Gradually losing HDD space?

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware, Devices and Accessories' started by the_randomizer, May 19, 2015.

  1. the_randomizer
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    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    Okay, so there's something very strange going on with my primary HDD, over the past few days, I've noticed the free space is gradually dropping by 1 GB, despite the fact that all I've downloaded primarily are jpeg files, music, 3D models, etc, none of which are even that big. Even when I don't do anything intensive, the space still drops gradually and frankly, this is really starting to worry me; sometimes it will bounce back up to 220 GB or whatever, but then it starts slowly going down, like there's some kind of pagefile-related issue, I don't know.

    I attempted to use Google and find out what was going on, some results yielded information about the pagefile being set wrong or the like when I never even touched those settings in the two plus years I've had this. Is this related to a virus or some kind of malware? Can they actually be programmed to reduce the amount of free space on a HDD? So, I did do a malware scan and these are the results that it found, given the fact there are numerous registry entries (all related to Internet Explorer, which I don't use), to sum up, I'm worried that my HDD is going to explode or experience some kind of catastrophic failure, but I have most of my vital data backed up, so I wouldn't be totally screwed.

    According to this http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/slowly-but-surely-losing-hard-drive-space.262274/ one possibility is the system restore at fault.

    This really shouldn't be happening as my secondary HDD doesn't so much as bat an eye, it's the primary HDD, the one where the OS is installed, that's doing this and only started up maybe a couple of weeks ago, but it would bounce back. I hope my description at least make a little sense, and yes, I used CCleaner and there was only like 1 MB or so of temp files (deleted them the other day). I should also note that I do use Sleep when not in use, but turn it off once a day when I sleep.


    Malwarebytes PUP results: Should all these be removed?

    Warning: Spoilers inside!
     


  2. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    The computer will usually tell you it is increasing the size of the page file/swap space. You would probably also know about it as the thing would be running slow as sin if you are worrying the upper limits of swap space.

    Equally depending upon the file system you are using then files can take up things by sector allocation, if you have only downloaded a few files but have made thumbnails for each one then -- as a test once I needed to make a large selection of files so I made a few hundred thousand small ones. Even when they were mostly 0k it dropped the space.

    But yeah some kind of cache/update downloader. Windows updates can do this to you but assuming you are reasonably current it should not go down that much. Are you doing any downloading in general? A lot of things might copy the resulting folder to a downloads drive but use the primary one as a kind of cache/temp location as it is doing it. Depending upon the speed of the downloads then it can be fun.

    After this then yeah you are looking at some kind of crazy reallocation thing seen in dying hard drives.

    On the malwarebytes thing then yeah it looks like you have a dodgy search bar/browser extension installed. Theoretically it could be those dropping your space but it would be a first for a basic browser homepage redirect type thing to do it.
     
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  3. sarkwalvein

    sarkwalvein Professional asshole at GBATemp

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    I recommend using SpaceSniffer, it will not solve your problems but perhaps you can detect where your space is going, and anyway it is a nice tool so if it doesn't work for you this time it may be handy in the future.
     
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  4. the_randomizer
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    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    So should I be terribly concerned about this? I turned off Windows Updates so I could do it manually, but haven't done so lately (as I've heard recent updates muck things up on some lucky peoples' machines), the filesystem is NTFS for both HDDs. One thing I tried was entering the command "vssadmin list shadowstorage" via CMD in admin mode, currently tells me there is about 13 GB for shadowstorage, is that what you meant? http://www.postseek.com/meta/42900df3b0feaaf1bca6a48a27b15c82

    The question now is, what can I do about this? Should I be concerned at all or is this a perfectly normal occurrence, given the nature of the OS and NTFS? Yeah, I do download a lot, but nothing huge, the files don't even reach 100 MB in most cases. But what I want to know is, the fact it could be crapping out is utterly ridiculous, seeing as this HDD is barely two years old, and it's Western Digital (1 TB Black, 5 year warranty), so, I don't know :unsure:



    Ugh, I really really hope the effing drive isn't failing, I don't have my Windows 7 DVD lying around, much less the key code...this sucks.....and yeah, I'll try out that program for sure.
     
  5. Qtis

    Qtis Grey Knight Inquisitor

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    Have you checked how much you have allocated to possible system restore? Most OSs nowadays have a recovery option for failed updates regardless of origin of a failed update. These files can eat up quite a bit space if you haven't limited the space to a specific amount. IIRC Windows removes files after a specific amount of time so this may explain your space allocation changes
     
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  6. the_randomizer
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    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    Yeah, I read up on that, as well as pagefile space, which would explain a lot, now that I think about it. Is there a command or easy way to accessing how much is actually allocated? Also, one option I've seen suggested is turning off system restore altogether, but that might not be conducive.
     
  7. Jayro

    Jayro MediCat DVD and Mini Windows 10 Developer

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    System Restore does indeed gobble space, same with the Recycle Bin. I change them both to 1%.
     
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  8. the_randomizer
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    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    Hmm, again, this would certainly explain a lot, what's the easiest way to change how much is allocated?
     
  9. sarkwalvein

    sarkwalvein Professional asshole at GBATemp

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    If you want to know how much your paging file is using, just look at the size of C:\pagefile.sys
    If you want to change the maximum amount allowed (not recommended), do this:
    1. Press WIN+PAUSE keys (alternatively, go to start menu, right click computer and select properties)
    2. Click advanced system-whatever on the panel left side (my PC is in German, PLEASE UNDERSTAND)
    3. Then go to the advanced tab.
    4. Click in the first "Properties" button.
    5. Again go to the advanced tab (this is very advanced... it seems)
    6. Click in the button "Change"

    If you want to change the size of system restore:
    1. Press WIN+PAUSE keys (alternatively, go to start menu, right click computer and select properties)
    2. Click advanced system-whatever on the panel left side (see above)
    3. Go to the system protection tab.
    4. Press the Configure button.
    5. Configure it as you like.
     
  10. the_randomizer
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    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    Thanks for those steps, now, since it's not recommended, what do you suggest I do so I'm not so bloody paranoid about something so trivial? I don't know why I let this worry me, you know? What about the system restore points? Google search yielded threads that mention them too.
     
  11. sarkwalvein

    sarkwalvein Professional asshole at GBATemp

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    I live without restore points, I don't like that shit (I have it completely deactivated).
    Regarding paging, my page file normally doesn't grow over 5GB, and I am Ok with that.
    If you limit the maximum size of your page file, or just deactivate virtual memory, you will not have stability problems or so.
    The only thing that will happen is that you will run out of memory and will not be able to run some programs probably, you will notice, it will annoy you, and you will reactivate it.
     
  12. the_randomizer
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    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    Then I'll disable system restore points, I've never used them before anyways, and I assume I just go to system restore and disable it? And the latter part, yeah, not gonna disable pagefile size or virtual memory, too risky lol.
     
  13. sarkwalvein

    sarkwalvein Professional asshole at GBATemp

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    Yeah, there is an option if you follow the steps I wrote, I don't really know what it says in English, but it must be something like "Deactivate System Protection"

    Just in case, also hit "Delete all restore points" (or something), in case it doesn't do it automatically when you deactivate it.
     
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  14. the_randomizer
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    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    Got it, turned it off and it freed about 9 GB ^_^ Now, hopefully that will at least curtail the fluctuation somewhat, which will go up and down, given the fact I use virtual memory.
     
  15. Jayro

    Jayro MediCat DVD and Mini Windows 10 Developer

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    I have 8GB, so don't use a paging file. No problems for me. Although I do have RAMMap.exe clear out my standby memory (from Resource Monitor) every hour to keep me free RAM when I'm gaming, or using Photoshop.
     
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  16. the_randomizer
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    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    I'm thinking that's the main culprit is, the pagefile size needs to be reduced, but I don't trust myself doing it TBH :P
     
  17. Jayro

    Jayro MediCat DVD and Mini Windows 10 Developer

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    My downloads folder is my biggest culprit, i never delete that crap. XD
     
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  18. the_randomizer
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    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    Well, at least with system restore disabled I can curtail it, but...yeah, it's annoying XD
     
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  19. The Real Jdbye

    The Real Jdbye Always Remember 30/07/08

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    I would remove everything in your quote. It's just some search engines installed by adware/toolbars and some Chrome addons that you can always install again if you find out you need them (but it'd be best to find an alternative). Won't make a difference on your HDD space but might lower your CPU/RAM usage a little (and who knows what those Chrome addons are doing in the background?)
    It won't break anything, it might lead to low memory errors and crashes if you run out of memory but that won't happen unless you run several ram-heavy programs at the same time.
    Depends on how much memory you have though. On my laptop I have 16 GB RAM, and I disabled the pagefile completely. The pagefile should never be used much anyway because it slows down the PC a lot when in use, so making it smaller will often help. Windows tends to make the pagefile far too big. If you have 8GB you can safely set the pagefile to half that. If you have less, set it to the same size as your RAM.

    It doesn't sound like your issue is related to those though. To me it sounds like you should run Disk Cleanup and CCleaner. Tick all the boxes except things you really want to keep, google ones you are unsure about. I'm surprised there weren't more files in temp but there are other locations that can be cleaned.

    Also, grab WinDirStat http://sourceforge.net/projects/windirstat/
    It's a great graphical tool that I use to see what's eating up my disk space whenever I'm running out and I'm not sure what to delete. Each folder is shown as a cluster with files in that folder and its subfolders represented as rectangles of the same color, and by looking at the size of the rectangles or individual clusters you can easily spot the main culprits, there's also a file/folder list that's sorted by size. I like to use the graphical view for spotting huge folders that I can just delete, and the list view for deleting individual smaller files or subfolders.
     
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  20. Jayro

    Jayro MediCat DVD and Mini Windows 10 Developer

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    I typically run Ccleaner once a week or so, and have Auslogics Defrag screensaver set for 7 minutes of idle time, keeping my system in it's best shape possible without getting so slow. I also run most of my installed apps from my 32GB SD card, as they are all portable apps, even Photoshop. Having very few "actually installed" apps helps keep things from becoming slow, as well as disabling startup items in msconfig. I hope some of this helps you out. ^_^
     
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