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Author Topic: Something happened to make my External HD full, not sure what...  (Read 655 times)

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Offline ThatRPGuyTopic starter

Recently, My PC game me a notification that my recently purchased External hard drive is full. This seemed completely impossible, as I've just bought the thing, and I was next to positive that all my data on it combined wouldn't even be 100 gigs. Sure enough, when I go to the root folder of the drive, even with view hidden files on, everything I see combined is about 70 gigs, leaving me with about 400 gigs of space that are simply unaccounted for.

Does anyone have some kind of idea what might be on my drive, and how I can get it off? I can't imagine what it is; my main hard drive is only 128 gigs, so even if it was a system backup, it shouldn't take up 400. I'm at a loss as what to do...

Offline GothicFires

Re: Something happened to make my External HD full, not sure what...
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2013, 07:14:42 PM »
I am assuming you only have one hard drive and it is not partitioned. If you right click on your hard drive and select 'properties' how much used space/free space does it say you have? what is the total capacity of your hard drive?

Offline ThatRPGuyTopic starter

Re: Something happened to make my External HD full, not sure what...
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2013, 10:32:13 PM »
My main hard drive is just the 128 150 gig one, unpartitioned. Clicking properties on that shows 132 used/16 free. As for the external one, right clicking that shows me 438 used, and 27 free. Opening that drive, and highlighting everything on it and clicking properties shows 69.7 gigs of data. So 69 gig accounted for, and 27 free, that's 400+ gigs of data completely unaccounted for, that I can't seem to see.

Offline GothicFires

Re: Something happened to make my External HD full, not sure what...
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2013, 09:40:49 AM »
It sounds like there may be something screwy with your file allocation tables. Here is what I would do
  • Run Virus check... you never know.
  • Run a hard drive check to see if there is any damage on the hard drive
  • Restore the computer to factory settings. This does mean you will loose all your personal files unless you have them backed up. After it is done, check your hard drive space again. If the problem is fixed then start installing your other software again, but check after each one to see if the problem occurs again.
  • Return the machine to the manufacturer to have it repaired.


I'm just guessing at the problem but not at what i would do for dealing with it. I have no idea why the computer would show the same problem with your external hard drive since it has it's own file allocation tables but they do determine how much 'space' a file takes up on the computer.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Something happened to make my External HD full, not sure what...
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2013, 10:02:49 AM »
I don't know that the state of the internal drive is exhibiting a 'problem', or if Guy just listed it for comparison.   Does the data for how full the internal drive is seem off?  Or do you actually have 132G used on it?

Offline GothicFires

Re: Something happened to make my External HD full, not sure what...
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2013, 10:59:28 AM »
If i am reading what he wrote right, the external hard drive is having the same 'missing space' issue. 438 used / 27 free and only 70 accounted for.  I could see the file allocation table not reading correctly on the pc. Of course if he had transferred any files over to the external hard drive the pc might have also messed up its fat files.

RpG, do you have another computer that you can hook the external hard drive up to and check the disk space?

Offline Oniya

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Re: Something happened to make my External HD full, not sure what...
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2013, 11:43:46 AM »
The external hard drive is the part that he made the initial complaint about.  He's given what the disk properties readout is for both, but never said what amount of 'real data' he has on the internal drive (i.e., data he can account for like the 63G he knows is really on the external drive).

Offline GothicFires

Re: Something happened to make my External HD full, not sure what...
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2013, 02:16:15 PM »
i hate when my brain doesn't read things right  >:(

Offline russ

Re: Something happened to make my External HD full, not sure what...
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2013, 05:07:04 PM »
Although their webpage seems a bit screwy at the moment, I've used this before as a tool to visually see size of files on a drive - http://www.sixty-five.cc/sm/. Hope this might help!

Online Oreo

Re: Something happened to make my External HD full, not sure what...
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2013, 05:36:13 PM »
Just out of curiosity have you right-click-checked the properties of each folder in the external drive to see if one of them is bigger than it should be?

Offline ThatRPGuyTopic starter

Re: Something happened to make my External HD full, not sure what...
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2013, 12:27:03 AM »
Sorry this took me a bit, it's been a busy couple of weeks with holidays, birthdays, etc. Anyway...

The state of my internal hard drive is exactly what I expect it to be, that's not what I'm debating at all. I mentioned the drive because even if windows made a backup of it I didn't know about, it still couldn't take up the whole external drive, it's 4 times as big.

RpG, do you have another computer that you can hook the external hard drive up to and check the disk space?

I saw my sister this last weekend, and I brought the drive with me so I could test. Unfortunately, it also reads as full on her computer as well, so I'm guessing that means whatever the problem is is with my drive.

I took a couple of screenshots, hopefully this will clarify a few things. Here's the disc when I right click from my computer and select properties;

It used to be completely full, but I deleted some stuff just to see if the space would disappear, and thankfully, it did not, so now I have a few gigs free, but still, over 400 used....


Here is the root menu in the drive, with the sum of all the files to the right after I highlighted it all and clicked properties. I made sure to have hidden files showing as well for this. As you can see, I can account for about 80 of the 400+ 'used' gigs of memory...

Edit; removed my name and my son's from the image of the folders.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2013, 12:30:11 AM by ThatRPGuy »

Online Oreo

Re: Something happened to make my External HD full, not sure what...
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2013, 01:11:20 AM »
I haven't a clue if it would help to defrag the HD. Have you already tried that?

Offline ThatRPGuyTopic starter

Re: Something happened to make my External HD full, not sure what...
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2013, 03:11:46 AM »
I can't say I have, I'll try that overnight while I sleep. Thanks cookie!

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Re: Something happened to make my External HD full, not sure what...
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2013, 03:13:39 AM »
Also, if that doesn't work, might I recommend removing the data temporarily to your computer, or a cloud if you feel safe doing such things, and reformatting the drive?

Offline mayovagn

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Re: Something happened to make my External HD full, not sure what...
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2013, 12:41:55 AM »
Run scandisk on the drive Guy, this might take a good while, set it to scan for bad sectors as well as file issues.

If that doesn't show up any problems and fix the bad behaviour then backup all the data you have on the thing and as Rogue says, format it.

If you then copy the data you have back to it and its still reporting badly then send it back to the manufacturer.

I haven't seen this sort of bad behaviour survive a format in the past however, so if it does come to that I believe you will be good.


M.

Offline Psi

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Re: Something happened to make my External HD full, not sure what...
« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2013, 07:07:45 AM »
Download this - http://windirstat.info/

When you run it, select your external drive.
It will let you see visually via the pretty picture or expand folders until you identify what directory path is utilising all your space.

I use it all the time for work.

You might need to right click and run as administrator though, its possible its being used by "$RECYCLE.BIN" or other system files

Offline Nessy

Re: Something happened to make my External HD full, not sure what...
« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2013, 12:25:42 AM »
That second image the one with the folders and files highlighted may not be a full picture of your files and sizes, especially the backups. Mine would notshow me the backup sizes until i gave myself permission to view them... for example when i right clicked on back ups, it would show zero which is not true. When i went into the folder, which required admin permission, then it would show me the true sizes. If you are doing a full backup each time, that could eat space pretty quickly.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2013, 12:31:26 AM by Nessy »

Offline ThatRPGuyTopic starter

Re: Something happened to make my External HD full, not sure what...
« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2013, 01:08:04 AM »
WOW!

Nessy, you hit the nail on the head with that one. There were 3 different dates of full 127 gig backups in that 0 byte folder. That just made all the difference. Thanks to all of you for your help, as well!