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Possible Infection Eating Hd Space?


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#1 pentalarc

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 02:46 PM

Y'all recently helped me get rid of a kav0 infection, but now my computer is acting even more strangely. Basically, I'm getting messages every few minutes that I'm about to run out of disk space. I delete stuff, move stuff to my other hard drive, etc. but nothing seems to help, the space fills back up almost immediately.

I haven't done any risking surfing, so I think it was something that might have been lying dormant, or I just didn't notice until the damage was done, and it has to be something that survived the programs I ran to get rid of kav0. The only unusual internet activity recently was researching types of marble. . .not exactly high-risk surfing.

I'm running Win XP Pro

Any ideas? Thanks in advance.

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#2 quietman7

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 03:15 PM

I'm getting messages every few minutes that I'm about to run out of disk space.

Can you be more specific? Where are the messages appearing, your system tray, desktop, etc? Can you provide a description of what they look like and exactly what they say?
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#3 pentalarc

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 04:33 PM

I'm getting messages every few minutes that I'm about to run out of disk space.

Can you be more specific? Where are the messages appearing, your system tray, desktop, etc? Can you provide a description of what they look like and exactly what they say?



Yeah, sorry.

It's the standard system messages on the tool bar. Hard drive icon with a word bubble over it saying along the lines of "You are running very low on space on drive c:. Click here to remove old or unneeded files to free up more space."

Whenever I free up space, it fills right back up, and I get the same message, every few minutes.

I don't think that the message itself is anything having to do with virus/malware, etc, but I think that the effect has to be.

I've run a chkdsk /f and things are working a little better right now, the computer is certainly running faster. I can't seem to defrag the drive, even in safe mode. AVG can't find anything, and AdAware locks up when I run it. (checks C: fine, though, it locks up while checking D:, which is my bigger, storage drive.

I haven't run the others yet, right now, I'm trying to uninstall some of the stuff that autoruns when I start the computer, just in case it's a RAM problem. (Which I was told it might be, I run out of RAM, the computer starts using the hard drive, and the files get stuck there.)

#4 jhsmurray

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 05:51 PM

Out of curiosity, what are your virtual memory settings?
(look for How to manually change the size of the virtual memory paging file in this article)

Also, what percentage of your drive is dedicated to system restore?
(check out Disk Space for System Restore in this article)

How much is allocated for temporary internet files for IE?
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/155353 (this article applies to IE5, but I think it should work for 6+)

Have you recently started using an email client on your PC? Outlook PST files tend to get pretty bloated.

If you have the room, try installing and running Sequoiaview. It will give you a graphical layout of your harddrive, and help you localize the problem.

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#5 pentalarc

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 02:48 PM

Out of curiosity, what are your virtual memory settings?
(look for How to manually change the size of the virtual memory paging file in this article)

Also, what percentage of your drive is dedicated to system restore?
(check out Disk Space for System Restore in this article)

How much is allocated for temporary internet files for IE?
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/155353 (this article applies to IE5, but I think it should work for 6+)

Have you recently started using an email client on your PC? Outlook PST files tend to get pretty bloated.

If you have the room, try installing and running Sequoiaview. It will give you a graphical layout of your harddrive, and help you localize the problem.


I don't use IE, I use FireFox.


I have not started using an email client

384 MB Virtual Memory
4578 MB restore points (currently suspended)

#6 xXAlphaXx

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 03:09 PM

Hmm, Ive heard of this before. It commonly goes under the name of "Computer Cancer" And just like Cancer its one little thing multiplying multiple times to the point where it crashes the hard drive. My friend had it on his PC and was able to remove it with a reformat. Other than that, also like Cancer, I don't think theirs any cure.

Im not sure if this is what you have but...
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#7 pentalarc

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 02:06 AM

Hmm, Ive heard of this before. It commonly goes under the name of "Computer Cancer" And just like Cancer its one little thing multiplying multiple times to the point where it crashes the hard drive. My friend had it on his PC and was able to remove it with a reformat. Other than that, also like Cancer, I don't think theirs any cure.

Im not sure if this is what you have but...


Well, how can it be "diagnosed," then? And is it a virus or a malfunction?

I'm going to be replacing large parts of this computer soon, with parts cannibalized from a computer someone is sending me. If the OS is workable and there's another room to temporarily store everything on that particular drive, I'll reformat, but I don't want to spread it, so to speak, if it works that way.

And I'd still like to figure out if that is it, so that if it's something else, I can get rid of it beforehand.

#8 quietman7

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 06:54 AM

Computer Cancer is a term I have seen associated with fragmentation, not malware.

Is Defrag Cure for "Computer Cancer"?
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#9 pentalarc

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Posted 15 December 2007 - 02:01 AM

Update:

My computer will now not boot up. When I try to turn it on, it makes a "dee-doo-dee-doo" sound like a police siren.

1) What does this mean?

2) If I try to turn on the computer, will it damage the info on my hard drives?

3) If I succeed in turning on the computer, will it damage the info on my hard drives?

Is there anything that can be done here?

My first priority is preserving the data on my hard drives. I'm going to rip the computer apart and replace parts with parts from a junk computer I'm getting through the mail to cannibalize, so as long as the data on the hard drive is preserved, I'd just like to be able to use the computer to some degree until then.

#10 quietman7

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Posted 15 December 2007 - 07:22 AM

It can be difficult to determine what exactly caused this problem. Bootup failure can be due to a variety of issues to include application faults, hardware failures, loose pin connections, etc. Startup failures that occur before the OS loader (Ntldr) starts could indicate missing or deleted files, or damage to the hard disk master boot record (MBR), partition table, or boot sector. If a problem occurs during startup, the system might have incompatible software or drivers, incompatible or improperly configured hardware, or corrupted registry/system files. However, the first thing to do is check all your hardware connections and ensure they are fitted properly.

Never heard of the sound you describe but noises heard when attempting to boot are usually a sign of hardware related issues, faulty RAM or an indication of high temperatures due to overheating and faulty processor fans. The latter sometimes can be attributed to dirty components inside your computer, loose connections or even a heat sink blocked with dust or debris.

If, you cannot boot up at all, see:
"What to Do When XP or 2000 Won't Boot".
"How to recover from a corrupted registry that prevents Windows XP from starting".
"Langa Letter: XP's No-Reformat, Nondestructive Total-Rebuild Option".
"Langa Letter: XP's Little-Known 'Rebuild' Command" easy fix for "Missing HAL.DLL," "Invalid Boot.Ini," and several other fatal startup errors.

If you don't have your XP CD you can download a Recovery Console ISO file and burn it as an image to a disk to get a bootable CD which will startup the Recovery Console for troubleshooting and fixing purposes. This is especially useful for those with OEM systems with factory restore partitions or disks but no original installation CD. Also read Creating A Windows XP Recovery Console CD Image.

Another option is a Windows XP bootable Floppy Disk:
"Resolving Boot Issues with a Boot Floppy Disk".
"BC's Tutorial: Using a Windows XP bootable Floppy Disk".
"How to obtain Windows XP Setup boot disks". The Setup boot disks are available so that you can run the Setup program on computers that cannot use a bootable CD-ROM.

However, if it is hardware failure, I doubt if the above will help.

Another option is to remove your hard drive, install a new one, and make the old one a "slave". That way you should be able to access it and salvage some of your data files.

"How to Change the Master/Slave Designation on a Hard Drive"
"Data Recovery Tutorial: How to Slave a Hard Drive"

You can start a new topic in the Hardware forum if you need assistance with that. Hardware is not my area of expertise but we have other members here who can walk you through step by step.
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