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  1. #1
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    External HD: What's eating the space?

    Good morning all. I am running Win7, 64bit system. I have a WD 640GB external hd that I use for misc storage. At one time I did use the software that came with it to back up my system but no longer use it because I have a 2T one that I use for that. That said my issue is these numbers. If I go to My Computer, I see the external drive and its telling me this: That of the 640G's I am using 145.5GB for Files and 147.8GB for Additional Files. It shows as having 302.2 GB Free. If I go into the file and look at whats in there I can not see anything even remotely large. I have one Game file of 12GB's, everything else is pdf's, text files, programs etc. There are only 13 folders and a number of single ones. Other than the 12GB game file, the next largest folder is less than 2GB. Everything is small, I should have well over 500GBs free but yet it tells me I don't. So something is hidden and I can't see it. I have the Show hidden files ticked and am the only Admin and operator. Any suggestions on what the heck is going on.

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  3. #2
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    Use a tool such as Space Sniffer to see how your disk space is being used.
    Rui
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    R4

  4. #3
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    At one time I did use the software that came with it to back up my system but no longer use it because I have a 2T one that I use for that.
    Are you duplicating data somewhere?
    Run Rui's suggestion of SpaceSniffer AND perform a careful and detailed search in Windows explorer with hidden attributes enabled.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
    Motherboard: DX58SO2*Chipset: X58 Express/Intel ICH10*BIOS: SOX5820J.86A.0888.2012.0129.2203*Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU X 990
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 580*Memory: Corsair 12 GB, 4x3@1600*PSU: Corsair HX1000*Hard drives: REVO X2 160GB*OCZ VERT X3 120GB*5 mechanical storage drives (12 TB) total.

  5. #4
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    Sorry for the late response, out of town for Thanksgiving. I used Space Sniffer (along with DiskView from Sysinternal). They both show the same thing. My external hd shows as using only 2.1G's but yet only 318G's free out of 640. I re-checked the folder option's (Control Panel/Folder) and Show all hidden folders is ticked. With Space Sniffer I am getting the Log telling me the System Volumn Info-access denied size 0kb. Not sure what that is. I think the only thing to do is just pull out what I need and reformat it. I've done search's looking for an answer but nothing works. I'm positive that this is a hidden system image, thats what I have been using it for. It's just invisible. If I open WD's Smartware software it shows the drive with the 318 Free space and then 145G's of Files and another 131G's of Additional Files. I have to wonder if it is the WD software thats failing. Oh well. thanks for the replies, much appreciated.

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    Have you tried running a chkdsk on the external drive?
    Rui
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  7. #6
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Pulling the data off and reformatting would be the thing to do if all else fails.
    You should also intermittently check the SMART data on it from time to time.

    Crystal Disk Info
    Hard Disk Sentinel
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
    Motherboard: DX58SO2*Chipset: X58 Express/Intel ICH10*BIOS: SOX5820J.86A.0888.2012.0129.2203*Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU X 990
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 580*Memory: Corsair 12 GB, 4x3@1600*PSU: Corsair HX1000*Hard drives: REVO X2 160GB*OCZ VERT X3 120GB*5 mechanical storage drives (12 TB) total.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by James S View Post
    I have to wonder if it is the WD software thats failing.
    System uses much space for things intentionally hidden from you including virtual memory and system restore files.

  9. #8
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    Thanks for the additional info. I'll definetely try them. I did run chkdsk but no effect on my ext hd. Will look at CliNT's suggestion, if that doesn't work I'll just reformat.

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruirib View Post
    Use a tool such as Space Sniffer to see how your disk space is being used.
    I use the free FileMenu Tools (http://www.lopesoft.com/en/filemenutools/download), which adds a "Size of Folders" command (among many others) to the right-click context menu of the selected drive. It gives a very nice tree view and pie chart view of the folders and their size (both in bytes and %) on the drive and allows you to execute a wide variety of commands on them. As an example of its use, I had been unable to remove the the 70-GB contents of a stubborn Recycle Bin ($RECYCLE.bin) folder from my external USB drive, even after disabling its use using the prescribed method. After using the Delete command from the Size of Folder window, the folder immediately showed zero contents. This program has many other useful commands, and I think it is a gem.

  11. #10
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    One of my backup programs (can't remember if it's EaseUS ToDo or if it's the built-in Windows Backup) creates a full System Image/Disc Image and then HIDES it in whatever backup location i choose. It's as though it doesn't exist except for the fact that available space on that drive is significantly reduced. Maybe try opening your backup program and either use the "Explore Images" option or do the first steps towards using the Restore option and that will show you what backup images are available, their size, and where they are located.

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    I will be interested in what you find. My wife was using a 1TB WD Passport for backup with the WD tools and it was telling her it was full even though she had only about 50 GB of data. I eventually reformatted the drive. She also found the backup tools to bog down here laptop as they were constantly running.

  13. #12
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    Perhaps the old backup software created a hidden partition? Hit the start button and type: Create and format hard disk partitions. Open the disk manager and it should show up there if that's the case. If so and you're sure you don't need it, delete the partition (right click-delete) and allocate that space for your misc storage partition (right click on misc storage partition-extend volume).

  14. #13
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    You could always copy the 2.1GB you want to keep to your 2T drive temporarily and simply reformat the drive in question and move it all back.

  15. #14
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    Warning re the free FileMenu Tools (http://www.lopesoft.com/en/filemenutools/download). Has portable version too.
    Powerful program but dangerous to non-experts. However, as previously mentioned, it is also very useful too, especially the folder size app.

    1. FileMenuTools will not tell you that when you click 'save changes' ALL the checked items in >>>ALL<<< the tabs are saved.
    2. DO NOT touch the content of the 3rd tab "Commands of Other Applications".
    At least do not uncheck any. You can check additional items, but DO NOT uncheck any already exists. If you uncheck some you may have disabled some normal operations. Examples: Cannot access Windows Explorer (Folder Explorer), all shortcuts are disabled, including the Start Menu(!), Run command will not work.
    3. You can, however, safely check/uncheck items in the first tab 'Commands of FileMenuTools'.
    JUST DON'T TOUCH THE ITEMS IN THE 3RD TAB "COMMANDS OF OTHER APPLICATIONS."
    You are warned.
    ----------------------
    If you uncheck all items in 3rd tab 'Commands of Other Applications' and then 'Save Changes', you cannot start any new programs or access to Folder Explorer. Don't panic... Work-around:
    Ctrl-Alt-Esc to start Task manager. Find Explorer.exe in the list of tasks. Highlight it and run it. Now you have Folder Explorer open. Navigate to FileMenuTools folder and run FileToolsMenuTools. Go to 3rd tab and check ALL items and sub items. Save changes. Now you're back to normal.

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