Is Google Chrome stealing my hard disk space?

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James321

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My computer, which uses Windows Vista, is getting short on hard disk space and I am making every effort to conserve on space.

The available space has stayed at 30GB for weeks and weeks and I have not downloaded any new files apart from Google Chrome which I downloaded especially for an online course I am taking.

Shortly after downloading Google Chrome I noticed that an incredible 4GB of hard disk space had suddenly been used without apparent cause.

Uninstalling Google Chrome has not made any difference and the missing hard disk space is still unavailable.

What could have caused this?
 

plodr

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Chrome is not supported on Vista.
I believe support ended in 2016.

FF ESR was supported but that ended in Sept. 2018.

Since Vista hasn't been patched since 11 April 2017 and no browsers are supported on it, have you considered that going online with it might have resulted in the computer getting malware?

Run the Disk Cleanup Tool which is part of Vista.
https://neosmart.net/wiki/disk-cleanup/

If you gain back that 30GB you are missing, download malwarebytes and install and scan for malware. (Vista with SP1 is supported)
https://www.malwarebytes.com/premium/
You can run the free trial. If you don't buy it, it will revert to a free version which you can use every few weeks to scan your computer.
 
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James321

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Chrome is not supported on Vista.
I believe support ended in 2016.

FF ESR was supported but that ended in Sept. 2018.

Since Vista hasn't been patched since 11 April 2017 and no browsers are supported on it, have you considered that going online with it might have resulted in the computer getting malware?

Run the Disk Cleanup Tool which is part of Vista.
https://neosmart.net/wiki/disk-cleanup/

If you gain back that 30GB you are missing, download malwarebytes and install and scan for malware. (Vista with SP1 is supported)
https://www.malwarebytes.com/premium/
You can run the free trial. If you don't buy it, it will revert to a free version which you can use every few weeks to scan your computer.
I didn't really do much while online with Chrome apart from take an online exam.

Ordinarily I use Firefox.

I've run Disk Cleanup with Vista and Norton 360 didn't pick anything up with a scan.

P.S. I'm only missing 4GB of Hard Disk space.
 

DaveA

David
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If you have Chrome installed it will update, even if you do not use it.
 

James321

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To find your used disk space, try TreeSize : https://www.jam-software.com/treesize_free/
I've tried this one before and I don't believe it's specialist or precise enough for the job. I need something that examines newly created files only, etc.

I know some browsers are greedy when it comes to caching hard disk memory space, but does Google Chrome really need 4 GB? Also I've uninstalled Chrome now anyway.

Also I can observe my available hard disk space dwindling on a day by day basis and I am NOT saving any new files to my hard disk.

What is happening?
 

James321

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If you gain back that 30GB (sic) [actually 4GB - James321] you are missing, download malwarebytes and install and scan for malware. (Vista with SP1 is supported)
https://www.malwarebytes.com/premium/
You can run the free trial. If you don't buy it, it will revert to a free version which you can use every few weeks to scan your computer.
Malwarebytes won't run on my OS. Also I use and have run Norton 360 which didn't pick anything up.
 

James321

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UPDATE: The available space on my Hard Disk is now only 24.6 GB, down from just over 30GB.

That's a whopping 5.4GB missing and the only significant file I have save to my disk was Google Chrome which has now been uninstalled.

Where is all my Hard Disk space going to and what application is using it?
 

James321

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Apr 10, 2013
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I'm not saying the problem is necessarily spyware, but I downloaded and ran SUPERAntiSpyware.

Some minor items were removed but for some obscure reason SUPERAntiSpyware can't contact the server to download any updates.

How strange is that?

However the problem with the missing disk space still remains.
 
Joined
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You know that the list presented by TreeSize can be drilled down to each folder right?

If you wish to find new files created, use File Explorer's Search feature on the top right of the window. You can specify dates.
 

James321

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If you wish to find new files created, use File Explorer's Search feature on the top right of the window. You can specify dates.
Done that already. Nothing found.

However it looks like I may have sorted the problem out, anyway, by downloading and running, in order, SUPERAntiSpyware and Ad-Aware Antivirus.

Ad-Aware Antivirus didn't seem to come up with anything but SUPERAntiSpyware found several items which were removed. One item looked like an old registry entry and the others were all tracking cookies. After these were removed a reboot was required (which was delayed) and I discovered I now had 28.6GB on the disk.

Accounting for the space taken by AdAware Antivirus itself, 736MB and SUPERAntiSpyware, 10.3MB, this would leave 29.3GB available on the disk which is very close to what it was before.

Seems strange Norton 360 missed these items, however I have noticed Norton 360 doesn't seem to be performing that well with Vista these days. When you load it up to perform manual tasks it is very slow indeed to load indeed.

For your reference here are the text reports from SUPERAntiSpyware:

Database Version : 15164

Scan type : Critical Point Scan
Total Scan Time : 00:06:01

Operating System Information
Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit, Service Pack 2 (Build 6.00.6002)
UAC On - Limited User (Administrator User)

Memory items scanned : 716
Memory items detected : 0
Registry items scanned : 28817
Registry items detected : 1
File items scanned : 4191
File items detected : 0

Adware.PTech
HKU\S-1-5-21-4238356135-1069967474-2706294926-1000\Software\PTech

============================
Unwanted Programs Detected
============================
MoboGenie

============
End of Log
============

SUPERAntiSpyware Scan Log
http://www.superantispyware.com

Generated 11/25/2018 at 02:52 PM

Application Version : 8.0.1024
Database Version : 15164

Scan type : Quick Scan
Total Scan Time : 00:04:02

Operating System Information
Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit, Service Pack 2 (Build 6.00.6002)
UAC On - Limited User (Administrator User)

Memory items scanned : 714
Memory items detected : 0
Registry items scanned : 28817
Registry items detected : 0
File items scanned : 4594
File items detected : 8

Adware.Tracking Cookie
C:\USERS\G ALEXANDER\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\Low\[email protected][2].txtC:\USERS\G ALEXANDER\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\Low\[email protected][2].txt [ Cookie:g [email protected]/ ]
C:\USERS\G ALEXANDER\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\Low\[email protected][1].txtC:\USERS\G ALEXANDER\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\Low\[email protected][1].txt [ Cookie:g [email protected]/ ]
C:\USERS\G ALEXANDER\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\Low\[email protected][2].txtC:\USERS\G ALEXANDER\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\Low\[email protected][2].txt [ Cookie:g [email protected]/ ]
C:\USERS\G ALEXANDER\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\Low\[email protected][1].txtC:\USERS\G ALEXANDER\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\Low\[email protected][1].txt [ Cookie:g [email protected]/ ]
C:\USERS\G ALEXANDER\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\Low\[email protected][1].txtC:\USERS\G ALEXANDER\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\Low\[email protected][1].txt [ Cookie:g [email protected]/ ]
C:\Users\G Alexander\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\Low\[email protected][1].txtC:\Users\G Alexander\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\Low\[email protected][1].txt [ /ml314.com ]
C:\Users\G Alexander\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\Low\[email protected][1].txtC:\Users\G Alexander\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\Low\[email protected][1].txt [ /amazon-adsystem.com ]
C:\Users\G Alexander\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\Low\[email protected][1].txtC:\Users\G Alexander\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\Low\[email protected][1].txt [ /openx.net ]

============
End of Log
============
 

James321

Thread Starter
Joined
Apr 10, 2013
Messages
331
Norton 360 for Vista is on maintenance, so you aren't getting the full benefit.
https://support.norton.com/sp/en/us/home/current/solutions/v126160909_EndUserProfile_en_us

You are using an unpatched version of Windows using unpatched browsers.
If you go online, you run a risk of picking up something.
With more products dropping support for Vista, you can't be sure if you'll be able to detect anything you might pick up.
However the Maintenance Mode for Norton 360 still covers quite a lot:

Maintenance Mode means that the Norton client security software installed on Windows XP and Windows Vista will continue to receive certain services, like malware definition updates, but that certain other services, like new product capabilities, will no longer be provided.
Can I ask what was your opinion about the potential malware/spyware that was removed?
 
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