WDS shows a certain item labelled “<Unknown>” and recently someone posted a comment asking for details:
i think it would be nice to put in the faq or in help or in some docs whatâ€™s in the â€œunknownâ€ space
sometimes itâ€™s an huge amount of spaceâ€¦ like 700 or more MB â€¦ i think it could be the â€œsystem volume informationâ€ butâ€¦ what mysterous things are within this space? he he heâ€¦
This mysterious item is just the difference between what Windows reports as the free space on the volume minus size of the files WDS can access. Please note the part WDS can access! This is the important point here. WDS cannot access the files under
System Volume Information on all the (NTFS?) drives, so it cannot sum up the sizes of these items. And by the way, we have had reports of up to 30 GB of “<Unknown>” space.
Now what is stored in this directory? If you could gain
SYSTEM access (and I will not tell you how that is possible …), you would see that the system keeps some binary log files there, but these take up only a small portion of what is stored in there. The biggest portion is usually being taken up by the System Restore Points (SRPs) you can create (or that are automatically created by software installers). The contents are a dump of the registry at the time the SRP was taken and of relevant files (usually from the system folders). I personally turned this feature of since I have a different backup strategy – however, this may not apply to everyone, so you’ll have to live with the “<Unknown>” item .
There also have been reports that some third-party software stores data there, but I cannot confirm this. Also in the very unlikely case that your file system is corrupt there may be a non-zero sized “<Unknown>” item. In that latter case run a file system check and the problems should be fixed afterwards.
PS: If you run under a non-privileged account this could also cause a lot of files to be inaccessible and therefore to count as “<Unknown>” …