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Resolved 1TB SSD full yet only 400Gb of data??

Discussion in 'Windows 7' started by Nigel Meek, 2017/01/08.

  1. 2017/01/08
    Nigel Meek

    Nigel Meek New Member Thread Starter

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    Hi there, and apologies if this question has been raised before. I have had browse through the forums and can't find a thread.

    I have a 1Tb Crucial M500 SSD as my main boot disk and it was large enough to hold all my data and program files too. I use a standard HDD and external USB for regular data backups.

    It's been a great product, and until recently was about 400Gb full with 560Gb free space in when checked with Explorer Properties.

    All of a sudden, Explorer Properties shows 37Gb free and the rest used - yet when I add up all the directories/files, including Hidden, the total usage adds up to about the 400Gb!

    I have used WinDirStat and it shows a massive "Unknown" file of over 500Gb. This cannot be opened in WinDirStat and of course doesn't appear in the Explorer tree list.

    I have searched the web for help, and have tried loads of things, with no luck, Indeed, the "bloat" file just seems to be getting bigger!

    My .edb file is 1.2Gb, Restore is limited to a max of 10% of the C drive, and current usage is 79Gb. PageFile is set at 5Gb. The C drive is 63% defragmented, but my understanding is that SSD's don't need defragging, and indeed it is not actually advisable to do so, so I haven't.

    I am running Windows 7 Ultimate, with 16Gb RAM. I have checked the BIOS and SATA is set for AHCI and I have "TRIMed" using Acronis True Image. Nothing seems to work and I have run out of ideas?!?!

    As I have been running it for a couple of years with no apparent problems, I suspect that the problem is due to software misbehaving. I have installed Speed Fix Pro (which creates a restore point with every clean up), Scanguard, SpyHunter, MS Security Essentials and CCleaner, all of which seemed to be working in the past OK. I can only guess that I've picked up a virus form somewhere??

    Can any genius shed any light on my problem before I tear out what little hair I have?!

    Many thanks in advance.
     
  2. 2017/01/08
    Bill

    Bill SuperGeek WindowsBBS Team Member

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    On the graphics (Treemap) portion of WinDirStat, double-click on that monster file. You should then be able to see this file. Right click on it and select Explore here. That will (should) open the File Explorer folder containing that file. Rename the file. I recommend just appending the end of the file name with,

    -delete-1-8-2017​

    Then reboot. If nothing breaks, you should then be able to delete that file. If something breaks, all you have to do is rename it back by deleting the added end of the file name.

    It could be malware and worth scanning again, but MSE and SpyHunter are good so I think you are safe. That said, I don't trust or recommend Scanguard. In fact, based on what I am reading, I would uninstall it immediately and go with Malwarebytes instead.

    Can you trust ScanGuard?
    Suspect - ScanGaurd (sic) Security Suite

    BTW, I use that renaming trick all the time with files and folders I don't know what they do. I always put the date in there (with dashes not slashes) because I often forget about it for days, weeks, or even months. Then I stumble on the file or folder again. With the date there I can see how long it has been since renamed and easily discern if something broke, or if safe to finally delete it permanently.
     
    Bill,
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  4. 2017/01/08
    Nigel Meek

    Nigel Meek New Member Thread Starter

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    Many thanks Bill, I should have said that the "Unknown" monster file cannot be accessed in WinDirStat, all options are greyed out when right clicking it. Your advice re. ScanGuard is good news. I have a gut feel that the problems started when I renewed my subscription to it. I hadn;t used it for a few weeks, and when I ran it, the note came up that my subscription had expired. When I renewed it, I had to download an updated file, and that is when (I think) my problems started. So I shall do as you suggest in any event.

    From more searching the internet, I feel the problem is related to ACHI settings in BIOS. I had reason to reset BIOS to default settings a while back, (quite possibly relating to issues with reinstalling ScanGuard can't remeber), and I guess that any "SATA in ACHI" setting was lost. I have changed 2 settings that I found, so will go back into BIOS and have a real good search for any others I may have missed!

    Thanks again for advise and I will come back and report any progress.
     
  5. 2017/01/08
    Bill

    Bill SuperGeek WindowsBBS Team Member

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    I don't see how or why.

    You still should be able to see where this file is located on your drive with WinDirStat. From there, use File explorer (if you can) to navigate to it then rename/delete it. You may have to enable Show Hidden Files to see it. Then do the rename trick.
     
    Bill,
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  6. 2017/01/08
    Nigel Meek

    Nigel Meek New Member Thread Starter

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    Cracked it Bill! Hidden away In BIOS I had Marvell Disk Management (or something like that), set to IDE. I had to change to SATA and change another SATA setting to ACHI, then rebooted. Ran TRIM SSD from Acronis True Image. Rebooted again, and lo and behold my C drive recovered the missing 500Gb!

    Such a palaver just to get back to where I was about 4 weeks ago. That's one weekend I won't ever get back. Oh, I also uninstalled ScanGuard first. Lost a year's subscription but hey ho.

    The <Unknown> element in WinDirStat is zero now, but when it was 500Gb it definitley wasn't accessible. Can only assume it was used by ScanGuard for something? I know that my Restore size limit was huge in Windows system. I reduced it to 10% of disk space every time, by it kept being raised to something like 50% or so, I'm guessing by ScanGuard??

    Anyway, all seems well at present, so I guess problem solved, although I'm really not sure why!!
     
  7. 2017/01/08
    Bill

    Bill SuperGeek WindowsBBS Team Member

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    That is sure odd. Even if your BIOS got reset back to the defaults, IDE is such an old interface (having been replaced by SATA many years ago) it seems unlikely IDE would have been the default. So it makes me wonder how it got changed to IDE. It has been many years since I had to mess with any of those settings and I've been using SSDs for most of those years.
    I don't know. Could be it was ScanGuard. But even so, Windows (if every thing is working properly) will automatically reduce those limits when free disk space becomes limited - to the point of even disabling Restore if space becomes critical. So I just leave those settings at the defaults.

    Anyway, I am glad you have it sorted out now and thanks for posting your follow-up.
     
    Bill,
    #6

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