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workstation slowly losing disk space

By lmoseley ·
I have a workstation that is slowly losing disk space. It is XP pro w/ SP2. I have ran two different spyware scans, 2 different virus scans (all full scans) and it came back clean. At first I thought it was a hard drive going bad. I cloned the drive to another new hard drive and the problem still persists. Last night I left the machine with over 14 GB free on the primary partition. This morning it has less than 9 GB. This machine was unplugged from the internet all last night. I (believe) have ruled out a virus and/or spyware. I have ruled out it being a faulty hard drive. I am at a loss to what it could possibly be. Any suggestions?

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Hard Disk Space Leak

by BFilmFan In reply to workstation slowly losing ...

Is anything being stored as a log file on the system that could be growing everyday?

Did you turn off System Restore before running your scans?

How many partitions are on the drive? Anything writing to one of those?

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nothing obvious

by lmoseley In reply to Hard Disk Space Leak

Thanks for the reply. There is nothing that is logging (or writing to log files) that is filling up the drive. System restore is turned off and was/is disabled before all of this began. There are 2 partitions on the drive. The boot partition (C) is the one that is losing space. The other partition (D) is fine; not losing space.

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I ran into a similar problem

by w2ktechman In reply to Hard Disk Space Leak

I found out that the system was writing to the temp directory (normal) and then also writing all temps into 1 big temp file on the systemroot. I found the file and monitored it for a day (the system was in use), and it grew like you say.
I blew away this 1 .tmp file and the problem never came back. It was just XP tweaking out again

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Have you checked:

by jmgarvin In reply to workstation slowly losing ...

A) Searched for the largest files and then kept an eye on them?

B) Virtual Memory issue? Is the virtual memory eating away at the drive?

C) Running apps? Do you have any apps that have a memory leak?

This is a strange one...I'm curious to know what you find out.

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definitely a puzzler

by lmoseley In reply to Have you checked:

I have searched for the largest files and checked and they are not growing. Virtual Memory is not an issue. The page file is on the second partition, and that partition is not losing space. No "runaway" apps or process that are leaking memory. The only thing I haven't done is to physically swap the IDE cables.

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Very strange indeed!

by jmgarvin In reply to definitely a puzzler

Swapping the IDE cable may (or may not) track down the problem...you'll have to tell us!

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Try turning off System Restore

by gbenro In reply to Have you checked:

I had a laptop with a small hard drive once running WIndows XP ,Daily my space disappeared unitl i turned it off.

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small files

by lowlands In reply to workstation slowly losing ...

What do you see when you do a search for files when you set "when was it modiefied" to specify dates and then enter the last 1 day.
Before doing this make sure you see all files (advanced options/search hidden files/folders)

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nothing major

by lmoseley In reply to small files

When I do a search for files modified today and search in hidden and system folders, there is nothing out of the ordinary that jumps out as being the root cause. This is what is so frustrating about this issue...

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directory utility

by Dr Dij In reply to nothing major

I remember using a directory utility that tracks file sizes of all directorys, at any level including subdirectories or top level.

You can probably find this on download site of some kind. I found Beyond Compare 2.4 build 240
on download.com. Haven't used it, not the one I was thinking of, but says is specifically there to find difs in dirs. (I searched for 'directory utility')

run this for a few days, keeping previous day's listing to a printout or file.

This should tell you.
If space is still filling and no directorys are increasing, you must have a hidden partition or rootkit files.

Some viruses create hidden partitions to make themselves undetectable, and they definitely are known to use rootkits to hide themselves, esp after the sony rootkit thing.

Keyloggers would be a very common example of app a virus or spyware would hide and it would keep accumulating data into a file.

Tho now that I double-think about it, sounds like system corruption instead. A keylogger wouldn't accumulate that much disk space that quick. (unless it was poorly written or poorly configured to capture all you do). Bad disk controller or corrupt disk file tables.. (one possibly caused by the other)

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