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system restore eating hard drive space WAY too fast


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#1 kvon

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 08:32 PM

Really don't think this is normal - just noticed my hard drive available space ticking down, right in front of my eyes - on the order of about 1G in 15-20 min. After mucking around a bit, discovered that turning off system restore made it stop. Another clue - when I boot in safe mode, there's about 2G MORE available hard drive space shown (in windows explorer), then when I boot back to normal mode that 2G is mysteriously gone again... this is weird.

Is this a virus? Ran all the scans but came up empty.

thanks for any info.

BTW - XP SP2

Edited by kvon, 19 April 2010 - 08:33 PM.


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#2 Stang777

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 08:04 AM

What antivirus program are you using?

Certain versions of ZoneAlarm can fill up System Restore really quickly but it would not put that much in that quickly.

Is this 1 gig being taken up every 15-20 minutes, or did it just happen in one 15-20 minute period each day?

Have you looked in the System Restore folder to see how big your individual restore points are?

How big is your hard drive?

I do not see why System Restore would make any difference in available space shown in Safe Mode.

#3 kvon

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 10:12 AM

What antivirus program are you using?

Certain versions of ZoneAlarm can fill up System Restore really quickly but it would not put that much in that quickly.

Is this 1 gig being taken up every 15-20 minutes, or did it just happen in one 15-20 minute period each day?

Have you looked in the System Restore folder to see how big your individual restore points are?

How big is your hard drive?

I do not see why System Restore would make any difference in available space shown in Safe Mode.


Running ZoneAlarm Security Suite, 9.1.507. Ran scans with that, and MalwareBytes, and SuperAntiSpyware - all clean.

The pattern so far has been that the available disk space keeps ticking downwards, and I end up shutting the machine down (or turning off system restore), so I don't know how far it will go.

I can't get into the system restore folder (C:\System Volume Information\)? -- access denied. (yes, I have administrator privileges when trying to look at it). I can however bring up properties for that folder, and "size on disk" shows as 0. I've tried turning system restore off & back on several times now, with different settings for "disk space to use", from 5% (7G) to 12% (18G) - doesn't seem to affect the behavior at all.

142G hard drive with only 10G available.

#4 hamluis

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 10:34 AM

You can use a utility to see what is taking up drive space. A couple of such follow.

Disc Space Reporter Download - Softpedia - http://www.softpedia.com/progDownload/Disc...load-67421.html

TreeSize Pro Trial - http://www.jam-software.com/treesize/

http://download.cnet.com/WinDirStat/3000-2...4-10614593.html

Louis

#5 kvon

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 10:20 PM

I'm kind of embarrassed to say this, but I think this may actually be system restore, ... behaving normally...?

Found out how to get into the system restore directory, and there does seem to be a correlation between the disk space in that directory, and downward-ticking free space available on the hard drive. As an experiment I set the space for system restore to use real low (3G), and set it 'off & running' to see where it would quit. It seemed to bump up against that 3G limit, and what's more interesting - at some point after that the system restore seemed to clean itself out, and the chunk of 'missing' free space was restored. The odd thing I still don't understand however - this all happened without generating a restore point of any kind (after turning system restore off & back on which clears all previous restore points). So -- why would it take up that whole chunk of hard drive space without generating the restore point, and then release it...?

#6 Stang777

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 12:49 AM

No need to be embarrassed.

Now that you can access the System Restore files, if there is a restore point in there, look to see if there are a bunch of .rdb files in there. If there is then ZoneAlarm is doing it.

If there isn't a restore point in there then just in case it is ZA doing this, do the following....

Add the folder Internet Logs to the exclude list in System Restore. That exclude list file is named Filelist.xml.

The Filelist.xml is located in Windows>System32>Restore.

Just to be safe and make it so you always have the original file, copy the Filelist.xml and paste it to another location on your drive. Rename the original one in Windows>System32>Restore, add a one or something to the end of the name of it, before the extension part of the name.

Then, right click on the Filelist.xml you placed in another location and select edit, that will open it in Notepad. Scroll down until you see Directories with the word exclude below it, at the end of one of the lines in that section, hit enter, on that new line and paste the entire line below....

<REC>%windir%\Internet Logs</REC>

If that line does not line up on the left side with the rest of the lines in that section. just put spaces in before the first word in the line <REC> until it does line up. Then save the changes made to that file and copy, or just move, that Filelist.xml file you just edited back into the Windows>System32>Restore folder.

After that, once a new restore point is automatically created the next day, those .rdb files will no longer be backed up. No need to turn off System Restore or even reboot the computer to make it stop backing up that file.

I am using an older version of ZA than you are but after I did this, the size of my Restore Points went from around 500 mb each day, to about 40 mb each day. Obviously a HUGE difference there. That makes it so disk space didn't disappear so quickly and the number of Restore Points one can have increases dramatically.

I hope that will fix the problem for you like it did me.

ZoneAlarm recommends a registry edit to solve the problem and use the registry to exclude the .rdb files from being backed up, but that did not work for me, the above did.

If my directions are not clear or are confusing, please don't hesitate to say so and I will try to make it clearer.

Please let me know if that fixed the problem.

Btw, it appears that you might not have enough free disk space for System Restore to function properly so if that does not solve the problem, then just freeing up disk space could. You typically need 12% free space for it to function properly, even if the space in System Restore is set to lower than that. Usually, once free disk space gets lower than that System Restore will turn off. Many articles say it needs way less free space than that, but as soon as my secondary drive had less than that amount of free space, System Restore turned itself off and said that I did not have enough free space for it to protect my system. What really stinks is that when that happens, it turns it off for all drives which deletes all restore points.

As a general rule, you need 15% free disk space on your system drive for Windows to operate correctly so regardless of System Restore, you should try to free up some disk space

Edited by Stang777, 21 April 2010 - 08:37 PM.


#7 kvon

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 06:42 AM

Stang777,

Thanks for the reply - I'm getting busy with other stuff, won't have time to try this for several days, but will do it and post back here with the results.

Thanks again!

#8 Stang777

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 10:23 AM

You are very welcome :thumbsup:




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