Question about Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition

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Low hard drive memory due to invisible files using 90% of available space (apparently?)

I have a Vista-based system and a C drive with 130G of memory. Windows explorer shows the drive as having almost no free memory yet when I look into the files I can see I can only account for some 16G of visible files (including windows, program files and all the user files). I have used all the standard windows accessories (disc clean up, de-frag, memory checker).

Please help!

For some reason, the past few weeks my computer has been running excruciatingly slow. We checked the Task Manager only to discover that something is using 90% of the memory. Can't figure out what it is exactly though.
We have McAfee antivirus/spamware installed and just a few days ago decided to install an adware program hoping that would fix it to no avail.
Please help!

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  • Audie Collins
    Audie Collins Apr 13, 2012

    I read your plea for help, it is doubtful you have 130gig's of memory, so I am going to assume (safely) your describing your hard drive. 130G hard drive more than likely you have everything installed to one drive, and only have one partition (large NTFS Drive C:\) there are a few things that that will be invisible to every program, including Windows it's self, as these are based in Security (trouble I had just posted myself,) and it is likely you are using this computer with other people. I would assume, due to what some family or friend has told you, you and whoever you allow to use your computer, each have your own "Login" and you use your name and password like the rest of us.

    Here is something you can do to "See" what you actually have, and what is not visible will become clear.

    If you have more than ONE user on your computer, then you will have large amounts of files you cant see, as they will not be able to see your files either. Windows Vista and up, use the NTFS partition as a default, and a NTFS partition has the ability to HIDE files and folders from any USER (including the Administrators) according to the OWNERSHIP policy.

    You more than likely need to get a much larger drive, as 130G is not really that big, and would not do well for one USER much less two, and three would be impossible. Think of it like this, The computer is going to keep a copy of windows for every user on the system. If you install windows, and it takes 20G of space, then it's going to take 20G for each user, NOT including there own files, like photo's, music, movies, documents, etc.. Also, Windows INSTALL has one extra fresh install, just for it's self. (Default User, and the Administrator.)
    Now I know, your saying, "I am an Administrator!" and even though this may well be true, Windows has an account called; "Administrator" and it has a very clean install of Windows just to use for a backup. (Start in safe mode, before the windows flag shows up on screen, hold the right SHIFT key down and do not let go, even if the "Stuck Key" error shows up, keep holding it and wait for the User Logon screen to appear. You will see the default "Administrator" and then any other user on the system as well.)

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  • 286 Answers

Mind if I be a smart ass for a minute? The problem is you bought windoze vista instead of XP. Vista is pretty bad. Sorry.

If I were in your shoes, I would backup anything important, reformat the drive and reinstall the crappy Vista software (if you must).

If you decide to reformat, may I recommend that you devide your drive into two partitions?
With a 130G hard drive, I would make two partitions. A 30G Boot partituon (c: drive) that you can store your O/S (Vista) on, and a 100G partition (d: drive) for everything else.

When you do this, you only have to back up your boot drive, and since it's only 30 G you don't need as many CDs/DVDs/room on an external drive. Also, if your boot drive becomes corrupted, you only have to restore that one drive from your backup.

Norton Ghost is a perfect utility for doing backups like this since it will make the backup on bootable CDs or DVDs.

Posted on Feb 14, 2008

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