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Thread: False Reporting of Hard Disk Utilization in XP




  1. #1
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    Can someone tell me why when I delete files in Windows XP (SP1) from my hard drive the freed up space does not show up immediately? I've filled up my HD and need to free up space but XP still shows my HD as full. I'm thinking it might be my settings is set to keep all deleted files in a previous restore but I don't know how to change the settings. I don't have this problem with Windows 98. Can someone help advise what is the problem and how do I fix it?

  2. #2
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    Well, the obvious question is: Do you empty the recycle bin? You probably do, so are you sure you have deleted enough? XP complains if you have less than 15% of your hard drive or partition free, and freeing up that much can be harder than you would think. You delete cookies and temporary files and such as those can take up a lot of space too. But if the problem is that XP simply thinks files that aren't there are there, I don't really know what to do. I don't think System Restore actually keeps files you delete or anything like that (but retrieving them is still easy enough). Do you have 98 and XP on the same computer? If so, does 98 actually show you have more space than XP does (on the same partition, of course)?

  3. #3
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    empty the Recycle Bin
    I've gone too far and need to move on!

  4. #4
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    Beat you to it :). But if he doesn't have the problem in 98 he probably knows how to empty the recycle bin. I could be wrong though :).

  5. #5
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    Yes of course I emptied the recyle bin. I'm using Norton Systemworks 2003. At first I was thinking it might be in the protected recycle bin but I emptied that too. NOramlly when I delte files I press "Shift Delete" which means I want to permanently delete the file and not send it to the Recycle Bin at all.

    Anybody have any other ideas?

  6. #6
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    Well, as I said, are you sure you removed enough? Whenever I go below 15% I end up uninstalling like 2 games. I guess you could try RegCleaner to fix any registry probelms that might be associated, but I doubt that's it. I know there have been a few instances in which a log file of some sort will for whatever reason become very large, MBs and GBs, but I can't really help you any more with that.

  7. #7
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    Well my partition on my HD is 58 GB and I deleted about 3-5 GB of files. When I look at my HD utilization it doesn't register the fact I just freed up 3-5 GB. Is there another hidden log file somewhere in XP? I was thinking it might be because my HD needed to be defragged but that doesn't seem to be the probelm either.

    I do not understand registery files well enough. What would the registry file have that could impact this? I thought reg files were simply keys of code that didn't take up much space at all.

  8. #8
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    That's why it probably doesn't matter. :) But I figured it was worth a shot. Registry should be cleaned anyway. But this is pretty wierd if it doesn't think you're deleting the files. Check and make sure the files really are gone (go back to wherever they were before).

  9. #9
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    The files are definitely deleted. AS mentioned earlier I shift+delete them. I cannot see them in Windows Explorer so I'm pretty sure they are gone. This is very frustrating since I need to free up my HD and it doesn't seem to be registering as deleted? When I add file though it does take into account more files have been added.

    This is why I am posting this to see if anybody else has had the same problem before.

  10. #10
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    I guess you could try using WinOptimizer or Window Washer to delete things. They don't go through the recycle bin (randomly place bits in files before delteing, makes for good security) so it might succesfully delete your files but I doubt it will make your free space you should have gained come. For that I guess you should check the size of all of your folders (and even subfolders) and find the particularly large ones. Check if the system directory (E.G. C:\Windows) gets larger after you delete a file. Check Common Files directory (E.G. C:\Program Files\Common Files) and Norton Systemworks directory (E.G. C:\Program Files\Norton Systemworks) too. If by using these steps you find a folder that gets larger after you delete something it could be a definite lead.

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