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Hard Drive Space Disappearing


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#1 brightmidnight

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Posted 01 November 2006 - 03:44 PM

Hi everyone!

I'm fairly new to all this and may not have a real problem at all (might be in the wrong part of the forum too), but I'm trying to understand where all my hard drive space disappears to each day. Most of the time I just work on Word documents and browse the internet, and I clear temporary files and other junk regularly, if not every day (Ccleaner, Sweepi, Advanced WindowsCare). Restore points are only getting made every 4 or 5 days, so it's not that. Does anyone have any idea why I have 'lost' over 1gb since the start of the weekend, for example? I have a decent amount of space left, but it's disconcerting to see it relentlessly drain away.

Thanks for any help you can provide, and I'll be glad to give you any extra info you might need! Maybe, at the very least, there's some way to track it?

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#2 ComputerWhizz7

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Posted 01 November 2006 - 06:09 PM

When did this program start occuring? Did you install any programs that maybe have caused this?
I came, I saw, I conquered. - Julius Caeser

#3 brightmidnight

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Posted 01 November 2006 - 07:30 PM

Hi there Computer Whizz, thanks for answering.

I'd say it started towards the end of last week. I can't be totally sure, but maybe around the time my Norton Internet Security expired and I replaced that with Antivir and Zone Alarm. I tend to download and try out a few programs from download.com etc, but they're usually pretty small and I haven't done too many recently. Other than the ones I mentioned, I downloaded TVUplayer (a streaming TV program I've only used twice in the last week) and PeerGuardian2 in the last few days. Oh, and a tiny one called Notebook Battery Info.

All my spyware scanners say I'm totally clean, if that helps (ewido, adaware, superantispyware, spyware terminator).

#4 usasma

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Posted 02 November 2006 - 08:53 AM

I'd suggest searching your hard drive for large files created in the last week.

Also, I'd suspect the TVUplayer program just because of the size of most videos.

Finally, while the download size of a program may be small, it's actions can generate much larger files. Are any of these programs set to do anything automatically, or do you have any utilites running that do things like copying or backups?
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#5 brightmidnight

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Posted 02 November 2006 - 11:38 AM

Hi usasma, thanks for your input.

Firstly, I don't think it's TVUplayer as the phenomenon seems to happen when I don't use it, which is most days. Plus I had it on my old computer without any issues and I don't think it stores anything on the HD.

That's good advice about searching the Hard Drive, though. I'd had a little look before without much success, but I'll put in a more rigorous effort later.

As for programs creating backups or copying files, Advanced WindowsCare creates (registry?) backups, but I just deleted them all without getting much space back. Zone Alarm creates a rapidly-growing log (tvDebug.log) but I've emptied that recently as well. I do have a fair few programs set to operate automatically, but as far as I know they are just monitoring things (Zone Alarm firewall, Antivir anti-virus, Spyware Terminator anti-spyware, Process Guard). I'm no expert, though, as I'll readily admit.

Interestingly, I had to do a system restore last night and it didn't go like any other system restore I've ever done! It took about 20 mins to close down and another 15 mins to reboot again (with a screen asking me to wait), and not only did it not seem to work properly, it ate up 1.3gb in the process. When I 'undid' the restore, it again took half an hour and ate up another 1.3gb. As far as I know, that isn't normal, but I could well be wrong. My next action was to disable System Restore and it gave me back 5.8gb, which is more than the 5.3gb limit I had origially allocated it (6%). Bizarre?

I have an HP dv5000 and the hardware diagnostic on the HP site says I have no problems, so I guess I'll try and find some large files created recently and keep monitoring the situation. I'll let you know if I find something.

Thanks again and this is a great site by the way, especially for confused amateurs like myself!

#6 rubiconeye

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Posted 02 November 2006 - 12:10 PM

hi, brightmidnight,

couple of things to consider, i see that you have used advanced windows care, if this is the tweaking programme i am thinking about, it may have interfered with your system restore settings. if you can check if any option related to the registry and especially if system restore was 'optimized', maybe you can undo this and monitor your computer.

the other thing was perhaps your master file table has been corrupted in some way, this happened to me a while ago, and txt files of a few kb, were apparently showing as 1gb files. try a chkdsk on the drive, that fixed it for me - start, run, cmd, and then type 'chkdsk /f /r' without the quo marks, and with a space before each /

the computer should ask if you want the test done on next reboot, type y for this and then restart.

hope that helps

#7 pascor22234

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Posted 02 November 2006 - 01:05 PM

You can try a free program called SequoiaView. I created a "map" of the drive that shows you the relative size of the files that are on a drive. You'll be able to easily identify unusally large files.

http://www.win.tue.nl/sequoiaview/

.

#8 brightmidnight

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Posted 02 November 2006 - 09:16 PM

Hi again,

I've scheduled a Check Disk and downloaded SequoiaView, but right now I have to get some sleep so i'll give that all a look tomorrow. Thanks everyone for your help!

#9 brightmidnight

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 12:09 PM

Apologies for the back-to-back post.

Thanks pascor22234, that SequoiaView is quite a tasty program, I must say! Filtering it to show files modified since 20 October 2006, the only huge one that showed up was pagefile.sys. That weighed in at 2gb, but that's the minimum set for it (automatically) as I have 2gb of RAM. Otherwise, there were no files over 50mb, the second biggest being an album I'd converted from wma to mp3 (46mb).

Following on from what rubiconeye posted, I disabled any restore options in Advanced WindowsCare (which just meant unchecking the 'modules' it saves a copy of before changing). I'm wondering if my problem isn't/wasn't linked to System Restore because I've always had some trouble with it. Back when I got my computer I set it to max 1% (don't use it much), but upon testing it, it failed to restore. For whatever reason, it will only work from 6% of total HD space upwards, even though the percentage should only affect how often restore points are created (as far as I know, anyway!).

Also, and fingers crossed here, since I disabled System Restore and re-enabled it yesterday, my computer seems to have stabilsed. I've probably just jinxed it, and will keep a beady eye on the situation, but I might be out of the woods! Time will tell, I suppose. The Check Disk didn't return any insights, by the way, but I'm sure it never hurts to tend the garden a little.

Thanks everyone for your help, and feel free to let me know if anything I've said here sheds any light. Cheers!

#10 usasma

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 01:04 PM

Try doing a search for files/folders created/modified/accessed within the last week - then sort the list by date and time.

Most of it will by system stuff - but you may notice some trends that will help locate the source of this problem.
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#11 brightmidnight

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Posted 05 November 2006 - 10:56 PM

Hi usasma and thanks,

It looks like my problem hasn't gone away after all, but using some possibly specious logical deduction rather than any solid computer knowledge, I really think it's System Restore related. Let me try and explain:

I noted down the sizes of all the directories in my C: drive (Printer, Docs and Settings, HP, I386, Program Files, SWSETUP, system.sav, WINDOWS) after re-enabling System Restore three days ago, since when another 600mb has disappeared. None of those directories have grown at all in that time. I also kept tabs on the big folders that had been modified recently in the WINDOWS directory and they didn't change very much either (a couple of mbs). So wherever the space is going, it isn't traceable - I should add I enabled the "see hidden folders" option as well, by the way.

Only one System Restore point was created in the intervening period and the disappearing space drips away gradually each day, but today I disabled System Restore again and that took the total free space right back to where it was three days ago, when I last disabled it. Hence my bold claim at the start of this post!

I don't know why it would be doing that if it is the cause, but at least I may have stumbled on to a makeshift 'solution' of sorts. Time to get Norton Go Back or some equivalent perhaps? Then again, I could well be totally and utterly wrong in my theory!

#12 brightmidnight

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Posted 05 November 2006 - 11:07 PM

Ha ha ha, having said all that, I guess System Restore could just be DOING ITS JOB and restoring things! In which case, I still don't know what's going on, haven't been able to trace any give-away developments, but have a kind of solution. So much for my logic, eh?

#13 usasma

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Posted 06 November 2006 - 08:50 AM

Sounds like you've done a good job of troubleshooting this! IMO, System Restore is too much of a problem to be rely on it for recovery in case of a problem. So, I use Acronis True Image to "image" my system and just shut off System Restore on my systems.

But, for those that still want/need to use it, I refer them to Bert Kinney and his website about System Restore: http://bertk.mvps.org/
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.




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