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external drive seems to be losing storage space quickly

external hard drive storage

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#1
IndyBlue

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Hi, all,

My external hard drive seems to be operating fine; however, its storage capacity keeps dwindling steadily. I dumped tons of files, moved work files to my workplace's One Drive, and the capacity only got smaller! I even went into the external drive and deleted files I did not need anymore, and that had no effect. (Maybe that wasn't a good idea?) I regularly dump my downloads files and try to keep things very clean--but nothing seems to be helping

I'm not computer savvy. I have some skills, but not enough to solve this problem. I did some research but was wary of making any changes lest I do something wrong. (I saw something about restart points but was not comfortable enough to go any further.) I'm at 15% left, and I'm beginning to get nervous.

My questions are these:

1) Why does my external drive keep losing space? Can I fix this? How do I free up space?
2) I think I should use cloud storage as a second backup. I did some research, but I'm not sure which one to choose. I'm also worried about privacy. Any recommendations?

My computer is an all-in-one Dell PC, and I use Windows 10. More specifically, I have an Optiplex 7440 AIO with this processor: Intel Core i7-6700 CPU @ 3.40GHZ 3.41 GHz. Operating system is 64-bit, x64-based processor. I have Kaspersky virus protection (the paid-for version with all the bells and whistles) and I have Nord VPN (although I don't have it on constantly).

My external hard drive is a Western Digital My Passport, 2TB.

I would be grateful for any help that you could provide. Many thanks in advance.

Sincerely,

Indy


Edited by IndyBlue, 16 December 2021 - 01:17 PM.

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#2
RKinner

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Are you clearing the recycle bin after deleting files?

 

https://www.tenforum...ndows-10-a.html

 

To see what is using the drive you can use windirstat

 
Download and Save
 
 
and then right click on it and Run As Admin.
 
Accept the defaults then once it runs, click on the external drive's letter and OK.  It will take 5 to 10 minutes to finish.  Wait until it says 100% and the little pacmen stop chomping and a confusing colored display shows up.  I like to turn off the display (Options then uncheck Show Treemap).  This will show you what folder is using the drive and the percentage.  To get details within a folder just click on the +  in front of the folder.  You can delete files and folders directly from WinDirStat but be careful since they will be permanently deleted.  

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#3
IndyBlue

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Hi, RKinner--

 

Yes, I am clearing the recycle bin--religiously. (Thank you for the link, though.)

 

When I was doing my research, I was advised to download WinDirStat, but when I tried to run it before, it froze up. I'm running it now (as an Administrator, like you advised) on both drives. I'm not sure how to read it and what to do--may I get your guidance once it's done running?

Dumb, quasi-related question: once I install something, can I get rid of the exe set-up file, or do I need to keep that?

Also, is there something to the advice about resetting restart points? I'm not sure what that would involve, but that came up a lot in my research.

Thanks! I'll be in touch when WinDirStat is done running.

Indy


Edited by IndyBlue, 16 December 2021 - 03:23 PM.

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#4
IndyBlue

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Why is the WinDirStat taking hours to complete? I changed it to just read the external drive, and the PacMans haven't stopped moving for 4 hours. 


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#5
RKinner

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Take a screen shot of WinDirStat when it finishes (or before you give up on it ) and post it and I will see if I can figure out what is going on tho we may need to open up some of the folders so hopefully it does finish.

 

 

You can delete the exe file you used to install something once the install is complete.

 

Are you talking about Restore points?

 

I don't know why it is taking so long.  Just ran an external 1 TB drive (3.1 USB connection) and it finished in 3 minutes.  Drive was only 1/3 full.  There may be something wrong with the drive.  Let's run Speccy so I can see the health of the drive.

Get the free version of Speccy:

http://www.filehippo...ownload_speccy/ 

(Look in the upper right for the Download
Latest Version button  - Do NOT press the large Start Download button on the upper left!)  
Download, Save and Install it.  Tell it you do not need CCLEANER.    Run Speccy.  When it finishes (the little icon in the bottom left will stop moving),
File, Save as Text File,  (to your desktop) note the name it gives. OK.  Open the file in notepad and delete the line that gives the serial number of your Operating System.  
(It will be near the top,  10-20  lines down.) Save the file.  Attach the file to your next post.  Attaching the log is the best option as it is too big for the forum.  Attaching is a multi step process.

First click on More Reply Options
Then scroll down to where you see
Choose File and click on it.  Point it at the file and hit Open.
Now click on Attach this file.

 


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#6
IndyBlue

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I've never encountered this before (and I feel like an idiot), but something (Kaspersky?) is not letting me download Speccy. Something is getting blocked. I almost never have problems downloading anything. Is there another site I can use?

Attached is a screenshot of WinDirStat, which I finally shut down because I got sick of it. :)

Thanks so much for all your help!


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#7
IndyBlue

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Here's the screenshot--I forgot to hit "attach this file"... Sorry!

Attached Thumbnails

  • WinDirStat screenshot.JPG

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#8
RKinner

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Judging by what you have so far the problem is caused by your Western Digital Backup program. 

 

https://support-en.w...etail/a_id/9969

 

If you can't get Speccy see if it will let you get Speedfan :

http://www.filehippo...nload_speedfan/

Download, save and Install it (Win 7+ or Vista right click and Run As Admin.) then run it (Win 7+ or Vista right click and Run As Admin.).

Then click on the tab for S.M.A.R.T.  Click on the arrow after Disk and select your external drive then take a screenshot of the output.  You may need two shots to get all of it. (Move the scroll bad down to see the rest of the output)


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#9
IndyBlue

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I went to CNET and downloaded Speccy there. I don't know why, but FileHippo won't work on my computer. 

I've attached the file here. Thanks for the Western Digital Support. I'll take a look at it tomorrow.

 

I really appreciate your help--many thanks.

Attached Files


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#10
RKinner

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Hard drive is not reporting errors or reallocated sectors so the drive itself is OK.  Can't tell about the interface.  You can try HD Tune:

 

 
 
Actual download is at:
 
 
 
While I am thinking about it:  Speccy reports that you are connected to the Internet via an Ethernet cable.  If that's the case then there is no point having the WiFi active so I would disable the WiFi connection to make life easier for your CPU.
 
 
Download, Save, right click and Run As Admin.  Run the Benchmark test and report your min, max & average transfer times.  Ideally the graph would be flat or slightly tilted to the right.  On a bad drive you will see sharp drops.  The fewer programs running at the same time the better.  Pause your anti-virus.

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#11
IndyBlue

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Thank you so much for this! I will try it later today--I have a work deadline to meet right now.

I'm still worried about the hard drive losing storage--every time it does a backup, it goes down some percentage points, which I think is strange. Anyway, I will follow your guidance above; however, I have to do it later.

Thank you again so much! Will be in touch later. Have a good day--

 

Indy 


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#12
IndyBlue

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Hi again--

 

My apologies for not responding sooner--I got my Moderna booster yesterday, and was a bit out of sorts. Plus I had work.

I followed your instructions and disabled the Wifi.

Then I downloaded HD Tune. Before running it, I temporarily disabled my virus protection.

I ran Benchmark Test, and saved a screenshot. Then I restarted my computer and ran it again. Please see the two HARD DRIVE files.

Then I ran the Benchmark Test on my external drive--please the EXTERNAL file.

My external hard drive's space keeps decreasing. It's about to go under 15% if it hasn't already--this just seems strange to me. Anyway, I'm grateful for all this help, and I await your guidance when you get the chance.

Thanks again!

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • HARD DRIVE 121821 642 PM.JPG
  • HARD DRIVE 121821 650 PM.JPG
  • EXTERNAL 121821 654PM.JPG

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#13
IndyBlue

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P.S. I read that Western Digital link you sent me. Perhaps I can uncheck the files that the external back up. 


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#14
RKinner

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Only the third one is from your passport.  First two are something else.

 

This is an example from one of my USB connected drives:

 

HDTuneEx.JPG

 

Not sure what was depressing your results for most of the scan probably some program doing something drive intensive but it look decent.

 

I get the feeling reading about your backup program that it is rather stupid and doesn't like to purge old files.  Since there is nothing but backups on the drive perhaps you should just erase all of the drive and create a new backup.

 

 


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#15
IndyBlue

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As I mentioned, the first two files were of my regular hard drive (in my computer). I sent them along just in case.

I suppose I could try clearing out the external drive and starting over.

I was wondering: is there any cloud storage that you could recommend? I think it would be best to have this external drive as well as cloud storage.

Thanks for all the advice!


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