I'm currently experiencing an unprecedented problem with my computer.
It feels as if every time I run a software, open browser, or just try anything that exerts a little CPU usage, it takes ages for whatever task to complete.
It all started last night. I was downloading some movies with utorrent. Seeing as my HD capacity was running rather low (<4GB), I decided to change the dl directory to my external HD, which had plenty of space. I kept downloading videos on torrents for more than hour, and no negative signs were present. After about 3 hours or so, I get a sudden notification pop-up saying that I'm running low on disk space. Now that should be impossible, given I'm not downloading anything to my main hard drive. I close utorrent, but it's not the problem, as I see my HD free space continuously plummeting. I tried deleting unused/old files to free space, but to my surprise it doesn't help at all. Finally, I ended up restarting my PC.
After I restarted it, I saw my HD capacity was back to its original 4GB, which is still weird, since I did get rid of well over 2GB worth of files. I tried running SuperAntiSpyware along with McAfee stinger to see if I was victim of some sort of malware/virus, which I strongly suspect as of now. Before either program could complete the scan, I noticed again my HD space gradually being drained to as little as 100MB and I was forced to restart yet again. Then, I read somewhere that if your paging size is greater or equal to your remaining amount of disk space, you may run into this kind of problem, so I changed my paging to lower value, again to no avail. The second time I restarted, I tried a system restore, but again, it did not solve the problem. The third time, I kept a close watch on my processes on task manager, to see if I could spot anything abnormal. I noticed my antivirus process (avp.exe, I use Kaspersky KIS) was gobbling a big chunk of CPU (~99%) at all time, so I decided to close all network connections and uninstall my crazy antivirus. And that, took a looong while. The uninstall process froze at least 3 or 4 times forcing me to abort it before I finally managed to uninstall it.
With my antivirus gone, I finally managed to fix the memory issue, or at least I think i did. I restarted my PC yet again, and ran chkdsk, defrag. Next, I scanned my whole HD with Spybot, SuperAntiSpyware, but found nothing. I also freed over 20GB of space. Finally, with all seemingly in order and clean, I reinstalled Kaspersky, and now, it's no longer eating my whole CPU. But I'm still bothered, as I feel my computer is very laggy and unresponsive, even when I turn kaspersky off. It feels like even opening firefox takes forever, and I don't even know who to blame.
I tried running ESET Online Scanner, then Kaspersky, Malwarebytes Anti-malware, Spybot, SuperAntiSpyware, all in windows safe mode, but again, none of these programs were successful in finding anything suspicious. I'm really out of ideas. It could be my system has been genuinely compromised, or that I need a new tinfoil hat. What can I do to calm my virus paranoia? Any advice/help is highly appreciated, as now, I'm at complete loss.
Some more information that may come useful:
I'm running Windows XP Professional (Service Pack 3)
Intel® Core 2 CPU E7400 @ 2.80GHz
3.50GB of RAM
I did follow some guides from this site on how to remove malware/trojans, but again I found nothing... am I just being paranoid?
My real question is as to what initially caused my disk space to plummet. I didn't download anything suspicous, nor did anything out of my usual habits.
Edited by hamluis, 30 March 2012 - 04:47 AM.
Moved from XP to Am I infected.