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Old 26th January 2010   #1
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Error msg. "disk full" but not....


Help! I recently received a new laptop, a Dell Inspiron 14 w/IE8 & Windows 7. It is a nightmare! I, of course have the issue w/the cursor. However, it is the least of my problems. Due to a variety of issues, I have had to reinstall Windows 7 numerous times. I would prefer to just return to factory specs but this is not an option w/this system. I am now constantly getting the msg. "RECOVERY C" disk full. My system is showing a "C" & an "E". The "E" lists many files, programs, etc. I have had to try so many different things to clean this computer that I don't even know what is where anymore.

This system has also caused issues w/the 2 other computers in the house. The internet is fully connected however none of the computers are recognized by the router. I believe that I have fixed this problem-however I don't have a clue as to how I did :}

I don't know what to do. Should I just purchase a program & wipe the computer?

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Old 26th January 2010   #2
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Originally Posted by Armymom View Post
Help! I recently received a new laptop, a Dell Inspiron 14 w/IE8 & Windows 7.
How recent is 'recent'?? If it's as big of an issue as it seems it is, with a brand new laptop... I would have the warranty fix it for me. Laptops are the one product that I buy extended warranties on.

Recovery C may be suggesting that the computer is trying to run backup and store the image/files on the C drive. I know my computer suggests a minimum drive size of 120Gb to be used as a backup drive. Even though the spare drive I have installed is only 110Gb, it has plenty of room for the backup files... yet I still get a message saying to check disk space.

If formatting is your solution, make sure you have install disks and Product Keys for all of your programs BEFORE you format... this will help keep headaches to a minimum. Also, you may want to backup your pictures, music, personal files, etc that can't be replaced to an external/secondary hard drive... all in all, make sure that if you lose everything on the drive, you can get it back. It's common sense, i know, but I've known people to not worry about it and end up losing a LOT of data/programs.

The only time I would buy software to format a drive is if I were going to dispose of the drive and not want anyone to be able to gather information from it... If you plan on using the drive as an OS drive, hook it up as a slave on a separate machine and use Windows formatting capabilities. Easy and plenty of 'how-to' videos on the net to help!

I hope this at least gets your mind jogging and helps!!

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Old 26th January 2010   #3
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I received the computer for Xmas. It seemed to be fine until I used the Transfer Wizard in an attempt to move info from other laptop. I had a difficult time transferring files and eventually gave up. I then removed anything that did transfer. I believe that this may have contributed to my problems.

My E drive has much space available & has many of the same files/programs but I can't seem to find a way to utilize it. Granted, I am not a computer wiz, everything I know I've taught myself(or stumbled upon), but this has me stumped. I have, quite literally, spent entire days/nights working on it. Is there any way to remove the info on the C drive & then simply reinstall what might be needed?

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Old 26th January 2010   #4
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Sounds like your C: partition is the Recovery partition. and E: contained your Windows 7 install. If you attempted to reinstall Windows on the Recovery partition then you would be out of space. You need to verify what partition the original install was on and reinstall to it.

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Old 26th January 2010   #5
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this is sort of what i've been thinking, however in less "technical" terms :}

How do i verify the info & after I do so, how do i go about correcting things? In a very backwards way, i think that i've been trying to do this-albeit completely wrong. Any guidance is greatly appreciated.

BTW-any ideas on correcting this blasted cursor issue? Thx!

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Old 26th January 2010   #6
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Did you use the transfer wizard and send data to your recovery drive instead of your E drive??
Dell creates these RECOVERY drives on their computers specifically for the recovery files to be located. When the system performs its backup process, it is set to use that drive to store the files. If you start adding data to the drive, it loses it's space for recovery items.(Hence the RECOVERY C Disk Full message) Make sure you delete all files from there except the recovery files and see if that helps. Run the windows backup and see if it gives you that same error. From now on DO NOT save your personal data to that drive. It is a recovery drive. If you wanted to set your recovery drive to a different location, that is possible through the backup manager.

If you wanted to format your Recovery C: drive (assuming you aren't running your operating system on it), !!!and don't mind losing the original image file from the factory!!!, you can click Start button, then Right-Click the Computer button and click the manage option... on the left pane should be a 'storage' drop-down and under that is a 'disk management' option... click that option. The hard drives (and removable drives) should show up in the main window. You can right-click your drive and click format and it will format the drive so it shows as empty. After formatting the drive you need to run backup again and get a new image file created in the recovery drive. I'm not positive a recovery drive is able to be formatted though.

I would suggest cleaning that drive out simply by deleting all files that aren't located in the dell recovery folder first. If that doesn't work, run backup and set the location to a blank dvd for now. Every time the backup runs, it will save to that DVD, provided you leave the DVD in the disk drive.

I hope someone with more knowledge will chime in here and help you fix your issue without having to format. But if you are wanting to format (again, assuming your drive C is not the primary O.S. drive), the steps above will get you there. I'm not a genius when it comes to backup/recovery issues.

Whiskey brings up a good point... hopefully in all your mess of things going on, you didn't accidentally install Windows to your recovery drive.

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Old 26th January 2010   #7
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i just checked the drives & when i click "format" on the C drive it won't allow the action. I'm assuming this means that I've got something in the wrong spot. The info given says to reinstall w/the DVD & assign to correct partitions, etc. "E" can be formatted. Is it possible to get a play-by-play as to how to do this safely? I don't want to just randomly do this & mess it up.

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Old 26th January 2010   #8
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Did you verify that your 'windows' folder is on your "E:" drive and not your "RECOVER C:" drive. That would cause it to not format.

You do have the install DVD for Windows 7 - Full version correct?

What exactly are you wanting to do?? Are you wanting to format that drive completely and re-install Windows?? Essentially wiping the drive clean of EVERYTHING??

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Old 26th January 2010   #9
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windows is formatted on the "C" drive(the symbol is attached to the drive icon). and yes, I want to completely wipe the computer & start anew. I have the installation dvd that came w/the computer.

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Old 26th January 2010   #10
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Armymom, I'm no expert but, you cannot Format because Windows is running on that drive. The option is on the CD to Repair or install over the existing OS if my memory serves me right.
How were you transferring your files between computers? Cheers Neil.

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Old 27th January 2010   #11
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Neil is right... you cannot format a drive in use. Especially since it is your primary. The only way to really achieve it is either using the boot disk from Windows and perform a 'clean install' where it removes all windows files and reinstalls them. It's been a while since I've installed off a disk, so don't be mad if I'm wrong, but there should also be a format drive option that you can choose when the install is being set up. That should format your drive to a clean state and essentially start from scratch. The other option is to remove your hard drive from your computer and set it up as a slave and format it using another computer... that option isn't very feasible and requires you tearing into your brand new laptop... so try to stay away from that

when you insert the disk and run the program, does it give you an option to perform an install by restarting the computer and booting from the disk??

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Old 27th January 2010   #12
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Originally Posted by Armymom View Post
windows is formatted on the "C" drive(the symbol is attached to the drive icon). and yes, I want to completely wipe the computer & start anew. I have the installation dvd that came w/the computer.
I wouldn't bet on that. Click start>computer and in the window that opens right click on the c drive and choose properties. What size does it show the drive is? I'm betting it's a recovery drive. It may be a recovery drive from Dell or it could be the recovery drive that Windows 7 makes when you install it.

Whatever the case, if it is a recovery drive of some type, something isn't right. Those things are usually hidden and windows doesn't know they exist unless you use disk management or something similar to look at things. So, how large is that c drive?

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Old 27th January 2010   #13
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i started to run the dvd but it seemed to be staying on the "saving from Temp Files" for too long so i stopped. should i let it run or is there something else i should be doing?

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Old 27th January 2010   #14
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when i check properties, the total for the drive is 14.6GB-the used is 14.4GB & the free is 232MB

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Old 27th January 2010   #15
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Well, I don't know what to tell you then. That's too large for a Windows recovery partition but it might be about right for the Dell recovery partition. Can't say for sure because I don't have one. It may well be though because you need a minimum of 16 GB's to install Windows 7.'

Is there a Windows folder on the E: drive? Was this computer new when you got it?

Also, you mention the cursor issue. I don't have any idea what you are talking about. I would say that it would be better to worry about that after you get the disk space issue worked out but you should explain a bit more about that. It might be that nobody else knows what that cursor issue is either.


Last edited by Zander; 27th January 2010 at 02:36.
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