Mysterious Disk Usage


Joe Thompson

I just build a new computer and installed Vista Home Premium (64 bit). I
only have one hard drive (640 GB). I've added a few applications and music
and pictures from an external HD. I checked my disk usage last night and it
said I had used 195 GB! I got that by right clicking on the C drive and then
properties. I noticed I had a Windows.old directory and manually deleted it
then emptied my wastebasket. Still no improvement. I tried to do a disk
defragment before I went to bed and let it run overnight. It was still
running when I woke up so I cancelled it (I don't know how far it was as it
doesn't show a progress bar like in XP). I rechecked and now it says I've
used 208 GB (more than before). if I check the properties of each subfolder
in C, I get roughly this:

Music 49GB
Pictures 9GB
Program Files 0.75GB
Prog Files (x86) 17GB
Users 6GB
Windows 17GB

For a total of ~100GB. Where is the other usage coming from? I don't know
if deleting Windows.old manually caused a problem of this magnitude or not.
Any thoughts would be appreciated.




Mark H

Restore and Shadow Copy use 15% of your drive. (96GB)
Even though you cannot access Shadow Copy functions in Vista HP, it is
still used.
This can be set smaller, but best not to tinker unless you need the

Page file is roughly 2x memory.
Hibernation file is roughly 1x memory.

Your other files are about 100GB and that brings you up to speed.

Try running Disk Cleanup and remove Hibernation, restore and shadow copy
files. (They will return, don't worry.)
Then, see how much disk space is in use.

Joe Thompson

Hi Mark,

Thanks for the quick reply - unfortunately I won't be able to try it until I
get home tonight. Are you basically saying this is nothing to be alarmed
over? What would be in the Shadow Copy area that would eat up that much
space? Or does the OS just reserve that much even if it is empty?
Everything seems to run fine but it just seems odd to me that I can't "see"
where the file usage is coming from. By the way, I also tried deleting all
but the latest Restore points. Are the Restore points stored in the Shadow
Copy area?

Thanks again,


Shadowstorage will keeping backups until it is full and then start deleting
the old ones. To see how much shadowstorage is being used go to
Start-Run-CMD. In the command window enter VSSADMIN LIST SHADOWSTORAGE.
There are commands to resize it and other functions. For a list just enter
Also to track down high usage just right click on any directory and select
properties. It will tell you the size of that directory and all it's



Joe Thompson

Mark and Woody,

Thanks for the suggestions. It was the size of the VSS that was using so
much space (~90GB). Anyway, I set it ot be 32GB now.

Thanks again,

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