Something Eating Up Space On My Hard Drive

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Something Eating Up Space On My Hard Drive

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Hi guys, I'm currently having a few problems with my Hard Drive at the minute. First problem is, something seems to be eating up the space of it, each day i'm checking and something is eating up the space. Cant tell if its Windows Updates or not as I checked today and something was taking up space and funny enough, I checked if there was any updates installed today and there wasn't. I cant put my finger on what is wrong and what is doing this. I should also mention that the space goes up and down sometimes as well regarding disk space.

Secondly I was playing around with the disk cleanup and checking to see if it there was something taking up the disk space and I see Windows Update was taking up something like 151MB so I tried to clean that up and it seems to be sticking when it comes to cleaning the Windows Update backups and when I try to do it over and over again it does the same thing... even after that when I try to reboot my computer it sticks on the restart saying Configuring Windows Updates and doesn't do anything else, so I'm forced to turn it off via the power button.

Good thing that I have plenty of space on my Hard Drive as I just got my computer a few months ago, but eventually its gonna lead to a problem when my HDD runs out of space even with deleting downloads and programs and stuff... I need to find out what is causing all this as it is worrying me.

I hope I can get some assistance! Thanks!

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  • Disk Cleanup will HANG until its patched.  This is a Known issue.  There is no one size fits all for all os for all Dell models.  You did not say what you have for Anything.

    The Disk Cleanup tool stops responding

    support.microsoft.com/kb/812248

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  • Thanks for the reply Speed Step, i'm not quite sure what you are talking about though. If you mean what Windows I use, Its Windows 8 & my computer is a Dell XPS 8500.

    I dont think that link you posted works on my computer as I use Windows 8 and not XP.

    Anyone have any ideas on what could be eating the space of my HDD? It could be alot of things though lol.

  • What size is your hard drive? How much space do you think is being 'eaten'?

    Space utiliization will go up and down depending on temp files, browser cache, Flash cache, number of System Restore files, how much space the Win 8 pagefile is using, etc.  Try clearing the browser cache, and run something like ccleaner (free) to get rid of useless files.

    If this answers your question, please click  Yes  

    Ron

    Forum Member since 2004

    I am NOT a Dell employee

  • Hi Ron, I believe we have talked before. Your always of great help. Well for example today my HDD was at 81.8GB being used and now its at 82.4GB.... so your talking about a few hundred MB's and sometimes it can be up to GB's per day.

    I use CCleaner and always clean out my browser cache and my System Restore is set to go no higher than 10GB's of usage on my HDD so it could be one of the other things that you spoke off, I just cant put my finger on what it is.

  • Swap space and temp files etc.  Thats the way windows works.  There is a folder that you cant touch called WINSXS

    there is also system restore.

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  • So you're saying 600 GB additional used space today. Is usage continually going up or will it go back down if you reboot and don't open lots of apps?

    You could adjust the size of the swap file in Win 8, but I'm not sure that's a good thing because it will affect performance:

    • Log on to Windows 8 with account that has administrative privileges.
    • From the options click Control Panel.
    • Click More Settings in left pane.
    • Click System and Security category and click System.
    • On View basic information about your computer click Advanced system settings.
    • On System Properties select Advanced tab and click Settings under Visual effects, processor scheduling, memory usage, and virtual memory
    • On Performance Options go to Advanced tab and click Change button under Virtual memory .
    • On Virtual Memory uncheck Automatically manage page file size for all drives
    • On Drive (Volume Label) list select C:  and click Custom size.
    • Specify initial and maximum page file size in megabytes and click Set to finalize

    You can also go to the Adobe Flash Control Panel and adjust how much space Flash can use to store files from sites you've visited, and uncheck the box about storing 3rd party stuff on that page too. Then click each of the icons above the slider to change the other storage and security settings to your liking. (These changes can only be online from their website - DUH!).

     

    If this answers your question, please click  Yes  

    Ron

    Forum Member since 2004

    I am NOT a Dell employee

  • No, not that. It would take like about a couple of hundred MB's each day, for instance earlier there, it took another 200MBs of my HDD, interesting enough, it was after I updated my windows defender... but I doubt something like that is gonna require 200MBs

    I don't wanna be doing anything that would affect my computers performance as it works like a charm, plus I'm not totally sure if it is that swap file thingy that is causing this.

    You mention Adobe Flash too, I know that's an internet thing, why do you think that could be the problem? I have used adobe for a long time and it never seemed to take space out of my computer.

    When I had my old computer I disabled Windows Update and no space was took from my Hard Drive, then again, a lot of viruses came on my computer and stuff so I know disabling windows update is a bad idea.

    I'm sort of lost on where to start looking and dont wanna do anything that could be a danger to my computer, but then again I need to sort this out as if I just leave things the way they are, down the line my HDD is eventually gonna run out of space and for what? For something I don't know?

    Any ideas at all Ron, I could really use your help. Thanks!

  • WinDirStat is a good utility for determining what is eating up HDD space.

  • WinSXS (Side by Side) can take 10 gigs or more over time. Same with system restore points.

    The most recent Flash, Java, and dotnet patches are 50 megs or more each.

    If you have an app that downloads the dotnet 1.0 to 3.5 it can take 2 gigs more and then there are the service packs for that that are 300 megs.



    http://blogs.technet.com/b/askcore/archive/2008/09/17/what-is-the-winsxs-directory-in-windows-2008-and-windows-vista-and-why-is-it-so-large.aspx 

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  • Thanks MPO! That WinDirStat is a great program! Seems it could be something to do with WinSXS or its something to do with hiberfile.sys which I did read up is something to do with the hibernation of the computer.

    Question still is though which of them is taking the space of my hard drive? I'm not actually looking to free space, i'm looking for whatever is responsible for eating my HDD everyday... it might be one of those things.

  • One of the largest changes between previous versions of Windows and Windows Vista was a move from an INF described OS to componentization.  A component in Windows is one or more binaries, a catalog file, and an XML file that describes everything about how the files should be installed. From associated registry keys and services to what kind security permissions the files should have.  Components are grouped into logical units, and these units are used to build the different Windows editions.

    All of the components in the operating system are found in the WinSxS folder – in fact we call this location the component store.  Each component has a unique name that includes the version, language, and processor architecture that it was built for.  The WinSxS folder is the only location that the component is found on the system, all other instances of the files that you see on the system are “projected” by hard linking from the component store.  Let me repeat that last point – there is only one instance (or full data copy) of each version of each file in the OS, and that instance is located in the WinSxS folder.   So looked at from that perspective, the WinSxS folder is really the entirety of the whole OS, referred to as a "flat" in down-level operating systems.  This also accounts for why you will no longer be prompted for media when running operations such as System File Checker (SFC), or when installing additional features and roles.

    That explains why the folder starts off big, but not why it gets larger over time – the answer to that question is servicing.   In previous versions of Windows the atomic unit of servicing was the file, in Windows Vista it’s the component.  When we update a particular binary we release a new version of the whole component, and that new version is stored alongside the original one in the component store.  The higher version of the component is projected onto the system, but the older version in the store isn’t touched.  The reason for that is the third part of why the component store gets so large.

    So yes, the WinSXS folder is very large, and it will continue to grow as the OS ages. This applies to Vista and WIN7 and WIN8.


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    I do not work for Dell. I too am a user.

    The forum is primarily user to user, with Dell employees moderating.