inaccurate hard disk space



I hate to ask for help, but i encountered this problem today and i haven`t been able to track down a solution so far.

The problem is very similar to one posted in May....

I have a 40GB Seagate Barracuda. One partition is set up and it was operating fine. However, i noticed today that XP professional was telling me only 4GB were free and i knew that was wrong.

By selecting all the files in the drive (including hidden files and folders), i realized they totalled only 8GB of storage. To back this up i then installed TreeSize Professional so i could see a breakdown of file size across directories. This agreed that only 8GB of files are on the disk, but at the bottom of the screen says 34GB of the disk is being used.

It is just a typical NTFS installation, no different to any i have did before.

I ran the error checking of XP which took a while. When it rebooted the computer froze so I restarted again. This time it worked fine but still showed the same storage statistics.

I have partition magic 7 installed, but i have not attempted to edit partitions.

Formatting is not the solution I am looking for really. I have only been a XP user for 2 weeks and I have been constantly tweaking to get it right. I`m desperate to find a solution here that won`t involve formatting my disk.


ps. as i was about to send i found this message that is a similar problem. i downloaded the recommended software but have yet to find a solution.


i switched it so that files and folders aren`t hidden, and that system files are accessible via the control panel straight away after I installed XP as i like to poke around.

plus, both 3rd party programs i`ve installed today for analysing files on the disk both concur that only 8gb is used.

i am going to run the error checking component again just now.



I suggest you to use a virus scan... some virus will do something like this manipulate themself to waste all your space...


  • I agree you might want to run a virus scan and ad-aware
  • 4.1 gb are reserved for the mft
  • Go to My Computer - Properties - Tools - Disk Cleanup and dump all but the most recent System Restore Point
  • Empty the Trash Bin
  • Check in My Computer - Properties - what does that say for the drive?
  • Run Partition Magic - what does that say?

Let's start here and see what info we come up with.


Beware the G-Man
Political User
Open up Windoze Explorer and right click on one of your drives then click *Properties* and see what it shows for *Used Space* and *Free Space*. Let's see if it shows the same info as what you got originally.


thanks for trying to help.

unfortunately I had already tried most of those suggestions. I have poked around various parts of XP and they all show that 33gb of data is used with 4gb free.

I have been looking through virus definitions etc to see if that gives any clues. i`m aware that a virus can cause such damage but I`m also running a completely up to date norton 2002 and it thinks everything is fine.

The only other note worthy event is that I had to perform a system restore about a week ago after a program installation completely knackered XP. I don`t think anything else has been installed that would cause this damage.

The only article I have to work with is this one from Microsoft...;en-us;Q315688

at least that admits the problem can happen. it hasn`t helped to solve it yet.

I think if i don`t find a solution by tomorrow i`ll just have to face a format and complete reinstall.


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