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Hard Drive Space Being Eaten UP


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14-Mar-2004, 11:19 AM #1
Question Hard Drive Space Being Eaten UP
Friend's HP computer is about 4 years old with 128MB RAM, 10G HD running Windows 98. HD is losing space for no apparent reason. Uninstalled several programs but PC is not recognizing the real number of bytes freed up. Tried to install McAfee to check for viruses but it said not enough space to install even though I freed up more than enough. He has no disks - how can I help? OR can I help??
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14-Mar-2004, 11:34 AM #2
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14-Mar-2004, 01:36 PM #3
Thanks. On line scan is a good idea - will try it - am concerned about what to do if he needs a reinstall and has no disks. He said his computer didn't come with disks - maybe HP expects you to back it up immediately upon arrival??
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14-Mar-2004, 03:51 PM #4
HPs usually have a restore partition that contains the abiltiy to reinstall the original configuration.
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14-Mar-2004, 05:48 PM #5
This should free up a lot of space. Be sure to type the commands EXACTLY as noted.

Start > Shutdown and Restart in MS_DOS mode Depending on your OS you may need a boot disk to start in DOS. (This procedure is for Win 95/98/ME)

Once in DOS type in the following commands exactly:

Optional step: dir make a note of the amount of free space

1. C:
2. cd \ (This will insure that you are at the C:\> prompt, if not...type in C: )
3. DELTREE /Y RECYCLED
4. SMARTDRV.EXE (This will make the deletions run faster)

5. CD \WINDOWS
6. DELTREE /Y COOKIES
7. DELTREE /Y HISTORY
8. DELTREE /Y RECENT
9. DELTREE /Y TEMP
10. DELTREE /Y TEMPOR~1


Fear not, all of these folders will be recreated when you reboot windows.

(Depending on when the last time you cleaned these out it could take a fair amount of time even with Smartdvr enabled. Relax and get a cup of coffee.)

If you have never deleted Temporary Internet Files in the past, my guess is that you can recover 50 - 500 meg of HD space. Maybe more if you have never done it since day one.

The most space I have ever recovered from someone's PC was a whopping 2.3 gig.

Optional step: dir make a note of the amount of free space The difference between this and the first time is the amount of space you have recovered.

While you are still in DOS, I would suggest running scandisk to check the hard drive for any errors.

11. Scandisk

Once scandisk is done, reboot

ctrl-alt-delete to reboot to windows


Oh, by the way, boot time is slightly improved and you will notice a marked reduction in time to run a virus scan and defrag.

12. Now that you have gotten rid of that "land fill" called Temporary Internet Files, you may want to reboot into Safe Mode and run defrag.

Next power down and then as you start up hold down the crtl key (depending on manufacture some use the F8 key. If ctrl doesn't work, try again using the F8 key tapping it 3 to 5 times per second.) Which ever way is successful you should now have a black screen with a menu of 5 or 6 choices. Select Safe Mode.

Once in Safe Mode, click on Start > Run and type in defrag. Defragging in Safe Mode is faster because defrag isn't interrupted by the windows background disk and "house keeping" calls.

This will take some time (several hours) depending on the size of your HD and the speed of your PC in general.

The above procedure will get rid of 90 to 95% of the trash on your HD. For a more comprehensive list of files to delete see Frank's Windows 95/98 Tips in general and specifically the excellent article on "Throwing Out The Trash".

Good Luck. Let us know how it works for you.
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14-Mar-2004, 05:56 PM #6
As for not having any CD's, look to see if he has the windows cab files. Use the Find command and search for Win98_*.cab You should hopefully find 55 .cab files in the \Windows\Options\Cabs folder.
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14-Mar-2004, 05:58 PM #7
Go to http://tomcoyote.org/hjt/ or http://lurkhere.com/~nicefiles and download HiJackThis. Use Winzip to unzip it, then install and run it.

NOTE: HiJackThis.exe file SHOULD be installed in it's own folder. Before downloading create a folder and name it HiJackThis then d/l HiJackThis to that folder. To run double-click the HiJackThis.exe file.

The reason for it's own folder is because HiJackThis will create not only log files, but a backup of whatever it removes so you can restore if necessary. If you d/l HiJackThis to your desktop and run it from there you will have log and backup files scattered all over your desktop.

To run, click the "Scan" button. When it's done the "Scan" button changes to "Save Log". Save the log file it creates (it should open in Notepad at that point). Copy and paste the results in your next post. Most of what it finds is harmless, so do not do anything yet. Someone will be glad to help you sort out any of the not so good items that may be in there.

IF you get an error saying msvbvm60.dll is missing,
Download and run the MS visual basic 6.0 runtime files
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14-Mar-2004, 06:40 PM #8
Wow - what a wealth of information - thanks very much. Hope to get to his computer this week and I will let you know what happens, especially what HiJack This finds. Thanks again.
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14-Mar-2004, 09:00 PM #9
You are welcome.

Don't forget the article in Frank's tips for additional things to look for and delete. My procedure will get rid of the most crap in the shortest amount of time, but there is always other stuff that lurks on a HD and is useless.

As an after thought, look to see is MDM (machine debugger) is running. This frequently dumps hundrads of files of the format
fffxxx{32 digit hex number}.tmp into the \Windows folder.

IF they are there they are safe to delete.

Go into Internet Explorer > Tools > Internet Options and on the Advanced tab put a check mark in the box for Disable Script Debugging.
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15-Mar-2004, 12:02 AM #10
I've wondered what MDM was when going into msconfig and it won't go away. Another gift from Microsoft??? Thanks - will let you know what happens.
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15-Mar-2004, 03:48 PM #11
I don't have a link to this article or I would have posted just the link.

MDM.EXE - What it is, what it does and how to get rid of it.

MDM stands for "Machine Debug Manager". Unless you are a developer (pro or hobby), you will never need it. But MS installs it by default with the OS (Win 95, 98, ME, ??) and several programs, including:

Microsoft Office
Microsoft Visual Studio
Microsoft Internet Explorer

MDM monitors every application and script for bugs. When it finds one, it warns you about it and gives you the option to debug it. If you have an MS development program installed, it will take you straight to the debugger. But, unless you have the source code, you won't be able to fix the code even if you do know what's wrong with it, unless you are so good that you can edit assembly or machine code without having the design specs or higher level source code.

It also creates temporary files. I'm not sure what these files are used for, but MDM.EXE may create hundreds, even thousands of them. It doesn't delete them! These are all zero-length files, but that many directory entries will slow down your system. It creates them in the Windows directory (by default, C:\WINDOWS). They are easily recognized with file names like this:

fffc710b_{D92FA600-5A5B-11D5-BEC5-0010A4A8CF92}.tmp

They all start with an "f" and end with ".tmp". The characters in between make up a unique identifier assigned by Windows automatically.

Whether you want to keep MDM.EXE around or not, you do want to get rid of these temporary files. The best way to do this is to add some code to the AUTOEXEC.BAT file. When Windows starts, it will delete these files. If you use a version of windows that doesn't use the AUTOEXEC.BAT file, then create another BAT file (DELMDM.BAT for example) and put a shortcut for it in the Startup Group. Here's the code to use:

@DEL C:\WINDOWS\F*.TMP > NUL

That's it. The @ symbol at the beginning merely keeps the text from being echoed to the screen. There shouldn't be any other ".tmp" files in the Windows directory that start with the letter "f", but if you are worried about that, you can modify the code to look like this:

@DEL C:\WINDOWS\F*{*}.TMP > NUL

That will delete only those ".tmp" files that start with "f" and have a matching pair of curly braces in the name.

If you are not a developer and do not write scripts for Windows, your best bet is to get rid of it. Here's how to do that.

1.Modify Internet Explorer. In the Tools / Options dialog box, find the text " Disable Script Debugging " and click its check box so there is a check in it. Find the text " Display a notification about every script error " and if there is a check in its check box, click it to clear the check.
2.Kill the currently running instance of MDM.EXE. Depending on the version of Windows you are using, that may be through Task Manager or pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete. Find "MDM.EXE" and select "End Task".
3.This next step requires you to edit the Windows Registry. This is where you get the customary warning that it is possible to make Windows unusable if you do this wrong. The best thing to do is to export the entire registry first. If something happens, there are ways to restore the registry from the DOS prompt. I won't cover that here.

Start / Run / regedit
Registry > Export Registry File
Select a location to save it. (Remember where you save it in case you need to restore it!) Give it a name like "TotalBeforeDeletingMDM".
Delete the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Run \ "Machine Debug Manager"="C:/WINDOWS/SYSTEM/MDM.EXE" entry, if found.
Delete the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ RunServices \ "Machine
Debug Manager"="C:/WINDOWS/SYSTEM/MDM.EXE" entry, if found.

4.Rename C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\MDM.EXE to MDM.OLD. If you get an error saying that the file is in use, repeat step 2.
5.Remove the Windows Scripting Host. From the Control Panel, open Add/Remove Programs. Click the Windows Setup tab. Find and highlight the Accessories component. Click the Details button. Scroll to the bottom of the list and remove the check mark from Windows Scripting Host. Click OK twice.
6.Reboot.

NOTE: If you reinstall any of the programs listed above or Windows itself, MDM will be reinstalled. You will have to go through this all over again. Also, if you install any additional components of the Microsoft Office suite, MDM may be installed again.
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15-Mar-2004, 03:52 PM #12
Better late than never. Here's the link.
http://home.att.net/~myitpro/index.htm?mdm.html
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02-Apr-2004, 11:41 PM #13
Resolution of Hard Drive Being Eaten Up
Finally had the opportunity to utilize some of your suggestions and was able to gain quite a bit of HD space, but in the end his hard drive failed and now is looking into a new computer. Checking online, found that this particular HP Pavilion has been notorious for HD failures. Thanks for all the help. Learned to go at the problem from a different perspective.
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