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deleted dir but not freed any disk space

Occasional Contributor

deleted dir but not freed any disk space

I recently deleted a dir with a few MB of MP3s, because the disk was getting full.
Later I discovered that even though the dir was gone, no freee space was created on the disk. I tried creating a new dir with the same name and then dletong it again, but did not succeed in freeing the space. I also had some trouble deleting the dir - it said the dir was not empty. I delezted it then with a program called "dellater", but still no free space.
Any ideas?
Thank you ...
Honored Contributor

Re: deleted dir but not freed any disk space

Most Window versions by default just move the deleted file to the Recycle Bin where it still uses harddrive space. You should have a trash can icon on your desktop. Right click on it and select Empty Recycle Bin.

Occasional Contributor

Re: deleted dir but not freed any disk space

Thanks Ron, but that's not the case. There is nothing in the Recycle bin, and there are also no hidden files in that directory. All files and folders on disk occupy 3 gigs of disk space, which has 10 gigs, and there is still merely 40 megs free space on it.
I use win2000. Maybe it would be a good idea to use a disk manager, like norton or ...?
I also tried that windows utility called disk cleanup and defragmentation, but nothing seems to solve my problem.
Any ideas?

Re: deleted dir but not freed any disk space

Try running chkdsk
Honored Contributor

Re: deleted dir but not freed any disk space

Next time you want to delete a folder do:

Windows Explorer / Tools / Folder Options / View and then Click on Show Hidden Files and Folders and then unclick Hide Protected Operating System Files (it will complain but do it anyway.) I expect you had a hidden file or two in your folder which is why it wouldn't delete. Something like Thumbs.db which you get when you tell it to show you thumbnails of the pics in a folder. If you can't see them you are not allowed to delete them.

It's also a good idea if you are deleting a large folder or file to right click on the Recycle Bin and select Properties then Check Do not move files to the Recycle Bin.

On a 2000 there is a folder c:\recycler which may have files with names of the form:
One of them will not delete but the others should. I've found that deleted files hide out in them too.

Another big user of the disk is IE if you let it. Tools / Internet Options / Delete Files (Delete Offline Content too) after it finishes go into Settings and reduce the amount of disk storage wasted on webpage copies.

A program called ShowMan seems to do a good job of finding which files and folders are eating your space. It's freeware:

Finally scandisk may help find lost clusters:

explains how to use it.


PS I trust you are getting your info about disk size from something like right clicking on C:\ and selecting properties and not going by the size written on your drive.
Honored Contributor

Re: deleted dir but not freed any disk space

Hi Martin,
first run scandisk; then remember pagefile can increase during windows running. Check for disk space immediatly after booted.
Don't forget e-mail folder: delete old messages and compress outlook folders.

Antonio Vigliotti
Antonio Maria Vigliotti
Esteemed Contributor

Re: deleted dir but not freed any disk space

When deleting files definitively, click Shift + Del. This way, you coose not to use the recycl bin.
Run the following: diskmgmt.msc
hit F5 key, and right clic properties of the partition or disk you're talking about.
In the general tab, clic on Disk cleanup.
If the disk was 40 GB or higher capacity, it might as well be that the amount space you freed is not apreciable.
Try this: run Windows Explorer and press F3 to do a search.
clic on search options. size. at least 5,000 KB for example. clic search now.
Determine which of the output files can be deleted and delete them like I said before.
Select the files and hit Shift + Del.
hope it helps.
Occasional Contributor

Re: deleted dir but not freed any disk space

Thank You, good people.

I loaded a program that cleans all deleted disk space, it's called "Restoration". This solved my problem, so now everything is OK. I tried before all this stuff with hidden files/recycle bin etc and it didn't help. The problem was this huge mp3 directory that i deleted after moving it onto a new disk. As i said the dir was gone, but that didnt make any free space (should be over 5 GB!). Well, than i ran into this program called Restoration, whicjh is totally free and did a really good job ... It can also be used for undeleting deleted files, i strongly recommend it to everyone with such problems.
Now my disk is defragmented and has enough space for further cool running.
Thank you again for taking time to help.
This is really the best forum.
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