Strange consumption of free disk space - Microsoft Windows

This is a discussion on Strange consumption of free disk space - Microsoft Windows ; Hello, If I power up my computer and do nothing, then I would expect that the free disk space should remain constant, or essentially so (due to some log file lengthening). However, I found with estonishment that this is far ...

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  1. Strange consumption of free disk space

    Hello,

    If I power up my computer and do nothing, then I would expect that
    the free disk space should remain constant, or essentially so (due
    to some log file lengthening). However, I found with estonishment
    that this is far from being true. As can be seen from figures in the
    attachment, in the 6 test runs I lost a total of some 18 MB free
    disk space through doing nothing! Could someone please explain
    how this could happen? Is this a common phenomenon? Most puzzling
    for me are the results of the first 3 test runs. Since the computer
    was disconnected from the internet, it can be entirely excluded
    that any downloads from the internet were done (e.g. for software
    updates) in the background without my being noticed.

    Regards,

    M. K. Shen

    -----------------------------------------------------------

    The 6 tests were done consecutively, each time with the computer
    first shut down und powered up anew. The first 3 tests were done
    with the computer disconnected from the internet, while the last
    3 with the computer connected to the internet. In all cases no
    browser was started. Absolutely nothing was done by me, excepting
    using the "dir" command to get the amount of free disk space in
    bytes. Each test lasts 30 minutes.


    Time Test 1 Test 2 Test 3

    0 226668072960 226667782144 226661388288
    10 226667511808 226664132608 226611388288
    20 226667495424 226664128512 226660995072
    30 226667474944 226664124416 226660990976


    Time Test 4 Test 5 Test 6

    0 226658750464 226651840704 226650222592
    10 226654695424 226653175808 226648121344
    20 226653626368 226653175808 226648121344
    30 226653626368 226653175808 226648121344


  2. Re: Strange consumption of free disk space

    Mok-Kong Shen wrote in
    news:g9ccu8$emv$02$1@news.t-online.com:

    > Hello,
    >
    > If I power up my computer and do nothing, then I would
    > expect that the free disk space should remain constant, or
    > essentially so (due to some log file lengthening). However,
    > I found with estonishment that this is far from being true.
    > As can be seen from figures in the attachment, in the 6
    > test runs I lost a total of some 18 MB free disk space
    > through doing nothing! Could someone please explain how
    > this could happen? Is this a common phenomenon? Most
    > puzzling for me are the results of the first 3 test runs.
    > Since the computer was disconnected from the internet, it
    > can be entirely excluded that any downloads from the
    > internet were done (e.g. for software updates) in the
    > background without my being noticed.




    I have a few ideas, and whoever else visits this group (maybe 3
    other people) may have some more, but:

    a) it helps if you mention what computer and what OS you are
    using.

    b) it helps if you use decimals or round off some numbers,
    especially when providing 24 sets of 12-digit numbers. A little
    hard on the eyes.



    --
    [from a recent conversation]
    thanatoid: So why did you decide you needed broadband?
    Neighbor: I wanted to read my e-mail faster.

  3. Re: Strange consumption of free disk space

    thanatoid wrote:
    > Mok-Kong Shen wrote


    >
    >
    > I have a few ideas, and whoever else visits this group (maybe 3
    > other people) may have some more, but:
    >
    > a) it helps if you mention what computer and what OS you are
    > using.
    >
    > b) it helps if you use decimals or round off some numbers,
    > especially when providing 24 sets of 12-digit numbers. A little
    > hard on the eyes.


    a) I have an HP desktop with Windows XP. I run no particular
    applications (database, programs, etc.) and am using the computer
    only for Google, e-mail, internet radio and writing letters to
    be output on the printer as well as using CDs of language learning
    software. Norton is installed. As Browser I use one from my
    internet provider, which is adapted from Explorer, and
    Mozilla Firefox. Else nothing runs or ever ran on my computer.

    b) I'll give figures in KB. After my last post I did only
    very little and shut down the computer. I started it again
    today about 40 minutes ago. Here are some new figures of
    my free disk space in KB:

    226 629 783
    226 628 128
    226 621 685

    Could it be, as a friend speculates, that some spyware or such
    stuff gets onto my computer despite Norton? If so, what should
    I best do?

    Thanks.

    Mok-Kong

  4. Re: Strange consumption of free disk space

    Mok-Kong Shen wrote in
    news:g9dq47$qde$00$1@news.t-online.com:

    > thanatoid wrote:
    >> Mok-Kong Shen wrote

    >
    >>


    > a) I have an HP desktop with Windows XP. I run no
    > particular applications (database, programs, etc.) and am
    > using the computer only for Google, e-mail, internet radio
    > and writing letters to be output on the printer as well as
    > using CDs of language learning software. Norton is
    > installed. As Browser I use one from my internet provider,
    > which is adapted from Explorer, and Mozilla Firefox. Else
    > nothing runs or ever ran on my computer.


    Well, it sounds like a very clean machine. Do you have a good
    firewall
    installed (NOT the one that comes with Windows)? Do you have
    Spybot Search & Destroy? I would recommend installing it and
    seeing what it comes up with. It's free.

    OTOH, XP does do a lot of stuff which most users don't even know
    about - although I can't see it eating so much space so rapidly.

    > b) I'll give figures in KB. After my last post I did only
    > very little and shut down the computer. I started it again
    > today about 40 minutes ago. Here are some new figures of
    > my free disk space in KB:
    >
    > 226 629 783
    > 226 628 128
    > 226 621 685
    >
    > Could it be, as a friend speculates, that some spyware or
    > such stuff gets onto my computer despite Norton? If so,
    > what should I best do?


    Spybot, as above. Ad a good firewall. I have heard nothing but
    bad things about Norton - they were good 15 years ago, now
    everyone says to stay away. I would get rid of it and install
    another A-V and firewall (I am guessing your Norton suite
    includes both of those).

    I am also a little suspicious of a browser "customized" and
    provided by your ISP - I would recommend that you stop using it
    and get Opera - it is a little complex at first, but online help
    is very good, and it is the best and safest browser. Firefox is
    easy to use but it has its problems, although not nearly as many
    as IE.

    If you don't care about multimedia, java, flash movies, etc, you
    could try running a great tiny superfast browser called
    OffByOne. It is also 100% safe from ALL online dangers.

    Google for the products I mentioned.

    Good luck.

    --
    [from a recent conversation]
    thanatoid: So why did you decide you needed broadband?
    Neighbor: I wanted to read my e-mail faster.

  5. Re: Strange consumption of free disk space

    To diagnose odd happenings, I recommend the Sysinternals tools.
    They are free, and work under XP. "Filemon" can tell about any
    disk activity that uses the file system. "Process Explorer" can help
    tell you what programs are running.

    Here is the download for the entire Sysinternals suite
    (about 50 tools, total 8MB):

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/s...c5a693683.aspx

    - David Stevens

    "Mok-Kong Shen" wrote:
    >
    > a) I have an HP desktop with Windows XP. I run no particular
    > applications (database, programs, etc.) and am using the computer
    > only for Google, e-mail, internet radio and writing letters to
    > be output on the printer as well as using CDs of language learning
    > software. Norton is installed. As Browser I use one from my
    > internet provider, which is adapted from Explorer, and
    > Mozilla Firefox. Else nothing runs or ever ran on my computer.
    >
    > b) I'll give figures in KB. After my last post I did only
    > very little and shut down the computer. I started it again
    > today about 40 minutes ago. Here are some new figures of
    > my free disk space in KB:
    >
    > 226 629 783
    > 226 628 128
    > 226 621 685
    >
    > Could it be, as a friend speculates, that some spyware or such
    > stuff gets onto my computer despite Norton? If so, what should
    > I best do?
    >
    > Thanks.
    >
    > Mok-Kong




  6. Re: Strange consumption of free disk space

    On Sun, 31 Aug 2008 08:22:18 -0700, "David Stevens"
    wrote:

    >To diagnose odd happenings, I recommend the Sysinternals tools.
    >They are free, and work under XP. "Filemon" can tell about any
    >disk activity that uses the file system. "Process Explorer" can help
    >tell you what programs are running.



    FYI - -- ProcMon is a better tool (IMHO) for diagnosing potential 'spyware'
    issues...
    I believe on Vista filemon even says "use procmon"

    >
    > Here is the download for the entire Sysinternals suite
    >(about 50 tools, total 8MB):
    >
    >http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/s...c5a693683.aspx
    >
    >- David Stevens
    >
    >"Mok-Kong Shen" wrote:
    >>
    >> a) I have an HP desktop with Windows XP. I run no particular
    >> applications (database, programs, etc.) and am using the computer
    >> only for Google, e-mail, internet radio and writing letters to
    >> be output on the printer as well as using CDs of language learning
    >> software. Norton is installed. As Browser I use one from my
    >> internet provider, which is adapted from Explorer, and
    >> Mozilla Firefox. Else nothing runs or ever ran on my computer.
    >>
    >> b) I'll give figures in KB. After my last post I did only
    >> very little and shut down the computer. I started it again
    >> today about 40 minutes ago. Here are some new figures of
    >> my free disk space in KB:
    >>
    >> 226 629 783
    >> 226 628 128
    >> 226 621 685
    >>
    >> Could it be, as a friend speculates, that some spyware or such
    >> stuff gets onto my computer despite Norton? If so, what should
    >> I best do?
    >>
    >> Thanks.
    >>
    >> Mok-Kong

    >



  7. Re: Strange consumption of free disk space

    You're complaining about loosing a few negs ???
    If you open a browser, there's space being eaten up right there... those files &
    images have to be put somewhere.

    On Sun, 31 Aug 2008 12:00:37 +0200, Mok-Kong Shen
    wrote:

    >thanatoid wrote:
    >> Mok-Kong Shen wrote

    >
    >>
    >>
    >> I have a few ideas, and whoever else visits this group (maybe 3
    >> other people) may have some more, but:
    >>
    >> a) it helps if you mention what computer and what OS you are
    >> using.
    >>
    >> b) it helps if you use decimals or round off some numbers,
    >> especially when providing 24 sets of 12-digit numbers. A little
    >> hard on the eyes.

    >
    >a) I have an HP desktop with Windows XP. I run no particular
    >applications (database, programs, etc.) and am using the computer
    >only for Google, e-mail, internet radio and writing letters to
    >be output on the printer as well as using CDs of language learning
    >software. Norton is installed. As Browser I use one from my
    >internet provider, which is adapted from Explorer, and
    >Mozilla Firefox. Else nothing runs or ever ran on my computer.
    >
    >b) I'll give figures in KB. After my last post I did only
    >very little and shut down the computer. I started it again
    >today about 40 minutes ago. Here are some new figures of
    >my free disk space in KB:
    >
    > 226 629 783
    > 226 628 128
    > 226 621 685
    >
    >Could it be, as a friend speculates, that some spyware or such
    >stuff gets onto my computer despite Norton? If so, what should
    >I best do?
    >
    >Thanks.
    >
    >Mok-Kong



  8. Re: Strange consumption of free disk space

    Mok-Kong Shen wrote in
    news:g9g3v4$c1g$03$1@news.t-online.com:



    > BTW, are there some free disk diagnosing tools that I as
    > layman could use? I like to exclude eventual hardware
    > problems.


    You're asking the wrong guy ;-)

    Go to one of MANY software sites and look up "system/hardware
    utilities" section or something like that.
    SiSoftSandra is very good, but the free version is a little
    limited.

    You HD manufacturer's site will have disk diagnosers for their
    products, but I very much doubt this is a HD problem.

    --
    [from a recent conversation]
    thanatoid: So why did you decide you needed broadband?
    Neighbor: I wanted to read my e-mail faster.

  9. Re: Strange consumption of free disk space

    Josh Assing schrieb:
    > You're complaining about loosing a few negs ???
    > If you open a browser, there's space being eaten up right there... those files &
    > images have to be put somewhere.


    No. I am complaining that I "constantly" lose free diskspace
    when I do absolutely nothing while the computer is up, even
    when there is no internet connection (the cable being pulled).
    That is, if only I power up my computer (isolated from the
    internet) and leave it entirely alone, I'll with time have
    less and less free diskspace in noticeable speed. (I lost 18 MB
    in the 6 test runs that lasted a total of 3 hours. That's
    pretty fast.) That's what I couldn't understand.

    BTW, are there some free disk diagnosing tools that I as layman
    could use? I like to exclude eventual hardware problems.

    Thanks.

    Mok-Kong

  10. Re: Strange consumption of free disk space

    thanatoid wrote:
    [snip]

    > Well, it sounds like a very clean machine. Do you have a good
    > firewall
    > installed (NOT the one that comes with Windows)? Do you have
    > Spybot Search & Destroy? I would recommend installing it and
    > seeing what it comes up with. It's free.

    [snip]

    Thank you very much. I installed Spybot. It found over 60
    problematic items, which were said to be Cookies (which
    I interpreted to mean not being spyware as such). After
    removing these, I was surprised to find that "dir"-command
    gave 228.194.070.528, which is even much bigger than the
    figure at the time of my first test reported (226.668.072.960).
    Of course, as layman I don't understand what has actually
    happened. But anyway, my original fear, that my free disk
    space would be fairly quickly exhausted, is (at least for
    the moment) gone.

    Mok-Kong

  11. Re: Strange consumption of free disk space

    Mok-Kong Shen wrote in
    news:g9i4bo$80v$02$1@news.t-online.com:



    > Thank you very much. I installed Spybot. It found over 60
    > problematic items, which were said to be Cookies (which
    > I interpreted to mean not being spyware as such). After
    > removing these, I was surprised to find that "dir"-command
    > gave 228.194.070.528, which is even much bigger than the
    > figure at the time of my first test reported
    > (226.668.072.960). Of course, as layman I don't understand
    > what has actually happened. But anyway, my original fear,
    > that my free disk space would be fairly quickly exhausted,
    > is (at least for the moment) gone.


    I don't know much about XP, but it is possible that your swap
    file /for some reason/ changes its size (XP is preset to manage
    it by itself - and most experts agree that it's best to leave it
    like that - while in 9x it was better to set the size manually)
    even when you don't do anything. Windows is Windows, right? ;-)

    If you have more than one partition or actual HD, I would put
    the swapfile (I believe XP calls it pagefile or something,
    virtual memory is what we're talking about) on another partition
    or the other HD as long as it is about the same specs (like both
    are 7200rpm and not one 7200 and one 5400). It is recommended by
    many as a good thing to do in general. But it night also give
    you more insight into your problem.

    If you only have one partition (C) and /maybe/ D (for restore
    purposes only), that's how most computers come from the factory,
    I would highly recommend dividing C into a bunch of smaller
    virtual drives i.e. partitions. They are very useful. Google for
    'partition' to find out why.

    If you are still interested in nailing down what is going on, I
    would strongly suggest an XP-specific group. Hardly anyone
    visits here.

    AFA cookies, depending on your browser, you can set them to be
    deleted at the end of every session. Some sites claim that you
    won't see the same stuff you already saw, and that your "site
    preference" settings will be JUST the way you want them if you
    KEEP the cookies, but is that really so important? I delete all
    cookies every time I get off the net.

    They are /not/ spyware as such, but their use /is/ questioned,
    and the fact apps like Spybot list them as potential problems
    says something right there.

    Good luck.


    --
    [from a recent conversation]
    thanatoid: So why did you decide you needed broadband?
    Neighbor: I wanted to read my e-mail faster.

  12. Re: Strange consumption of free disk space

    Have you deleted all log files? Each time you boot; data is writen to %temp%
    and to log files in various places.

    Running something like spybot creates LOGS -- and these LOGS take up SPACE.

    On Tue, 02 Sep 2008 03:19:44 +0200, Mok-Kong Shen
    wrote:

    >thanatoid wrote:
    >[snip]
    >
    >> Well, it sounds like a very clean machine. Do you have a good
    >> firewall
    >> installed (NOT the one that comes with Windows)? Do you have
    >> Spybot Search & Destroy? I would recommend installing it and
    >> seeing what it comes up with. It's free.

    >[snip]
    >
    >Thank you very much. I installed Spybot. It found over 60
    >problematic items, which were said to be Cookies (which
    >I interpreted to mean not being spyware as such). After
    >removing these, I was surprised to find that "dir"-command
    >gave 228.194.070.528, which is even much bigger than the
    >figure at the time of my first test reported (226.668.072.960).
    >Of course, as layman I don't understand what has actually
    >happened. But anyway, my original fear, that my free disk
    >space would be fairly quickly exhausted, is (at least for
    >the moment) gone.
    >
    >Mok-Kong



  13. Re: Strange consumption of free disk space


    "Mok-Kong Shen" wrote:
    > Josh Assing schrieb:
    > > You're complaining about loosing a few negs ???
    > > If you open a browser, there's space being eaten up right there... those

    files &
    > > images have to be put somewhere.

    >
    > No. I am complaining that I "constantly" lose free diskspace
    > when I do absolutely nothing while the computer is up, even
    > when there is no internet connection (the cable being pulled).


    Internet connection is independent of this.

    I had this problem with Kaspersky virus scanning software some weeks ago.

    Simple as heck: Kaspersky -always- feels the need to write every ***t to my
    C: drive, and without deeper knowledge, it's impossible to do something
    about it.
    The continuous disk space decrease was caused by those EVENT LOG FILES it
    creates.
    Without further problems, these can quickly break the 500 MB mark.

    I'm still working with EL files, but I've moved them to another drive.
    This required me to fiddle with the registry.
    Cumbersome, but effective :P

    -Andreas


  14. Re: Strange consumption of free disk space

    Mok-Kong Shen wrote:
    [snip]

    Using the command "dir /a:-d /s", I obtained for the diverse
    subdirectories of c:\ the number of files, the sum of occupied
    spaces in the subdirectory and the current free disk space of
    the computer on two different days. I found that, excepting
    three subdirectories, there was no change at all of occupied
    spaces. (I have no access to c:\System Volume Information.)
    The results are as follows:

    C:\Dokumente und Einstellungen (German name)
    Time No. files Occupied space Free disk space
    20.9 21:55 7729 1.586.778.619 225.783.951.360
    28.9 00:40 7706 1.591.040.390 225.675.317.248

    c:\Programme
    Time No. files Occupied space Free disk space
    20.9 22:13 59697 4.204.447.920 225.783.889.920
    28.9 00:42 59697 4.197.722.646 225.675.313.152

    c:\WINDOWS
    Time No. files Occupied space Free disk space
    20.9 22:33 35592 5.921.921.432 225.783.889.920
    28.9 00:45 35662 5.931.471.974 225.675.313.152

    It is obvious that the reduction of free disk space cannot
    be explained by the increase of occupied spaces. Note
    that in C:\Programme the occupied space is now even smaller
    than before.

    Could someone please explain what's happening?

    Thanks.

    Mok-Kong

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