. Update of the firmware when the drive is in this state has a good chance to fail and leave you with a bricked drive that you will have to send back to the OEM.

You might run crystaldiskinfo to look at the state info in your SSD and find the firmware version.

it is just a guess, something to look at.
January 31, 2013 11:52:36 AM

I'm relieved to say that I've now tracked this down and fixed it. Here's how I found it and what the problem was, in case it's of use to anyone else:

First I logged in to Windows as the "Administrator" user. This user is disabled by default, I enabled it based on the instructions here:

http://meena-tech.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/4-methods-to-e...

After logging in, I ran WinDirStat again on my C: drive. Immediately it reported that 110GB was being used rather than 62GB, which made me optimistic. In the graphical display of files at the bottom of the WinDirStat window was one enormous blob filling nearly half the drive. I clicked this to find out what it was.

The file turned out to be C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Search\Data\Applications\Windows\Windows.edb, a file used by Windows for indexing. This file was 50GB in size, and was placed in a folder that I had no access to, on my precious SSD drive. Thanks, Windows!

I used Windows' "Indexing Options" configuration window to change the location of the file so that it was on my D: drive instead, and restarted the PC. Windows re-created the indexing files in the new location, but didn't remove them from the C: drive. I therefore backed up the .edb file and then deleted it manually.

And that was it. Now I have 58GB free on my C: drive. Ahhhh. Don't forget to disable the Administrator user again (or at least give it a password, it doesn't have one by default).

Thanks to everyone that posted suggestions!
a b * Windows 8
January 31, 2013 1:34:58 PM

Thanks for the answer.
May 21, 2013 9:46:58 AM

Hallo

Ich hatte dasselbe Problem.

Nur war bei mir im c:\windows\temp ein Log-File von Office 365 mit 330 GB drin.

Bei 512 GB SSD ist das schon recht viel.

WinDirStat ist sehr empfehlenswert.

Gruss

Marc
May 21, 2013 10:58:59 AM

For anyone else having this same problem I have a few tips.

If your low on space on your SSD or can't find where the data is try the following...

1. If you have 16GB of RAM, Windows will create a 16GB paging file. If you have 8GB of RAM, Windows will create an 8GB page file. So set your paging file to 800mb instead of 16GB or 8GB and you save up to 15.2Gb.

2. If you can't find where all those used GB's are hiding, then download diskspacefinder. In this program you'll be able to see on your screen where every file and folder is on your computer. The large folder will show up really big. So used space will stick out like a sore thumb. And you'll easily be able to locate huge space eating files.(this solution right here would have solved the OP's problem, if I would have gotten here in time I would have mentioned it).

3. The most obvious thing to do is use disk space cleaner. This will remove a lot of used up space if you haven't done it in a while. I recommend doing this at least once every six months. Even once a month is better if you own an SSD.

4. One time I was recording a video of my screen and the program I was recording with froze and kept recording somehow. By the time I shut it down it recorded about 60GB of video. The problem is, I couldn't find this recording. It was if it disappeared but was still taking up space. Bleachbit was pretty much meant just for this. As if you download this program you can erase all sorts of data from everywhere on your PC. It's kind of like a disk space cleaner on many steroids. Once I ran the "Deep Scan", it effectively deleted that 60GB of data and my SSD was in top shape again.(It's always good to run Bleachbit's deep scan and other scans it has, even if you don't have this exact problem. As once I month I run it and every time I detects and deletes 100's of MB's of data. Your OS, IE, Google, ect. are constantly eating up data. Keep this is check with Bleachbit.)



I've had numberous problems with keeping my SSD free and clear of space eating files. I wish someone would have given me this info of the bat because as I'm sure most people know, SSD's perform their best when they are empty. It's best to keep an SSD less than 70%, at the most 80%. So in other words, try to keep at least 20-30% free space left on your SSD to keep it performing like the day you got it.



June 14, 2013 1:42:51 AM

AdamDawes575 said:
Hello,

I have a three-month old PC which came with a 128GB Crucial SSD drive. I am running Windows 8 Professional on it. Everything has been working very nicely since I got it.

I recently noticed however that my C: drive is getting extremely low on space. I checked all the usual things, ran WinDirStat, etc. and the only sizable content I could find is the good old WinSxS folder. However I eventually noticed that WinDirStat is telling me that the files only actually occupy 62GB in total. If I select everything on the C: drive and open the Properties window, that also tells me that there is about 62GB used. Yet the "My Computer" and "Disk Management" windows both tell me that there is 7GB free from 119GB in total, which means that I have apparently actually used 112GB.

Where has this additional 60GB gone, and how can I get it back?

I noticed that the free space fell from 11GB to 7GB since yesterday, so at this rate I'm going to find the C: drive is completely full any day now. Please help!

Many thanks,

Adam.


December 19, 2013 3:24:52 PM

AdamDawes575 said:

...
The file turned out to be C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Search\Data\Applications\Windows\Windows.edb, a file used by Windows for indexing. This file was 50GB in size, and was placed in a folder that I had no access to, on my precious SSD drive. Thanks, Windows!
...


Adam, thank you for your answer, it has encouraged a long-time lurker to finally post on Tom's Harware. I have been tracking down this problem for over a month, after my 120gb boot SSD reported that it had a few mb of space left. I reduced page file sizes and so forth, but had been tearing my hair out because WinDirStat just wasn't adding up. Your instructions to run as administrator discovered my 52.1gb Windows.edb file.

I should note that Windows 8 appears not to require a reboot. It has created a replacement file on my spinning drive, and deleted the existing file on the SSD.
December 27, 2013 11:15:14 PM

Postulator said:
AdamDawes575 said:

...
The file turned out to be C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Search\Data\Applications\Windows\Windows.edb, a file used by Windows for indexing. This file was 50GB in size, and was placed in a folder that I had no access to, on my precious SSD drive. Thanks, Windows!
...


Adam, thank you for your answer, it has encouraged a long-time lurker to finally post on Tom's Harware. I have been tracking down this problem for over a month, after my 120gb boot SSD reported that it had a few mb of space left. I reduced page file sizes and so forth, but had been tearing my hair out because WinDirStat just wasn't adding up. Your instructions to run as administrator discovered my 52.1gb Windows.edb file.

I should note that Windows 8 appears not to require a reboot. It has created a replacement file on my spinning drive, and deleted the existing file on the SSD.



Hi,

May I ask wat shud be done in this Windows.edb? shud it be deleted?

December 28, 2013 4:40:48 AM

Thanks to everyone for the discussion. I just moved 160GB off my C: drive yesterday after getting a disk full message and then got the same message this morning. Is that extreme even for the windows.edb?

I am just starting to work through the solutions posted in case it is that file.

Richard
December 30, 2013 7:33:31 PM

jayel5k said:
Postulator said:
AdamDawes575 said:

...
The file turned out to be C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Search\Data\Applications\Windows\Windows.edb, a file used by Windows for indexing. This file was 50GB in size, and was placed in a folder that I had no access to, on my precious SSD drive. Thanks, Windows!
...


Adam, thank you for your answer, it has encouraged a long-time lurker to finally post on Tom's Harware. I have been tracking down this problem for over a month, after my 120gb boot SSD reported that it had a few mb of space left. I reduced page file sizes and so forth, but had been tearing my hair out because WinDirStat just wasn't adding up. Your instructions to run as administrator discovered my 52.1gb Windows.edb file.

I should note that Windows 8 appears not to require a reboot. It has created a replacement file on my spinning drive, and deleted the existing file on the SSD.



Hi,

May I ask wat shud be done in this Windows.edb? shud it be deleted?



No, definitely don't delete it. The file is used by Windows Search to make searches a lot quicker. You may want to change what it indexes, and remove stuff that you won't look for (program file directories, Windows directories etc.). You can also move the file, as AdamDawes575 explains in his post of 31 January 2013. The process to do this varies between different versions of Windows, but if you perform an Internet search for "move Windows.edb" you should find a result that provides help for your particular Windows.

Interestingly, it appears that Windows 8 has a bit of a problem with the file (that I have just come across while writing this response). Microsoft issued a patch in May 2013, that included a fix for "The Windows.ebd file grows very large in Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012" (yes, they referred to ".ebd" instead of ".edb" in the patch notes).

I moved my 52gb index file on 19 December, and as of today it is 1.1gb - suggesting that the Windows 8 patch works but did not fix existing files.
March 13, 2014 3:53:19 AM

Another aspect to consider is offline file caching. This can chew up space too.

Normally this is stored under the C:\Windows\CSC directory, and may not normally be visible; as it is created without a folder owner.

I had this problem (Disk size: 239Gb, Chkdisk usage: 178Gb, WinDirStat and Windows explorer in admin mode files size on disk: 87GB). It was driving me crazy until I found this article:
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/deebaf...

which recommended using TreeSizeFree:
http://www.jam-software.com/treesize_free

this picked it up when run in adminstrator mode.

Since I wanted to keep my offline files available, I switched it to a local non-SSD drive:
http://ximalas.info/2012/12/18/relocating-the-client-si...

June 1, 2014 9:54:32 PM

I had the same symptoms and this thread helped me find the answer, but the cause was different:

My 250GB SSD was filling up in the same manner, and windirstat could not see why. After reading this thread I ran windirstat as administrator (I've now ticked that option on the shortcut for the future!). It turns out that my recent difficulty with Windows Updates had resulted in 28000 files of about 3MB each being written into the C:\Windows\Temp folder, all called MSIXXXX.LOG, named after the Windows Update that had been attempted. I was apparently being protected from having to see those files by Windows.

I deleted those .LOG files and got 100GB space back!

Thanks everyone.
June 3, 2014 10:35:02 PM

ericjohn004 said:
For anyone else having this same problem I have a few tips.

2. If you can't find where all those used GB's are hiding, then download diskspacefinder. In this program you'll be able to see on your screen where every file and folder is on your computer. The large folder will show up really big. So used space will stick out like a sore thumb. And you'll easily be able to locate huge space eating files.(this solution right here would have solved the OP's problem, if I would have gotten here in time I would have mentioned it).



diskspacefinder does not show anything that windirstat does not. If you think it would have solved the OP problem then you did not pay attention. Unfortunately, I still have a problem. I have a 2008 R2 domain controller, so I no longer have a local admin account and the domain admin sees nothing more than my user admin account. I can see the edb file, but it is only 630MB. I also have a RAID 1 on a pair of Intel 530 SSD's. The Intel SSD Toolbox thinks the drives are fine, but scanning RAID members is a bit complicated.

July 22, 2014 12:12:12 PM

Check your program data folder which is as hidden folder in Windows 8
then check folder by folder size,
I had same problem , but when I search that , It was because of my Kaspersky Antivirus data problem which was stored in programdata folder under kaspersky folder
!