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I need computer help! Help!!

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by dagaleaa, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. dagaleaa

    dagaleaa Mu-43 Veteran

    252
    Jun 4, 2011
    Naples, Fl
    Dawn
    I am running 64 bit Vista on a fairly new HP. Something is happening with the storage on my computer. I have a 1 Tb hard-drive, and I am suddenly losing storage capacity at a rapid rate. Several days ago I discovered I was just about out of storage...totally shocked, but ashamed to say I had never really checked it recently. So I freed up some space--only to watch it go away each and every day, and this is without downloading anything! Today I ran a program to tell me what were the biggest parts of my storage, and photos and videos were the biggest culprits. I took alot of those files today and put them on an external hard-drive freeing up 250 gb. At least that is what it showed 3 hours ago....now, it is suddenly showing only 184 gb! So in the past 3 hours I lost all that storage.....I've run several different virus scans and nothing shows up....spy-bot, malware, and McAfee programs. My hard drive checks out okay too in every test I run....I don't know what to do at this point.
     
  2. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 Top Veteran

    892
    Mar 9, 2010
    Paris, France
    The only sneaky way I know to dry up a windows disk without obvious symptoms (save shrinking capacity) is to fill up an alternate stream alongside a regular file.

    In His mighty wisdom, the Great Windows Designer decided, one night He was drunk like a trout, that it would be nice to be able to record meta-things and move them around with the files they were attached to. Think, for instance, a small custom file icon to describe the real, big, content of the file. But it can be anything, really. So you have those very low-level calls to create, read and write file foo.bar, foo:bar:2, foo.bar:3 ; but if you don't specify anything besides foo.bar, you can't know that there are those shadow :2 and :3 streams that are glued to the main content.

    And the Mighty Designer passed out, and when He woke up with a terrible hangover, He totally forgot what He did while Under the Influence.

    But some little funny script kiddies found out and thought it was a really, really great idea to f* up with unsuspecting people.

    So, with usual windows programs, you have strictly zero - nil - zilch means to know what's happening. I don't even know if anti virus scanners can see that.

    And that's another reason why I will never, ever, again trust Microsoft with my precious data & pictures.

    Of course, your described symptoms can be caused by an enormous lot of other windows shortcomings, bugs, and oddities. Perhaps you've simply run out of space for their 'wayback machine' rip off to keep on working.

    You might want to call in your local hacker for investigations, at this point.

    Cheers,
     
  3. Johnny1.33

    Johnny1.33 Mu-43 Regular

    113
    Jun 4, 2011
    Do a search on your PC. Do not put anything in the name of the file. Just leave it blank. Then click search. When't it's done click on the size column to sort by size. See the big files. See if anything looks suspicious. That's be first thing. Maybe lots of log files filling up or something. If you can't do that do *.log, *.dmp, *.tmp.
     
  4. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    Sorry, but what an absolute pile of useless rot.... Just a poor and vague swipe at Windows that provided no actual information or assistance. Why bother?

    I'm betting that there's a virus there some where. have you turned off the UAC?

    The first thing I would do is do a system restore. Choose to go back to a user selected time and restore as far back as possible. If this is a recent event a system restore will get you back to where you were. Data will be safe but any programs installed will be removed, hopefully including any malicious content.

    Then, I'd suggest that you download and install the free Microsoft Security Centre, and run a FULL scan of your system. Also check you're not automatically duplicating files with MS sync toy or something similar. If you do find a virus it's likely that any external drives also have it so do not connect them to any other machines for the time being.

    Worst case scenario is that you need to put all your files on an external drive, do a full drive format and fresh install. It's a few hours of your life but a guaranteed way to solve the issue.

    Gordon
     
  5. hanzo

    hanzo Mu-43 Veteran

    341
    Jan 22, 2010
    Chan
    I was going to say, spare us the common folks. :rofl:
    Maybe one of these days I will become Apple convert and get myself a mac. Or build a Hackintosh once my PC hardware is obsolete. Can't live without LR :biggrin:
     
  6. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 4, 2010
    Run something like spacemonger (free) which will graphically show where space on your drive is allocated. There are plenty of similar free alternatives but this is a simple exe that will run without requiring an install so I usually keep it handy on a memory stick.

    If you run it over a few days and take a screen-shot or print-out each day it will show your growth areas.

    The other thing to check is that your Windows firewall is enabled and that you're patched and up to date (run Windows update). Also check your anti-virus software is up to date.

    Check your system preferences - it maybe something odd like an automated backup to disk or a regular system state or restore-point backup. Check how much disk is allocated to the swap-file - its usually set automatically but if someone is playing with your PC it can be configured to use a big chunk of your disk too.

    There isn't a lot else that will chew through huge amounts of space - even modern malicious software tries to keep a low profile. Malware won't make money if it cripples your PC.

    Are you the only user of the PC ? Perhaps its being used for video-capture - this will really chew through disk ?

    Make sure you have a backup of all your important data - as a worst case you may need to re-install from scratch and most system restore CD's will blow your disk away and install to an empty drive.

    Good luck !
     
  7. Howi

    Howi Mu-43 Veteran

    208
    Feb 23, 2011
    Sheffield
    Howard
    You can't just lose disk space, something must be written to the hard drive, have a look in the root directory, then check for unusual folders etc though it is most likely that files have been written to the root.
    A simple logical approach sometimes works wonders.......
     
  8. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 Top Veteran

    892
    Mar 9, 2010
    Paris, France

    The important part was 'call in your local hacker / repairman / nephew'. My crystal ball is long since broken, and I'm outta tea leaves to debug a 'puter from a 1000 miles aways.

    The 'stay away from windows' part is the sum up of 30 years dealing with personal computers, both at home and at work.

    Cheers,
     
  9. Flagg

    Flagg Mu-43 Regular

    54
    Jun 22, 2011
    Apeldoorn, Netherlands
    hmm check the processes that are running, is there anything you see that is using processor power/memory that shouldn't.

    Try disabling the file indexing and maybe the "restore" function. The last one at your own risk, I never used it but some people depend on the restore function.

    Do you have a distubingly large pagefile? And is the hardrive running constantly?

    Disconnect it from the interwebs, maybe some clever guy got access to your pc and is now using it to store his illegal content for sharing (and thus using your bandwith instead of his own :)

    Can't think of anything more at the moment.

    @mauve people who don't know anything about pc's should maybe stay away from windows, they should get Macs and iPads just like the rest of the senior citizins, nice and easy and not to much that can go wrong in a hurry.:biggrin:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    Don't remember the mention of a repairman. All I saw was hacker.

    I've been using a Mac as my primary machine for 6 months now so I'm certainly not a Mac basher. Bit for the best part of 15 years I've been using Photoshop on Windows machines and had absolutely no significant issues. Give it good hardware and a good cleanup now and then and it's a great OS.

    Te first post of yours is the first I remember from you that was silly and pointless. All the others I've seen have been great. But even the revised version does nothing useful.

    Gordon
     
  11. theunartist

    theunartist Mu-43 Regular

    66
    Jul 5, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    I have both systems, what you're describing I think is a personal view... as a "Senior" member, you either don't know much or you are in fact suffering from an illness. That is rubbish and a waste of server resources not to mention your time, but then again, you may have plenty on your hands... :rofl:

    For OP... try TDSSKILLER: How to remove malware belonging to the family Rootkit.Win32.TDSS (aka Tidserv, TDSServ, Alureon)?
     
  12. Johnny1.33

    Johnny1.33 Mu-43 Regular

    113
    Jun 4, 2011
    mac are better though. okok...I'm only trying to be funny...but they are.
     
  13. theunartist

    theunartist Mu-43 Regular

    66
    Jul 5, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    LOL Thanks!!! :smile:

    Friends always ask, "what's the difference and I usually say about $600"... if you take that same money you spent on a Mac and buy a PC, the PC will be as good and more powerful... but I do love my Mac!!!
     
  14. zettapixel

    zettapixel Mu-43 Veteran

    470
    Aug 12, 2010
    NY
    We're talking about huge storage space and it should be possible to find where it is. By looking at folder properties you can figure out which folder takes that much. By looking inside it and sorting files by size it should be possible to find what kind of files take that. Enable display of hidden and system files in folder option of windows explorer. When you find the files it will be clearer what to do.
    I does sound a bit like a virus though. Are you running an antivirus?
     
  15. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 Top Veteran

    892
    Mar 9, 2010
    Paris, France
    Because a repairman is more than likely to wipe your disk clean and reinstall than bother with troubleshooting the underlying issue. Cost/Benefit analysis at its best.

    I'm not a Mac addict either, and as far as computing goes, I'm quite agnostic. Save for windows, which, in any case, belongs more to the problem set than the solution set.

    It's not because you don't understand what I'm speaking about that it's not a valid lead for someone knowledgeable to follow.

    Cheers,
     
  16. Flagg

    Flagg Mu-43 Regular

    54
    Jun 22, 2011
    Apeldoorn, Netherlands
    No pls don't start a "my OS is betterer then yours and if you were as smart as I you would know I'm right" discussion.

    Every os has his flaws and it's a personal choice for everyone.

    Or else I'm gonna start a discussion about the fact that m43 is hopelessly inadequate if you compare it with a REAL camera like a DSLR. :horse:
     
  17. sprinke

    sprinke Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 5, 2011
    Pasadena, CA
    Debi
    Do you have some kind of backup software running that is storing multiple versions of your files?
     
  18. squeegee

    squeegee Mu-43 Veteran

    403
    Jan 26, 2010
    Check your 'automatic backup' settings. Sometimes it might be the windows backup or maybe hp has their own custom backup manager? Either way, it might be making regular backups or 'system restore' copies for you. I.e. It might be making copies of your system for you every few days...

    pay no heed to the other rants , all computers have their share of glitches, even fruit named ones.
     
  19. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 4, 2010
    The Banana Jr 6000 in particular was noted for its peculiarities :rofl:


    tumblr_ky8z8jWUia1qz8x39o1_500.
     
  20. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Jason
    Omg and lol.