Disk space missing after deleting a folder
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Thread: Disk space missing after deleting a folder

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Disk space missing after deleting a folder

    Hi gang...

    I got a 60GB external USB harddisk (NTFS formatted) for storing my data. In Windows XP it shows as a 55.8GB disk. Recently I deleted a folder (about 1GB) but strangely the deleted space was missing!

    Currently the disk Properties shows used space: 54.8GB. But when I select all (ctrl-A) its folders and right-click properties, it shows size: 53.6GB. So there is 1.2GB difference here. The folder in question is no longer there (I didn't use the recycle bin).

    I already ran the scandisk (disk Properties -> Tools -> Error-checking -> Check Now -> Automatically fix filesystem errors), there was no errors, and the space is still gone.

    Most of the tools out there offer data recovery. But I don't want to recover the folder, I just want to reclaim (reuse) the space. Actually it's not that important, it's just annoying to lose the 1.2GB space.

    Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

    Peace always,
    <jdenny>
    Always listen to experts. They\'ll tell you what can\'t be done and why. Then go and do it. -- Robert Heinlein
    I\'m basically a very lazy person who likes to get credit for things other people actually do. -- Linus Torvalds


  2. #2
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
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    Are you getting that figure (ctrl-a) showing all files?

    If you show hidden files, and show hidden operating system files, does your size match?

    In explorer, tools, options, view

    The space you are missing could be a couple of things... protected filesystem, system restore, quarantine?, indexing "database", etc.

    EDIT... Just noticed that you said it was an external USB drive... things that make ya go "hmmmmmm"
    Possible that you have data in a ADS? (alternate data stream)
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  3. #3
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    Phis, nice thought about the hidden files, but I think I've changed the default settings, wait... yes. It's showing all files.

    Anyway, I "recorded" the disk size and the folder size before I deleted the folder, that's why I said the folder is about 1GB. After deleting the folder, the 1.2GB space was not restored while the folder is gone.

    What's wrong about external USB drive? It's lighter than carrying my laptop. LADS shows some data in ADS but none in that folder. (Q: Why do all the Thumbs.db files have ADS stored? i.e. Thumbs.db:encryptable).

    Peace always,
    <jdenny>
    Always listen to experts. They\'ll tell you what can\'t be done and why. Then go and do it. -- Robert Heinlein
    I\'m basically a very lazy person who likes to get credit for things other people actually do. -- Linus Torvalds


  4. #4
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
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    There is nothing wrong with the external HD. They are great!

    I just said "thing that make ya go hmmmm" cause the OS is not installed on there and you're probably only using it for data. I was more puzzled than anything... thinking out loud.

    The thumbs.db is just used for caching the thumbnails... You can turn it off.
    See http://www.fcs.iastate.edu/computer/...bs/default.htm

    Are you using the windows xp encryption service?
    Not really sure why it has the :encryptable on the end of it as an ADS...

    After a quick search... it seems that a lot of people have this. I have yet to find a satisfactory explanation of it.

    Are you using anything like Norton System Works? I know that even if you delete files and empty the recycle bin (or never send them to the recycle bin) that they are then stored in a "protected recycle bin" or something of that nature. You have to empty the protected recycle bin...
    Quitmzilla is a firefox extension that gives you stats on how long you have quit smoking, how much money you\'ve saved, how much you haven\'t smoked and recent milestones. Very helpful for people who quit smoking and used to smoke at their computers... Helps out with the urges.

  5. #5
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    No, I don't use XP encryption nor Norton System Works.

    I guess I'll just try some tools available for data recovery and see what they can do. Anyway, if you have any other suggestions, please post here.

    Peace always,
    <jdenny>
    Always listen to experts. They\'ll tell you what can\'t be done and why. Then go and do it. -- Robert Heinlein
    I\'m basically a very lazy person who likes to get credit for things other people actually do. -- Linus Torvalds


  6. #6
    Just Another Geek
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    Did you try to remove all the thumbs.db files? I have a lot of folders with a huge amount of pictures in them and those thumbs.db files can grow really big! It even looks like it "remembers" thumbnails for files that aren't there anymore.
    Oliver's Law:
    Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

  7. #7
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    I had the same problem with a storage unit. The problem there was because i didnt disconnect the device safely.When i reformat the unit all were ok

  8. #8
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    SirDice, I've just deleted all the Thumbs.db and all the ADS data. But they only occupy a few MBs.

    Omiloparmenos, hmmm... that could be it... Sometimes I don't disconnect the disk safely when I can't stop it. You know, the "The device XXX cannot be stopped right now. Try stopping the device again later" message. I've closed all applications that I _think_ are using it. Usually no problem, but I guess it's now mad at me...

    Damn, deleting a 1.2GB folder couldn't be that long. Next time I'll browse through SysInternal's Process Explorer to find the offending process/application.

    But now, the last thing I want is a reformat...

    Peace always,
    <jdenny>
    Always listen to experts. They\'ll tell you what can\'t be done and why. Then go and do it. -- Robert Heinlein
    I\'m basically a very lazy person who likes to get credit for things other people actually do. -- Linus Torvalds


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