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Thread: Mysterious loss of Disk Space

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    Mysterious loss of Disk Space

    Hi,

    I'm having some problems with my netbook regarding disk space.

    I bought a Samsung NC10 last year (April) for university purposes. Because it has such a small amount of hard drive space compared to a 15" laptop, I use it for very little else than university work which tends to consist of word documents and powe*******. Anyway, I had no problems with this laptop till May (2010) at the latest (when I can last remember checking my disk space). At that time I think I occupied something like 15GB out of a possible 70GB. Since then I have been on summer holiday and haven't done any work or downloaded anything on this laptop.

    However, a couple of weeks ago I noticed I've apparently occupied 40GB. I did find this bizarre considering I haven't been adding anything new to my laptop (especially not 25GB worth of stuff) but I considered the fact that with updates and other things along the way that perhaps I'd misinterpreted the values or something.

    But 2 nights ago I got a 'Low Disk Space' message on my laptop and when I checked, it had fallen to 500MB! Promptly, I deleted anything I didn't need which freed up something like 3GBs. But the value fell again within minutes despite the fact I'd been deleting rather than adding anything.

    Since then, my amount of disk space has fluctuated from 3GB, to 42MB, to 30MB and then to 0bytes, sometimes going back up to 42KB, etc. Currently, it's at 3.42MB, but I suspect this value will drop as soon as I submit this thread.

    I've tried looking up solutions and found this article about system restore possibly taking up all the space. http://www.commonsense4commonpeople....n-windows.html
    I tried this but nothing happened, literally. I got no message or anything telling me I had deleted the other system restore files nor any other messages. Meanwhile my hard drive space continued to fluctuate, and mainly staying below one MB. I've looked at other places where they've suggested a possible 'rootkit' being the problem, but when I downloaded the 'Rootkit revealer' thing it wouldn't open so I just had to delete it.

    Does anyone know what the problem is? Please don't suggest I download anything to try and find out what's wrong unless it's really necessary. I've got very little disk space as it is. The 'rootkit revealer' was something like 245KB but I couldn't download that until I waited for my disk space to randomly boost itself to 1MB.

    Thanks in advance!

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    ALT0153™ Rob_B's Avatar
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    Re: Mysterious loss of Disk Space

    Try ccleaner as a quick fix. Then use windirstat to see what is taking up the space apart from emptying your recycle bin you probably have to download simething.

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    Re: Mysterious loss of Disk Space

    Assuming you've got Java installed already you could also use JDiskReport. I'd recommend choosing the "Java" option and saving (and extracting) it directly to a USB disk. That will show you where the large files are, which should help you diagnose the problem...

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    jim
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    Re: Mysterious loss of Disk Space

    TreeSize is another good one

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    Re: Mysterious loss of Disk Space

    Thanks for all your replies!

    Since Rob made a suggestion first, I've tried the ccleaner then WinDirStat method. From WinDirStat I've found out that it's my McAfee internet security that's leeching all the hard drive space. My McAfee is using up 58.6GBs out of a total of 70.4GB! McAfee has a file called Quarantine which is the cause of my disk space loss (I'm sure of this, because it makes up 99.8% of McAfee's usage). Do I delete this?

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    Re: Mysterious loss of Disk Space

    I would try deleting it through McAfee if possible, rather than via Windows explorer.

    If not, there must be some info on their support website. You almost certainly won't be the first.

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    Re: Mysterious loss of Disk Space

    From what you've said McAfee is detecting a huge amount of files as viruses. This could be due to a malware that targets McAfee, or because you actually have a heavily virus-infested PC, or it could be a bug in McAfee (although I assume you've done a google for other McAfee users with the same problem...?).

    I'd suggest you download some virus-cleaning tools like MalwareBytes and a different anti-virus (I tend to use Microsoft Security Essentials nowadays), ideally on another computer (saving them to a USB stick), and then do a full and careful malware sweep on the affected computer. Then, if you're sure the computer is clean, uninstall McAfee and install a different antivirus like Microsoft Security Essentials, avast, avg etc. My experience of McAfee is that it's slow and a resource hog without being any better than many other antiviruses that are less resource hungry

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    Re: Mysterious loss of Disk Space

    +1 for scrapping McAfee, I have a friend who just won't be told and keeps renewing it but it's an incredible resource hog and his PC still contained malware detected with Malwarebytes. If you're happy to scrap it or if you're near the end of your subscription anyway I'd consider changing AV. Try to remove the quarantine files through McAfee and reboot into safe mode and scan with Malwarebytes or something, you can have it alongside another AV as it doesn't run in the background. You can do various other things like removing restore points, disabling hibernation if you don't use it, remove old Windows Update files and so on (decent guide here) but it would be best to sort out the issue with McAfee first.

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    Re: Mysterious loss of Disk Space

    Thanks for your suggestions guys.

    Unfortunately, I had to indirectly delete the quarantine files since I couldn't open the folder via McAfee. I got all my disk space back and then promptly reinstalled McAfee so I'd get a new quarantine folder for the mean time until I got a new anti-virus (I'm paying for McAfee so it seems a waste to not use it for now).

    Anyway, I've got an even bigger problem at the moment. I'm not entirely sure how it happened but my computer became infected by Antimalware Doctor which I've heard is a pretty bad Trojan.

    Anyway, I decided to remove it with Malwarebytes, but before I could do that I found out I couldn't see my Desktop. I get my wallpaper and that's it. The only way I can navigate is via 'Windows Task Manager'. I've used Malwarebytes to run a scan and I've got viruses in the following categories:
    Registry Value (5 viruses)
    Registry Key (2 viruses)
    Registry Data (1 virus)
    File (3 viruses)

    Should I just go ahead and delete these or would it give me system problems? I don't know much about computers but I gather Registry related files are important, right?
    Also, how do I get my desktop back?

    Thanks!

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    Re: Mysterious loss of Disk Space

    better to try and remove them and get back windows, if it doesnt work, youve not lost anything if its already fubar.

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    Re: Mysterious loss of Disk Space

    May I ask why you still wish to use a piece of security software that let your PC get infected with a bad trojan which probably should have been added to the databases a while ago?

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    Re: Mysterious loss of Disk Space

    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain View Post
    Should I just go ahead and delete these or would it give me system problems? I don't know much about computers but I gather Registry related files are important, right?
    Also, how do I get my desktop back?

    Thanks!
    I think you've got nothing to lose - without knowing why your desktop disappeared it's hard to advise you how to get it back, but hopefully zapping the viruses will help.

    To be honest, if I were you I'd be looking at a clean format/reinstall - your system seems badly broken, and in my experience once things have reached that stage it tends to be a losing battle from there on, even if you manage to fix the immediate issues.

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    Re: Mysterious loss of Disk Space

    Agreed, even if you recovered Windows I'm not sure I'd trust that system again unless you know specifically what you're looking for.

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