I have a 1Tb partition on my hard disk that I’ve reserved for storing my photos and videos (such as they are). When I specced the drive out I thought “that’s loads  of space – PC will need replacement before I run out of space.”

I’ve been noticing that I’m down to my last 100 Gb – and put it down to my increased numbers of photos. But at 5Mb a shot, that’s still a lot of photos, and I have started being more ruthless with my deletions, and avoided taking video off the camcorder, and even then storing it lossy compressed. It’s also meant I’ve not seriously thought about off-site backup of my photos, because the only way to do it would be an external drive of at least 1TB, and than that would be full almost before I started.

However, it’s been nagging away at me, particularly the thought that if we have a house fire, we could lose every photo we’ve taken over the last 10 years. We also have a fire-proof safe, and so I decided to bite the bullet and get some USB memory sticks as an emergency (sort of) off-site backup.

I went to work out how many I would need. Size of “Photos” folder – 50 Gb. H’mm  smaller than I was expecting. Must be all the video files. Size of “Videos” folder – 50Gb. That’s weird. I also store backups of miscellaneous documents on this drive.. Size of “Backups” – 1Gb. Few other system folders kicking about, but they are all empty / 0Gb.

So, where has the other 800Gb gone?

Turns out that Windows backup has filled up almost the entire disk with backups – I turned off Windows backup some time ago as I go my own way (gotta love cygwin), nevertheless there was a whole collection of 20Gb files which were hidden from view at the root. I don’t mind system files being hidden (although it’s the first view option I switch off), but I do mind Windows storing 800Gb of data on my disk without me being able to determine where!

So anyway, only 64Gb memory stick will sort out my photos, and I can now suck across the video (in raw) from the camcorder.