snopes.com  

Go Back   snopes.com > Non-UL Chat > Techno-Babble

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 23 November 2013, 11:27 PM
Avril's Avatar
Avril Avril is offline
 
Join Date: 07 August 2002
Location: Princeton, NJ
Posts: 10,440
Computer Mysterious filling of hard drive

This is weird.

My hard drive keeps filling up even though I'm saving no files and continue to delete cookies and internet caches. I ran a virus scan and it did locate some sort of downloader, but deleting that doesn't seem to have solved the problem. Over the past few days I have deleted about 3 GB worth of files, but as of this moment my hard drive still claims to have only about 500 MB worth of space left. Granted, this is an improvement over 2 MB, but there you are.

I know that there is some variance due to what software you run, etc., but it seems to happen constantly.

Sidenote: at least once when I booted up my computer it asked for permission to change my computer's name, which of course I denied. This was before the virus was deleted, but I think it may be unrelated to the downloader Trojan.

Anybody know what's going on? I run Windows Vista and use primarily Chrome and Explorer, if that matters.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 23 November 2013, 11:48 PM
Hero_Mike's Avatar
Hero_Mike Hero_Mike is offline
 
 
Join Date: 06 April 2005
Location: Phoenix, AZ & Hamilton, ON
Posts: 7,265
Default

Use a disk cleanup and remove any windows error reporting files, temporary files, cache, etc. Do a search for big files and find where they are. Delete any restore points which you know you won't need. You barely have enough room to download any antivirus software, but it may very well be virus related.

I use defraggler to defrag my hard drive, and it seems to show files being created *in real time* as it constantly updates the files and free space. It could tell you if you are still creating files when, for example, you are disconnected from the internet....
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 24 November 2013, 12:45 AM
Auntie Witch's Avatar
Auntie Witch Auntie Witch is offline
 
Join Date: 22 October 2003
Location: Missouri
Posts: 12,599
Default

I had a similar issue and later discovered that somehow my computer decided to back itself up to itself every few days... copying its entire harddrive and storing a copy on the hard drive... and then copying the harddrive and the copy of the hard drive... and so on.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 24 November 2013, 12:51 AM
GaryM's Avatar
GaryM GaryM is offline
 
Join Date: 08 July 2011
Location: Dundee, UK
Posts: 752
Default

I'd recommend using something like WinDirStat - http://windirstat.info/ - to see which folders on your system are taking up the most space. I used it when I noticed the free space on my Windows drive was vanishing (the culprit was 90 GB of Adobe Premiere cache files and an unused hibernation file).
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 24 November 2013, 03:40 AM
hambubba's Avatar
hambubba hambubba is offline
 
Join Date: 30 June 2000
Location: Gonzales, LA
Posts: 10,715
Default

I had this happen once. I ended up formatting the drive. There was either a virus or rootkit that wasn't detected, and it was nasty.

I think this was when Sony had the problem with some of their audio CDs - they included a program to listen to discs that threw the system wide open in the Windows OS level. You couldn't close it back up.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 24 November 2013, 05:45 AM
Morrigan's Avatar
Morrigan Morrigan is offline
 
Join Date: 26 March 2001
Location: Vassar, MI
Posts: 5,407
Default

Have you tried the 'regular' programs like Spybot & CCleaner? Have you tried defragging?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 24 November 2013, 09:45 AM
compass's Avatar
compass compass is offline
 
Join Date: 07 May 2009
Location: Coventry, UK
Posts: 1,183
Default

What about just Windows updates? I remember a problem I had a few years ago where updates which downloaded and didn't apply kept redownloading themselves. IIRC they reached GB levels as there were a few I didn't want to install.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 24 November 2013, 01:51 PM
hambubba's Avatar
hambubba hambubba is offline
 
Join Date: 30 June 2000
Location: Gonzales, LA
Posts: 10,715
Default

The cleaners I used on virus detection are Adaware, Spybot, CCleaner, and Malwarebytes. There are some it finds, but can't remove unless you reboot. Even that doesn't always work If you get the name of the offender, you can delete it manually - as long as it isn't fooling windows into thinking it's a Real Windows Program.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 24 November 2013, 02:56 PM
Avril's Avatar
Avril Avril is offline
 
Join Date: 07 August 2002
Location: Princeton, NJ
Posts: 10,440
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morrigan View Post
Have you tried the 'regular' programs like Spybot & CCleaner? Have you tried defragging?
Yes. And my computer is set to defrag itself every morning.

ETA: And as for updates, that's another weird thing. It can't update itself. Every time I try to manually tell it to get updates, it gives me an error message that says my date and time are wrong. (They aren't.)
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 24 November 2013, 04:40 PM
erwins's Avatar
erwins erwins is offline
 
Join Date: 04 April 2006
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 11,203
Default

I would carefully(!) back up my personal data (and scan it very carefully) and then do a fresh Windows install. Sounds like something is either downloading stuff or replicating itself, and antivirus software isn't being effective. Sometimes if you can actually diagnose the actual virus/trojan/worm/whatever you can get a targeted removal tool, but I'd actually try the fresh install first unless your antivirus program has ID-ed the culprit already.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 24 November 2013, 05:59 PM
Hero_Mike's Avatar
Hero_Mike Hero_Mike is offline
 
 
Join Date: 06 April 2005
Location: Phoenix, AZ & Hamilton, ON
Posts: 7,265
Canada

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avril View Post
Yes. And my computer is set to defrag itself every morning.

ETA: And as for updates, that's another weird thing. It can't update itself. Every time I try to manually tell it to get updates, it gives me an error message that says my date and time are wrong. (They aren't.)
I remember reading a Microsoft bug fix for Windows Update with this issue - and the fix worked. Should be easy to find in Microsoft, especially if you can get the exact text of the error message.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 25 November 2013, 06:52 AM
Troberg Troberg is offline
 
 
Join Date: 04 November 2005
Location: Borlänge, Sweden
Posts: 11,580
Default

SpaceSniffer is a very good tool for finding where the stuff that takes up space is. Highly recommended.

Also, depending on what you are doing, check the temp folder. There are some bugs in Windows that tends to fill it with orphaned temp files (especially one in the JPG decoding). I run a scheduled script on my machines that deletes all files (since files in use can't be deleted, it's safe) from the temp folder every hour, it helps a lot.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 25 November 2013, 02:29 PM
Seaboe Muffinchucker's Avatar
Seaboe Muffinchucker Seaboe Muffinchucker is offline
 
Join Date: 30 June 2005
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 17,042
Glasses

Quote:
Originally Posted by Auntie Witch View Post
I had a similar issue and later discovered that somehow my computer decided to back itself up to itself every few days... copying its entire harddrive and storing a copy on the hard drive... and then copying the harddrive and the copy of the hard drive... and so on.
My work computer was doing this, and every time I'd free up space, it would fill it up. There was a setting that was telling it to update. If you like, I can talk to our IT guy and find out where that setting was.

Seaboe
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 25 November 2013, 03:10 PM
UEL's Avatar
UEL UEL is offline
 
Join Date: 01 August 2004
Location: Ottawa/Fredericton, Canada
Posts: 8,406
Baseball

I had this during the past spring. And it was on two different computers. It turns out that there was two different things going on that would produce these massive dump files, and then do it again, until there was no room on the computer.

Have you been using GoogleEarth? That was the culprit in one instance.

The other was Windows itself.

When I get home I'll see if I can find the advice I got to clean up the situation.

Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 25 November 2013, 05:07 PM
1958Fury's Avatar
1958Fury 1958Fury is offline
 
Join Date: 05 October 2005
Location: Nashville, TN
Posts: 4,605
Default

Happened to me a couple of years ago, with Vista. Apparently the system restore was set to make a backup image every week or so, and keep all the old restore points. A bit of googling told me how to fix it. Once it was fixed, I recovered over 100 gigs.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Don't text and drive snopes Fauxtography 5 20 March 2012 03:41 AM
Mysterious ‘big cat’ seen in garden Tarquin Farquart Critter Country 11 14 September 2007 07:05 AM
Drive time snopes Snopes Spotting 0 10 July 2007 08:41 PM
Mysterious staircase snopes Spook Central 22 06 May 2007 05:22 AM
How far can you drive your patrol car? snopes Automobiles 9 10 March 2007 09:01 AM


All times are GMT. The time now is 10:35 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.