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Suspicious decrease in available HDD space


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#1 Magil

Magil

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 04:27 AM

Before we begin, my computer specifications:
 
 

Operating System
    MS Windows XP Professional 32-bit SP3
CPU
    Intel Celeron M 380
    Dothan 90nm Technology
RAM
    2.00 GB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 99MHz (3-3-3-9)
Motherboard
    Dell Inc. 0DK344 (Microprocessor)    58 °C
Graphics
    Monitor Plug and Play (1280x800@60Hz)
    Mobile Intel® 915GM/GMS,910GML Express Chipset Family
    Mobile Intel® 915GM/GMS,910GML Express Chipset Family
Hard Drives
    37.3GB Hitachi HTS421240H9AT00 (PATA)    35 °C
Optical Drives
    PHILIPS CDRW/DVD SCB5265
Audio
    SigmaTel High Definition Audio CODEC

 

With that out of the way, let us begin.

 

For the past week or so, my Hard Drive's space has been in a very mysterious decline. Just a week ago, I had aprox. 1 GB worth of free space. I was also then that I decided to try out many different games and demos that were made available at indiedb.com  (amongst other miscellaneous yet apparently somewhat related "harmless" websites). After my binge was over, I was left with less than 200 MB worth of free space. After trying everything out and becoming bored again, I deleted absolutely everything I had downloaded that day and cleared Firefox's cache. But then I noticed that I was left with somewhere around 600-800 MB instead of my original 1 GB.

 

So I ran a search on my entire hard drive looking for any files created and/or modified in the past 3 days, but didn't come up with any particular single or group of files that could justify the missing space. Two days later, my HDD space had decreased back to 200 MB, even though I had not knowingly downloaded anything, and I was steadily losing HDD space.

 

I ran MalwareBytes, but the scan report came up clean. Same thing happened after I ran Avast. Since I was running out of space fast, my next step was to disable Virtual Memory to recuperate 2GB of space that I wasn't even using (I rarely run anything that exceeds my current RAM threshold anyways).

 

After rebooting, I had around 2.2 GB worth of free HDD space. But the thing is that I'm still losing alot of space everyday, and at the time of this writing, I'm down to 1.47 GB (after clearing my cache which ammounted to barely somewhere around 300-ish MB). I know that I haven't downloaded an 800 MB file, yet I also don't know what exactly is occupying that HDD space. I have a strong suspicion that my computer might be infected with something that I do not know of, and I fear that it might have unknowingly become a proxy or part of a botnet (though my router doesn't seem to indicate that any significant ammount of traffic is surging through it right now).

 

Everything else seems to be functioning adequately, though. I have yet to observe a decrease in overall performance.

 

I do hope for a prompt response. There are a number of things I need to get done that require temporarily storing large files on my HDD, and I haven't owned a pendrive in years.

 

Nevertheless, thank you for taking your time to read this. If there's anything else that you need to know, I'll respond as soon as possible.



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