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Something Is Eating My Disk Space


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#1 MikeGraham

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 10:20 AM

Hi guys. This is my first post, and I have a feeling that it won't be my last!!

A few weeks ago my laptop (Windows XP SP2, 37Gb disk) flashed a message informing me that I was running low on disk space. I went through the disk clean-up procedure and gained a few hundred Mb then removed several programs which I had installed myself but used very rarely. I ended up with about 1Gb of free space after all this.

Soon afterwards (within minutes rather than hours) I noticed that the amount of disk space was decreasing. Within the space of about 20 mins it went from just over 1Gb to about 650Mb. When I looked again a few hours later it was down to about 600Mb.

I wondered if this might have been caused by automatic Windows updates being installed, but these are scheduled to occur in the early hours of the morning, not at the time I was carrying out the above procedures.

Other factors which might be relevant:

A few hours ago I removed two programs which accounted for well over 100Mb of disk space but the C: drive properties showed no significant increase in free disk space. The recycle bin was empty. In short, there was no discernible benefit in removing these programs

The Windows folder on my laptop accounts for 32Gb of disk space . . . . this strikes me as being far too much . . . is this normal?

I don't know whether I have a real problem with my laptop or whether this is normal.

Can anyone out there help me?

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#2 jgweed

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 10:49 AM

The size of the Windows folder can vary depending on your software configuration, but 32Gigs seems high . I would recommend you expand the folder so that you can better understand what is happening' a useful (and free) utility that will show the space taken by Windows and its sub-folders is TreeSize:
http://www.jam-software.com/freeware/index.shtml
You can also use the result to track major changes by printing off a report periodically.

Let us know what it finds.
Regards,
John
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#3 jwinathome

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 10:49 AM

32 GB for the C:\Windows folder correct? That does sound unreasonably high. Do you do any Peer 2 Peer downloading?

How long has it been since you cleaned out this folder....

C:\Windows\Temp

#4 MikeGraham

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 11:37 AM

Thanks for those replies.

I cleaned out the \Windows\Temp folder and a few other folders which contain temporary information a few weeks ago.

The Treesize program sounds useful enough to download for future use.

In the meantime I have found a likely culprit . . . the \Windows\CSC folder took up a massive 29Gb of disk space, meaning that the rest of the \Windows folder is less than 3Gb. This folder did not show up on first inspection, even though I had selected the "Show hidden files and folders" option. Only when I deselected the "Hide protected operating system files" option did the CSC folder show up. Maybe Treesize would have identified this immediately.

I am currently looking into the CSC folder; it seems to be connected with synchronising offline files with network files. I recall deleting all offline files several weeks ago; and the disk cleanup procedure did not show any offline files when I ran it a few hours ago. However there must be a hell of a lot of info stored in 29Gb, so I am guessing that the CSC folder contains a history of my offline network files.

Does anyone know about this?

#5 garmanma

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 02:24 PM

Do you have Offline Files and Folders for Network Drive enabled?
Description and link to fix
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#6 MikeGraham

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 03:23 AM

Thanks Mark

Yes I do have offline files and folders for network drive enabled. I thought that I had deleted all offline versions of my network files (Windows Disk Cleanup seems to offer this option, as does the "Offline Files" tab in Folder Options) but it seems that these files were not deleted. The CSC folder must have kept copies of them.

The total size of my network files is only a few Gb, nowhere near the 29Gb that was being taken up by \CSC.

I found Microsoft's knowledgebase article 230738, which solved my problem. It explains how to reinitialise the CSC folder, which entails deletion of all offline files. I now have 27.5Gb of free disk space. The CSC folder must have kept copies of previous offline versions of network files which I had edited; I can't think of any other explanation for why the folder took up so much disk space.

Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

Mike




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