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Windows Problems - Disk Space is Missing

written by: johnsinit•edited by: Bill Fulks•updated: 7/29/2010

Losing disk space all of a sudden is pretty annoying, especially when you do not know the reason for the missing Windows 7 disk space. There are several possible reasons such as temporary files, duplicated PST folders, huge disk space allocated for system backup/restore, etc. Those CAN be resolved.

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    Introduction

    There are many instances where disk space can go missing from your Windows operating system all of a sudden. There are several reasons as to why it can happen. And by following a few steps, one can try to figure out why the disk space is missing and can possibly restore the missing disk space. Whether you upgrade from an existing operating systems to Windows 7 or install Windows 7 on the personal computer from scratch, the chances of Windows 7 disk space is missing scenario might occur. There is no way to prevent such an unaccounted and sudden loss of disk space since reasons for this occurrence is many and mostly random.

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    Duplicate PST Folders

    If you are using Microsoft Outlook to manage your mails, there are chances of more than one folder with display name Personal Folders being present under the folders list which means that the PST folders are duplicated. If, while configuring a personal folder, you did not specify a name ‘Personal Folders’ is the default name that will be displayed twice. Once you make sure that the PST folders are indeed duplicated, and no mails are being delivered to the duplicated one i.e. no new items are present on it, deleting it might free up disk space and help solve your problem of Windows 7 disk space missing. Temporary files and deleted items which are still present in the recycle bin may also eat up unwanted disk space. So cleaning these files will help.

    Running Disk Clean up from Programs/ Accessories/System Tools is one another option which might help you to recover the missing Windows 7 disk space. There could also be a possibility of virus attack which may shrink your disk space or make your disk space appear lesser. Thus scanning your system with a reputed anti virus software to get rid of any virus may help with freeing some of the missing Windows 7 disk space.

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    System Restore/Backup

    In some cases, the system might use up additional disk space for restore services. During installation of Windows 7, a question is asked as to how much of the system disc do you want to dedicate for backup and restore services. It might be quite possible that the amount of space you declare to be used for this purpose is on a higher side. While performing Disk clean up, click on other options tab and select the option to clean up system restore and shadow copies. This step might release some of the missing Windows 7 disk space from your personal computer. Also, you may reduce the amount declared for system backup/restore services by consulting with a Windows administrator or technically capable person.

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    Useful Software

    CCleaner Several space allocation software applications are available over the internet that will help you study the allocations of the disk space on your computer in depth. Doing so will pinpoint the exact split of the disk space and help you identify some files or folders or functions that you may need to clean or disable to free up some disk space. http://windirstat.info/ offers Windows Directory statistics tool that is an effective disk usage statistics viewer and cleanup tool. Also, http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner is a cleaner tool, which when exercised with careful consideration can be successful in cleaning up the disk space.