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An unusual way to free up hard drive space?

 
 
JB
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      05-27-2006
I have recently come across an unusual way of freeing up space on hard
drives. You first set up a temporary folder on say, C Drive, and then copy
into this folder enough data to completely fill up the drive. You keep going
until Windows tells you that the drive is full and that it can't copy any
more files on to C Drive.

You then delete this temporary folder and all its contents, and empty the
recycle bin. On a friend's laptop, I gained an extra 1.2GB of space on a
20GB hard drive after carrying out this procedure. I think this is quite a
significant gain.

I am not sure why I gained an extra 1.2GB of space by doing this, but
perhaps Windows keeps a "hidden record" of deleted files after you have
emptied your recycle bin (in case these "deleted" files need to be
subsequently recovered) and only deletes these files when it really has to?
Is this a correct assumption or are there other reasons why this procedure
freed up disk space?

Are there any dangers in carrying out this procedure? Has anyone else found
that this procedure has freed up space on hard drives?

Regards, JB


 
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Barry Watzman
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      05-27-2006
You gained the space because there were documents in the recycle bin
before you started.


JB wrote:

> I have recently come across an unusual way of freeing up space on hard
> drives. You first set up a temporary folder on say, C Drive, and then copy
> into this folder enough data to completely fill up the drive. You keep going
> until Windows tells you that the drive is full and that it can't copy any
> more files on to C Drive.
>
> You then delete this temporary folder and all its contents, and empty the
> recycle bin. On a friend's laptop, I gained an extra 1.2GB of space on a
> 20GB hard drive after carrying out this procedure. I think this is quite a
> significant gain.
>
> I am not sure why I gained an extra 1.2GB of space by doing this, but
> perhaps Windows keeps a "hidden record" of deleted files after you have
> emptied your recycle bin (in case these "deleted" files need to be
> subsequently recovered) and only deletes these files when it really has to?
> Is this a correct assumption or are there other reasons why this procedure
> freed up disk space?
>
> Are there any dangers in carrying out this procedure? Has anyone else found
> that this procedure has freed up space on hard drives?
>
> Regards, JB
>
>

 
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JB
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      05-27-2006
No, not true, the recycle bin was completely empty before I started
(honestly)!

Regards, JB


"Barry Watzman" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> You gained the space because there were documents in the recycle bin
> before you started.
>
>
> JB wrote:
>
>> I have recently come across an unusual way of freeing up space on hard
>> drives. You first set up a temporary folder on say, C Drive, and then
>> copy into this folder enough data to completely fill up the drive. You
>> keep going until Windows tells you that the drive is full and that it
>> can't copy any more files on to C Drive.
>>
>> You then delete this temporary folder and all its contents, and empty the
>> recycle bin. On a friend's laptop, I gained an extra 1.2GB of space on a
>> 20GB hard drive after carrying out this procedure. I think this is quite
>> a significant gain.
>>
>> I am not sure why I gained an extra 1.2GB of space by doing this, but
>> perhaps Windows keeps a "hidden record" of deleted files after you have
>> emptied your recycle bin (in case these "deleted" files need to be
>> subsequently recovered) and only deletes these files when it really has
>> to? Is this a correct assumption or are there other reasons why this
>> procedure freed up disk space?
>>
>> Are there any dangers in carrying out this procedure? Has anyone else
>> found that this procedure has freed up space on hard drives?
>>
>> Regards, JB



 
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David
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      05-27-2006
JB wrote:
> I have recently come across an unusual way of freeing up space on hard
> drives. You first set up a temporary folder on say, C Drive, and then copy
> into this folder enough data to completely fill up the drive. You keep going
> until Windows tells you that the drive is full and that it can't copy any
> more files on to C Drive.
>
> You then delete this temporary folder and all its contents, and empty the
> recycle bin. On a friend's laptop, I gained an extra 1.2GB of space on a
> 20GB hard drive after carrying out this procedure. I think this is quite a
> significant gain.
>
> I am not sure why I gained an extra 1.2GB of space by doing this, but
> perhaps Windows keeps a "hidden record" of deleted files after you have
> emptied your recycle bin (in case these "deleted" files need to be
> subsequently recovered) and only deletes these files when it really has to?
> Is this a correct assumption or are there other reasons why this procedure
> freed up disk space?
>
> Are there any dangers in carrying out this procedure? Has anyone else found
> that this procedure has freed up space on hard drives?
>
> Regards, JB
>
>


Maybe it forced windows to delete System Restore records?
 
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~misfit~
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      05-27-2006
David wrote:
> JB wrote:
>> I have recently come across an unusual way of freeing up space on
>> hard drives. You first set up a temporary folder on say, C Drive,
>> and then copy into this folder enough data to completely fill up the
>> drive. You keep going until Windows tells you that the drive is full
>> and that it can't copy any more files on to C Drive.
>>
>> You then delete this temporary folder and all its contents, and
>> empty the recycle bin. On a friend's laptop, I gained an extra 1.2GB
>> of space on a 20GB hard drive after carrying out this procedure. I
>> think this is quite a significant gain.
>>
>> I am not sure why I gained an extra 1.2GB of space by doing this, but
>> perhaps Windows keeps a "hidden record" of deleted files after you
>> have emptied your recycle bin (in case these "deleted" files need to
>> be subsequently recovered) and only deletes these files when it
>> really has to? Is this a correct assumption or are there other
>> reasons why this procedure freed up disk space?
>>
>> Are there any dangers in carrying out this procedure? Has anyone
>> else found that this procedure has freed up space on hard drives?
>>
>> Regards, JB
>>
>>

>
> Maybe it forced windows to delete System Restore records?


No, what happens is that Windows (when using NTFS) marks a significant
portion of any drive or partition as what PerfectDisk calls the "MFT
reserved Zone" and Diskeeper calls "Reserved Sytem Space". It is typically
up to 12 - 15% or thereabouts of the drive/partition. This space, as it's
"reserved" isn't reported by Windows as being avaialble. An annoying part of
this procedure is that the reserved space is often at the fastest portion of
the drive (immediately after system files).

However, you *can* write to it. Also, once you have written to it and then
deleted it the reserved space is no longer reserved. Don't ask me why MS do
this. I've recently had someone confused about why their nice new 250GB
drive was reporting nearly 30GB less free space than they expected. (It also
turned out that the fixed swapfile they'd created immediately after a new
install, to get it on the fastest area, was about 35GB into the drive)

The upshot is that the space is always there, ready for use, Windows just
doesn't tell you about it. I've done what you (JB) describe before, just to
get Windows to report it properly. I copied my data file over and over again
into a new folder until the drive was full, deleted it and; Viola! Lots more
free space. Right near the start of the drive too, where it's nice and fast.
It can be a real PITA but hey, that's Windows. <g>

Blame MS.
--
Shaun.


 
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~misfit~
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Posts: n/a
 
      05-27-2006
JB wrote:
> No, not true, the recycle bin was completely empty before I started
> (honestly)!


JB, see my reply to David.
--
Shaun.


 
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Fred Dagg
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      05-27-2006
On Sat, 27 May 2006 14:33:42 +1200, "~misfit~"
<(E-Mail Removed)> exclaimed:

>David wrote:
>>>
>>> Are there any dangers in carrying out this procedure? Has anyone
>>> else found that this procedure has freed up space on hard drives?
>>>
>>> Regards, JB
>>>
>>>

>>
>> Maybe it forced windows to delete System Restore records?

>
>No, what happens is that Windows (when using NTFS) marks a significant
>portion of any drive or partition as what PerfectDisk calls the "MFT
>reserved Zone"
>
>The upshot is that the space is always there, ready for use, Windows just
>doesn't tell you about it. I've done what you (JB) describe before, just to
>get Windows to report it properly. I copied my data file over and over again
>into a new folder until the drive was full, deleted it and; Viola! Lots more
>free space. Right near the start of the drive too, where it's nice and fast.
>It can be a real PITA but hey, that's Windows. <g>
>

Shaun is correct re: the MFT Reserved Zone.

This is set to 13% of the capacity of the drive, and is reserved so
that the Master File Table (basically the "index" of files on your
drive) can grow as much as is necessary contiguously (ie without
fragmenting it, resulting in severe performance degredation).

If you have a relatively small number of files on the disk, this space
will most likely never be used by the MFT. If you have (or will have
in the future) a large number, un-reserving this space will result in
much slower performance. The MFT needs to grow at about the same rate
as the number of files on the drive.

Generally, it is NOT recommended doing what you are doing for that
very reason. If you really do need the space, it will become available
as and when you need it. However, there is no sense in filling up the
drive so that Windows un-reserves the space just so that it will show
as being available, as this will potentially result in a fragmented
Master File Table in the future.
 
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XPD
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      05-27-2006

"JB" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message news:4477a13e$(E-Mail Removed)...
>I have recently come across an unusual way of freeing up space on hard
>drives. You first set up a temporary folder on say, C Drive, and then copy
>into this folder enough data to completely fill up the drive. You keep
>going until Windows tells you that the drive is full and that it can't copy
>any more files on to C Drive.


You'll probably find that Windows was not reading the drive correctly after
removing some files. When you deleted some more data, Windows has fixed the
inconsistency. Happens quite often....I use a quick scan disk to fix it.


 
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Mark C
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Posts: n/a
 
      05-27-2006
>> JB wrote:
>>> I have recently come across an unusual way of freeing up space
>>> on hard drives...
>>>

> "Barry Watzman" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>> You gained the space because there were documents in the
>> recycle bin before you started.
>>

"JB" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in news:4477a6f2$(E-Mail Removed):
> No, not true, the recycle bin was completely empty before I
> started (honestly)!


I have seen my recycle bin empty, BUT there were files in the
C:\RECYCLER folder.

It seems to happen if I muck about restoring some deleted file, the
rest become hidden.

(IIRC, you can't use Windows Explorer to see the hidden files, I used
File Manager, I suppose a Command Prompt /dir command would have also
shown them.)

Mark
 
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Mercury
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      05-27-2006
> (IIRC, you can't use Windows Explorer to see the hidden files, I used
> File Manager, I suppose a Command Prompt /dir command would have also
> shown them.)


Windows "Hidden" files are just that - files which Windows is instructed not
to list via Dir when DIR is used. The reason is to keep users from tinkering
with files that they ought not EG boot.ini has the Hidden and System
attribute along with a few utilities to manage its contents.

"Hidden" is a file attribute akin to the Archive, System, and Read Only
attributes and is managed via the attrib command. You can list files with
these attributes using the Dir /aA command where A is the attribute
character (H, A, S, or R for Read Only) you are interested in filtering the
files on EG.

CD \
Dir /s /aH

will list all files on this volume that have the Hidden attribute. See dir
/? and Attrib /?

(keyboard testing complete and it failed.)


 
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