I use XP Pro, PC Cillin Security suite, Spysweeper, and beta Windows Defender on my computer. Daily updates and scans.
Went to defrag my small (80GB) hard drive about two weeks ago and was amazed to see that 35.5 gigs were in use. I just don't download many files or load all that many programs, but I let it pass.
Then the last couple of days, the operation seemed sluggish and PC Cillin began taking over 2 hours to run a scan that normally takes about 18 minutes. I noticed it was crawling on its own internet security files. So I went to the Trend Micro Folder and discovered that the Internet Security 2006 folder was now 21.5 gigs!?! What's as amazing ( to me anyway) is when I entered the folder and alligned all the files and subfolders by size, there was nothing unusually large at all visible. They should not have added up to more than about 150megs at most. Called Trend Micro tech and they said the normal size should be 100 to 200 Megs. They had never heard of anything like this and had no explanation.
Maybe in too much of a hurry to streamline, I deleted the humongous folder and then uninstalled and reinstalled PC Cillin. FWIW I then ran scans with all of my resident programs + an online Bit Defender scan and all came up clear. And the PC Cillin scan was back to taking only 18 minutes or so.
Now also back to using just 14.5 gigs, but very puzzled and more alert. Computer seems to be running fine again 12 hours later. So far anyway.
Have any of you experienced or heard of this sort of phenomenon before? Can a virus bloat a folder with apparently invisible files? Bizarre. Thanks very much in advance for any comments .