Windows Folder 50GB in size RRS feed

  • Question

  • A user's computer had a 300 GB HDD partitioned, C - 60GB and D - 240 GB.  It's running xp SP3.  However, the C drive is saying it has 820MB free.  After checking through all the files, it says the c:\windows folder is 50.1GB in size! but when going into that folder and showing the hidden files and going through the folders and removing the temp files and selecting all the folders and right clicking to get a total of the properties, it says it is only 4.2GB... I cannot find the other 46GB.  A disk cleanup has been done, along with a defrag, but that only cleared 2 GB.  Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!!  It's really strange.  All sys logs etc have been cleared as well.  I'm figuring that it's something to do with the windows update perhaps, but which ones are causing it, I don't know, as there are no obvious folders / files that are large enough to explain this missing 46 GB.  Any suggestions would be highly welcome!
    Wednesday, January 11, 2012 9:05 AM

All replies

  • Hi,


    There few solution to resolve the issue.

    First of all; run clean up disk and select Compressed old, it will also indicate a space takes and free after the Clean up completes its job.

    Second of all; verify Installer folder. It is a hidden folder but it may contains installation files to one of the installed software.


    Bartosz Kurowski Senior Desktop Support, Microsoft Cerified Trainer. MCP, MCT, MCTS, MCITP, MOS
    Wednesday, January 11, 2012 11:45 AM
  • Hi there!

    Yeah as stated previously, I had already tried the disk clean up which cleared out the compressed files which freed up 2 GB. There was no installer folder, only the C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution.  I've managed to clear another 1GB from the datastore and some other files that they really didn't need. The machine needs a good defrag badly, but because it says there is only 5% disk space free and it needs 15% free, it can nnot run it properly.  I'm sure if it could, this would solve some of the issue.  I just don't know where this 45GB is supposedly hiding in the windows folder.  Has anyone used something like Treesize or similar?

    Thursday, January 12, 2012 9:53 AM
  • Hi

    1. First Make sure u had selected to show all hidden files in folder option and also uncheck "Hide Protected Operating system files" and see if there any file /Folder of such size.

    2. Locate "Pagefile.sys" and check the size, Generely on c:\ if not changed.

    3. Yes there are number of 3PU to check folder and file size indivisualy, i am not sure and did't use any

    but find the below link (At your own risk)

    4. Try chkdsk and chek for any corruption.

     5 Best of Luck :)





    Thursday, January 12, 2012 10:26 AM
  • Hi,

    I would scan size folders in Windows directory.

    There is a free Tool Disk Use from SysInternals, which may help you.

    Download the file, copy it into Windows directory. Open Command Prompt (CMD) and run the file from there:

    du.exe -v

    The tool will scan the folder and reports files and folder size.

    It will help indentify which folder(s) store causing the issue.



    Bartosz Kurowski Senior Desktop Support, Microsoft Cerified Trainer. MCP, MCT, MCTS, MCITP, MOS
    Thursday, January 12, 2012 11:14 AM
  • Hi,

    The files in question may be attributed to VSS (Volume Shadow Copy) although a little strange on XP

    Either way I recommend using Spacemonger (

    This will give you a visual representation of the space used on your drive and the files occupying space.




    If you find my information useful, please rate it. :-)
    Thursday, January 12, 2012 7:20 PM