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Less Free Space after Restore?

Beginner
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Comments: 6

Hello Acronis crew ;)

I got a 4,87 GB partition (FAT32) for my WinXP only. Last week I did a full partition backup. I can swear I had about 1,70+ GB of free space, using the rest 3,1 GB for my OS.

Today I formatted my XP partition and used the boot loader to restore my acronis backup. The size of the backup file was about 3,13 GB, which confirms the amount of free space I should have after the restore procedure. Restore completed successfully, I even checked my used space while browsing in the acronis boot application and everything seemed alright.

I quit the application, booted the pc, logged into XP for the first time after restoring. And I get about 1,35 GB of free space, instead of my normal 1,70+. I even search for files and folders that were created or modified today and I don't find anything weird.

[Also, used space info when right-clicking my disk (in 'my computer') is about 400 MB bigger than right-clicking all selected folders (including hidden/system) from within the disk.]

So, where did my space go?

(I repeated the above procedure - format, restore - twice today, same results. And from what I see in the forums, I'm not the only one with disk space issues... please help..)

 

 

Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 6

No replies yet, so I'll have to get on with my haunting creepy conspiracy theories ;p

* The space difference lies at about 380-390 MB. Which is more or less another pagefile.sys. Could be? The old pagefile that was backed up to be hidden somewhere instead of being replaced?

* I did turn off system restore on all drives and set my pagefile to zero. Rebooted, same results. Turned them back on.

 * Here lies a picture of my defragment procedure.

http://img29.imageshack.us/img29/9620/defrag.jpg

We're obviously talking about Drive D:. See the rounded portion I've highlighted? That was where the 'green, unmovable' files used to reside at the time I did my backup. Now the unmovable files are elsewhere, leaving that space as 'free', only no other file dares to enter that 'free' space during any of my defragment efforts. As you can see, at the time of the screenshot, I had about 30% of free space. If you look a bit closer and measure the free space in the graph, the white space on the right section is enough to represent that percentage. So what does our beloved highlighted 'free' space represent? That's the question.

Maybe I'm stretching it, and maybe I'm not. But the sure fact is that there definitely is a 380-400 MB file or space that has vanished and I'm trying to get it back.

* Food for thought: If I backup again, format the disk and restore, would I miss another portion of the disk and would I then be looking for 800 MB of vanished space? :S

Forum Star
Posts: 45
Comments: 4263

How much RAM is in the computer?

Is it a desktop unit or a laptop?

Is there a hibernation file?

If you create a new backup image, does it come out the same size as the original image?

Have you run chkdsk d: /f to find out if there's anything corrupt with the file system on the partition?

Was the 3.13GB backup image the size in the image or the size of the image (actual filesize of the image file)?

Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 6

Thank you for replying.

1. 256 RAM (so my pagefile is about 1,5x that size)

2. Desktop

3. Hibernation is disabled

4. Hmm, that's what I wondered.  To clarify, by old image we mean the image from which I restored and by new image we mean a new test backup  for comparison. Unfortunately, I cannot make that side-by-side comparison, as I've installed a few progs -that take up some space in the OS partition- since I restored and I deleted my restore points (in sys vol info) for testing purposes, so the actual data has changed (it's about 200 MB less now). But the purpose of the question would be for us to see if the new backup -which I did selecting the 'full' backup option- includes the mysterious used space in its image, and yes it does :(  To put that in numbers;

the old image file takes 1,49 GB of space, in which there is 3,13 GB of used partition space (according to Acronis)

the new image file takes 1,38 GB of space (so far so good), in which there is 3,38 GB of used partition space (which is weird right?)

Again, have in mind that the data has changed. By the look of the new image file size I think we can confirm the claim that the mysterious used space actually contains no data, it just cannot be 'seen' as free. My guess is that within the new image, that reserved free space is 'stored', but it is being considered as used, exactly like in my current system state.

5. I ran check disk, no problems found and it verified free space. No change.

6. It was the size IN the image, I'm sorry if I didn't make that clear. The actual .tib was a lot smaller (about 1,49 GB as mentioned above). I double checked it again right after restoring - in the acronis boot app - and indeed it said 3,13 GB used space in the partition where the backup was restored. So, up until I would log into XP, there did not seem to be a problem. 

Frequent Poster
Posts: 2
Comments: 570

Some points, FWIW:

The pagefile would not have been created until you boot up XP. TI does not store the pagefile but puts in a few bytes as a placeholder. It does the same for any hibernation file since both are re-created on bootup so there is no point in imaging them.

Nothing is achieved by formatting the disk before an image restore. The format is just the file structure and TI puts back the file structure as defined in the image so any previous formatting is overwritten.

TI does not put back the image exactly as it was in the source. It moves things around - in effect, it does not necessarily put the contents of sector ABCD back into sector ABCD. It adjusts the filesytem to accommodate any changes it makes. Usually a restored image is less fragmented than a typical partition that has not been defragged for a while.

Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 6

Thanks for the kind input and for some info I was wondering about myself.

This hardly changes any of the claims or the issue itself though. You actually mean that - if the pagefile is NOT stored - my initial 3,13 GB of used space, which included the pagefile, should have been about 2,74 GB inside the TI image, so that when restored, along with the automatic re-creation of the pagefile, the free/used space analogy could get back to normal. But that didn't happen. I don't know how much of a chance can be that there is a locked/reserved space that is seen as used (but, if I'm correct, is displayed as free of data in the defragmenter) and is of similar size as the pagefile (of course it could be just about anything else).

PS: The partition was already 'fresh' and much better defragmented (at least according to the ms defragmenter visual display of the file structure) before the initial backup. It had been used for about a week since I had formatted the disk very recently. Anyway, I wouldn't have had anything to complain about as far as the TI app if that space issue hadn't occured. I haven't experienced any data loss or procedure failures, except a couple of minor annoyances that don't seem important right now.

Forum Star
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TechSmurfy wrote:
6. It was the size IN the image, I'm sorry if I didn't make that clear. The actual .tib was a lot smaller (about 1,49 GB as mentioned above). I double checked it again right after restoring - in the acronis boot app - and indeed it said 3,13 GB used space in the partition where the backup was restored. So, up until I would log into XP, there did not seem to be a problem.

This may be key to understanding what's going on. It would appear that TI correctly restored your PC, and after restoration there was still the same 3,13 GB of used space in the partition. What happened after booting into WinXP was caused by Windows making some kind of adjustment. I'm not sure what kind of adjustment was made, but purely speculating, perhaps it detected the placeholder file for pagefile.sys and created a new paging file in its place. The difference in the used space on the disk before and after booting into Windows seems to be about 250 MB, if that's a clue.

Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 6

Yep, that was my speculation. It's like TI was reserving the space I had highlighted in my defrag screenshot above for the new pagefile (?) but Windows ignored it and created the file in another 'place', resulting to more used space. But the difference is not 250 MB, it's more like 390 MB. 

Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 6

*bump*
no ideas, then?

Maybe, from now on, backing up all OS files & folders, formatting and restoring them will solve my space problem - instead of the full 'image' option - or would the disk get too fragmented that way?
There's no point in retrying and doing the image restore option if I'm gonna lose more space, without knowing the cause of that.

Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 6

I don't see any reaction here so I proceeded with my own investigation.

I decided to try some disk space utilities to verify my hypothesis.

 

[Hypothesis; there's an invisible/hidden/unidentified 390mb space in my OS partition, claimed to be used space, which appeared right after my image restore]

 

Refreshing stats; Currently, according to XP (right-click partition > properties), I got 3,69 GB used space, 1,17 GB free space, to a total of 4,87 GB.

a) According to SpaceMonger, there's about 3,3 GB used space - and 393 MB of unscannable files (option: organize files by space used) or 460 MB of unscannable files (option: organize files by their apparent sizes)

img515.imageshack.us/img515/3435/spacemonger.jp

b) According to TreeSize, there's 3,25 GB used space, 3,32 GB allocated space - hence 66 MB of 'wasted' space. 

 

Both apps confirm there's about 393 MB less used space than what XP shows me - with another ~65 MB to be allocated but wasted (most of which is my Opera mail folder, basically all the rss I copied and pasted from my seperate Opera backup :S). Unfortunately, SpaceMonger was unable to tell me which were the unscannable folders.

 

Forum Star
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Comments: 2110

TechSmurfy:

Coincidentally, the discrepancy in the amount of used space that you are seeing, 390 MB, is about the size of your restore point files. Knowing how these behave on later versions of Windows, it gives me an idea. Could you try this experiment?

Turn off system restore and reboot. Check the used space and free space in the partition. Create a new image and then restore this image. Check the used space and free space again. Do they now agree?