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How to get back my HDD free space after defragment?

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Hi guys!

 

 

Yesterday, I decided to perform a defragment on my older laptop (Windows 8.1 64-bit, HDD of 650GB) as I saw with Defraggler my HDD was 20% fragmented with a free space of 206,2GB (I noted it).

 

 

After 30 min, after I clicked ''Defrag'', it still was on 1% so I thought maybe my antivirus was interfering. I stopped the defragmentation, disabled my antivirus and performed a boot time defrag first (don't ask me why, I thought it was smarter to do that first) without turning hibernation off with cmd. After the boot time defrag I shut down my pc and started it up again (As I thought the defragmentation would go faster if I do a restart first). When I started Defraggler again it showed me that I had 199,6GB of free space left and my HDD was 22% fragmented, I thought it would maybe resolve itself after a full defragmentation. It took around 12 hours.

 

 

After this I restarted and checked my free storage, it was around 199,3GB (forgot to note the exact number). I read that I had to disable hibernation to defrag pagefile.sys etc. so I did and performed a boot time defrag again. After that I tried deleting the 'shadow copies', but I had none (I will make a restore point after I find out how to fix this 'problem').

 

I searched the internet about the 'problem' I have and came across this topic: https://forum.piriform.com/index.php?showtopic=35459, I followed these 'steps' and performed a defragment again (0% fragmentation but 108 files fragmented). I was looking at the screen and while the defragmenting was going on my free space kept decreasing.

 

 

Now, around 8 hours later the defragmentation is on 82% and I have 193,8GB of free space left.

 

 

My question is, how can I 'get back' my free space (after this defragment finishes)? And why did defragging result in decreasing my free space from 206,2GB to 193GB? (Assuming it will keep going down till it reaches 100%)

 

 

 

I hope that someone can help me with this as this is kinda frustrating me because I didn't expect this would happen. Thanks in advance :)!

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It's probably because of VSS which sees a defrag operation as a file change event.

 

I'd suggest reading up on various pages via a search:

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=vss+compatible+defrag

 

In short some defrag tools have to configured and limited to only defrag files up to 64MB, whereas some other people are stating to limit it to 128MB.

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It's probably because of VSS which sees a defrag operation as a file change event.

 

I'd suggest reading up on various pages via a search:

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=vss+compatible+defrag

 

In short some defrag tools have to configured and limited to only defrag files up to 64MB, whereas some other people are stating to limit it to 128MB.

I don't know a lot about that but as I said, I couldn't find any restore point, I made one today which is the only one in the list. I tried deleting shadow copies with CMD before but it didn't work because there was nothing to delete. I even disabled VSS during the second defragmentation which resulted in loss of more free space.

 

I haven't configured Defraggler in the way you said, as I wanted to defrag everything (I know it's kinda useless and a waste of time but I wanted to 'clean' everything up). Do you think this has caused my HDD lost free space?  If that's the case, I now know how to prevent this problem for the next time, I thought the only negative effects of not configuring was just 'wasting time'.

 

Anyway, do you know how I can get my 'free space' back? 

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Defraggler has in 'Settings > Options  > Advanced' a setting to: Stop VSS when defragmenting NTFS volume.

Which most people would want to make sure is enabled to avoid issues.

 

On how to get your free space back hopefully a more modern Windows user than me will chime in with instructions. The only advice I can offer on that is do a reboot if you haven't since the decreasing hard disk space. I know Windows will create some cache or something that eats up a little disk space, that it then releases when rebooting - but I've no idea if that is even a solution.

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Defraggler has in 'Settings > Options  > Advanced' a setting to: Stop VSS when defragmenting NTFS volume.

Which most people would want to make sure is enabled to avoid issues.

 

On how to get your free space back hopefully a more modern Windows user than me will chime in with instructions. The only advice I can offer on that is do a reboot if you haven't since the decreasing hard disk space. I know Windows will create some cache or something that eats up a little disk space, that it then releases when rebooting - but I've no idea if that is even a solution.

Yep, I've read that on the forum. As I said, I ticked that option before I did my 2nd defragmentation, which resulted in more free space loss.

I've done several reboots already, I've also tried cleaning with CCleaner, both didn't solve the problem.

 

I indeed hope that someone can help me solve this 'mystery' for me. Anyway, thanks a lot for replying and trying to help! I appreciate it  :).

 

Lets hope that someone can be my hero... it may be even a bug in the Defraggler software?...

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- I could imagine that Defraggler has "a conflict" with some other program. But the question is: which program ?

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how about running a program to see what is using your hard drives space.

I can recommend WizTree, from here; https://antibody-software.com/web/software/software/wiztree-finds-the-files-and-folders-using-the-most-disk-space-on-your-hard-drive/

I've taken a look at it, however I didn't find any 'unknown' folder/file that matches the amount of GB free space I lost. The biggest folders/files are games, video's, Spotify, the WinSxS folder (checked it, Temp folder is the biggest with 691 MB with 'pending deletes' being the biggest folder in there) and the 2 files pagefile.sys (8GB) & hiberfil.sys (6,4GB). But then again, I've no idea where to look to find my lost 'free space', do you have any suggestions maybe?

I did discover a lot of 'amd64' and x86_microsoft' files in the WinSxS folder, I guess that's maybe normal but I've included a screen to be sure: http://imgur.com/a/91hiI

 

NOTE: I deleted a lot of old movies today from my laptop to free up some space, the lost free space did not 'came back'.

 

Thanks for trying to help! Very much appreciated :)

 

- I could imagine that Defraggler has "a conflict" with some other program. But the question is: which program ?

Hmm yeah, maybe... What programs are you thinking of? Most of my programs are tools like Microsoft Office, Sony Vegas, Adobe programs like Flash, PDF reader and Photoshop. I also have some games installed and multimedia software like VLC, Steam, Origin, Skype, Unity Web Player and Spotify. The other programs are mostly microsoft software (Microsoft Visual, SQL Server, Silverlight), antivirus programs (Avira free antivirus and Malwarebytes free version) and pre-installed software from Realtek and Toshiba (since this laptop is a Toshiba). What kind of software should I take a look at that could have been 'interfering' with Defraggler other than Avira (since I disabled it during defragging)?

 

Thanks for your reply and trying to help also! Very much appreciated :)

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WizTree will highlight the files/folders taking up space.

Sadly it's still up to the user to decide what action is than needed.

 

So just to get me up to speed, you have a 650GB drive that has 200GB free.  (give or take, rounding up/down to keep it simple)

What were you expecting to have as free space?

 

The pagefile and hiberfil can can adjusted if space is critical.

As can the WinSxS folder (but there is a small unlikely downside if removed)

 

Don't forget when you delete stuff to then empty the Recycle Bin, and cleaning Restore Points may help too.

Or run CCleaner to have it do the work for you.

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WizTree will highlight the files/folders taking up space.

Sadly it's still up to the user to decide what action is than needed.

 

So just to get me up to speed, you have a 650GB drive that has 200GB free.  (give or take, rounding up/down to keep it simple)

What were you expecting to have as free space?

 

The pagefile and hiberfil can can adjusted if space is critical.

As can the WinSxS folder (but there is a small unlikely downside if removed)

 

Don't forget when you delete stuff to then empty the Recycle Bin, and cleaning Restore Points may help too.

Or run CCleaner to have it do the work for you.

The amount of free space isn't a big concern to me, as I could delete more movies and series I have watched already (which occupies the most space). I run CCleaner regulary but thanks for the tip :).

 

My main concern is why defragging resulted in a 'big' loss of free space and how to 'fix' this issue. As I noted, before I did my first defrag with Defraggler my free space was 206,2GB, after those 2 defrags and 2 boot time defrags, my free space was showing 193,8 GB. I haven't done anything in the time while the defrags were running, I just let it defrag. I even saw the free space was going down little by little while it was defragging (2nd defrag). That's 12,4GB that went somewhere without me doing anything on the laptop which made me think there may be a bug... The weird thing is, I'm possibly the only one or one of few that have this 'bug' because I Googled a lot about this issue, all which had the 'Shadow Copy' problem which was easily fixed by disabling VSS and deleting the recovery points. I however, didn't had a single recovery point so that couldn't be the case. This is literally a mystery to me and I really want to find out what caused this to happen. Because defragging normally wouldn't result in changes of space on the HDD right? 

 

So I should have an 'extra' of 12,4GB free space. Does this mean though, that If I keep defragging with Defraggler, the HDD will eventually get full?  :blink: 

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sorry, can't give you any answers on those fronts.

yep, I've seen the free space start ticking away as DF runs, but I haven't noticed any loss of overall space, none that has been discernible anyway.

and as you state, it's usually restore point related, but that's not the case in your situation.

 

I can however say, that if you keep on running DF, you will not run out of space (he says with his fingers crossed)

 

But I haven't done a complete drive defrag in I can't remember how long.

I just do an Analyse, go to the File List, sort by number of frags, select the first few screenfulls of worst offenders and defrag those, then repeat for the File Size column.

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defragging normally wouldn't result in changes of space on the HDD right

 

On a Windows Vista a newer OS no a defrag can cause space to mysteriously reduce which is usually because of VSS which is why the Windows defrag/optimize will not attempt to move anything above 64MB. If you look on download sites like Softpedia.com people are always reporting about loosing free disk space when using most defrag tools including Defraggler.

 

Although you had VSS disabled, and no Restore Points (and since Windows will sometimes not obey) give something a try just to see if it works, although it may not work:

1. Make sure VSS is enabled.

2. Create a System Restore Point.

3. Then 3a) delete all Restore Points, and then 3b) make sure VSS is disabled again. Sorry I'm on XP and don't know which order this one should actually be done in.

4. Look at your free space and see if it returned or not.

 

Also don't forget to run the disk error checker ChkDsk, sometimes if there's disk errors that can reclaim space allocated as free

 

You may also want to look at Microsoft's Support site, perhaps they have info on the issue since you used a 3rd party defrag tool.

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sorry, can't give you any answers on those fronts.

yep, I've seen the free space start ticking away as DF runs, but I haven't noticed any loss of overall space, none that has been discernible anyway.

and as you state, it's usually restore point related, but that's not the case in your situation.

 

I can however say, that if you keep on running DF, you will not run out of space (he says with his fingers crossed)

 

But I haven't done a complete drive defrag in I can't remember how long.

I just do an Analyse, go to the File List, sort by number of frags, select the first few screenfulls of worst offenders and defrag those, then repeat for the File Size column.

Hmm, I don't really dare to run Defraggler again to be honest, I will maybe try to use your method though and see if it has any effect on the free space.

 

On a Windows Vista a newer OS no a defrag can cause space to mysteriously reduce which is usually because of VSS which is why the Windows defrag/optimize will not attempt to move anything above 64MB. If you look on download sites like Softpedia.com people are always reporting about loosing free disk space when using most defrag tools including Defraggler.

 

Although you had VSS disabled, and no Restore Points (and since Windows will sometimes not obey) give something a try just to see if it works, although it may not work:

1. Make sure VSS is enabled.

2. Create a System Restore Point.

3. Then 3a) delete all Restore Points, and then 3b) make sure VSS is disabled again. Sorry I'm on XP and don't know which order this one should actually be done in.

4. Look at your free space and see if it returned or not.

 

Also don't forget to run the disk error checker ChkDsk, sometimes if there's disk errors that can reclaim space allocated as free

 

You may also want to look at Microsoft's Support site, perhaps they have info on the issue since you used a 3rd party defrag tool.

Aha, haven't tried that yet, I will try that 'tomorrow' since it's 01:52 here. I'll keep you updated!

As for the ChkDsk, I ran a 'C:->Right mouse click->Proterties->Extra->Error Check', is that the same? I will do a ChkDsk also, just to be sure. And I will post something on the Microsoft Support site if all of this doesn't work, thanks for the tip! 

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Perhaps it's the same depending upon the OS (although Windows 10 finishes checking a disk so fast when inside "This PC" I don't know if it's really fully checking the disk when manually started).

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Perhaps it's the same depending upon the OS (although Windows 10 finishes checking a disk so fast when inside "This PC" I don't know if it's really fully checking the disk when manually started).

Tried deleting all of the VSS trough CMD, following your stated steps, no result :(. It only deleted the recovery point I made

Also performed a ChkDsk on restart, it took a couple of hours so I left while it was going, came back, I've no idea if there were any errors (Not sure how to check the report) but the free space didn't came back. It's still the same as before unfortunately :(

 

This means I will post something on the Microsoft Support Site soon. Thanks for your help, I still hope that someone will come by who can solve this mystery  ^_^

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To find out if Check Disk found errors you have to look in the Event Viewer at the log. Although the log still won't give much info that makes much sense if it corrected errors.

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To find out if Check Disk found errors you have to look in the Event Viewer at the log. Although the log still won't give much info that makes much sense if it corrected errors.

Ah thanks, I've found the 'Wininit' log (after googling :P), it says that there were no errors detected. Anyway, I'll keep you guys updated about this case, will post on the Microsoft Support Site tomorrow.

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Hey guy's  :(

 

I'm having the same problem ... 77 GB of free space has been used up some how? after running DF

Cant find any additional Restore Points... and as for Shadow Copies? well I don't know where to look for them?

I also had  "Stop VSS when defragmenting NTFS volume" un checked.

Have run Windows Disk Cleanup &  ChkDsk on restart etc.

 

Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit SP2

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and does running WizTree shed any light on where the 77GB may have gone?

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and does running WizTree shed any light on where the 77GB may have gone?

Hi mta and happy easter  :D

Just ran wiztree and...

I'm suspecting this ? >

Capture.jpg

 

Been thinking about using my last restore point that was created by Revo uninstaller An hour or so before running DF 

Would this help ?

 

 

 

 

                         

 

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Well, there's your problem.  :)

 

No, using a Restore Point won't help you here, you don't want to take Windows back to a saved point in time.

You want to reclaim lost space, only deleting the offending space hog will fix that.

 

In this case, go to Control Panel, System, System Protection, Configure, Delete.

That'll blow away all those 88gigs of Restore Points. 

Go back to the previous screen and re-crate one straight away if you are cautious, but Windows will create one quick enough anyway.

 

You may want to reduce the amount of % of disk space Restore Points take up.

Mine is always set to 0%, because 1) it's a SSD but 2) I just don't need/use them as I do Macrium Reflect image backups.

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Thanks mta  :D

Will try what you suggested 1st

 

I found this posted on tom's Hardware site >

Deleting some system restore points will not give disk space back as windows permanently assigns some hard drive space for system restore, you can reduce the disk space assigned for system restore, try the below steps.

1. Click the start menu
2. Click on All Programs, and then Accessories
3. From the accessories menu, right click on Command Prompt and select "run as administrator"
4. Type vssadmin list shadowstorage into the command prompt
5. The results should tell you the amount of storage used and the maximum amount allotted
1. Type vssadmin Resize ShadowStorage /For=[your hard disk]: /On=[your hard disk]: /MaxSize=[how much space you want to allocate]
2. For example: "vssadmin Resize ShadowStorage /For=C: /On=C: /MaxSize=2GB"
3. You should get a message saying successfully resized the shadow copy storage association, and you should have more free space on your hard drive.
The disk defragmentation might have taken up hard drive space if there are errors on the drive.

 

But I will go with your advice 

 

Thanks 

Craig

 

NOTE!

 

The steps above work for Windows Vista!

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No, that link in your post above is for when using DF, if that box is left unticked (default setting), as DF runs and Windows starts jinking around with its internal algorithms, it can actually make the space worse/disappear.

I won't open that can of worms now - too long, too techie.

 

What you want is Control Panel, System, System Protection, Configure, on the Max Usage slider, slide to the left until you hit 1% (or whatever percentage you are comfortable with).

But on the average 1TB HD, and with most restore points only needing roughly 300'ish megs or less, 1% gives you around 10GB's of space - plenty.

You'd only want archival access to less than 10 restore points I would think, if you are into them.

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