strange system files taking up lots of space after a clone??

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strange system files taking up lots of space after a clone??

Postposted on Fri Jun 20, 2014 9:59 am

not sure if this is the correct sub-forum but it does have to do with space being swallowed up on my harddrive, so maybe? or it could be a software thing?

anyway, here's what happened. i just ran a clone operation of my windows7 main hdd to my backup hdd using xxclone. all went well and there were no errors. i tested the backup hdd by booting from it, and it was fine--booted right up. ok, so back to my main drive as my primary, but when i booted from it and get into the desktop i get a popup warning me of low disk space on my c: drive! before the clone operation i had 40gb free on my primary 500gb hdd, and the cloned backup drive appeared normal with 40gb free also. but now it is warning me that i only have 150mb of free space on my main drive!

ok, so i downloaded windirstat and let it see what was taking up the space. pagefile.sys was 6gb and hyberfil.sys was 6gb. even though i disabled hibernation in advanced power options previously, i still had that stupid file. ok, so i did the "powercfg -h off" thing in an elevated cmd prompt and the hiberfile.sys was removed. pagefile was left since my sytem has 6gb of ram. still 28gb extra somewhere...

turns out i have 5 hidden "system files" in my c:/windows dir that are each 5-6gb with no file extension. they are named "e" "i" "l" "s" and "y". the cloned drive does not have these files. anybody have any clue what these files are or seen something similar before? google is surprisingly of little help with them. i can't delete them as it says they are in use by another program. i can't open them up with a large text file viewer (ultraedit or gvim) because it says access denied. i tried taking ownership even though i already had full permissions and ownership privileges but same thing, access denied.

so i loaded up a winxp vm and finally got around the annoying "access denied" warnings and was able to open one of the files in ultraedit. but it is completely garbled text--looks like a foreign language or something. there are no complete words or any identifying characteristics to determine where these files came from. obviously, i can nuke the drive from orbit and use my backup drive as my primary but wanted some more info. thoughts?
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Re: strange system files taking up lots of space after a clo

Postposted on Fri Jun 20, 2014 10:27 am

Could those be leftover files by the cloning software?
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Re: strange system files taking up lots of space after a clo

Postposted on Fri Jun 20, 2014 10:51 am

they could be leftover files, but why are they there now? and why can't i delete them? i have never seen them before after a clone operation.
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Re: strange system files taking up lots of space after a clo

Postposted on Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:04 pm

ryko wrote:they could be leftover files, but why are they there now? and why can't i delete them? i have never seen them before after a clone operation.



You might be able to use a livecd to get access to the file system before windows loads, and delete them.

And you aren't kidding about google being less than helpful. I came up empty, too.
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Re: strange system files taking up lots of space after a clo

Postposted on Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:25 pm

If your backup drive is working well and doesn't have these mystery files on it, can you switch over to it and try either another backup (and see if the problem is repeatable) or possibly try another cloning solution? I've used Macrium Reflect free without any mystery files that I recall showing up. Or, since you have a working backup, use a bootable environment and try deleting them that way.
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Re: strange system files taking up lots of space after a clo

Postposted on Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:48 pm

frumper15 wrote:... use a bootable environment and try deleting them that way.



I haven't used it in eons, but Trinity Rescue Kit can be booted off a thumbdrive, and can read/write to ntfs volumes.

I used to use another live image, for password resetting laptops, and offline virus scan/deletion, but I'm flaking out on what it's called. I'll link to it, if I can remember it.

I should point out I haven't used imaging software since the old imageblaster days, so I can't recommend anything in that area.
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Re: strange system files taking up lots of space after a clo

Postposted on Sat Jun 21, 2014 11:05 am

here's an update...

using my bkup hdd as primary now, and i successfully ran another clone operation using xxclone again to a 3rd hdd. it worked fine and no mystery files this time around. did a test boot and everything normal on both drives. really strange.

also, i was able to get full control over the files by using a usb to sata adapter with the hdd in question and an old xp laptop. copied the 5 files to the laptop's hdd for more investigation and deleted them from my old primary hdd, no problem. after looking through more of the text of the files in ultraedit, they seem to be almost all symbols and letters with different types of accents. just a jumbled mess really.

so they appear to be garbage files. maybe they are shadow copy files from windows? pretty sure i don't have that enabled since i turned off system restore. what else could it be?
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