How to Lose ~40 GB in Minutes!

Do you want to lose ~40 GB off your hard drive? Here’s how I did it.

You’ll Need:

1 Microsoft Vista Home Premium (a flavor of Windows that is particularly lousy)
1 Ubuntu 7.10 (a flavor of Linux)
1 Hard disk (in my case, 250 GB SATA hard disk – you’d think losing a mere 40 GB wouldn’t hurt, but you’d be wrong!)

Procedure – In Five Easy Steps:

  1. Load Windows Vista
  2. Enable System Restore (don’t ask me how – there was an option somewhere and apparently I checked the checkbox)
  3. Partition the drive and load Ubuntu into the ~150 GB partition, leaving Windows with ~75 GB (apparently, with a 250 GB hard disk, you actually get only ~225 GB memory; who knows why?)
  4. Now, you’ll find after a few months that your Windows partition has run out of space. This is – as you discover after a great deal of research – because your data is taking up only about 20 GB; sundry program files and data are taking about 10 GB; the recycle bin has about 5GB; and something called System Volume Information is eating up about 35 GB!
  5. Since you habitually use Ubuntu to access Windows files, you can easily navigate to the $Recycle Bin and the System Volume Information folder and check that there’s nothing that looks remotely relevant in there. So, you simply delete the contents of these folders (or delete the folders themselves), thus freeing up 40 GB on your disk, right?

Wrong! If you do this, Windows, being kinda stupid, doesn’t realize that you have actually deleted 40 GB, and will not free up that space. Even if you made a copy of that data before deleting it, and then you copied it back afterwards, trying to fool Windows into thinking it was never deleted at all, it won’t work. Windows will not copy it back onto the freed up memory, but will gobble up another 40 GB for that data (a 40 GB which I did not actually have to spare in that Windows partition). In fact, there is just no way (that Amit has been able to discover after some research on the Net) to get Windows to realize that 40 GB of data has been deleted and that it should therefore politely let go of that memory, thank you very much.

In short, don’t try this at home.

And if you happen to know of a solution to this one, please, please tell me, pretty please, I need my 40 GB baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack…

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