C Drive Filling Up

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C Drive Filling Up
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Selahgal
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July 13, 2009 - 9:46 am
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My C drive keeps filling up with SOMETHING and I can't find out what !! I've used the free 'tree' programs but I still cannot find why it keeps filling up.

The ONLY thing I can think of is downloads of videos and music. They go into MY DOCUMENTS which I have in my storage drive, which is F drive. Somehow are the downloads REALLY going into C drive and not F drive?

How can I find out and fix it for good?

Thanks.

Selah

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Chad Johnson
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July 13, 2009 - 11:51 am
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Depending on how much space is available on your C drive, the most likely culprit is Temporary Internet Files.

However,

a program called Space monger (link to the last free version here: [url:36mj0i76]http://www.sixty-five.cc/sm/v1x.php[/url:36mj0i76]) will scan your dis and tell you where the largest files /directories are. This will give you some visibility into what directories are taking up most of your space. And it's nice and visual too!!

Identify your three largest directories and let us know what they are. Chances are good we'll be able to tell from the directories what the culprits are.

--zig

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Selahgal
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July 13, 2009 - 12:23 pm
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It appears to be ... in order of biggest:

1. pagefiles.sys
2. backup files from my security program
3. windows installer programs

At least that's what it appears to be?

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Jim Hillier
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July 13, 2009 - 8:39 pm
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Hey Selah - Could you let us know what size your 'C' drive is please....total size and available free space. Could you also please let us know how much space each of the items you listed are taking on the 'C' drive. Of particular interest is item number 2 "backup files from my security program"...could you please expand on that? Which security program would that be and is it scheduled to perform automatic backups? If so, what type of backups; differential, incremental??

I had a similar problem on my XP machine once.....it turned out to be a virus which kept replicating itself over and over, gradually eating up the available free space until my 'C' drive was almost full. I sincerely hope this is not what is happening to you.

Do you regularly use any sort of cleaning utility to get rid of temporary files and unnecessary data from the hard drive, something like CCleaner?

Have you run deep/thorough scans through your security programs?

Sorry, that's a lot more questions than answers but it is information we need to help diagnose the problem.

cheers.....JIM

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Chad Johnson
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July 14, 2009 - 9:33 am
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If (emphasis on if) these are legitimate files clogging your C drive, you can gain some space by moving your swap / paging file off to another drive. There is a small performance boost too.

First though, let's identify what's using all your space.

--zig

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Selahgal
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July 14, 2009 - 11:09 am
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Hey Selah - Could you let us know what size your 'C' drive is please....total size and available free space.

[b:357x5sid]19.5 GB Total, 3.81 FREE SPACE[/b:357x5sid]

Could you also please let us know how much space each of the items you listed are taking on the 'C' drive. Of particular interest is item number 2 "backup files from my security program"...could you please expand on that?

[b:357x5sid]1. pagefiles.sys 2,145,386, 496 bytes
2. backup files from my security program 1,504,907, 609 bytes
3. windows installer programs 343,058,432 bytes (it's hard to read this box or to tell what it really is tho)
[/b:357x5sid]

Which security program would that be and is it scheduled to perform automatic backups? If so, what type of backups; differential, incremental??

[b:357x5sid]System Suite and it does perform backups every time I install a program! I deleted all the backups up to the middle of June but it didn't make much of a dent. It DID take away the ALERT that C drive was getting full, but I need to find the SOURCE of what is making it fill so fast.[/b:357x5sid]

I had a similar problem on my XP machine once.....it turned out to be a virus which kept replicating itself over and over, gradually eating up the available free space until my 'C' drive was almost full. I sincerely hope this is not what is happening to you.

[b:357x5sid]I've run all my security programs, System Suite, Spybot, Ad Aware, AVG, etc. Nothing found so far. Yesterday my computer was acting weird all day though. Now I have this 'phantom' installer box that keeps appearing and disappearing that I can't get rid of. SHEESH.[/b:357x5sid]

Do you regularly use any sort of cleaning utility to get rid of temporary files and unnecessary data from the hard drive, something like CCleaner?
[b:357x5sid]
Yes, I do. CCleaner is one of a few I use regularly. I also keep my recycle bin clean.[/b:357x5sid]

Have you run deep/thorough scans through your security programs?

[b:357x5sid]Yep.[/b:357x5sid]

Sorry, that's a lot more questions than answers but it is information we need to help diagnose the problem.

cheers.....JIM[/quote:357x5sid]
[b:357x5sid]
I appreciate your help! Thanks![/b:357x5sid]

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Jim Hillier
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July 14, 2009 - 6:47 pm
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Hi Selah - Thanks for the information, it helps. We now know we are dealing with a very small capacity HDD...by today's standards, anyway. Sizes for the 3 items you listed seem to be around the norm, although pagefile.sys is a tad large but that is possibly because you are more than likely running with a small amount of physical RAM. Not sure what the 'Windows installer programs' would be, but at just over 300MB it is pretty insignificant anyway.

The tone of your posts seemed to suggest that this happened all of sudden but I am inclined to think it has been a gradual thing which you have only just noticed....maybe because you started to get the warning messages? Does that sound about right?

I am not 100% happy with the security software you have installed for dealing with spyware. Particularly Ad-Aware which is, IMO pretty much a waste of hard drive space. I recommend you download and install the FREE version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, run the 'Check for updates' and then perform a full scan. Let us know if it finds anything or not please.
Link to download MBAM:- http://www.malwarebytes.org/mbam.php

As Zig suggested, you could move the paging file over to your external hard drive and that will pick up around 2gigs of space. That will mean leaving the external drive connected more or less permanently. Also, how long is it since you last defragged 'C' drive? That won't pick up a lot of extra free space but, every little bit helps.

As Zig said, we still haven't as yet identified exactly what is taking up all this space on the HDD....please do this:

Go to [b:2xcmxghy]StartMy computer[/b:2xcmxghy] and open '[b:2xcmxghy]C[/b:2xcmxghy]' drive. Hover the mouse cursor over the folders for [b:2xcmxghy]Program Files[/b:2xcmxghy] and [b:2xcmxghy]Documents and Settings[/b:2xcmxghy] and report back the size displayed for each of those folders. While there, check to see if there are any other folders which show a particularly large content (excluding 'Windows', of course).

cheers....JIM

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Selahgal
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July 14, 2009 - 7:57 pm
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Yes, I believe it has been filling up and just now the 'alerts' started going off.

I will download and use that program you suggested.

My Program Files folder says size is: 2.83 GB (3,049,624,830 bytes) and size on disk is: 2.22 GB (2,393,142,734 bytes).

Documents and Settings folder says size is: 2.15 GB (2,309,925,405 bytes) and size on disk is: 1.70 GB (1,825,729,559 bytes). I don't know what the difference is between 'size' and 'size on disk' but there it is.

I found the BACKUP files in System Suite and deleted them which opened up a LOT of space. Hope I didn't delete anything important! HA.

I defrag and run security programs quite regularly too. I know that is important.

My F storage drive is not external tho.

As far as the 'windows installer program' I could just have been looking at the boxes wrong.

Still got my 'phantom' windows installer box appearing randomly and I have a toolbar for my desktop that now disappears when I try to use it. It's the little things that drive me up the wall. Have rebooted about 15 times today alone to try and fix it. Any ideas on that?

Thanks Jim!!!

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Jim Hillier
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July 14, 2009 - 9:50 pm
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Okay Selah...it seems we are nearly there. All the things you have told me so far add up to around 9gigs, more or less. You have 15.7gigs used space which leaves around 6.6gigs unaccounted for. If we take into consideration space set aside for; the XP installation, system restore, recycle bin, temp files, hiberfil.sys..that just about accounts for it. Bearing in mind that any OS installation grows, exponentially, with age..bit like humans really!

So is your 'F' drive a second/separate internal HDD or a partition of your main drive? What capacity is the 'F' drive. Seeing how you are using 'F' drive primarily for docs, photos, music, etc. the size of your Docs & Settings folder on 'C' drive is a tad on the large side. I suggest you have a look at what is in there and delete anything you no longer need/want.....transfer whatever you wish to keep, over to 'F' drive.

Also, uninstall any extraneous programs, those ones which you don't really need or use. You could start with Ad-Aware..

About the disappearing toolbar; is it a third party toolbar you downloaded and installed? What is it called and what does it do/is it for??

All in all Selah you may be better off thinking about upgrading your HDD to a much larger one and doing a fresh/clean install.

cheers....JIM

P.S. I have to go out soon so it may be 6 or 7 hours before I can reply again.

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Chad Johnson
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July 15, 2009 - 8:42 am
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~whistles~
20 Gig...those were the days.

OK, enough reminiscing.

Jim is spot on Selah - if you're using your second drive for documents, music, photos, etc, there is no reason your Documents and Settings folder should be so large. Do you have multiple users on this computer? Do you have many files (files, not shortcuts) on your Desktop? My Documents / Desktop is just two of the areas that impact this space. Temp files, Internet files, etc all contribute as well.

As for your toolbar / install box - when does this occur? On Startup, only when opening a certain program? 6 minutes after midnight on the third day following the Virgil equinox? For the toolbar - do you know what it is or what it does? Do you want it there or are you trying to get rid of it?

I agree with Jim though, a 20 GB drive in today's age of music, video, picture mania is going to quickly run out of space. It's good you have a second drive for that media, the key now is going to be to get everything over to it and make sure it stays there.

One option you can consider is moving your 'My Documents' folder to the second drive. This is as simple as right clicking on the 'My Documents' folder (desktop or Start menu) and clicking properties. Select move, then wait while the data transfers.

We could also look at moving / adjusting your pagefile / swapfile.

--zig

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Selahgal
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July 15, 2009 - 10:53 am
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Oh boy, with two of you helping me my head is spinning! Oh wait, it's always spinning ... nevermind! HEHEHE.

Ok, our HDD is partitioned into two ... C & F. C is the main one and F is the 'storage' one.

My Documents was moved to F drive right after we bought the computer. HOWEVER, a lot of stuff goes into Doc & Settings which is C drive. Hubby told me that even tho My Docs was dragged to F drive, the stuff we save still goes into the Doc & Settings folder in C drive. OY. He and I are the only users on the computer.

On a funny sidenote, I got my filehippo newsletter yesterday and look what they recommended ...

[b:mlqnxnuv]Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 1.39

Posted: 13 Jul 2009 11:46 PM PDT

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware can detect and remove malware that even the most well known anti-virus and anti-malware applications fail to detect. Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware monitors every process and stops malicious processes before they even start. [/b:mlqnxnuv]

That's the one YOU recommended yesterday isn't it?

Anyway, at the bottom of the screen, the taskbar, I right clicked and selected TOOLBARS and then checked DESKTOP. That's all. So when I have 20 browser windows open, I can open something from the desktop by clicking the little arrows and then my desktop folders appear. Don't have to close those 20 open windows. But now after about 5 seconds of opening that, they disappear. What would you consider 'too many' folders? I have about 18 shortcuts and folders, with many subfolders. Is having too many a problem? Wish I could videotape what happens and post it here! HA.

The phantom windows installer box is still appearing and disappearing too. I'm about ready to do a system restore from before this mess began! It appears almost every time I click something!

Well, C drive capacity is 19.5 and F drive capacity is 273 GB with 149 GB free. Lotsa room left on F drive! Is it possible to move DOCUMENTS & SETTINGS directory to F Drive????

I went to ADD/REMOVE PROGRAMS and well over half the list is missing. I'm starting to think I'm in deep dodo.

And yes I know enough about computers to be dangerous!

Think I'll go run that Malwarebytes program now .....

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Jim Hillier
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July 15, 2009 - 6:52 pm
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Hi Selah - Sorry your head is spinning...we are both saying the same things though.....

I'm sorry to say Selah, whoever setup and partitioned your hard drive in the first place really got it wrong. You have a good sized HDD but unfortunately too little of that space has been allocated for the system, especially seeing the target for user folders/directories was not set to 'F'. The fact that you have around 4gigs free space on the main partition and whopping 149gigs free on your storage partition tells the whole story. It is possible to 'shrink' a partition non-destructively (i.e. and still retain data), using 3rd party software, but it is a complex and risky task....not one for the less experienced. You could transfer all the data on 'F' drive to an external hard drive and then adjust the partition sizes.The only other way would be to start all over again, clean install and all...something, no doubt, you would be very reluctant to do.

Your hubby is right, you can copy & paste or drag and drop folder contents to 'F' drive but that does not change the [i:t9x2gr12]Target[/i:t9x2gr12] allocation....that is best done during the initial setup. The simplest way to transfer the data now is via the method suggested by hubby. Open each folder, use [b:t9x2gr12]Ctrl[/b:t9x2gr12] +[b:t9x2gr12] A[/b:t9x2gr12] keys to select all and then copy and paste the contents over. Or open 'F' drive minimised (to desktop not to taskbar), then open each folder, one at a time, minimised in the same way. Select all the contents and then drag and drop to 'F' drive.

Now, as for the troublesome Desktop Toolbar. I shouldn't think the number of shortcuts, folders/sub folders has anything to do with it. Most likely scenarios, in no particular order, are:
1) Installed 3rd party software creating conflict. Do you have anything like 'Google Desktop' (search utility) installed?
2) Malware infection. We will have a better idea on that after you have run a scan through MBAM.
3) It is broken.

There are free tools and scripts around for repairing Taskbar and its features but, from what I have read, they can often cause more issues than they fix. Maybe Zig or Dave will have some better ideas on that one.

Now as for you being in deep doodoos.. By all means try the System Restore but make sure to do it from safe mode!! To access safe mode; reboot/restart the computer. As soon as BIOS has finished and before XP starts to load, start tapping the [b:t9x2gr12]F8 [/b:t9x2gr12]key repeatedly. You should see a list of options. From memory, "Safe Mode" is the very first (top) item and should be selected (highlighted) by default. If not, use the up and down arrows to highlight it and then hit [b:t9x2gr12]Enter[/b:t9x2gr12]. Once booted into safe mode just perform the system restore as normal.

If that does not resolve the issues, do not despair Selah....there are other ways to repair files, etc. Are you in possession of the XP installation disc??

cheers.....JIM

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Chad Johnson
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July 16, 2009 - 9:54 am
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Sorry Selah - if 29 of us all jumping into the topic is too much, I'll gracefully sit on the sideline. (yes, I represent 28 people).

as mentioned before, you can change the target of your My Documents directory fairly simply. Moving the whole documents and settings folder is not something I recommend for anyone. It's possible, but very difficult and involves the registry.

Various programs can be configured to store their data someplace other than the Documents and Settings directory, but changing all of them would be time consuming.

for the taskbar -- what disappears? The open windows, or the Desktop menu?

and the installer -- let's see what MalwareBytes finds.

Add/Remove Programs - what's missing?

--zig

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Selahgal
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July 16, 2009 - 10:34 am
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It's ok zig, I will deal with it. Better TOO MUCH help than none! Heh.

Ok, how do I change the target of My Doc Dir ??

As for the taskbar .... when I click the arrows in the taskbar toolbar to open the desktop items, the list of desktop icons and folders appears. Then when I try to go to one of the folders, then to a subfolder, the entire list flickers, then disappears. So I have to go directly to the desktop, open the folder & subfolder to open the file.

Here's the Malwarebytes results:

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware 1.39
Database version: 2433
Windows 5.1.2600 Service Pack 3

7/15/2009 11:17:47 AM
mbam-log-2009-07-15 (11-17-47).txt

Scan type: Quick Scan
Objects scanned: 112842
Time elapsed: 10 minute(s), 56 second(s)

Memory Processes Infected: 0
Memory Modules Infected: 0
Registry Keys Infected: 1
Registry Values Infected: 0
Registry Data Items Infected: 0
Folders Infected: 0
Files Infected: 11

Memory Processes Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Memory Modules Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Keys Infected:
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCLSID{70004d5d-3bf6-4d51-43b2-02fc0002cdb5} (Rogue.Errorsafe) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.

Registry Values Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Data Items Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Folders Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Files Infected:
c:WINDOWSFontsaerofoil.zip (Worm.Archive) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
c:WINDOWSFontsampersand.zip (Worm.Archive) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
c:WINDOWSFontsaubrey.zip (Worm.Archive) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
c:WINDOWSFontscataclysmic.zip (Worm.Archive) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
c:WINDOWSFontscomplete_in_him.zip (Worm.Archive) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
c:WINDOWSFontsfafers_handwriting_font.zip (Worm.Archive) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
c:WINDOWSFontsjerrys_handwriting.zip (Worm.Archive) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
c:WINDOWSFontskringle_castle.zip (Worm.Archive) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
c:WINDOWSFontssurrounding.zip (Worm.Archive) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
c:WINDOWSFontsvintage.zip (Worm.Archive) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
c:WINDOWSFontswalt_disney.zip (Worm.Archive) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.

Then I did a DEEP SCAN:

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware 1.39
Database version: 2433
Windows 5.1.2600 Service Pack 3

7/15/2009 12:47:24 PM
mbam-log-2009-07-15 (12-47-24).txt

Scan type: Full Scan (C:|F:|)
Objects scanned: 234251
Time elapsed: 1 hour(s), 6 minute(s), 36 second(s)

Memory Processes Infected: 0
Memory Modules Infected: 0
Registry Keys Infected: 0
Registry Values Infected: 0
Registry Data Items Infected: 0
Folders Infected: 0
Files Infected: 1

Memory Processes Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Memory Modules Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Keys Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Values Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Data Items Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Folders Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Files Infected:
f:program filesMIRCmirc.exe (Backdoor.Bot) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.

The vanishing windows installer window still remains! It's like something got stuck in the install process.

As to the missing ADD/REMOVE PROGRAMS list, there is so many missing I wouldn't know where to start. If I do a restore, it won't restore malware will it? I'm beginning to think I may have to do a restore.

Appreciate your time & help !!

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Jim Hillier
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July 16, 2009 - 7:34 pm
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Okay Selah - I'm going to hand this over to Zig to deal with from here on in. He will likely be more help than I with the phantom installer and troublesome toolbar.

Just a couple of things before I sign off:

What Zig said about moving the entire Documents and Settings directory is spot on....it is a complex chore involving, among other things, registry changes. There are even those who argue it cannot be done successfully, post installation....anyway it is not recommended, especially for the less experienced.

MBAM found quite a few infections, shame removing them did not fix your issues. The fact that it found them though shows your computer has been subjected to malware attacks. No one security program is able to always identify and remove 100% of infections. Cleaning up a heavily infected machine can, more often than not, be a time consuming and complex business involving a variety of tools/utilities, even then 100% success rate cannot be guaranteed.

good luck Selah, I trust with Zig's expert help you can get it sorted out.
cheers now.....JIM

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