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Hard Disk Space That Magically Disappears


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#1 vanillasky43

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 08:56 AM

Hi there,

I was wondering if anyone else has experienced a loss in HDD space that has nothing to do with the amount or size of files that are being stored on that HDD. A decrease in space that starts slowly and then gradually snowballs out of control until you get that low memory error???

I had that problem yesterday. Turned off PC night before and had about 20gb free, by yesterday afternoon my HDD space had dropped to an alarmingly low 121mb and that was after I had moved my photos (all 15gb) of them to my EHD. There just wasn't anything that could have been eating up the space so quickly. So after a brief yet intense conversation with myself, I decided to do a quick disk clean up, followed by a defrag and then a virus check - twice. At the end of that process my space was back up to 2.1gb and I was starting to worry.

Picassa was the last program I had copied to my HDD and I was looking at blaming it....but I had done so much organising and rearranging to make Picassa work I didn't want to remove it unless I really had to.

Googling was my next option, and surprisingly there are quite a number of people out there with this problem and the Vista forum I looked at pointed the finger at the automated System Restore Point function. It seems (on my machine anyway), that rather than overright an old restore point, Vista seems to save all the restore points one after the other and doesn't delete the old ones. One person suggested to turn off the System Restore Point. There was much horror expressed by a few other users, but at that point my 2.1gb had shrunk to 60mb and I'd already decided to give it a go.

I turned of that function, clicked the right box and by turning off the system restore point function I actually deleted all the old restore points that had been saved and then quite suddenly the space in my hdd jumped to 42gb!! I couldn't believe that over 40gb had been used for creating system restore points.

I think that creating a system restore point is a good idea, but the fact that the automated version seems to eat up so much HDD space is a problem.

Has anyone here come across this problem or knows how to limit how much space the automated system restore point function can use?

TIA
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#2 April Showers

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 11:19 AM

There are lots of programs that don't "clean up after themselves" (Photohshop is notorious for leaving huge temp files behind) We have several users on this computer and had to go clear the "temp folders" for every user to get it all the way clean. :D

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#3 Ursula

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 12:03 PM

I would suspect the PS temp files. I've had that problem often. Especially if your PC crashes, it saves ridiculously large temp files in a hidden folder. YOu'll have to seach it out and clean it out thoroughly. Once you find the file, you may want to make a shortcut for it on your desk top so that you can occasionally dump the temp files.

#4 debilou

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 12:22 PM

You are right Vista, creates a lot of temporary files, and a lot of system restore points.

But if you have McAfee..

There is a TOOLS section.. and in there... You can clean up a bunch of things... including old restore points.. it leaves several out there... but it does clean up a bunch of them... and you can decide not to clean up as many as it thinks you should... you just uncheck those boxes...

I would NOT turn off system restore...

Also, I know some people Hate the "dummies" books, but I have the Dummies For CLEANING UP VISTA... And, it has given me a wealth of information on how to go about keeping my hard drive as squeaky clean as possible...

It seems that vista has many of the same tools available as you had on XP, but some are just a little hidden away... But, thiese are all revealed to you in this book..

And, it goes over, what you should clean on say a weekly, monthly, annual basis...

And, gives you links to some software - it deems safe for say cleaning up your register, that is freeware... or some that it may say - it thinks you should buy instead...

And, also, what Vista features you can just turn off, and gain extra Memory...

Etc...

I have just found in invaluable... And, a great resourse in keeping my hard drive clean...

And, I honestly would never have found this stuff on my own...

And, I've been working on PC's well since there have been PC's...
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#5 debilou

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 12:28 PM

A couple of quick fixes though would be go to

Start:

All Programs

Accessories

System Tools

And, Run Disk Clean up....

Then Go back to Start>All Programs>Accessories>System Toos> Disk Refrag.....

This will take a while to run.. if you have a screen saver turn it off... or if you have a laptop running, change your power save options to forever... just so this will keep running.. it may take hours to run this...

These 2 things might buy you some disk space...

Also, go through old emails, and old words, excel files... delete those...

And, those freebies from those OTHER sites, that you will never use... delete them...

That will get your started...
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#6 MargotW

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 06:06 PM

This same situation happened to me a couple of weeks ago and then I went into a harddrive crash. My first indication that I was having problems was when it told me about scratch disk space. I transferred my scratch disk to my EHD.

I was organizing in ACDSee and then I lost my disk space and then the crash. I was not able to restore the disk so I was very happy I had carbonite to restore my files.

I think I'll go buy the Dummies book for Vista. Thanks for that advice.
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#7 debilou

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 07:00 PM

You know I don't use ACDSee to organize, but I still organize in PSE 6.0, but both use similar systems of tagging and pointers to actual files

In any organizer, no matter which one you use - you add files and delete files, and after a while, your organizer get fragmented - just like your hard drive can get.

In the PSE 6.0 organizer it has an option to OPTIMIZE... and this clears up this problem...

I wonder if ACDSee has this same type of optimization where it can basically refragment it's space...

Because after a while or adding and deleting files, it would just make sense that it would need this done to it...

Something to check...

This is NOT a Vista issue, just a housekeeping issue regardless of operating systems...
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#8 debilou

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 07:00 PM

And, aren't you glad we have Carbonite... I just love that system... it just runs in the background, and you just don't even know it's there until you need it...
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#9 MargotW

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 07:09 PM

Thanks for that info. I think I tend to blame Vista for everything! lol I since purchased the Acronics to back up on my EHD. I sure don't want to go through this again! My son tells me I need to learn to trust technology and after this experience I say WHY?

I'll have to poke around ACDsee and see if there is anything like you mentioned.
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#10 MargotW

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 07:44 PM

Debilou - thanks again. I found Optimize Database and Database Maintainance in ACDSee and ran both of them. I wish I had know that before I crashed! I don't know why ACDSee doesn't include this info in their instruction book. If they do I couldn't find it.
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#11 SkRiders

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 07:58 PM

I had this problem with my laptop and i'm running XP .. problem was .... IBM had a program on there that was backing up my entire HD every nite... got rid of it and wouldn't you know 50 gigs magically appeared!
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#12 debilou

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 08:15 PM

Debilou - thanks again. I found Optimize Database and Database Maintainance in ACDSee and ran both of them. I wish I had know that before I crashed! I don't know why ACDSee doesn't include this info in their instruction book. If they do I couldn't find it.

Don't worry PSE 6.0 doesn't either, had to find it the hard way too...

Don't know why they don't tell you...
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#13 debilou

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 08:19 PM

The next step I would do would be go to

Start> control panel > programs and features...

And, UNINSTALL anything that your are ABSOLUTELY sure you don't need

If you are unsure about a program, google it and see what it is..

but so many software packages, automatically say install AOL, earthlink, junk like that if you aren't using them, uninstall them.

DO NOT JUST delete them..

You must Uninstall them properly...

And, make sure you know what the programs are...
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#14 vanillasky43

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 09:30 PM

Thanks for all the information.

Debilou I already regularly do the Clean Up (every few days) and Defrag (at least once a week) and this time it just didn't make any difference, there wasn't any spare spce to be found! I checked all the temp files I could find, I ran a program that tells me how much space files take up and there just wasn't anything that i could find that would be using 40+gb of space. :banghead:

I don't have McAfee, I use Avast, so will have to have a look to see if there are any tools that come with that program that could help with Vista.

I did turn the restore points option back on again and then created another restore point, I think what I'll have to do is make turing the restore point function off then on again (thus deleting all the obsolete restore points) and then creating another uptodate restore point a part of my weekly computer 'clean up'.

I'm going to get that book, there must be so much more that I'm just not doing!!

Thanks again for the help
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#15 JenniferZ

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 07:58 AM

I would suspect the PS temp files. I've had that problem often. Especially if your PC crashes, it saves ridiculously large temp files in a hidden folder. YOu'll have to seach it out and clean it out thoroughly. Once you find the file, you may want to make a shortcut for it on your desk top so that you can occasionally dump the temp files.


Where do I find Photoshop's temp files? I looked in PS's program files and did a search for hidden files, but can't find it. Also googled "find hidden files in Photoshop" and searched Photoshop's help menu -- no hits. I've deleted the files from my visible "temp" folder in Windows. Any advice? I am running PSCS3 on a PC with Vista.

BTW, I just recovered over 40GB of hard disk space by re-setting the max amount of memory that Vista can use saving restore points. My default was 43GB! I reset it to 15GB.

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#16 SilverSwanMama

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 08:18 AM

I would suspect the PS temp files. I've had that problem often. Especially if your PC crashes, it saves ridiculously large temp files in a hidden folder. YOu'll have to seach it out and clean it out thoroughly. Once you find the file, you may want to make a shortcut for it on your desk top so that you can occasionally dump the temp files.


Where do I find Photoshop's temp files? I looked in PS's program files and did a search for hidden files, but can't find it. Also googled "find hidden files in Photoshop" and searched Photoshop's help menu -- no hits. I've deleted the files from my visible "temp" folder in Windows. Any advice? I am running PSCS3 on a PC with Vista.

BTW, I just recovered over 40GB of hard disk space by re-setting the max amount of memory that Vista can use saving restore points. My default was 43GB! I reset it to 15GB.


Jennifer, this info about resetting the memory for saving restore points may really help me. Can you tell me how to find that and do it? I'm sure it's simple, but I'm new to Vista. I am shocked at how much memory is used up by Vista. Anyway, any help would be great.
Thanks.

#17 JenniferZ

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 11:22 AM

I would suspect the PS temp files. I've had that problem often. Especially if your PC crashes, it saves ridiculously large temp files in a hidden folder. YOu'll have to seach it out and clean it out thoroughly. Once you find the file, you may want to make a shortcut for it on your desk top so that you can occasionally dump the temp files.


Where do I find Photoshop's temp files? I looked in PS's program files and did a search for hidden files, but can't find it. Also googled "find hidden files in Photoshop" and searched Photoshop's help menu -- no hits. I've deleted the files from my visible "temp" folder in Windows. Any advice? I am running PSCS3 on a PC with Vista.

BTW, I just recovered over 40GB of hard disk space by re-setting the max amount of memory that Vista can use saving restore points. My default was 43GB! I reset it to 15GB.


Jennifer, this info about resetting the memory for saving restore points may really help me. Can you tell me how to find that and do it? I'm sure it's simple, but I'm new to Vista. I am shocked at how much memory is used up by Vista. Anyway, any help would be great.
Thanks.



It's simple to do, but not simple to find out HOW to do it -- I wish Microsoft would just tell you these things!

Anyway, go into start menu>Accessories>Command Prompt (RIGHT CLICK on this to log on as an Administrator -- you cannot change it otherwise...)
Type (or cut and paste) this EXACTLY after the prompt: vssadmin list shadowstorage

This will tell you how much you have allocated and how much is being used.

It may already be a fairly low number, but, like I said, mine was 43!!! To change it to a max of 15GB, type exactly:
vssadmin Resize ShadowStorage /For=C: /On=C: /Maxsize=15GB

If you want it to be something else, like 10GB (what most recommend) or some other number, just change the "15" to whatever you want.
Hit ENTER and you'll be good to go!

(This information came from: http://www.howtogeek...sage-in-vista/)

HTH!!!

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#18 sunnie2004

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 01:22 PM

Also have you ran your virus scan the possiblility is there that you have one. I am not say you do or not but I have seen a virus wipe out a hard drive in less than 2 days . I mean a huge hard drive . everything had to be deleted & the whole thing washed with software & re install windows from scratch. My hubbie was so mad at my neice when he seen this pc I might add he plaed trying to get it out for hours & it recreated it self so many times & so much of my neices hd was wiped out it shut down almost. we bought that hard drive washer & reinstalled the whole system.
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#19 vanillasky43

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 08:28 PM

[/quote]It's simple to do, but not simple to find out HOW to do it -- I wish Microsoft would just tell you these things!

Anyway, go into start menu>Accessories>Command Prompt (RIGHT CLICK on this to log on as an Administrator -- you cannot change it otherwise...)
Type (or cut and paste) this EXACTLY after the prompt: vssadmin list shadowstorage

This will tell you how much you have allocated and how much is being used.

It may already be a fairly low number, but, like I said, mine was 43!!! To change it to a max of 15GB, type exactly:
vssadmin Resize ShadowStorage /For=C: /On=C: /Maxsize=15GB

If you want it to be something else, like 10GB (what most recommend) or some other number, just change the "15" to whatever you want.
Hit ENTER and you'll be good to go!

(This information came from: http://www.howtogeek...sage-in-vista/)

HTH!!!
[/quote]


Hi Jennifer

Thank you thankyou thankyou thankyou thankyou thankyou thankyou thankyou
Thank you thankyou thankyou thankyou thankyou thankyou thankyou thankyou
Thank you thankyou thankyou thankyou thankyou thankyou thankyou thankyou
Thank you thankyou thankyou thankyou thankyou thankyou thankyou thankyou


I checked the shadow storagesize thingy (thingy being the technical term I'm sure) and it said UNBOUND which I'm guessing means as much disk space as restore points wants (or as much as I've got!!!!)!! Which would explain why that hard disk space just kept disappearing, despite being the queen of disk clean up, defragging and virus scanning (at least once a day). I'd removed everything that I was brave enough to remove and that space still kept disappearing and now finally I know why - NO LIMITS on the system restore point thingy. I am so relieved - an answer finally, did I mention :thanks:

Happy dancing just for you - thanks again

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#20 SilverSwanMama

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 08:42 PM

I would suspect the PS temp files. I've had that problem often. Especially if your PC crashes, it saves ridiculously large temp files in a hidden folder. YOu'll have to seach it out and clean it out thoroughly. Once you find the file, you may want to make a shortcut for it on your desk top so that you can occasionally dump the temp files.


Where do I find Photoshop's temp files? I looked in PS's program files and did a search for hidden files, but can't find it. Also googled "find hidden files in Photoshop" and searched Photoshop's help menu -- no hits. I've deleted the files from my visible "temp" folder in Windows. Any advice? I am running PSCS3 on a PC with Vista.

BTW, I just recovered over 40GB of hard disk space by re-setting the max amount of memory that Vista can use saving restore points. My default was 43GB! I reset it to 15GB.


Jennifer, this info about resetting the memory for saving restore points may really help me. Can you tell me how to find that and do it? I'm sure it's simple, but I'm new to Vista. I am shocked at how much memory is used up by Vista. Anyway, any help would be great.
Thanks.



It's simple to do, but not simple to find out HOW to do it -- I wish Microsoft would just tell you these things!

Anyway, go into start menu>Accessories>Command Prompt (RIGHT CLICK on this to log on as an Administrator -- you cannot change it otherwise...)
Type (or cut and paste) this EXACTLY after the prompt: vssadmin list shadowstorage

This will tell you how much you have allocated and how much is being used.

It may already be a fairly low number, but, like I said, mine was 43!!! To change it to a max of 15GB, type exactly:
vssadmin Resize ShadowStorage /For=C: /On=C: /Maxsize=15GB

If you want it to be something else, like 10GB (what most recommend) or some other number, just change the "15" to whatever you want.
Hit ENTER and you'll be good to go!

(This information came from: http://www.howtogeek...sage-in-vista/)

HTH!!!



Thanks a lot, Jennifer for taking the time to post this information. I checked mine and it was set at 20GB, so I changed it to 10. It may not be a significant difference, but at least now I know. Thanks also for the link to the howtogeek site. I am going to bookmark that. I already found some good info there just browsing for a few minutes. Thanks again!

#21 JenniferZ

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 08:10 AM

So glad I could help! Isn't it something how technology sometimes makes our life so much easier and then makes us want to tear out our hair in frustration?!?!?

Anyway, in case anyone wants to know where to find the "secret" Photoshop files to delete and save some space, I found mine here:
Computer>C: Drive>Users>[User Name]>AppData>Local>Temp

As far as I know you can delete all the files in this folder. At least, I did -- there was over 7GB of junk in there!

And I found a nifty little checklist of Vista features that can be turned off by most users. My computer (being less than two months old) is pretty fast, but I shut off almost all of those recommended and now it's even faster!

Check it out here:
http://www.howtogeek...sta-components/

And two more articles on tweaking Vista to save even more space:
http://www.mydigital...ging-file-size/
http://www.mydigital...space-in-vista/

Enjoy whipping Vista into shape!
Jennifer

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