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Old 10-07-2019, 05:01 PM
Asuka is offline
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Slowly losing hard drive space to the point of hard drive limit, then restart fixes it


I'm currently using a Windows 10 system with a 250GB SSD as my main drive, and two 1TB HDD drives as secondary. My current hard drive space for my SSD is 40GB free while my two HDD's have about 100GB each free.

Basically from the moment I turn on my computer my available hard drive space slowly falls from 40GB to about 300MB over the course of several hours. Once it reaches less than 200MB the computer starts freezing up and becoming generally unresponsive until a restart, upon restart usually (but not always) I'm back to my originally 40GB until it immediately starts slowly being used up again.

This only started happening a month ago and there's been no major changes to my PC I've done. It's a major hindrance since I prefer to leave my PC in sleep mode instead of turning it off when not in use and this means that if I forgot the computer will sometimes crash due to low disk space. Also I'm concerned in general about this behavior.

Is there anyway to find out where this disk space is going?
  #2  
Old 10-07-2019, 05:12 PM
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What's your system memory situation? I suppose it might be possible you're paging to hard disk. Do you see a lot of disk activity while idle? You might be able to diagnose the issue by looking at what's using system resources.
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Old 10-07-2019, 06:26 PM
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Is it possible that you have ~40GB of automatic updates (for Windows and/or apps) that keep downloading themselves but never completing, because they run out of space?

Maybe try bouncing some stuff from the SSD onto one of the backup HDDs to make more room.
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Old 10-07-2019, 06:30 PM
Tim@T-Bonham.net is offline
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Sounds like your pagefile (c:\pagefile.sys) is growing continually.
Check your Windows Advanced System Settings and see what you have set for the Maximum page size. If you don't have one, set one.
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Old 10-07-2019, 06:32 PM
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Download WinDirStat (free) and run a scan before you restart. It shows a graphical summary of the data on your HD, bigger squares represent single files while clusters of same color squares represent closely-related files.

If it's not something malicious, it may be something like the Hibernation or Page File. You can delete the former if you don't use it, and you can move both to one of your secondary hard drives.
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Old 10-07-2019, 06:32 PM
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A similar thing happened to me a while back. I think I remember tracking it down to a browser but it happened even with wifi turned off. Eventually, rebooting failed to solve it and I bought a new laptop in a panic. Of course, completing the research and spending the money on a new one solved whatever was causing the drive swell instantly and it never came back. That was a Win7 machine, though.
  #7  
Old 10-07-2019, 06:36 PM
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Peter Morris is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asuka View Post
Is there anyway to find out where this disk space is going?
Yeah, there are tools called Disk Space Analyser that can report on what is filling your space.

Here's a list of several.
  #8  
Old 10-07-2019, 07:32 PM
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Wiztree is what I would use:
Quote:
WizTree is a disk space analyzer for quickly scanning your entire hard drive and then shows you which files and folders are using the most disk space. It does this VERY QUICKLY. Use the information WizTree provides to quickly locate and remove "space hogs" from your hard drive.

WizTree obtains information by directly scanning the MFT file, so it can only work with local (directly attached) drives. It won't work with network drives or substituted drives.

WizTree Features:

Finds the files and folders using the most space on your hard drive
Finds the top 1000 largest files on your hard drive
Sort the contents of your entire hard drive by folder size and optionally delete files and folders
https://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/wiztree.html

Last edited by PastTense; 10-07-2019 at 07:33 PM.
  #9  
Old 10-07-2019, 08:08 PM
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I'm just going to repeat what I was told. Don't use more than half of your SSD because it's constantly swapping stuff around and needs the space to work with.
  #10  
Old 10-08-2019, 11:58 AM
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I agree with the (implied) cause given above that it's a memory leak.

Programs request additional virtual memory and then it's returned to the free pool when the program is done with it. Sometimes things go wrong and the memory isn't returned. So the OS keeps allocating more virtually memory (which eats up disk space) until things become unworkable.

Check the memory usage of running programs using Task Manager. Try killing and restarting the program(s) using the most memory and see if your disk space increases.

I restart Firefox once in a while if it's been heavily used since it starts to really slow down due to all the memory it's trying to (ab)use. Sometimes clearing cache helps but not always and it's actual memory that's the problem.

I remember using Mosaic browser way back when on a Sparc station. A couple times a week I'd have to kill it due to a memory leak. Browsers, amiright?
  #11  
Old 10-09-2019, 05:43 PM
Asuka is offline
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Thanks to this topic I may have fixed the problem.

Used the hard drive analyzer and found that not only did I have a 10GB hibernation file for some reason, I also apparently had a 40GB Steam download that was constantly downloading and then restarting when it hit the drive limit and as a result Steam kept making partial download files and leaving them on the hard drive even when Steam wasn't open.
  #12  
Old 10-09-2019, 07:28 PM
Tim@T-Bonham.net is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asuka View Post
Used the hard drive analyzer and found that not only did I have a 10GB hibernation file for some reason, I also apparently had a 40GB Steam download that was constantly downloading and then restarting when it hit the drive limit and as a result Steam kept making partial download files and leaving them on the hard drive even when Steam wasn't open.
So Steam has a major programming error: disk file leaks. Like a memory leak error, except that it is leaving behind GB-sized abandoned files. Wow!
  #13  
Old 10-09-2019, 07:39 PM
Marion Morrison is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asuka View Post
I'm currently using a Windows 10 system with a 250GB SSD as my main drive, and two 1TB HDD drives as secondary. My current hard drive space for my SSD is 40GB free while my two HDD's have about 100GB each free.

Basically from the moment I turn on my computer my available hard drive space slowly falls from 40GB to about 300MB over the course of several hours. Once it reaches less than 200MB the computer starts freezing up and becoming generally unresponsive until a restart, upon restart usually (but not always) I'm back to my originally 40GB until it immediately starts slowly being used up again.

This only started happening a month ago and there's been no major changes to my PC I've done. It's a major hindrance since I prefer to leave my PC in sleep mode instead of turning it off when not in use and this means that if I forgot the computer will sometimes crash due to low disk space. Also I'm concerned in general about this behavior.

Is there anyway to find out where this disk space is going?
It's your paging file, dewd.
  #14  
Old 10-09-2019, 08:44 PM
Asuka is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marion Morrison View Post
It's your paging file, dewd.
How would I solve that?

I have 16GB of RAM but my Page File size is 25GB. Using the hard disk view my pagefile.sys is only 4GB big.
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