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Running Windows Server 2008, 74GB raptor drive and noticed we only had about 500MB left - yikes!

So deleted some old backups we don't need, but can't track down where about 25GB seems to be taken up. If I go to C: and select all folders and go to properties, this comes to around 40GB but in My Computer I can see 65GB is used.

How can I find out whats eating the space?

Just IIS + MSSQL Express + Smartermail on the server

EDIT Checked to show hidden folders plus protected operating system files - 41.8GB usage, so 24.6GB is missing somewhere. Theres no system restore even installed on the server

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Off topic, but saving backups to the drive that you're backing up is a waste of space and very dangerous. – MDMarra May 31 '10 at 22:00
We take offsite backups to a separate continent - its useful to store daily backups on the server too to get quick changes in the DB. – Igor K May 31 '10 at 22:16
Check the size of your pagefile, 10+ gigs reserved is not uncommon. – user281624 Apr 14 '15 at 15:34
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Try this free program and see if it can help you. Should show you amount of space used per directory.

Also check how much your hard drive is fragmented, this surely didn't take your 35GB but could loose you couple of megs.

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Can't possibly lose that much space because its de fragmented, plus Microsoft says de fragmenting isn't good for MSSQL. – Igor K May 31 '10 at 21:31
Well check the program I've showed you. It should show you what takes all the megs. – MadBoy May 31 '10 at 21:42
Thanks, trying it now :) – Igor K May 31 '10 at 22:17
Unfortunately, didnt work. Says the complete C drive is 39.4GB, but windows says 66.4GB is used. – Igor K May 31 '10 at 22:27
I don't think a fragmented drive takes up any more space than an unfragmented drive, even with extreme fragmentation. A block is a block. – Chris Thorpe Jun 1 '10 at 9:10

Are you looking at hidden folders too?

I'm willing to bet you've got something like shadow copies or system restore points enabled on that volume which is taking up stupid amounts of disk space and putting it in a hidden folder, which your Select All, Properties method isn't picking up.

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I'll double check the hidden folders, will check restore points, thanks – Igor K May 31 '10 at 21:31
Ok, this time I checked to include hidden folders AND protected operating system files - total usage (on disk) 41.8GB. So there is a black hole of about 24.6GB. – Igor K May 31 '10 at 22:30
Does that include a folder called C:/System Volume Information? That's a critical system folder which by default Windows goes to great lengths to hide (I've just checked on my laptop - Windows says it's empty) but I guarantee that it's got stuff inside. – Ben Pilbrow May 31 '10 at 22:39
It says 0 bytes but clicking on it shows Access Denied. I wonder if its UAC - how can I open explorer with Admin privileges? – Igor K May 31 '10 at 22:42
Got access to it by adding the user account to the Security tab, only 20KB in there! – Igor K May 31 '10 at 22:44

Just as a thought could MSSQL be reserving disk space for itself that it hasn't physically used so looking at actual disk space shows space remaining but SQL has "told" Windows that the space is allocated.

Worth disabling VSS too to see if that has an impact.

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Just to help anyone else - i had this problem too where there was a missing 30gb of space.

Turns out that the SQL DB folder itself was the problem, opening it up and clicking 'Continue' to allow access via UAC did the trick. Navigating back to select all root folders then shows the correctly used space.

So i would say if there is any protected folders on the drive this would likely be the issue if you already checked for hidden and system files (system page file and the like).

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