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  • New solid state drive filling up with unseen files

    Posted on ArtistAnn Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Windows Windows 10 Questions: Win10 New solid state drive filling up with unseen files

    Topic Resolution: Resolved

    This topic contains 74 replies, has 22 voices, and was last updated by  ArtistAnn 1 month, 3 weeks ago.

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    • #216188 Reply

      ArtistAnn
      AskWoody Lounger

      I have a brand new computer running Windows 10 that has a 256 GB solid state C: drive. I’ve uninstalled bloatware, directed Win to save all data (i.e. everything but apps) on the D: drive, and downloaded just one program of my own (Firefox). I haven’t migrated anything from my old computer to this new one except my Firefox profile and a few documents.

      My concern is that the SSD shows 70.9 GiB of used space already! With hidden and system files showing in Windows Explorer, I opened the Properties menu for each of the 11 folders in the C: drive and added together the used disk space. It only comes to 34.59 GiB, so where are the additional 36.31 GiB of files hiding? And what’s in them?

      Am I missing something?? This just seems wrong to me. A copy of my math is attached (or shown below, not sure how this feature works.) Any suggestions would be most welcome!

      JPG-of-PDF

      Ann

      Desktop PC, Win 10 Home v. 1709, MS Office 2016, Adobe Photoshop & Bridge 2018
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    • #216196 Reply

      Kirsty
      AskWoody MVP

      I suspect pagefile.sys & hiberfil.sys may be creating a problem?

      Check out the information here, especially the 2nd link in @ch100‘s post, as well as this.

      The pagefile size is automatically determined by the amount of RAM installed on your system, which the links explain is no longer appropriate (due to now using larger amounts of RAM, and due to smaller SSD drives being <10% of the size of some hard drives).

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #216641 Reply

        ArtistAnn
        AskWoody Lounger

        I suspect pagefile.sys & hiberfil.sys may be creating a problem? Check out the information here, especially the 2nd link in @ch100‘s post, as well as this. The pagefile size is automatically determined by the amount of RAM installed on your system, which the links explain is no longer appropriate (due to now using larger amounts of RAM, and due to smaller SSD drives being <10% of the size of some hard drives).

        Thanks for the suggestion, Kirsty.

        In the thread you recommended Topic 4000004-memory-do-you-have-enough Woody recommended changes to the System startup menu, which I made, to wit:

        Startup-and-Recovery-screenshot-9-10-18

        The system performed a BIOS update after I made these changes.

        Re Woody’s recommendation that the paging file be set to 512 MB, my machine has 16GB of RAM and the paging file size for all drives, as shipped, is set at 2944 MB. I had to reply to Wood’s post with a request for more detailed instructions on how to change the Virtual Memory menu and awaiting an answer before attempting to make the alteration.
        My goal is to find out what caused 36 GB of used space to suddenly appear on my C: SSD drive and to correct it. I’m not clear on how these things affect the SSD, but the bare numbers don’t look large enough to be the culprit. The used space on my SSD has actually increased by about 1 GB.

        I retraced my steps over the last few weeks since I received the new computer and was able to pinpoint within about 48 hours when the increase in used disk space occurred:

        C-Drive-Timeline-9-10-18

        It occurred to me I could save some space by decreasing the System Protection’s maximum disk space usage, which was set at 10.0 GB. When I went into the restore point menus to do this, I discovered to my surprise that, of the 6 to 9 restore points that were made by myself and by HP during the update and program uninstalls processes, only the most recent two updates are listed. Between them, these two restore points took up only 550 MB, so there was more than enough space for seven more. It is possible, I suppose, that I accidentally and unawares hit the Delete All Restore Points for This Drive button at some point, but I don’t think so.

        I’m very sad to see the first restore point I made on August 31 disappear, because I could have used it to rollback to before the mysterious 36 GB showed up. Now I’m having to consider seriously doing a Fresh Start to go back to the beginning. Though, on the upside, it will take care of the second dose of bloatware that got installed the first time I connected the computer to the web.

        Moving on to a post you sent me yesterday, I read the two articles you recommended to me on SSD maintenance. Indeed helpful! Among other things, it was suggested to move the pagefile and the temp files for all programs to the HDD and to not index files on the SSD. What do you think of doing that? I assume we’re not talking about clicking and dragging here–if you know where I can find the instructions, that would be great, or else I’ll Google it. By the way, do you know of a solid thread herein or an article on the web that lists things which can be moved from the system drive to the HDD?

        Thanks for everything, Kirsty!

        Ann

        Desktop PC, Win 10 Home v. 1709, MS Office 2016, Adobe Photoshop & Bridge 2018
        • This reply was modified 2 months ago by  ArtistAnn.
        • This reply was modified 2 months ago by  ArtistAnn.
        • This reply was modified 2 months ago by  ArtistAnn.
        • This reply was modified 2 months ago by  ArtistAnn.
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        • #216717 Reply

          Kirsty
          AskWoody MVP

          @artistann I’m not sure you have noticed all the replies, i.e. #216248 a couple of days ago. I’m a little loathe to invest a lot of time to reply, as much of what I have already spent time to pass on has been posted again by others some time later.

          Further to the instructions in #216248 for changing the pagefile size, this is a graphic how-to page on the subject.

          Your current pagefile size is more than your system requires, so you will regain a little space by changing this setting. There is a chance it has grown since that screenshot, with subsequent changes and restarts of your system.

          By decreasing the System Protection’s maximum disk space usage you will probably have removed some of the older Restore Points, including the one you wanted to retain. Sometimes you need to press a button to see more than the latest Restore Points in the list.

          Where do you have your user folder set-up? Is that on your SSD?

          • #217428 Reply

            ArtistAnn
            AskWoody Lounger

            Aahh – thanks, Kirsty, for pointing out that there were replies in #216248. I’ve got them now! And thanks for the link to the graphic how-to page.

            Per your last question, the Users folder is on the C: SSD. I read some authoritative advice on how to move individual folders, e.g. Downloads and Documents, from Users to the D: drive, using the Location tab in the folder’s Properties menu. However, neither Users nor my personal user folder has a Location tab in its Properties menu, and I read a thread on the Microsoft Community that gave dire warnings against trying to move Users here.

            Actually, more than saving a few MBs or GBs here and there, my real concern is the steady growth of Windows. If every update adds 10-20 GB to the SSD, the drive will reach its 210 GB capacity in the foreseeable future. 🙁 I had assumed that Windows 10 would grow from its initial download size of 20 GB to around 35 GB or something and remain fairly stable, the way Win 7 did.

            Ann

            Desktop PC, Win 10 Home v. 1709, MS Office 2016, Adobe Photoshop & Bridge 2018
            • #217474 Reply

              Kirsty
              AskWoody MVP

              @artistann That alarming comment on moving folders doesn’t give details, and seems alarmist. It certainly wasn’t backed up by the moderator that posted afterwards.

              Before making up your mind, I hope you might read these two articles (which I believe carry more authority):
              Windows 10 tip: Move your default data folders to a different drive
              If you have more than one physical drive, keep your system (C:) drive from getting overwhelmed by moving default folders (Music, Pictures, Documents, and so on) to a secondary drive.
              By Ed Bott | November 15, 2017
              (yes, this is my link from above)

              Move your Windows 10 libraries to a separate drive or partition
              Physically separating programs and data protects them both and makes for easier backups
              By Lincoln Spector | Feb 11, 2016

              They discuss how moving the user folder location allows enough space for the OS & programs that are installed of the SSD to not be so overcrowded. As long as it’s done properly, and you take a full backup before attempting it, it should work just fine.

              3 users thanked author for this post.
            • #217517 Reply

              b
              AskWoody Lounger

              That alarming comment on moving folders doesn’t give details, and seems alarmist. It certainly wasn’t backed up by the moderator that posted afterwards.

              It was:

              Too many unintended and disastrous consequences to move the User Account folder to another drive. Instead just move your active User folders from your User account to the other drive.

              Cannon fodder Daft glutton Idiot Kick Me Sucker More intrepid

            • #217479 Reply

              DougCuk
              AskWoody Lounger

              The only user folders that it is safe to move are those that have a “Location” tab in their Properties panel. These include Documents, Pictures, Music, Videos and several others. This has been my standard setup for several years now – and not just for SSD based systems. It also has the advantage of making Image Backups of the Windows drive easier as all the large “libraries” of Documents, Music and Videos are no longer expanding the size of the C-drive. I prefer to keep the “Desktop” and “Downloads” folders in the default location to increase performance – and latest advice is to keep the pagefile on the SSD also (but slim the size down). With enough RAM the use of the pagefile is minimal and the current wear levelling technology of SSD’s protects the drive from excessive read/write cycles.

              The trick to moving the above named folders is to create a folder (on say the D-drive) to house these re-located folders – this functions as an extra {current user} folder on the D-drive. So the content of your {current user} folder becomes split between the two locations – with only the specifically selected items moving to a non-standard location. Windows handles this configuration without a problem – as does almost all application software. Take care to name the “extra” {current user} folder with a name that makes it clear it is important – as it will contain the bulk of your user data – and you do not want to accidentally delete this folder.

            • #217502 Reply

              woody
              Da Boss

              While I don’t doubt you could do that, it’s much, much easier to let the file system handle it. Ed Bott’s method is the best, methinks.

              2 users thanked author for this post.
            • #217503 Reply

              woody
              Da Boss

              (Just as a general comment… if you use Google Photos to keep photos off you hard drive, and just about any streaming music service, it’s hard to fill up a 128 GB drive — unless you’re editing videos for a living anyway…)

            • #217532 Reply

              MrJimPhelps
              AskWoody MVP

              Woody, I prefer to move my Documents folder to my 2nd drive; I then keep EVERYTHING in the folder on the 2nd drive – documents, pictures, videos, scans, etc.

              This approach has several benefits:
              1. My 2nd drive is also my shared drive, shared among all computers in the house. Each one of my computers uses the shared drive as its Documents folder. This makes file sharing a cinch, as well as backups. I back up that one folder (and all sub-folders), and I have EVERYTHING of consequence backed up. (I back up Windows a lot less frequently than my Documents folder on the shared drive.)
              2. If I need to do a clean install of Windows, my documents, etc., won’t be touched by the reinstall.
              3. Windows can access both the document and the program at the same time, since the two are on two separate drives. On the main computer, where the shared drive is installed as an internal hard drive, this has the potential of speeding things up.

              On my work laptop, my Documents folder points to my user folder on the network. This helps me to keep everything saved on the network, where it is backed up regularly, and where it is safer and more secure than if it was on my hard drive.

              Group "L" (Linux Mint)
              with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
      • #216732 Reply

        ch100
        AskWoody MVP

        Actually the statement that Page File = RAM is valid only for Windows 7/Windows 2008 R2. Same with hibernate.sys file.
        For newer OS, there is some tuning in place and you will see that the values are different (smaller), but still significant. Hibernate.sys contributes to the Fast Startup now, not only to hibernation. To complicate things even more, now we have an additional file named swapfile.sys which takes some space. This can be disabled, but it would certainly break things, in the same way that disabling pagefile.sys would break things.

        However, the previous recommendations from me are still valid, although the default settings are now more appropriate than they were in Windows 7/Windows 2008 R2. As such, my recommendations are to be seen as optional in Windows 8.1/2012R2/10/2016.

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    • #216197 Reply

      ArtistAnn
      AskWoody Lounger

      P.S.

      I just found a notation I made when I received the new desktop PC two weeks ago, before I began uninstalling bloatware. It shows the two Program files were a bit larger and the total used space on Windows (C:) was 34.05 GiB. So where is the two-ton monster that found its way onto my SSD between then and now?!

      Ann

      Desktop PC, Win 10 Home v. 1709, MS Office 2016, Adobe Photoshop & Bridge 2018
      • #216206 Reply

        MisterKevin
        AskWoody Lounger

        I had a similar problem a little while ago. After I downloaded and ran some installer, my 500GB HDD started filling up. First an extra 50GB were used, then more, and eventually only about 5GB were available, and I was getting warnings from Explorer about running out of space. This all happened in minutes, so I am quite sure the space was not actually filled up. I was worried, since I had no clue what had happened. The two things I did was: clean up junk files through Revo Uninstaller (free version), and download and run a scan with Malwarebytes (also the free version). After running those, my HDD was back to the original amount of occupied space. I still don’t have any idea what went on, but it was successfully fixed.

        What you describe sound like a different issue, but I thought I would share my experience anyways. I hope it is somehow helpful! 🙂

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        • #216648 Reply

          ArtistAnn
          AskWoody Lounger

          Thank you Kevin for sharing your story, I truly appreciate it. I have saved it in my growing folder of How-To’s for solving Windows problems. I’m contemplating doing a Fresh Start, because: 1) I haven’t yet transferred the files from my old computer to this new one ; 2) I’ve uninstalled bloatware on my own and know there must be bits and pieces and registry entries left on the machine that I would rather not be there; 3) there is more bloatware that I’m uncomfortable about uninstalling on my own, like HP help files and huge NVIDIA programs that are meant to enhance the NVIDIA Experience for gamers (which I am not!).

          You must have liked how Revo Uninstaller performed. I was reading reviews of uninstallers a few days ago and IObit Uninstaller looked good. It bothers me, though, that some of these uninstallers remind me of viruses in themselves, the way they add features like right-clicking or hovering over any program to uninstall it so you won’t have the “bother” of opening the uninstaller program first. I don’t need another sizeable program clogging up my SSD and perpetually running in the background just in case I need to use it once in a blue moon.

          Thanks again, Kevin!

          Ann

          Desktop PC, Win 10 Home v. 1709, MS Office 2016, Adobe Photoshop & Bridge 2018
      • #216212 Reply

        anonymous

        Is the recovery partition on a different disk? Do you need the old updates & system files?

        • #216649 Reply

          ArtistAnn
          AskWoody Lounger

          Thanks for asking! The E: RECOVERY partition was made from the D: DATA hard drive. I’m not familiar enough with the recovery process and nomenclature to say if I don’t need old updates and system files.

          Ann

          Desktop PC, Win 10 Home v. 1709, MS Office 2016, Adobe Photoshop & Bridge 2018
    • #216215 Reply

      RetiredGeek
      AskWoody MVP

      Ann,

      Could you post a screen shot of the Disk Management screen.

      e.g. Disk-Management

      May the Forces of good computing be with you!

      RG

      PowerShell & VBA Rule!
      Computer Specs

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      • #216288 Reply

        Microfix
        AskWoody MVP

        ArtistAnn has probably got a hidden recovery partition

        | W8.1 Pro x64 | Linux x64 Hybrids | W7 Pro x64 O/L | XP Pro O/L
          No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created IT - AE
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        • #216296 Reply

          BobbyB
          AskWoody Lounger

          @microfix time for a 3rd party Disk contents reveal something like Aomei free version etc or the good old fashioned way:
          CMD prompt
          DISKPART
          LIST DISK
          SEL DISK 0
          LIST VOL or LIST PART

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #216654 Reply

            ArtistAnn
            AskWoody Lounger

            Hi BobbyB,

            Do I just type RUN into the search box to bring up the Command Prompt, and then type DISKPART return? I assume I type each line with a return until a list of information comes up for me to take a screenshot of, yes?

            Heh, heh, just trying to be careful. I was there in the days when PCs started up at the command prompt, but it’s been a long time since I felt at ease behind the UI. 😉

            Ann

            Desktop PC, Win 10 Home v. 1709, MS Office 2016, Adobe Photoshop & Bridge 2018
        • #216653 Reply

          ArtistAnn
          AskWoody Lounger

          Hi Microfix,

          Thanks for weighing in. I was concerned the recovery partition might have been carved out of my SSD, but when I took at look at the D: Data drive there was very close to 15GiB missing from it, so I believe that’s where Drive E: RECOVERY was made from. Take a look at my Disk Management screenshot in the post just above.

          Question: Are hidden drives truly hidden, even from Disk Management. There does appear to be something called Windows RE tools, described as an OEM Partition, but is is relatively small at 980 MB when what I’m looking for is 36 GB.

          Ann

          Desktop PC, Win 10 Home v. 1709, MS Office 2016, Adobe Photoshop & Bridge 2018
          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #216650 Reply

        ArtistAnn
        AskWoody Lounger

        Hi RG,

        Thanks for weighing in! Here’s the screenshot:

        Disk-Mgmt-Screenshot-9-10-18

        Ann

        Desktop PC, Win 10 Home v. 1709, MS Office 2016, Adobe Photoshop & Bridge 2018
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    • #216256 Reply

      PaulK
      AskWoody Lounger

      If I may, I’d like to comment here on your posts ( 216237 and 216243 ) in another Topic, since these all are related to the computer configuration and capacities.

      In 216237:
      1: You list MB for RAM and SSD. I believe that you meant GB.
      2: I suggest that, at this stage, you leave the Paging File size alone. If you want to experiment, click on Custom Size. DO NOT set it to No Paging File.
      Caution: The 4000004 Topic started out discussing Windows XP and Vista.
      3: C:\Windows – note that there is no space between the colon and the slash.
      This initial slash means: start looking at the root directory of the disk.
      Another hint: If you wanted to look in detail at the Program Files (x86) folder, you would have to enclose the whole path in double-quotes, thus: “C:\Program Files(x86)”. When a (folder or file) name contains a space, the reference to it must have the entire path enclosed by double-quotes.

      Now, back to this topic (hidden space): On my Windows 7 system I have run across folders that: don’t appear, or that contain 0 files and folders. And this even with “Show hidden …” checked. The only way to examine them is to look for them using the Command Prompt, and use the [ /ah ] switch. See [ dir /? ] for syntax. This will be labor intensive.

      • #216267 Reply

        Kirsty
        AskWoody MVP

        DO NOT set it to No Paging File

        +1

         

        4000004 Topic started out discussing Windows XP and Vista

        The start of the first paragraph was a history lesson, which goes on to discuss later OS versions, and x64 bit systems in particular. To suggest it is irrelevant to Windows 8.1 & 10 isn’t appropriate.

        For instance, -32 bit Win 10 versions cannot support more than 4GB RAM, whereas the -64 bit versions support 128GB – 6TB, but as CanadianTech says, most systems do not need that much.

        BTW, most of @ch100‘s response to AKB4000004 appears in an answers.microsoft.com reply re SSD specifically on Windows 10. They know their stuff! 🙂

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #216656 Reply

        ArtistAnn
        AskWoody Lounger

        Hi Paul,
        Thanks for offering your suggestions.
        1. Yes, you’re absolutely right. GB, not MB.
        2. The paging file, as it came from HP, is set to 2844 MB (definitely MB in this instance) and I don’t know enough about how to change it so I’ve left it as-is so far. I responded to Woody’s post in 4000004 Topic by asking for more detailed instructions to help me with the Virtual Memory menu.
        3. I’ve been checking what’s on my drives from File Manager, and there are no backslashes at all, bus I suspect you’re aren’t referring to style in how I write my posts or to working in the UI??

        File-Manager-screenshot-9-10-18

        I would love to know how to examine “empty” folders on the back end, but not being familiar with working on the back end, I would need step-by-step instructions. Labor intensive is okay for me–I’m retired and getting this new PC set to rights has become my hobby, since it’s standing between me and getting back to making digital art.

        Ann

        Desktop PC, Win 10 Home v. 1709, MS Office 2016, Adobe Photoshop & Bridge 2018
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        • #216671 Reply

          PaulK
          AskWoody Lounger

          Sorry for the ambiguity. In 216237 is
          Snip

          Keying in a backslash is needed when in the Command environment. Just like in the old DOS!
          (32/64 bit is irrelevant.)

          So, [Command Prompt]: key in [ \Windows ], and it will show C:\Windows>, instead of the C:\Users\Boss> that you illustrated.

          As for apparently-empty-but-really-not-empty folders, that is better for another topic. When Windows needs to hide something, there probably are good reasons for the invisibility.

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      • #216742 Reply

        JCCWsusser
        AskWoody Lounger

        What’s the harm in turning off the paging file (provided you have plenty of RAM)? I have a Win 7 at home with 32GB set that way with no apparent issues. I haven’t tried it on 10.

        • #216746 Reply

          Noel Carboni
          AskWoody MVP

          One problem is that you can really never be sure you have “plenty of RAM”. A lot is a lot, but I even have 48 GB and there are things I’ve done that have made my system go virtual. I have a big page file myself. You might choose to edit a very large image or video, for example, and the application momentarily needs more RAM than you have installed. Yes, there inevitably must be a failure at some level of overuse, but having extra virtual memory space on tap can smooth such occasional momentary needs over.

          Things are not simple. Windows (a virtual memory system) in normal operation even when not burdened can be seen to read and write the paging file for some things. We simply don’t know all the things Windows does internally because it is proprietary, but it’s a safe bet that Windows’ memory management is more complicated than most of us imagine. We may not be able to nail down all of what will degrade or break (or how) if there is no page file to be used, but operation without a page file is almost certainly not as well tested as with.

          Though there is a lot of “blind leading the blind” on the Internet, there is also a lot of discussion and anecdotal data about this online. Try Googling this phrase:

          Should I disable the page file in windows?

          Some good info I turned up:

          https://www.howtogeek.com/199990/should-i-disable-the-page-file-if-my-computer-has-a-lot-of-ram/

          No matter how much RAM you have, you want the system to be able to use it efficiently. Not having a page file at all forces the operating system to use RAM inefficiently for two reasons:

          First, it cannot make pages discardable, even if they have not been accessed or modified in a very long time, which forces the disk cache to be smaller.

          Second, it has to reserve physical RAM to back allocations that are very unlikely to ever require it (for example, a private, modifiable file mapping), leading to a case where you can have plenty of free physical RAM and yet allocations are refused to avoid over-committing.

          https://fossbytes.com/windows-page-file-disable-pc-lots-ram/

          Just in case your PC is configured to [capture] crash dumps, the page file must be large enough to back the system crash dump setting. You can read this Microsoft article for detailed information.

          And finally…

          https://www.tenforums.com/general-support/42782-should-i-disable-paging-file-my-ssd.html

          It sounds like a great idea, but most enthusiast warn against it.

          Linked in one of the quotes above, this Microsoft info is good:

          https://support.microsoft.com/en-in/help/2860880/how-to-determine-the-appropriate-page-file-size-for-64-bit-versions-of

          Note that Microsoft states an automatically managed page file can now actually be made smaller by Windows based on usage history.

          -Noel

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    • #216259 Reply

      Noel Carboni
      AskWoody MVP

      For what it’s worth – and I’m not saying you’re wrong to be concerned with disk usage – over time I have installed a total of eight 480 GB SSDs in my desktop system, along with 2 TB of spinning disk storage. That’s just the internal drives; I have 3 external drives too. It’s just about enough. For now. And I’m not even running Windows 10 yet (I have 8.1).

      Files will accumulate to fill the available space. It’s some kind of law of computing.

      Keep in mind that things like the recycle bin, restore points, pagefile.sys, hiberfil.sys, winsxs, servicing files (updates), Windows.old (after upgrades), unused space in partially used clusters at the ends of files, and any number of other miscellaneous things can use disk space that is not directly associated with the content of the files you have stored.

      Try Scanner by Steffen Gerlach to get a quick and easy to understand overview of what folders and files contain your used disk space. You can hover your mouse over blocks of used space to see what and where they are.

      ScreenGrab_NoelC4_2018_09_08_234430

      Disk Cleanup (provided with Windows) can often help you reclaim storage.

      -Noel

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      • #216286 Reply

        Microfix
        AskWoody MVP

        As Noel has pointed out, running Disk Cleanup, specifically, System Clean within, will remove redundant data stored on your system from updates, patches and installation temp files.

        The hibernation file can grow to be a monster on storage, if you don’t want or need hibernation there is a tweak which will prevent it from starting and releases more storage space:

        Take a note of your storage space before and after 😉

        In an elevated cmd prompt (right click cmd prompt shortcut and run as admin) type:
        powercfg.exe /hibernate off
        Then press enter, nothing will appear, then restart your system.

        To switch hibernation back on, use the above method and type:
        powercfg.exe /hibernate on

        | W8.1 Pro x64 | Linux x64 Hybrids | W7 Pro x64 O/L | XP Pro O/L
          No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created IT - AE
        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #216661 Reply

          ArtistAnn
          AskWoody Lounger

          Thanks again, Microfix. I’ve added your suggestion for System Clean and instructions for turning off hibernation to my list of things to try. Will let you know how it works.

          Ann

          Desktop PC, Win 10 Home v. 1709, MS Office 2016, Adobe Photoshop & Bridge 2018
          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #216729 Reply

            Kirsty
            AskWoody MVP

            your suggestion for… turning off hibernation to my list of things to try

            That was what was discussed earlier above, and on AKB4000004 (2. in #90902)

            As @ch100‘s information says, by turning of Hibernation, hiberfil.sys disappears like magic.

            This would save you other 8 GB space on disk for a system with 8 GB RAM or equivalent RAM for systems with other amounts of RAM

            As you have 16GB RAM, this should give you back 16GB of drive space on your SSD.

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      • #216660 Reply

        ArtistAnn
        AskWoody Lounger

        Hi Noel,

        Gee, I love your friend on your shoulder there. I used to know someone who had a pen of ducks in her backyard and the sound of their gentle quacks (when they weren’t up in arms about something!) was the most calming sound I’ve ever heard. 🙂

        Looking back, the 36 GB I can’t account for appeared on my computer within a 2-3 days period when the only notable thing I did was install Mozilla Firefox and my Firefox profile (checked, no Trojans in the profile). It was also then that Windows 10 updated from v. 1709 to 1803.

        WOWZA!! regarding your number of SSDs! I’ve had my old Windows 7 desktop, with a single 1 TB hard drive, for six years. It used it evenings and weekends for three years and every day since I retired. To date I’ve only filled 214 GB, of which 109 GB is data. However, having looked this up just now, it does point out to me that 105 GB is taken up by program and system files. . . . I wouldn’t have thought it would be that much!

        You see, I am definitely not an app collector, gamer, or a lover of bells and whistles. My backup is to Mozy in the cloud, so is my email, and I don’t have a recovery drive or any drive partitions. I use the computer for my Adobe Photoshop and Bridge subscription, MS Word and Excel 2010, Bitdefnder, Mozilla Firefox, and a scant handful of smaller programs like Corel Fusion PDF, 7-Zip, VLC Media Player, Greenshot, and f.lux. There are a number of unused programs I’ve never had the temerity to try uninstalling sitting on the hard drive. But that’s it.

        Parenthetically–I would be happily using the old computer for years to come if it had not suddenly slowed to a crawl when I run Photoshop and Bridge together. I knew I was skating by with only 6 GB of RAM [only upgradeable to 8 GB]. However, the slowdown seemed to occur overnight. My only hypothesis–suggested from media accounts–is that Microsoft’s fix for Meltdown/Spectre gave my Windows 7 computer a real hit. And my only choice was to get a new computer with 16 GB RAM and a faster processor.

        What I’ve been planning to do with this new machine is to place my library of digital assets and documents on the SSD drive so there won’t be any lag when I’m searching for images and notes while working on an art project. The size of that library is 62.4 GB and slowly growing. I figured a 256 GB (237 GiB) SSD would give me plenty of room for my digital art data library after system files, install of my short list of programs, and a 10% reserve of free disk space to keep the drive running at top speed.

        I’ve added your recommendation of Scanner and Disk Cleanup to my list of helps to investigate. Thanks, Noel!

        Ann

        Desktop PC, Win 10 Home v. 1709, MS Office 2016, Adobe Photoshop & Bridge 2018
        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #216688 Reply

          Noel Carboni
          AskWoody MVP

          Parenthetically–I would be happily using the old computer for years to come if it had not suddenly slowed to a crawl when I run Photoshop and Bridge together. I knew I was skating by with only 6 GB of RAM [only upgradeable to 8 GB]. However, the slowdown seemed to occur overnight. My only hypothesis–suggested from media accounts–is that Microsoft’s fix for Meltdown/Spectre gave my Windows 7 computer a real hit. And my only choice was to get a new computer with 16 GB RAM and a faster processor.

          I don’t doubt the Spectre/Meltdown mitigations are at least part of the reason. Personally I think such behavior should be prosecuted. But you’re right in thinking you needed more RAM. We certainly expect our computers to do more now than we did a decade ago.

          -Noel

        • #216734 Reply

          anonymous

          I only have limited knowledge about Windows 10, but is the significant sentence in your post above the following: “It was also then that Windows 10 updated from v. 1709 to 1803”?

          My understanding is that on a so-called “feature update” e.g. from 1709 to 1803, the update process creates a copy of the old Windows (1709 here) in some format and puts it in a folder called something like “Windows.old” before installing the new version (1803 here). Thus you have code for 2 versions of Windows on your disk (roughly equal in size?). Also the 1803 installation stuff will also be left behind (from memory in a folder called someting like “BT”?). Presumably if you have restore points (I don’t use them myself), they will be there for both versions?

          There is a timed mechanism within W10 to delete the old stuff a few days (10, 14, 30 – I forget which), so presumably all of this old stuff will be deleted when that runs. This cleanup can be done directly using the Windows Cleanup mechanism beforehand, but being unfamiliar with W10 myself I do not know what buttons you have to select to achieve that. (In Windows 7 terminology it is part of the “cleanup system files” thing.)

          Others with more detailed, day to day W10 knowledge might respond to this.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #216270 Reply

      Kirsty
      AskWoody MVP

      @artistann I’m guessing you are new to SSDs?
      If so, may I suggest some additional reading for you:

      Windows 10 tip: Defrag secrets for hard disks and SSDs
      Should you defrag your solid-state drive? Absolutely not! Here’s how to keep conventional hard disks, SSDs, and even virtual disks running at peak efficiency.

      By Ed Bott | April 6, 2016

       
      How to Maximize SSD Life Span & Performance; Avoid These 7 Mistakes
      Last Updated: April 13, 2018

      3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #216374 Reply

        Noel Carboni
        AskWoody MVP

        Windows 10 tip: Defrag secrets for hard disks and SSDs
        Should you defrag your solid-state drive? Absolutely not! Here’s how to keep conventional hard disks, SSDs, and even virtual disks running at peak efficiency.
        By Ed Bott | April 6, 2016

        I really dislike absolute hard and fast advice like that.

        There can be cases where doing an actual defrag on an SSD can be useful and improve performance. The file system will get fragmented regardless of whether the disk seek latency is very small, and one large, contiguous disk I/O operation is still much faster then a whole lot of very low latency operations. That’s just the way it works. This is a career computer/software engineer talking.

        I imagine the above advice by Mr. Bott must be targeted toward the general consumer who may not care so much about getting the absolute best computer performance as they may not have compute- or I/O-intensive tasks to do. Avoiding writes to the SSD – which a defrag operation will do quite a bit of – DOES potentially increase the lifespan, but under most usage scenarios SSD flash memory will not wear out literally for decades.

        -Noel

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #216382 Reply

          Ascaris
          AskWoody MVP

          In hardware terms, I don’t think defragmenting a SSD would make any speed difference in block-to-block sequential reads.  A file that the OS thinks is in one contiguous piece probably isn’t on a SSD, since there are wear-leveling functions built in to make sure that every NAND cell in the system is getting a roughly equal number of writes, so whichever given cell has the least writes will be the next one written to if it is available, not the next one sequentially.  The drive moves stuff around as needed behind the scenes, but to the OS, it’s all in the same place as it always was, unless something at the OS level changes the file system.  The sector address does not change; just the pointer to the actual data within the drive does, even as the same data might be shuttled all over the drive.

          As far as the file system is concerned, there’s a limit to how many fragments one file can be in (I guess it has something to do with having only so much room for “continued on page 65” notices like in an annoying magazine article that’s in bunches of places), so if a file gets to the fragmentation limit… well, I don’t actually know what happens, but it’s probably annoying.  It would also stand to reason that it will take slightly longer to read the long string of “continued on” notices, but at SSD speed, it’s probably trivially small time-wise.

          As I understand, Windows (8 and 10, at least) will automatically have a task scheduled to defragment all the drives in the system periodically, and it’s SSD aware.  It knows that SSDs need less defragmenting and that the problem of fragmentation is different than in HDDs.  If it needs it, it will do it; if not, it won’t.

          It’s funny that Ed Bott would write “absolutely not” when he’s such a big Windows 10 fan, a version of Windows actually takes care of SSD defragging by itself if you haven’t changed the setting.  Maybe that’s why he said not to, for all I know.  I didn’t read the article (or if I did, it was a long time ago).

          Windows actually does handle very many things like this (and the size of the page file, etc.) quite well.

           

          Group L (Linux): KDE Neon User Edition 5.14.3 (based on Ubuntu 18.04) + Windows 7 in Virtualbox VM

          2 users thanked author for this post.
          • #216560 Reply

            b
            AskWoody Lounger

            It’s funny that Ed Bott would write “absolutely not” when he’s such a big Windows 10 fan, a version of Windows actually takes care of SSD defragging by itself if you haven’t changed the setting. Maybe that’s why he said not to, for all I know. I didn’t read the article (or if I did, it was a long time ago).

            Windows actually does handle very many things like this (and the size of the page file, etc.) quite well.

            That’s exactly what he said:

            The good news is that Windows 10 does a very good job of identifying the different types of storage and scheduling the proper optimization for each one. You don’t need to perform any special steps to enable TRIM support either.

            If you click the Optimize button for an SSD, you’ll see a brief status message as it trims the current drive, an operation that should complete in a few seconds. The utility is even smart enough to detect virtual hard drives and manage their usage properly.

            But manual intervention isn’t really necessary, because the appropriate drive optimization is scheduled to happen weekly. If you’re curious, feel free to check in with the Drive Optimizer every so often, just to confirm that fragmentation is holding steady at 0 percent.

            (Which is strangely far from “Should you? Absolutely not!)

            Cannon fodder Daft glutton Idiot Kick Me Sucker More intrepid

            1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #216566 Reply

              MrJimPhelps
              AskWoody MVP

              Sounds like SSD drive optimization is similar to reindexing a database. In other words, you are optimizing the indexes to the data rather than the actual data.

              Is that correct?

              Group "L" (Linux Mint)
              with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
          • #216564 Reply

            MrJimPhelps
            AskWoody MVP

            In hardware terms, I don’t think defragmenting a SSD would make any speed difference in block-to-block sequential reads. A file that the OS thinks is in one contiguous piece probably isn’t on a SSD, since there are wear-leveling functions built in to make sure that every NAND cell in the system is getting a roughly equal number of writes, so whichever given cell has the least writes will be the next one written to if it is available, not the next one sequentially. The drive moves stuff around as needed behind the scenes, but to the OS, it’s all in the same place as it always was, unless something at the OS level changes the file system. The sector address does not change; just the pointer to the actual data within the drive does, even as the same data might be shuttled all over the drive.

            As far as the file system is concerned, there’s a limit to how many fragments one file can be in (I guess it has something to do with having only so much room for “continued on page 65” notices like in an annoying magazine article that’s in bunches of places), so if a file gets to the fragmentation limit… well, I don’t actually know what happens, but it’s probably annoying. It would also stand to reason that it will take slightly longer to read the long string of “continued on” notices, but at SSD speed, it’s probably trivially small time-wise.

            As I understand, Windows (8 and 10, at least) will automatically have a task scheduled to defragment all the drives in the system periodically, and it’s SSD aware. It knows that SSDs need less defragmenting and that the problem of fragmentation is different than in HDDs. If it needs it, it will do it; if not, it won’t.

            It’s funny that Ed Bott would write “absolutely not” when he’s such a big Windows 10 fan, a version of Windows actually takes care of SSD defragging by itself if you haven’t changed the setting. Maybe that’s why he said not to, for all I know. I didn’t read the article (or if I did, it was a long time ago).

            Windows actually does handle very many things like this (and the size of the page file, etc.) quite well.

            I believe what you are saying is, with an SSD, each file is treated as a group of file fragments at all times, rather than as one piece that may or may not be separated into pieces. In other words, it doesn’t matter where those fragments are, because files are always handled as a group of fragments rather than as one piece.

            I’ve never thought of it like that; that sort of arrangement would render meaningless the concept of defragmentation.

            Group "L" (Linux Mint)
            with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
            • #216599 Reply

              Ascaris
              AskWoody MVP

              It depends on whether you’re talking about at the deep hardware level (the interface between the drive controller and the NAND cells themselves) or the file system level.  The file system can be fragmented or non-fragmented, and a fragmented file system can have negatives associated on a SSD, though far less than with a traditional hard drive.

              On a traditional hard drive, of course you want large files to be contiguous (not fragmented) so that as much of it as possible will be on a single track, which eliminates the time consuming head seek and the disk rotational latency (the data can’t be read until it spins around to be under the head, which will be half a rotation of the platter on average after the seek is complete) each time a new track is specified.

              The actual way the file system is stored in the SSD, though, is probably heavily fragmented at a deep level (where it’s just blobs of data, not distinct files as such) on a drive that has been in use for a while, and it becomes more so (deliberately) over time because of wear leveling.  There’s no need to defragment the SSD at the low level, nor would there be any means to do it.  The SSD firmware takes care of it by itself, constantly moving data around to wear the NAND cells evenly.

              As far as I know, the random 4k read benchmarks that show SSDs still having a lot less speed than during sequential bursts is about command overhead and SATA latency, if it’s a SATA connection.  A benchmark isn’t telling the drive “read me a really long file with a lot of fragments,” which would cause a lot of seeks and slow things down greatly on a traditional hard drive.  That would, in effect, be a sequential read as far as the SSD is concerned, even if the data is scattered all over the drive’s NAND array.  A benchmark picks a random 4k segment on the drive and tells it to read that, then it tells it to go read another one, then another one.  It’s far faster than with a HDD (about 100 times faster) because of the lack of seek time, but the command overhead and latency keep it from being as fast as during the sequential test.

              The test with queue depths > 1 get back some of the lost speed by telling the drive to read first (whatever 4k segment it randomly chose), then the next, then the next… until it has queued 32 read commands, so the drive knows exactly what to do next.  In CrystalDiskMark, this would be the 4Kq32, for 4K(ilobytes), queue depth 32.  There’s still overhead, but it’s greatly reduced.

               

              Group L (Linux): KDE Neon User Edition 5.14.3 (based on Ubuntu 18.04) + Windows 7 in Virtualbox VM

              • This reply was modified 2 months ago by  Ascaris.
              1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #216680 Reply

            Noel Carboni
            AskWoody MVP

            The thing to focus on is this:

            In ACTUAL performance measurements, contiguous large reads/writes from/to SSDs run much faster than small e.g., 4k byte operations.

            There is overhead in preparing the commands and sending them across the several busses/links to finally be executed by the SSD’s controller, then the data returned across those links. All of these things take a tiny bit of time – but even a tiny bit of time multiplied by a whole lot of reads/writes starts to become significant. You simply cannot write off any part of the operation as time-negligible. Latency is NEAR zero, not truly zero.

            Note the difference, for example, in 4.0 kbyte I/O throughput in this measurement vs. the 1024.0 kbyte (1 megabyte) operations. 100 megabytes per second vs. 1.75 gigabytes per second.

            ATTO_NoelC4_2016_08_26_104126

            Now consider that these figures apply directly to reading a very fragmented 1 megabyte file, vs. a completely contiguous one.

            Sure, 100 megabytes per second is very fast. 1750 megabytes per second is very faster.

            I’ve seen newer tech systems based on NVMe that can achieve almost 1 gigabyte per second at 4K I/O sizes, though the same systems will do 4+ gigabytes per second at 1M I/O sizes. The speeds are fantastic in any case but the difference is still there for tasks that really need the fastest possible performance.

            -Noel

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    • #216290 Reply

      Paul T
      AskWoody MVP

      There is no need to keep large files off your disk or turn off hibernation. SSDs used by us mere mortals will outlast the rest of the computer.
      http://forums.windowssecrets.com/showthread.php/171889-SSD-life?p=1024887&viewfull=1#post1024887

      cheers, Paul

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #216375 Reply

        Noel Carboni
        AskWoody MVP

        Turning off Hibernation may have been mentioned in the light of conserving space, since doing so can save some gigabytes of dedicated hiberfil.sys storage. Not allowing hibernation will also necessitate a full bootup when the system is started, which usually doesn’t take all THAT long on a modern system, and may actually promote a more stable operating system environment than one that’s just flashed in its current state to SSD and restored to RAM when the system is brought back up (i.e., via the typical Windows 10 Hybrid Boot).

        -Noel

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #216549 Reply

          anonymous

          Hi Noel,

          I wonder whether you would say this system is modern enough to turn off hibernation (when you say “a full bootup when the system is started … usually doesn’t take all THAT long on a modern system”):
          Win 7 Pro 64-bit, Core i5 3320M @ 2.60GHz Ivy Bridge, 223GB INTEL SSDSC2BF240A4L ATA Device (SATA (SSD)), 16.0GB Dual-Channel DDR3 @ 797MHz ?

          Many thanks.

          • #216553 Reply

            Paul T
            AskWoody MVP

            It’s up to you whether you want to hibernate.
            I like to return where I left off so I always hibernate.

            cheers, Paul

            • #216556 Reply

              anonymous

              Thanks Paul, much appreciated. Still trying to understand though, whether my system is considered modern enough not to “take all THAT long”, in Noel’s words, at full bootup while possibly promoting “a more stable operating system environment”.

          • #216555 Reply

            satrow
            AskWoody MVP

            Windows boot to the point where you can access TaskManager should be from ~12 seconds on your notebook without OEM bloatware and 3rd party software auto-loading; wired access to the ‘net in ~18 seconds, based on what I see on my tweaked W7x64 i3 Ivy desktop/SSD/8GB; W8/10 are more bloated so expect an extra few seconds on each count, similar for bloatware/3rd party AV, etc.

            Hardware boot time before handing over to Windows depends entirely on the BIOS hardware detection routines and enabled features.

            • #216557 Reply

              anonymous

              Many thanks, satrow!

          • #216685 Reply

            Noel Carboni
            AskWoody MVP

            It’s really up to you to test and see.

            You don’t have to reconfigure anything to do so. A REboot (aka restart) is always a full bootup. Get a watch or stopwatch and time how long it takes to start up from the Power On Self Test to the desktop on a shutdown / boot vs. a restart.

            -Noel

            • #216719 Reply

              anonymous

              Thank you Noel, I’ll give it a go.

    • #216677 Reply

      anonymous

      ? says:
      A quick and easy way to see what is in the blocks on your drive(s) is Defraggler:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defraggler.
      I use it from my “toolbox” a sandisk 32gb stick (portable). I use an older version of defraggler before they added benchmarking. I use it after patch day especially when .net updates muck up all over the drives. haven’t used windows on SSD, however; I’m currently running five versions of linux from flash drives with pleasing results.

      • #216713 Reply

        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        There is no need to run a defrag utility on Windows 7 and up, IMO. Windows manages your disks and does a good job without user intervention.

        cheers, Paul

        • #217534 Reply

          MrJimPhelps
          AskWoody MVP

          The only way to know that for sure is to run defrag and see how fragmented your hard drive is. If it is badly fragmented, then perhaps auto-defrag is off in Windows. If that is the case, I suggest running a defrag, then turning auto-defrag to on. From that point forward, everything should be automatically handled in the background. But it doesn’t cost you anything but a couple of minutes of your time to check now and then to see if the drive is badly fragmented.

          Group "L" (Linux Mint)
          with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
          1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #216756 Reply

      DougCuk
      AskWoody Lounger

      @artistann – Getting back to the original question – What is using all the “missing” extra disk space? I have been using a program called “TreeSize Free” for many years now [ https://www.jam-software.com/treesize_free/ ] that allows you to identify exactly what is using disk space, and often locates hidden folders containing unexpected content.

      If you run this utility in Administrator Mode it will show ALL file use – including all the hidden folders and files – such as “System Volume Information” where the Shadow Copy backup files are located. Very often this can become almost as large as the rest of the Windows installation.

      There is a setting in the Treesize menus to “Always start in Admin Mode” – and also a setting to add Treesize to the File Explorer context menu. This later option allows you to right click any drive or folder to produce a report/graph of the selected item – showing a fully expandable folder tree right down to individual files level. And you can sort the display in any order you like – Size order is most useful – biggest down to smallest folder size.

      Before I take an Acronis Image Backup of my Windows partition I use TreeSize to check the size of the “System Volume Information” folder – I usually then exclude this folder from the Image Backup which results in a much smaller backup.

      P.S. The current version of Treesize Free (4.2) uses the “ribbon menu” interface – which I do not personally like – but they do still offer an older version (v3.4.5) with classic menus – which is the one I use. Scroll to the bottom of the page linked above to download the older version – the Windows XP version (v3.4.5) runs fine on everything including Win10.

      3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #216757 Reply

        Microfix
        AskWoody MVP

        Thanks @dougcuk,
        I’ve been using an alternative graphical interface file viewer for W7/8.1 spacesniffer for a few years now comes in handy. Forgot completely about this (slaps head) as it shows hidden system files and internal hidden files and sizes within a clickable graphical interface. Doesn’t work with W10 though but, may be of use to some reading this.

        | W8.1 Pro x64 | Linux x64 Hybrids | W7 Pro x64 O/L | XP Pro O/L
          No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created IT - AE
    • #216763 Reply

      AlexEiffel
      AskWoody MVP

      On the subject of hard disk space when you want to save the maximum amount possible (not likely the cause of your issue, though), you might want to remove provisioned apps because they keep being updated in the background even if nobody has them installed, just in case someone would change their mind about it, maybe? The bloat you uninstall, depending on how it was installed, might still be there in the background?

      See this post.

    • #216851 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Lounger

      I have been avoiding SSDs either when buying a new machine or as external mass storage devices, until recently. Now that I have learned that they have become really long-lasting in terms of the maximum of IO operations they can be made to perform before they pass away, I finally bought a machine (a Mac laptop) with an SSD drive. It works very nicely.

      Since the way SSDs work has been central to many of the postings here, maybe, by passing on the link to what I think is a good explanation of that, I could add something useful to this most interesting thread:

      https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/06/inside-the-ssd-revolution-how-solid-state-disks-really-work/2/

      I also want to thank those writing here for providing such useful information and tips on the feeding and care of SSDs.

       

    • #216880 Reply

      ArtistAnn
      AskWoody Lounger

      I only have limited knowledge about Windows 10, but is the significant sentence in your post above the following: “It was also then that Windows 10 updated from v. 1709 to 1803”? My understanding is that on a so-called “feature update” e.g. from 1709 to 1803, the update process creates a copy of the old Windows (1709 here) in some format and puts it in a folder called something like “Windows.old” before installing the new version (1803 here). Thus you have code for 2 versions of Windows on your disk (roughly equal in size?). Also the 1803 installation stuff will also be left behind (from memory in a folder called something like “BT”?). Presumably if you have restore points (I don’t use them myself), they will be there for both versions? There is a timed mechanism within W10 to delete the old stuff a few days (10, 14, 30 – I forget which), so presumably all of this old stuff will be deleted when that runs. This cleanup can be done directly using the Windows Cleanup mechanism beforehand, but being unfamiliar with W10 myself I do not know what buttons you have to select to achieve that. (In Windows 7 terminology it is part of the “cleanup system files” thing.) Others with more detailed, day to day W10 knowledge might respond to this.

      This was a good guess, but if Windows is telling me the truth, this isn’t the source of my hidden goose egg of used disk space. The Windows.old folder is actually in plain sight on my SSD C: Drive, and the usually hidden $WINDOWS.~BT folder is within it, along with 8 other folders of stuff. So I’ve already accounted for it under the 34 GB of known space usage. A person or two on this forum has warned me that Windows will sometimes lie about a folder being empty, and a couple of the folders in Windows.old claim to be empty.

      At the moment I’m working up the courage to rollback to the earliest Restore Point I have, which I believe Windows made in prep for the update to 1803. Hoping it will pop the balloon and restore the free space on my disk.

      Thanks for the suggestion and wish me luck! 🙂

      Ann

      Desktop PC, Win 10 Home v. 1709, MS Office 2016, Adobe Photoshop & Bridge 2018
      • #217481 Reply

        DougCuk
        AskWoody Lounger

        @artistann Not sure if you read my earlier post re the TreeSize utility see here:
        https://www.askwoody.com/forums/topic/new-solid-state-drive-filling-up-with-unseen-files/#post-216756
        Here are the basics (read the original for full details)

        @artistann – Getting back to the original question – What is using all the “missing” extra disk space? I have been using a program called “TreeSize Free” for many years now [ https://www.jam-software.com/treesize_free/ ] that allows you to identify exactly what is using disk space, and often locates hidden folders containing unexpected content.
        ||
        P.S. The current version of Treesize Free (4.2) uses the “ribbon menu” interface – which I do not personally like – but they do still offer an older version (v3.4.5) with classic menus – which is the one I use. Scroll to the bottom of the page linked above to download the older version – the Windows XP version (v3.4.5) runs fine on everything including Win10.

        This utility is an essential part of my standard setup and solves a multitude of queries.

        • #218617 Reply

          ArtistAnn
          AskWoody Lounger

          @artistann Not sure if you read my earlier post re the TreeSize utility see here:
          https://www.askwoody.com/forums/topic/new-solid-state-drive-filling-up-with-unseen-files/#post-216756
          Here are the basics (read the original for full details)

          @artistann – Getting back to the original question – What is using all the “missing” extra disk space? I have been using a program called “TreeSize Free” for many years now [ https://www.jam-software.com/treesize_free/ ] that allows you to identify exactly what is using disk space, and often locates hidden folders containing unexpected content.

          I’m reading it now, Doug, and will follow up on it. 😀 I was finally able to see and understand where the extra space on my C: drive was by locating the Folder Options in File Explorer under View > Options > Change folder and search options > View tab. I did have Show hidden files, folders, and drives selected the Hide protected operating system files box was ON. I’m sue I’ll receive even more information using Treesize, and thank you for mentioning that it’s a safe program with a track record. 🙂

          I’m relieved to know that the missing space wasn’t one 34 GB mystery Blob file but a number of hidden files with a purpose, as others on this thread suspected. Thanks!

          Ann

          Desktop PC, Win 10 Home v. 1709, MS Office 2016, Adobe Photoshop & Bridge 2018
    • #217053 Reply

      DougCuk
      AskWoody Lounger

      @artistann @kirsty Regarding the issue of Restore Points disappearing in Win10.

      There are two reasons that Win10 silently deletes your Restore Points:
      1. After a Feature Update ALL Restore Points are deleted.
      This is by design to avoid attempting to restore files and registry hives that would be incompatible with the installed version. System Restore is not able to reverse all changes of a Feature Update (eg 1803 back to 1709) – you would need to use the “Go back to previous version” from the RE console.

      2. The less well known “new feature” is that Microsoft have reduced the lifespan of a Restore Point (it was 90 days under Win7). Whenever the SR service (System Restore) runs it deletes any Restore Point older than a set number of days – I believe that is currently set at 17 days – with no ability to over-ride.

      If you run the System Restore task – either via Task Scheduler or manually – it automatically cleans out any restore points over 17 days old – regardless of the amount of disk space allocated for the System Restore shadow copies.

      4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #217058 Reply

      Bill C.
      AskWoody Lounger

      2. The less well known “new feature” is that Microsoft have reduced the lifespan of a Restore Point (it was 90 days under Win7). Whenever the SR service (System Restore) runs it deletes any Restore Point older than a set number of days – I believe that is currently set at 17 days – with no ability to over-ride.

      If you run the System Restore task – either via Task Scheduler or manually – it automatically cleans out any restore points over 17 days old – regardless of the amount of disk space allocated for the System Restore shadow copies.

      I know this comment was originally addressing Windows 10, but your comment on Win7 restore point life being 90 days grabbed my attention. I am now wondering is this 90 days is calendar days or Windows up-time days. Just yesterday when I was applying the August updates to my Lenovo E440 laptop with Win7-64Pro_SP1, I noticed a listing of the Restore Points. Most were over 90 days. I do not use this laptop that much so I doubt it has had 90 days of use over the past 18 months. It has also retained the manual “named” restore points I created prior to certain update sessions since the “Patchpoclyse” of cumulative rollups started. I am Group B. I just had never heard of a restore point lifespan, so this was useful.

    • #217123 Reply

      anonymous

      I lurk around enough, that I should make an account, but do you have “Hide protected operating system files”  checked.  It’s separate from “Show hidden files, etc”.  I ask because, I don’t see your recycle bin ($Recycle.bin – which may have sub folders for each user)  or  “System volume information” in the list.  Also, you have to be running explorer as admin (maybe with elevated privs) to fully ready everything in those folders.  For example, “C:\system volume information” will happily give me 0 bytes in 0 Files\0 Folders if I get access denied errors trying to open it.

      • #218619 Reply

        ArtistAnn
        AskWoody Lounger

        Thank you, Anonymous, for your post! I had made changes to the File Options View menu when I first received my new computer, then couldn’t find the menu again! Your post prompted me to make a concerted effort to locate it and check my settings.

        Windows 10 really hid this one! Folder Options is in File Explorer under View > Options > Change folder and search options > View tab. I did have “Show hidden files, folders, and drives selected,” however the “Hide protected operating system files” box was checked. Unchecking that is what allowed me to finally see the large .sys files that were taking up my drive space.

        I’m relieved to know that the missing space wasn’t one 34 GB mystery Blob file but a number of hidden files with a purpose, as others on this thread suspected. Thank you!

        Ann

        Desktop PC, Win 10 Home v. 1709, MS Office 2016, Adobe Photoshop & Bridge 2018
    • #217297 Reply

      DougCuk
      AskWoody Lounger

      @ Bill C ** UPDATED ** I can find no original Microsoft source for the 90 days “time to live” limit for Win7 restore points – but many forum posts quote text from a Microsoft Help page https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/2506576 However that page has been edited and the quoted text no longer exists.

      Several non-Microsoft sources quote the following information:
      In Win7 the “time to live” value is predefined (at 90 days) but can be over-ridden by a registry setting at: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT \CurrentVersion\SystemRestore
      Value: RPLifeInterval – DWORD value Entered as Seconds to Live (Decimal number ??)
      If the registry Value doesn’t exist it defaults to 7776000 seconds (90 days)
      I have no idea if it obeys values greater than 90 days.

      I think the old Restore Points only get deleted when a new point is created – which also triggers the cleanup routine which deletes points older than the set age. There is some speculation online as to whether the age limit only applies to System created points as distinct from User created points – which might account for some contradictory observations.

      However it appears that Win10 no longer obeys this registry entry and only uses the default predefined value set by Microsoft. Again I cannot find ANY official MS documentation regarding the “time to live” value for Win10 – but several unofficial sources all agree that tests indicate 17 days is the hard coded value.

      There is a GUI utility (System Restore Manager) that claims it can edit the Win7 settings.
      However on testing the settings editing features do not work – the other features do appear to function
      http://m.majorgeeks.com/files/details/system_restore_manager.html
      https://www.ghacks.net/2011/02/21/system-restore-manager-manage-windows-system-restore-points-settings/

      • #217406 Reply

        anonymous

        Hi Doug,

        I found your information informative on Win 10 automatically deleting restore points after 17 days.  I have Windows 10 Home.  I believe I’ve observed that, when Win 10 installs a new build, it first deletes all restore points and makes a new one.  “Burning” those “bridges” means if you want to roll back to the recent past, your only option is to use Recovery: Go back to a previous version of Windows 10.

        A couple of days ago I tried rolling back from 1803 to 1709, to see what would happen.  After I performed the rollback, it was only a couple of minutes before Win 10 popped up a message saying it had new updates and would notify me when a reboot was imminent.  I wanted a couple of hours to assess what the rollback had accomplished before returning to 1803, so I rushed to the setting that tells Win when I’m actively using the computer and changed the end time from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM.

        The next day I initiated the steps to do a Fresh Start, but found that Microsoft has materially changed what Fresh Start does and does not wipe out.  Woody, in the recently released 3d edition of his Windows 10 All-in-One for Dummies book, speculated that Microsoft would face pressure from computer manufacturers to change Fresh Start.  🙁

    • #217957 Reply

      DougCuk
      AskWoody Lounger

      Just an update on the Restore Points issue. While earlier versions of Windows 10 appeared to have a 17 day limit on the lifespan of System Restore Points – this seems to have been increased to 28 days (most likely with the release of 1803). Both User and System created Restore Points are subject to this lifespan limit.

      I am presently running tests to double check the current (1803) behaviour – and confirm that the ability to over-ride this setting via the registry has been disabled. I will post again once I have firm conclusions.

    • #218016 Reply

      NightOwl
      AskWoody MVP

      Hi @ ArtistAnn

      Am I missing something?? This just seems wrong to me.

      Quite possibly. I note you have not commented in this thread recently, so I’m not sure if you are no longer looking at this problem, have solved it to your satisfaction, or are not quite sure what to do first, and then next…but here’s my take…

      I ran across this forum posting started in mid-May, 2018, when I was looking for possible explanations for your issue(s):

      Windows user folder size less than actual size

      It looks like a number of folks are reporting that *Windows Explorer* is not showing the correct size of folder content or files. One poster says it occurs if the *Path Length* to the file or folder is *too long*–I don’t know what that may mean exactly. Another poster says it occurs if a date either before or after a file or folder name is used. All seem to agree it was happening with Windows 10, version 1803, and was not occurring in versions prior to 1803!

      And, the problem seems to be an *under reporting* of the amount of data that is saved on the drive.

      A comment or two regarding what has gone on in this thread so far:

      1. Much of what is being discussed is how to reduce the amount of data that is being stored on your SSD. Well, that’s really the *solution(s)* to the problem of too much data on the SSD–not an answer to why your amount of data does not seem to be adding up!

      Now, much of what’s been said is *good* advise–but it should be something you worry about after you answer your original question–how much, and where is the data?!

      2. I would not personally start doing random *solution* changes if you can not first account for the data–so that you can see, and follow what happens when you make changes.

      3. Several posters have suggested third party programs that can help look at the files stored on your SSD or hard drive (HDD)–giving the size and locations. I do not see any replies asking for help with those programs (if needed), or listing the results of using one or more of those programs. It takes some getting used to looking at the output of those programs–but, they are very helpful. These programs are the one’s that will help answer your original question of what, where, and how much data is on either of your drives.

      I have more to share, but have an appointment to go to–so will have to wait for awhile.

      Think about what I have said above, ask questions, and share where you are at this point …

      NightOwl

      No question is stupid ... but, possibly the answers are 😉 !

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      b
      • #218623 Reply

        ArtistAnn
        AskWoody Lounger

        Thanks, Night Owl, for your Sept 17 post. This thread has become long and complex, and I’ve taken the opportunity today to go back through and make sure I read and appropriately replied to all of the posts.

        You hit the nail on the head hen you said I needed to first solve the mystery of what is taking up the space on my C: drive and then concern myself with whittling it down. As you will see from my replies to two others in this thread, I finally got the full look I needed at the hidden files on my SSD drive and thereby was able to account for almost all the used space. I’m satisfied now that Windows 10 is working as it should and not planting mystery files the size of the Blob on my SSD. Though I would not have been alone had this been the case, as I discovered when I Googled “Why is my hard drive filling up with files in Windows 10?”

        That is a bizarre problem in Windows 1803! I put the date at the end of a lot of my file names. Just one more bug for the MS engineers to run down and fix! Thanks much for thinking of me and taking the time to tell me about it.

        Ann

        Desktop PC, Win 10 Home v. 1709, MS Office 2016, Adobe Photoshop & Bridge 2018
    • #218063 Reply

      DougCuk
      AskWoody Lounger

      @nightowl I agree – until you have accurate information it is impossible to fix or understand a problem. Windows Explorer will never show the full picture of file use – so you are forced to use 3rd party utilities to get a complete picture.

      Treesize_Win7

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    • #218602 Reply

      ArtistAnn
      AskWoody Lounger

      @artistann That alarming comment on moving folders doesn’t give details, and seems alarmist. It certainly wasn’t backed up by the moderator that posted afterwards. Before making up your mind, I hope you might read these two articles (which I believe carry more authority): Windows 10 tip: Move your default data folders to a different drive If you have more than one physical drive, keep your system (C:) drive from getting overwhelmed by moving default folders (Music, Pictures, Documents, and so on) to a secondary drive. By Ed Bott | November 15, 2017 (yes, this is my link from above) Move your Windows 10 libraries to a separate drive or partition Physically separating programs and data protects them both and makes for easier backups By Lincoln Spector | Feb 11, 2016 They discuss how moving the user folder location allows enough space for the OS & programs that are installed of the SSD to not be so overcrowded. As long as it’s done properly, and you take a full backup before attempting it, it should work just fine.

      Actually, Kirsty, I think we’re all on the same page here. The article I linked to, above, was on the perils of moving a user profile folder, in its entirety, from the system drive to a data drive. The moderator agreed this should not be attempted and recommended moving specific folders from the User profile folder to the C: drive, as described in the articles you recommended. 🙂

      I answered my own question about which folders can be safely moved from C: by checking the folders’ Properties to see which have a Location tab. They are:

      3D Objects
      Contacts
      Desktop
      Documents
      Downloads
      Favorites
      Links
      Music
      Pictures
      Saved Games
      Searches
      Videos

      Ann

      Desktop PC, Win 10 Home v. 1709, MS Office 2016, Adobe Photoshop & Bridge 2018
      1 user thanked author for this post.

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