Full Hard drive?

I’m using an old computer with a small hard drive by current standarts (4,8 Go).

Yesterday, there was something like 400 Mo unused on it. I didn’t load or download anything on it. Some minutes ago, while I was at the same time writing a post and running Ad-Aware (following an anti-virus and spybot check) I got out of the blues a windows telling me that my hard drive was full and that I needed to clean the disk.

I checked it up and I’ve now apparently only 30 Mo of available space on my hard-drive.

What could have caused this? Is there something I should be warry about? Something I should do (besides deleting some stuff to free som space)?

Clean out your temp files.
Clean out your recycle bin.
Go to add/remove, and uninstall programs you no longer need or use.
Burn pictures and downloaded programs to disk, then delete from hard drive.

And also defrag the drive monthly or so.

I think the OP is asking how to find out what unknown process is using disk space so quickly, rather than seeking tips on how to free up disk space.

Something like FileMon might help. It allows you to view all file system activity, i.e. which applications are accessing which files, and you can filter the output to show write activity only.

Indeed, that’s what I’m worrying about.

I will check Filemon, though bing quie computer illiterate, I’m not convinced the infos will make much sense to me.

When i want to check my hard drive usage, i use Treesize.

It’s a small, free program that shows you where all your disk space is going. Just download and install, then run it and get it to look at all folders on your C: drive.

In that case, I would suggest maybe the Windows swap file. But I’m unsure of how often this file fluctuates. I would think it’s fixed, but maybe not?

In 2k it can be set with parameters.

Is this computer connected to the Internet with a broadband connection (and left on when you are not using it)? Running any version of Windows prior to Windows XP? Ever experienced unusual hard drive use when you are not do much with the computer, or not even using it at all?

If you can answer yes to most of these questions, your computer may be a zombie. That means somewhere in the past your computer security was compromised and it is now being used by someone else to store their files, launch attacks on other computers, etc.

I guarantee what you want to use is Steffen Gerlach’s Diskscanner (free!). After quite a short amount of scan time, it displays your hard disk useage in a pie-chart format, so you can easily see where all your disk space is going. You can even drill down to different directories.
BTW, what does Go and Mo stand for? (The standard english counterparts are, I’m assuming, GB and MB).

It does fluctuate, but you can control it. In Windows XP, go to Control Panel -> System -> Advanced -> Performance -> Advanced -> Virtual Memory. It allows you to set the minimum and maximum size of the swap file. I forget where it is in Win2k but it should be similar. If you don’t want the size to fluctuate, just set the min and max to the same value.

Would one of the programm you’re mentionning (or another one) allow me to sort all the files on my hard drive (regardless of the folder they’re in) by date?

The point would be to search for a large file (or a number of small ones) that would have been created or modified during the last 48 hours…
I’m going to try to run tomorrow some of the programms you mentionned, but I’m now dreading the zombie computer mentionned by ** Duckster **.

Yes, you’re right, thanks for the correction. Mo = Mega-octets and Go = Giga-octets in french.

If you turn off ‘hide protected files’ and turn on ‘show hidden files and folders’ in Folder Options, you could use the Windows standard search tool to search for files modified in the past X hours, then (if you set the view mode to detail), sort by size.
I still highly recommend that Scanner program though. Looking at the screenshot for it, you can see right away that the guy using it has most of his HD used up by the ‘Programme’ directory.

No correction, just wondering. :slight_smile:

You got a popup, right? Windows NT, 2000, and XP automatically alert you if the partition is more than 90% full.

Places to check for redundant files

c: emp~*
c: emp*.tmp
c:\Local Settings*username* emp~*
c:\Local Settings*username* emp*.tmp

I’ll second the value of Treesize.

      • As long as we’re speaking of disk-visioning programs, I will throw in SequoiaView, which displays any disk or directory contents as a bunch of rectangles, each separate rectangle representing a file and its size representing the file’s size.

Ok. I deleted a folder to clear some space, and downloaded the various programms mentionned in the thread. I didn’t find any suspect folders, and given the size of the various folders and files, if there’s something that lage on my computer that shouldn’t be there, it seems at first glance that they could only be independant files in C:\Windows (but I might be misaken).

Besides, after I did this morning I had around 100MB of free space on my computer. It’s now down again to around 30 MB.
I didn’t kept Filemon running the whole time, maybe I should have, but given the enormous number of infos it gives just by running for a few minutes, I’m not sure how I could have sorted it out exactly.
What should I do, in your opinion?

I’m using W98

I checked all the .tmp files and none of any significant size has been modified recently. And I didn’t find any .dmp files on my hard drive…

That sounds great, but I don’t know where to look to turn off “hide protected files”, nor how to use the windows standart search tool for files recently modified…

Ok. I find it out concerning the search tool. I just never had noticed you could search by date.
However, I still don’t know how to turn off “hide protected files”…