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Failed to scan c: not enough storage is available to process this command

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I am trying to use Recuva (I am new at this), to undelete photos that were mistakenly deleted from my hard drive but I keep getting an error message that there is not enough storage space. This appears after the scan is done and does not show any files. What am I doing wrong?

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I never got to the point where it asked where I wanted Recuva to save anything it finds.  That is the problem. 


My PC Info/Specs:


Processor:  AMD Athlon XP 1.09 GHz

RAM:  2.00 GB

System Type:  32-bit Operating System running Windows 7 Home Premium with Service Pack 1

C Drive Capacity:  232 GB

Free Space:  88.3 GB


Error Message from Recuva:  "Failed to scan the following drives:  C:: Not enough storage is available to process this command."


The scan does not complete.  It never gets to the point where I choose which files I want to keep and indicate where I want it to put them - which would be on a flash drive.


Any ideas?  Is my PC too old or not enough RAM or what?  From what I have read on these forums, Recuva doesn't require "disk space" to scan the drives.  So, I really don't understand what to do here.  Thanks much for your help.

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I still need help with this.  I wish I could contact a live person at Recuva.  Apparently no one understands this issue or else I am not explaining it correctly.  I keep getting an error message WHILE SCANNING that says:  "Failed to scan the following drives:  C:: Not enough storage is available to process this command."  It will not let me scan my C drive.  I appreciate any help with this.  Thanks much!

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I don't think that any of us knows what the problem is. You're not the only one to hit this.


I have been scanning a 250 gb disk with originally 1 gb ram for years without hitting this problem.


As you say Recuva doesn't write to disk, so everything must go to ram. I would have thought that 2 gb ram would be enough, but I don't know what else is using ram on your machine.


Are you running a normal scan or a deep scan? How long does Recuva run before issuing the error message?


Even with this ifo I still (probably) won't know the answer.

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I was just passing to post a thread my self

Some suggestions ... I am new to Recuva .. but some issues to consider.


If your PC is a laptop (or even a tower/rig) with pre-loaded OEM operating system

-  there are two hidden drives (apart from C:) that occupy the HDD.

-  C: is a partition on the HDD (plus the two other hidden partitions)

-  those hidden drives are crucial to your OS, so don't fiddle with them

-  you have used 62% of your available C:\  ... ie, visible folders and files in WinExp

-  over time you have added and deleted files/folders ... but in fact they are never really deleted until Windows needs the space for new files

-  so deleted files are still on C:\

-  that is how Recuva locates "deleted" files ... we hope.


When you clear "Recycle Bin" ... those files/folders are not actually deleted, only the NTFS table is changed to indicate the file is deleted

-  Windows NTFS keeps a record of every file on the HDD (present or past) in a "table"

-  unfortunately Windows fragments all files anywhere on the drive

-  when you create a new file, Windows looks at the NTFS table and grabs what ever it needs from anywhere on the disc, including fragments of deleted files.

-  NTFS does not keep any files in one tidy location, files are scattered all over the disc, and the NTFS table keeps track of those "scatterings"


At a guess over time with adding and deleting files, I wonder if your C:\ has become saturated with both current and especially deleted files.

-  so maybe Recuva thinks it has no empty spaces to write to  (only smarter Recuva experts might clarify this one)

-  and in the process the files you are trying to rescue will be over-written with Recuva scan


If your copy of Recuva is an installed version it is already over writing available space (ie, marked as deleted in the NTFS table)

-  if you have access to another PC download portable Recuva and save it onto a thumb drive

-  maybe portable Recuva (on the thumb drive) will look for space on the thumb drive, instead of the C:\ drive

-  might be worth using a new Thumb drive for the operation. 

-  not sure (I cannot remember) how FAT32 formatted (thumb) drives  behave


If no luck here at Piriform ...  Music, Pictures & Video forum at sevenforums.com might be of help

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This got my attention, so I did this little test,

Took a 120gb HDD and format it, had about 50gb of data on it.

Plugged it in in another semi clean PC and only ran Recuva trying to recover the files form the 120


I think that Recuva does use drive space to store the found files and build its filing list.




The amount of space used is in correlation of the amount of files and size trying to be recovered.

Every line of code written by man can be undone by man


"A loser in the real world is still a loser in the net!" - .hack//SIGN

Getting old is inevitable,  growing up is optional !!

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I am very interested in the outcome of this problem and hope Mtang78 finds a solution.

To repeat ... I know zero about Recuva. :mellow:


Available space on the HDD is the theoretical -- ie, the empty "bits" including the invisible deleted files.

-  I suspect Mtang78 has close to "none" empty bits if Hac0c's points are considered.

-  and if Mtang78's drive is "full" of deleted files ... could the sheer volume be the problem ?

-  (60GB of occupied "available" space will not fit into 2GB RAM)

-  and if RAM is at its max Windows writes to the HDD, which Mtang78 won't want to do because deleted photos might be lost.

-  any ideas from anyone ?  ... I don't have an answer :(


Has anybody tried my theory using portable Recuva on a thumb-drive ?

-  just asking


I wonder if a Linux OS (eg, Mint) booted from an external USB device can read deleted files on Mtang78's machine :unsure:

-  because it sure can read existing (visible) files


My wife had 1000s of photos on a single disc rig. I could never convince her to backup,

-  the worst happened and the HDD crashed, she lost the lot.  A lot of tears and frustration.

-  now her rig has 2 HDDs, one for OS and the second for data -AND- she backs up the data drive onto another HDD

For myself a laptop and I am in the process of partitioning an external mains powered HDD into 3 drives

-  never done it in my life before but I have done it

-  so all my data is separate to the OS physical drive.  If my OS goes pear-shaped I still have my data that can be connected to another PC in a blink.

Sorry to state the obvious Mtang78 .. I do appreciate your disappointment and frustration.


Sorry I am not much help Mtang78 ... my expertise in in AutoCad ... but I will trot over to Linux now and do some research.  I will be back. ;)

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@ Mtang78
Q1: Is your machine a laptop or a "box" ?
Q2: Do have another machine to use while your lost photos are resolved ? (we hope)
One consideration might be an IT tech who can rescue your photos for you. 
-  installing more programs or creating more files on your problem PC is not a good idea, because each "new" episode will overwrite the existing "deleted files"
I found this through the Linux Mint forum  ...
How to recover lost files after you accidentally wipe your hard drive
It envolves (if your machine is not a laptop) adding two HDD into the rig ...
1. one for an extra OS (Linux Mint?)
2.  to download the photo files onto ... using 2 programs "TestDisk" and "PhotoRec"  (the latter would be installed on the MINT OS HDD)
If you have a laptop the rescue might be a lot tougher... maybe impossible.
-  I am trying to locate a portable rescuer that will write to an external device
No promises ... but I will keep looking

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Has anybody tried my theory using portable Recuva on a thumb-drive ?

-  just asking

So I did did my test in reverse this time.

Took the portable version and ran it from the 120 I formatted and tried to get the data from the semi clean hdd (the one on the left)



Every line of code written by man can be undone by man


"A loser in the real world is still a loser in the net!" - .hack//SIGN

Getting old is inevitable,  growing up is optional !!

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  • 2 weeks later...
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Common sense would indicate that no recovery program would write to any disk that might contain data to be recovered. That's any disk. So Recuva's results must go into ram. How many bytes? I don't know, say 500 per file found? So 1 million files would take up 500 mb of ram.


Ram gets paged out to er, the pagefile. I was thinking that this error message could be produced when ram and the pagefile are stressed. But the OP's system specs are so modest that this seems unlikely in her case. However if I were getting this message I would look at my page file (is there one, if so how large) and when running Recuva close other applications that might be using lots of ram.

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Did you select "All files" or did you tick the box "Pictures" only ? Do you know what extension those photos had (*.jpg ?) ? Do you know in which folder those photos were stored ? Selecting that folder will reduce the amount of files to be searched.


If memory usage is a problem then:

- Close as much programs as possible. Even those programs that run in the background.

- Try to run the program in Safe Mode (Reboot system, press F8). Then Windows uses much less programs & memory.

- Install PcWinTech's Cleanmem, even when not running Recuva. 2 GB is not too much for Windows 7. 4 GBs already works better. Cleanmem reduces memory usage every 15 minutes. Programs like Chrome & Firefox use LOTS of memory and are very reluctant to release that memory. Then 2 GBs of memory get very easily filled. Hence the error.


I ran Recuva v1.51 on my Win 7 system (with 8 GB, I don't have memory problems) and it's memory usage went up to ~ 280 MB (See Task Manager) My system has ~173.000 files on the C: drive and Recuva found ~ 50.000 deleted files. (It found ~ 50.000 references to "deleted" files).

Edited by Willy2

System setup: http://speccy.piriform.com/results/gcNzIPEjEb0B2khOOBVCHPc


A discussion always stimulates the braincells !!!

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Windows by itself and for its own purposes is ALWAYS finding an excuse to re-write a file or in other ways write data to "FREE SPACE".



Security software is always observing everything that is happening and using Windows - giving Windows another excuse to write data to "FREE SPACE".


Questions :-

If Recuva is trying to examine the contents of a specific sector that is in "FREE SPACE",

and at the same instant Windows is trying to write to the same sector,



Is it possible that a potential "fatal embrace" is resolved by Windows / Recuva announcing to the user "Not enough Storage space" and then aborting.




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When all else fails, look at Google. There are 374,000 hits for "not enough storage is available to process this command" (in quotes), including this from Microsoft (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc978735.aspx) which I reproduce in its entirety:

Not enough storage is available to process this command.
User Action:
Do one of the following, then retry the command: (1) reduce the number of running programs; (2) remove unwanted files from the disk the paging file is on and restart the system; (3) check the paging file disk for an I/O error; or (4) install additional memory in your system.

However the first few hits I tried had a more complex explanation which might be of help, which is increasing the size of the IRPStackSize parameter in the registry. A rough paraphrase is:
There are many, many things that can cause the IRPStackSize to become too small, but one of the most common reasons is anti-virus software that has been installed or many different programs such as Acronis TrueImage, AVG, Norton, Microsoft Security Essentials etc. It’s not the programs that are the problem, but the drivers and the IRP slots that they use up, hence in time you may need to increase the value of the IRPStackSize as you install more and more programs.
To edit the IRPStackSize, go to:
If the registry key IRPStackSize is already exant then you may need to increase its value. Do this in increments of 5. The default value is decimal 15 so try changing it to 20. When you have done this, reboot for the changes to take effect. If this was unsuccessful try increasing it by a further value of 5. The most it can be increased to is dec 50.
If the IRPStackSize is not present (it isn't on my pc) then create a new DWORD. Right click and rename to IRPStackSize. Double click to open and enter a value. Try decimal 20 then reboot. If no luck try increasing its value by another 5.
Look at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/177078 for more details, or plough through those 374k Google hits.

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- It may sound weird but running a program called "Windows Repair all in One" (WR)


could help. I know that in the programcode of WR there's a line that "increases system resources" (not quite sure what that means). It's a socalled "registry tweak" and that's why I don't want to provide the details of that "tweak". The safest way to do the registry tweak is to run the program.


(Perhaps this registry tweak could be added to RECUVA ??).

System setup: http://speccy.piriform.com/results/gcNzIPEjEb0B2khOOBVCHPc


A discussion always stimulates the braincells !!!

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@ Augeas :)


A shame Mtang appears to have dropped out.  But all is not lost!

At least the varied ideas might be helpful to others


AND ...


The three golden rules to save all the pain before things go wrong ...


Backup, backup and backup


... and don't overwrite the previous backup


I have ...

last five days

end of last week

one copy of all weekly backups in the month

end of month backup

... deleting the oldest first


Don't backup onto the primary drive (C:\) ... or partitions on the primary disc

-  use a separate HDD device,

-  USB SSD can die and when they do they are really dead

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One problem is that when Mtang uses her computer then more and more photos are in danger of being overwritten for ever. Seems (s)he doesn't want to use that system anymore.

System setup: http://speccy.piriform.com/results/gcNzIPEjEb0B2khOOBVCHPc


A discussion always stimulates the braincells !!!

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