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From 4GB to 16MB? What's happening?

Posted on 2003-11-01
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Last Modified: 2010-04-03
I was on the internet recently. Checked a few websites, email etc. So, I remember having at least 4GB of hard drive on my computer. A few days later, after rebooting, I wanted to check something on my drive, it said I only had 16MB of space! I can still launch applications, but some I just can't, because I don't have any space!

It's like as if something has tricked my hard-drive into thinking I have only 16MB.

I've checked for viruses, spyware, you name it! And now, I've been having ot remove applications to free up space!

HELP!

da_smat1
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Question by:da_smart1
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Expert Comment

by:zenlion420
ID: 9664418
have you tried emptying your recycle bin?

also, have you emptied your temporary files recently?

j
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Author Comment

by:da_smart1
ID: 9664509
Recycle Bin : Was empty.

Temporary Files : IE cleaned it up, no difference.

da_smart1

It also takes a long time to clean up the CACHE.
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by:da_smart1
ID: 9664641
JDiskReport says that the History file : C:\WINDOWS\History takes up 3.2 GB! A file called index.dat is taking it up. However, I cannot see the file, even if I choose the "Show all files" option.

So yeah, index.dat takes 3.2GB, what is it? Is this the problem, or is it meant to be that size? I use 56K, home computer.
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Expert Comment

by:bjorndahlen
ID: 9664694
lick on tools (in IE), internet options, clear history.
It's wierd that it jumped so quick though, but maybe clearing will
recitfy the situation.

Cheers, Bjorn
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Author Comment

by:da_smart1
ID: 9664911
nope, didn't work.....

cleaning the cache use to take about 5 secs, not it takes 25 minutes...

and it only cleaned 85 files , 193kb, yes, 25 minutes.

da_smart1
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Expert Comment

by:philby11
ID: 9664934
Is your HDD's size being correctly read by windows?
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by:philby11
ID: 9664942
All your Internet traces are logged to index.dat files and deleting Cache, Cookies and History does not delete index.dat files.
There are three index.dat files residing in the following locations: Cookies\index.dat History\History.IE5\index.dat Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\index.dat hence each of Internet Explorer's primary folders (directories) - Cache, Cookies and History make use of an indexing technique to maintain information. They keep basically a copy of whatever there is in that folder and they continue keeping those records even after you have deleted the contents of those folders. These files can be very hard to find and erase.
this link pretty well covers it
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;322916
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Expert Comment

by:chicagoan
ID: 9665576
I seem to recall that Bad_Trans_B can infect the index.dat file... you're running up-to-date anti-virus stuff?
You don't say what OS you're using.... if it's 98 you can delete the file by booting to DOS, otherwise you're either going to have to mount the drive on another OS or get something like Windows Washer to delete it.
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Expert Comment

by:Luc Franken
ID: 9666680
Check for adware/spyware using Ad-aware from: http://www.lavasoftusa.com/support/download
Delete the index.log file by using a win98 bootdisk (www.bootdisk.com) or if you're using NTFS, try booting into recovery console and delete the file.

I think all other things are already covered by the other experts.

LucF
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Expert Comment

by:kronostm
ID: 9669155
Almost al posibilities have been covered but geting on the internet can be just a coincidence while an "error reporting free space" occured.
Sometimes windows messes up such things. Usually scandisk doesn't work to fix this kind of error, so a norton disk doctor or something similar is required.
Anyway, you can take every directory in the root of the problem partition one by one and check it's size, maybe you'll find which one is the problem one.
If none is suspicious big, I suggest running norton disk doctor to check for that error.
Anyway, I said it's unlikely cause that one "evolvs" and you get different free space reporting everytime, sousually deleting something to free some space doesn't help.
Also check if the swap file has a reasonable size, maybe somehow it gets appended and grows... hmmm unlikely.

(`'·.¸(`'·.¸ ~ ¸.·'´)¸.·'´)
«´.¸¸KRONOS¸¸.·`»
(¸.·'´(¸.·'´ ~ `'·.¸)`'·.¸)
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by:da_smart1
ID: 9692331
chicagoan: ok, i downloaded the program, windows washer, and i cleaned quite a bit, i only cleaned about 15 mb of space. thanks though

LucF: which one should i use, and how do i delete it?

da_smart1
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Expert Comment

by:chicagoan
ID: 9692355
that sounds more like your cache... if that file's that big - boot into safe mode, open a command prompt, change to the history directory and type

dir /a


if the file is that big, you can do an

attrib index.dat -s -h -r
del index.dat

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by:philby11
ID: 9692368
hi again,
whatever OS you have you should download the matching boot disk.
http://www.bootdisk.com/bootdisk.htm
you could always try doing a search of the system for large files ie over 10,000kb
also search for any zip files you may have downloaded & no longer need.
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Expert Comment

by:philby11
ID: 9692373
Damn my typing is so slow,
If you still can't delete it (maybe cause it's in use) try as Chicagoan suggested
only boot of the boot disk.
cheers
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Expert Comment

by:kronostm
ID: 9692384
da_smart1 ...have you considered my opinion?
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Accepted Solution

by:
philby11 earned 250 total points
ID: 9692386
smartprotector this program is supposed to do it all for you
http://www.smartprotector.com/eraser/deleteindex.htm
there is a fully functional 15 day trial
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Expert Comment

by:philby11
ID: 9692414
go into settings & select the folders listed on the website above & then click erase.
presto it works I just did it my PC.
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Expert Comment

by:Luc Franken
ID: 9692481
>which one should i use, and how do i delete it?
If you use the FAT32 filesystem, you can use a win98 bootdisk
If you use the NTFS filesystem, you can use the recoveryconsole

the how to is already covered by the other experts above.
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Author Comment

by:da_smart1
ID: 9699261
philby11: great ! ur recommended app work! i'm back to 4 GB!

however, when i used another program last time, it would clean up my ocmputer then, my ocmputer would not be able to recognise my dns. it would say "this page cannot be found" when i type in an address. should i expect this in the future if i continue to use this aplication?

da_smart1
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Expert Comment

by:philby11
ID: 9699317
Thats great well done,

If you use it to delete specific files its ok.
The default level scan will always remove the temp & history files but you can always customize the scan settings to suit your needs.
all the best
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Expert Comment

by:Luc Franken
ID: 9699426
>my ocmputer would not be able to recognise my dns.
This can happen after you've ran ad/spyware removal tools, if this happens you'll have to rebuild the tcp/ip stack and winsock. I had this happen once, see => http:Q_20737690.html
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Expert Comment

by:philby11
ID: 9699446
Yeah Adaware did it to me too, thats how found this website.
& like Lucf, War1 came to my rescue.
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Expert Comment

by:Luc Franken
ID: 9699491
;-)
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