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Windows Backed up to drive C: and drive F: (external). How do I reclaim disk space??

Win 10 Pro x64
500GB internal HDD
1TB external HDD

TL;DR: Windows 10 was apparently on a schedule to backup and started to backup files. I noticed high disk use by the Windows backup service before and after my external drive was plugged in. Missing GBs of storage on my main drive and now I suspect Windows backed up C:\ to C:\, but I cannot find 30 GB of space. I did find 11 GB of recently modified files in System volume, but that leaves 19 missing GBs.

:fou: I just checked my system disk properties and I have 136 GB free/ 305 GB used. Earlier today I had close to 200 GB's free and three days ago I had ~220 GB's free. In fact, the backup I made before I installed Win 10 showed partition sizes as 8 GB recovery and 210 GB system with 210 GB free (drive is 500 GB with 441 GB usable). Is there a way to find out where those GB's went or what was most recently modified and/or added? I tried File explorer > datemodified > 9/20/15 already.

In the 5 minutes I sat here waiting and watching C:\ I have lost a GB and am now down to 135 GB free and 306 used. I know I can turn off and reset Windows backup in services, but I need my storage space back and I do want windows backup to run for system restore purposes (just not steal my GB or backup to the same drive it is backing up). And now I've lost 5 GB on my external drive and windows can't eject it without me stopping the program that is using it, but svchost.exe seems to be the one using it (I disabled AVG for now).

Okay, so it seems Windows WAS backing up. I stopped the backup, but cannot turn off the schedule (error 0x80070002), so now I need to reclaim my disk space on both of my HDD's (internal and external). I do not know where windows is holding the newly saved data though. I had a Windows 7 image on my external drive, and I suspect that is where Windows was writing to, but it looks like that is destroyed now.

I should be able to reclaim the external's space by deleting the Win backup file, but where would the missing GB's on the main drive be? I tried navigating the Windows, system, & system32 folders, but nothing has been modified there that is anywhere close to 50-60 GB's. From file explorer > C:\ > typing: "datemodified" > selecting Sunday 9/20/15 brings up System volume information, but that folder is only 32 GB's and the files modified yesterday are only 11 GB's in size.

To recap: pre Win 10: 441 GB avail, ~220 used, ~220 free. Post Win 10 and post backup: 441 GB avail, 306 Used, 134 free = 86 GB missing. I added one program that should be 15 GB and less than 1 GB of songs, so that leaves 70 GB. system.old should be smaller than 40 GB (it's 39.6 GB exactly), so that leaves 30 missing GB or 20 GB if the recently modified files within System Volume are actually part of the missing GBs.
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More about windows backed drive drive external reclaim disk space
  1. Best answer
    Things like restore points, hybernation file, swap files, and even caching are things that can take up space yet not get reported.
    You will need to use a space analyzer to find whats using it such as windirstat, spacesniffer, treesize are the ones most people recommend I beleive.
  2. Perfect! I found and reclaimed 30 GB. :)
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