Disc space keeps decreasing even after files FULLY deleted

July 1, 2012 at 05:54:35
Specs: Windows 7
I keep deleting files from my system but the amount of space on my hard drive keeps decreasing! I have used CC Cleaner, and I have deleted a large snapshot from my Rollback RX system but the problem persists. I have also emptied the recycle bin and I have deleted a lot of files and folders with the shift key held down. Baffled!!

I have not been adding signficant new files to the system and I have over the last few days done numerous clean-ups as above. Sometimes the free disc space goes up but then it goes down again by 1 or 2GB at a time! I keep getting Windows messages as well telling me I am running out of disc space.

I have run WindirStat to to see where the large files are and they are mostly my own music and picture files. Have deleted (with shift key) many of them too.

I have a system managed paging file by the way.



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#1
July 1, 2012 at 07:45:16
My guess is malware, trojans or viruses.

Try scanning with malware bytes anti malware (sounds like im advertising them)- http://www.malwarebytes.org/

I am a hardware guy not a software guy but i try to help.


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#2
July 1, 2012 at 07:46:28
It would help to know the size of your HDD & how you have it partitioned.

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#3
July 1, 2012 at 08:08:30
Hi thanks for the suggestion though I think this is unlikely in view of the fact that I am very careful about what software I install and I have plenty of security software running. I have not seen any evidence of malware - apart of course from the current problem, though I doubt very much that this is the cause. However, I will do a scan just incase as you suggest

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Related Solutions

#4
July 1, 2012 at 08:10:42
Malware, trojans and viruses can sneak in.

I am a hardware guy not a software guy but i try to help.


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#5
July 1, 2012 at 08:12:52
C drive: only 1.22Gb of 219GB free (and going down every time I delete a file - really weird! Yesterday I had got it up to 4.42gb and kept on deleting files since then)
D: recovery partition - more or less full (13.4 GB)
E: HP(Hewlett Packard) tools - more or less full very small partition

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#6
July 1, 2012 at 08:33:31
I am running it now. Will let you know what it finds.

Finished now. Nothing of any significance found.


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#7
July 1, 2012 at 08:47:07
The small amount of free space you have can cause fragmentation of files. That can eat up space. However, I don't think that is your main problem.

With Windows managing your swap file, as you should, it may be reclaiming some space as you free it up. Monitor the size of the swap file to determine if that is happening.

Very possible that you could be infected.

Are you using NTFS or FAT32?


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#8
July 1, 2012 at 09:05:28
NTFS
Physical Memory Usage History - if that is the page file under Windows Task Manager - System Performance - around 1.6GB steady

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#9
July 1, 2012 at 09:07:35
Physical memory is RAM.

I am a hardware guy not a software guy but i try to help.


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#10
July 1, 2012 at 09:22:47
Physical Memory and page file (virtual memory) are two different things. Page file is hard disk space reserved by Windows to store data that RAM (physical memory) can't hold or that Windows doesn't want to hold there.

From Windows help:
Go to Control Panel> System>
1. In the left pane, click Advanced system settings. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
2. On the Advanced tab, under Performance, click Settings.
3. Click the Advanced tab, and then, under Virtual memory, click Change.
4. Clear the Automatically manage paging file size for all drives check box.
5. Under Drive [Volume Label], click the drive that contains the paging file you want to change.
6. Click Custom size, type a new size in megabytes in the Initial size (MB) or Maximum size (MB) box, click Set, and then click OK.



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#11
July 1, 2012 at 09:26:57
oh yes - forgot - I should be looking for virtual memory useage - I have sysinternals suite but dont know which of the many utilities monitors the swap file usage - tried their website but could not work it out.

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#12
July 1, 2012 at 09:28:24
I had thought of setting a fixed swap file size, but wasnt sure if this was advisable in view of the current disc space usage crisis - I have only about 1GB left - still going down!

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#13
July 1, 2012 at 17:04:31
Ultimately you will need to get another hard drive to fix this in the long run, using one for your music, pictures and similar files entirely.
For now, reset your system restore from using 12% of your drive to using only 8% or 10% of your drive.
Run Malwarebytes.
Uninstall any program you never use.
Run Disk Clean up (though Ccleaner should have done the equivalent, I prefer doing it this way).
If you can free up 10% free space, or nearly that, run a manual defrag.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#14
July 3, 2012 at 04:06:09
Yes thanks it appears after some observation very much that System Restore is the source of the problem. I realise that I need to get files onto a spare drive but I do like to have them on my laptop which is why I have been trying to get round the problem by reducing the space used by system files. As I have Rollback RX I can probably do without System Restore but I do like to have "belt and braces".

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#15
July 3, 2012 at 06:33:55
After rereading your original post I think Rollback RX is the issue. You probably have it installed on your C drive. Every time you make a change that program is creating backups. That is eating up space.

If you wish to use that program then you need to redirect where the backup files are being saved to a partition with more space.

Below is a link to RX.

http://www.horizondatasys.com/16961...

However, you should really be backing up on a different drive altogether. If your hard drive fails or your laptop is stolen or lost you will be out of luck.

I suggest you use an external hard drive or optical media for your backups.


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#16
July 3, 2012 at 08:13:34
Many thanks. I have been creating full image backups using Acronis on a portable hard drive though only sporadically.

In order to save plugging in an external hard drive all the time, which would be required for Rollback RX to work as an ongoing backup system, I chose to let it run on the same drive. I did delete a large RX backup recently but it made no difference, I think this is because it was an incremental snapshot though not sure if that is a correct analysis of why the deletion did not free up any disc space.

However, deleting System Restore backups and restricting the amount of space System Restore uses has made a huge difference, when combined with cleaning up Service Pack 1 files. Infact such a huge difference I was staggered - from around 1GB to over 30GB free space now showing!


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#17
July 3, 2012 at 09:05:56
As I stated above. At the very least, save any files generated by RX to the drive with the most free space. Then you will at least keep your OS partition from becoming full.

If you also are using Acronis and system restore I think you should evaluate your archiving scheme.

Acronis doesn't really work well with Windows 7. But If it is working for you then fine.


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#18
July 3, 2012 at 19:21:59
Glad to hear you have it tamed. With a little bit of work, you should be able to control it.
You can purchase a larger internal laptop hard drive and clone your current hard drive to it using Acronis. Then swap out the hard drives and you can gain hundreds of GB to use. Your current hard drive can be an emergency drive or formatted and put into an external case for additional save and back up options.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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