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Within the Windows\System32 folder are hundreds of files and folders that comprise Windows itself. One set of folders is about language and location.

Why do I have a 45Gb folder - C:\Windows\system32\1025 - where no files show up? It is killing my 75Gb disk (only about 5Gb user data).

I don't know why there's 45Gb there, but we'll look at a couple of options that might be hiding whatever's taking up that space from sight.

I'll also look at what that folder, and some similar companion folders, are.

If you look in System32 on a Windows XP system you'll actually see several folders that are nothing but numbers:

 Volume in drive C is NOTENQUAD
 Volume Serial Number is E852-AA62

 Directory of C:\WINDOWS\system32

11/28/2009 09:53 AM <DIR> .
11/28/2009 09:53 AM <DIR> ..
04/03/2008 05:58 PM <DIR> 1025
04/03/2008 05:58 PM <DIR> 1028
04/03/2008 05:58 PM <DIR> 1031
04/03/2008 05:58 PM <DIR> 1033
04/03/2008 05:58 PM <DIR> 1037
04/03/2008 05:58 PM <DIR> 1041
04/03/2008 05:58 PM <DIR> 1042
04/03/2008 05:58 PM <DIR> 1054
04/03/2008 05:58 PM <DIR> 2052
04/03/2008 05:58 PM <DIR> 3076

Those numbers are locale codes - where a locale is defined by Microsoft as "...either a language or a language in combination with a country."

"Clearly Windows uses these folders to store locale specific information ..."

Locale 1033 is United States / English.

Locale 1025, the one you appear to be having issues with, is Arabic / Saudi Arabia.

Clearly Windows uses these folders to store locale specific information - to what purpose, and under what conditions I don't know, but the folder names are a pretty clear indication of the relationship.

I have no idea why your machine would have 45 gigabytes of data stored in a folder with the Saudi Arabia locale code. Especially since you're in Sweden.

But I do have least one suggestion to gather more information.

If the folder actually does contain 45 gigabytes of data, and yet appears empty when you look into it, it's likely that the contents are simply marked hidden.

There are two approaches to viewing hidden files.

Fire up a Windows Command prompt, and enter the following commands, each followed by Enter:

cd \windows\system32\1025
dir
dir /a:h

The first "dir" will display the "directory", or list of files contained within the folder that are not marked as hidden. The second "dir", including the "/a:h" parameter, will display those files that have the hidden attribute.

Alternately, we can change the option in Windows Explorer to display hidden and system files:

Windows Explorer Settings to show all

In Windows Explorer:

  • Click on the Tools menu.

  • Click on the Folder Options item.

  • Click on the View tab.

  • In the Advanced Settings box select Show hidden files and folders and uncheck Hide extensions for known file types as well as Hide protected operating system files.

  • Press OK.

Now navigate to C:\windows\system32\1025 and see what may have been hidden before.

The goal with either approach above is to simply reveal what may have been hidden. Hopefully, some file or files totaling 45 gigabytes will become visible, and give you a clue as to what's going on, or why.

Article C3937 - November 28, 2009 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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6 Comments
Mark
November 30, 2009 1:40 PM

Couldn't that problem also occur if the index is damaged? I've gotten some false directory sizes in those cases, and running scandisk from XP or right clicking on the drive letter in windows7 then select properties -> tools -> check now. (I don't know which one of these works in vista) This has in some cases helped me regain disk space when the file tables got messed-up.

William Wands
December 1, 2009 8:35 AM

I have come across folders where even if you do set windows explorer to show all hidden files, the directory shows nothing and if you right click on properties, it shows that there are files listed in the folder and space taken, but it wont show the files when you open the folder.

Dave Markley
December 1, 2009 9:39 AM

I've often run across similar (large, often 3 to 4 gb) files. The easiest way I've found to see what is taking up space on a hard drive is a free program 'Treesize Free'. It shows the size and location every file and folder. Sometimes you may have duplicate, often unnecessary files. System restore can also hog lots of hard drive space. I'd also recommend running 'CCleaner', a free program similar to Window's 'Disk Cleanup', but much more thorough. CCleaner also includes a 'tools' option similar to add/remove programs in Windows but it list more programs than Windows does. It also includes a registry cleaner,(the only one I trust personally). First I'd run 'Disk Cleanup' though, and when it shows what can be removed, click on the 'more options' tab, then the 'system restore' button. By cleaning the System Restore folder I've regained as much as 11% of hard drive space on many computers. However, first make sure that your pc is running just the way you want it to, as this will delete all but the last restore point.

Francis
December 1, 2009 10:10 AM

I would be seriously worried if a 45Gb file showed up on my computer like that. The first thing I'd check would be my firewall as it could be someone's stash of illegal files. It seems too big to be a mistake.

Another wonderful little programme I've used for many years is 'sequoiaview' and this may help you to identify other problems. It was developed by the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science at the Technische Universiteit Eindhoven and is available as freeware.

http://w3.win.tue.nl/nl/onderzoek/onderzoek_informatica/visualization/sequoiaview/about_treemaps/

This programme will show graphically every file in every directory and will allow you to identify the large ones so that you can determine what they are and what they are doing. You can also colour code certain file types so that they can be easily identified.

I've set mine to show all the picture extensions in different colours and this is the result

Moving the mouse over the view will name each file and directory for you and you can drill right down to individual files or scan a whole drive. In the picture my mouse was over the pagefile and it tells me it is 1.5Gb in size out of a total 45Gb in use on my C drive.

Just be sure to set the options to 'squarified cushion treemap' to get the best visual representation of your drive or directory.

Hope this helps.

Francis

Reid
December 1, 2009 10:51 AM

If this happened to me, I would do the following:
1) Show hidden and system files as Leo notes in his article
2) Note the date/time stamps on the huge file(s). Are they recent, meaning that they're active being used?
3) Regardless, if I couldn't identify their use, I'd create another folder somewhere and MOVE the files so that folder is empty, but easily restored if necessary.
4) Reboot, then check that folder to see if the files return. If not and no problems arise, delete the big files. If so, try to determine what process is writing to this directory.

BTW, I have tried various utilities to analyze file usage on your drives and found WinDirStat to be the best.

ron
December 3, 2009 9:16 PM

I've tried, and like, both of the mapping tools mentioned in other comments. They are a handy way of quickly locating disk space hogs.

An alternate tool I also use is "Everything" from http://www.voidtools.com/. It does file name and folder name searches almost instantly (Much faster than Windows find). So if you want to find all of the /1025 folders, this tool is the one for you. Or if you want to find all of the JPG files.

Dave M's suggestions to run various disk cleanup are right on the nose. You should do them roughly monthly. As well I have a small batch file I run to clean up other temp files, such as the ones associated with Office apps (or you could add the file types to CCleaner). You have to run it as administrator id.
(may need more than one cd.. to get to root, depending on where it started)
***********
c:
cd..
del /s ~*.*,*.tmp
pause
***********

But I think the bottom line is that 45gb in the Arabic local folder is a very strong indication of a malware infestation. The trick will be finding the malware and killing it for good.


Also, as I "look around" my c: drive I like to delete those various localization folders for languages I know I'll never use. Many applications will install localization folders for help files and language support, they are just clutter I delete.

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