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Solved: Hard drive shrinking although I'm not downloading/installing anything

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by chronictown, Aug 4, 2012.

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  1. chronictown

    chronictown Thread Starter

    Aug 4, 2012
    Let me preface this post by saying that I know less about computers than anyone else in the world, so I apologize in advance if this is a stupid question with an obvious answer:

    Last Monday I took my old computer (which I've used for 8 years) to a repair shop because it had been having problems (often shutting off during the reboot process, freezing whenever I recharged my ipod, overall slowness, etc.). The guy there said that for the money it would cost to fix everything, it would cost about the same for me just to buy a refurbished one from him. So that's what I did.

    Everything about the new computer seemed better than my old one, except that it only had a hard drive of approx. 80GB. But that seemed fine with me, since on my old one (160GB capacity) I still had well over 100GBs available even with a 2000+ song itunes library, a few games, and 8 years of saved documents and spreadsheets on there. I assumed 80GBs would be fine for now.

    But for some reason, the available hard drive space seems to be shrinking. Two days ago it was 62.3GB free of 74.4GB. Then when I checked yesterday morning it was 62.1, yesterday afternoon it was 61.8, late last night it had dropped to 60.8, and right now its 59.9. I haven't downloaded or installed anything in those two days, so why is it dropping? I'm on a dial-up connection, so there's no way that much could've been somehow downloaded with the short amount of time I've spent online.

    Losing over 2GB in a couple of days is alarming, because at this rate it'll be full in two months
    MSE scan turned up nothing wrong. Antimalwarebytes scan found nothing. Browsing history and cookies in firefox was emptied. Recycle bin was emptied. CCleaner could only find 2MB of stuff to be deleted.

    The only other thing I thought it might be is those windows updates that get installed whenever I shut down the computer, so I turned those off last night (which I wasn't comfortable doing), yet it's still dropping today.

    Could it be that the computer is setting aside space for windows updates that haven't been fully downloaded on my dial-up connection yet? Is it normal to get dozens of updates a week, or is it just a lot this week to catch up with everything since it's new?

    I looked online and heard about something called TreeSize to show what's on your hard drive. Here's what it says:

    17.6 GB C:/

    8.5 GB Windows
    3.9 GB System Volume Information
    3.5 GB (6 files)

    Everything else is far less than a GB so probably not the problem.

    The Windows 8.5 GB breaks down as:

    4.3 GB winsxs
    2.1 GB System32
    0.6 GB SoftwareDistribution
    0.4 GB assembly
    0.3 GB Fonts

    Everything else is 0.2 or less

    The 3.9 GB of System Volume Information beaks down into 21 files. The two biggest being 0.9 and 0.8 in size. I don't know what they are, it's just a long string of numbers and letters within brackets.

    Under the other 3.5 GB of files, the bulk of it is in two:

    2.0 GB pagefile.sys
    1.5 GB hiberfil.sys

    Does anything there seem out of whack to anybody? I have no idea what the normal distribution of hard drive space is in windows7.

    Here's the specs on the computer:
    OS Version: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium, 32 bit
    Processor: Intel(R) Pentium(R) Dual CPU E2160 @ 1.80GHz, x64 Family 6 Model 15 Stepping 13
    Processor Count: 2
    RAM: 2037 Mb
    Graphics Card: Intel(R) Q965/Q963 Express Chipset Family (Microsoft Corporation - WDDM 1.0), 384 Mb
    Hard Drives: C: Total - 76222 MB, Free - 61355 MB;
    Motherboard: Dell Inc., 0HR330
    Antivirus: Microsoft Security Essentials, Updated and Enabled

    If it continues to fill up, what are my options? I could get an external drive, but wouldn't any downloads from windows still automatically go to the drive on the computer? I still have the XP disc that came with my old computer, so I could just delete windows7 and install that instead, but I'm afraid of screwing that up. Maybe I just spent a bit of money on something that's no good, and I should just write it off and buy a completely new computer.

    Sorry if I didn't explain everything well, but I'm a little stressed out about this. Anyways, if anyone could give me some advice it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  2. TheShooter93

    TheShooter93 Cody Malware Specialist

    Jul 9, 2008
    You need those updates. I suggest turning on automatic updates again, even if it is the culprit behind this (which it does sound like it).

    You can also try deleting Shadow Copies of system restore points on your harddrive.

    Scroll down to "Option One" and follow the directions there.


    As for your purchase, as long as you're a general computer user for internet and office type programs, this computer is fine for you.

    It has powerful enough hardware to even run some decent games if you wanted, albeit they would have to be some years old.

    Also in response to your thoughts about Windows XP, I do not suggest installing that either. Windows 7 is a great operating system and has much better security and support for software and hardware being made nowadays. Windows XP is a decade old.
  3. chronictown

    chronictown Thread Starter

    Aug 4, 2012
    Thank you very much for your help Shooter93. Deleting the system restore points has increased the space from 59.8 to 62.8. The tutorial in the sevenforums wasn't working for me as I couldn't find the more options tab in disk cleanup, but one of the comments later in that thread explained how ccleaner can delete them, and that did the trick. I'm still a little surprised that so many system restore points were created in just one week.

    Thanks again!
  4. TheShooter93

    TheShooter93 Cody Malware Specialist

    Jul 9, 2008
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