Windows XP thinks hard drive is full/won't boot.
Posted on 2006-11-18
Running Win XP on a 225GB NTFS drive (also Bitdefender avirus, Zonealarm, Window Washer trace eliminator, Mozy online backup), on a recently-purchased Sony Vaio Desktop. I have 145GB available on the c: drive.
While running an online backup (Mozy unpacks 30GB of files to the WINDOWS/TEMP file to prepare them to send online), my Window Washer cleaner cleaned the TEMP files and crashed the backup. The backup tried to restart but I cancelled it. In the same hour, ZoneAlarm uploaded a routine update.
I decided to not start the online backup again right away so I could cleanly install an Okidata color laser printer. I successfully installed the printer, using msconfig to DISABLE START UP ITEMS first. The printer tested fine.
Several hours later, I returned to find the computer frozen. I power switched off and rebooted, getting a clean boot but a popup that a miscellaneous file was corrupt and instructions to run chkdsk, which I did from the Run prompt.
Chkdsk deleted a bunch or orphans and some other files. I then got a message that msconfig was corrupt and to run chkdsk again, which I did (it didn’t delete anything this time).
On reboot, the boot failed. I booted into safe mode successfully, but the c: drive reported it now had only 201MEGA bytes of available space on a 225 GIGA byte drive. This is completely incorrect, as confirmed by a safe mode defrag report (145GB actually available).
Now, the computer is barely functional in safe mode and won’t boot at all into normal mode because the drive is perceived as “overloaded.”
I managed to delete the WINDOWS/TEMP file, which was 30GB. It “recreated itself” on reboot into safe mode (is that supposed to happen???) and now shows almost empty.
Safe mode works as long as I don’t overtask the computer. It freezes on shutdown if it has to “Save Settings” and won’t shutdown. It stops responding if I try to do any troubleshooting.
Normal boot always freezes while loading startup items.
Here is what I’ve done unsuccessfully so far:
1. Restore to earlier time using EAZ-Fix (like GoBack but without the convoluted design) – snapshot loaded but drive still reports full and boot freezes
2. Uninstall ZoneAlarm from safe mode – freezes on shutdown and is still there on hard reboot to safe mode
3. Find files larger than 10,000,000 Kb (hidden files viewable) – no relevant files found that could actually be filing the drive
4. Try to run chkdsk /f from safe mode – gives me an option to run on next reboot, but doesn’t actually run when I reboot either into safe mode or normal mode (don't know if another program is preventing this) IS THERE A CHKDSK-LIKE PROGRAM THAT CAN BE RUN FROM A CD-ROM??? I HAVE A FEELING THAT’S ALL I NEED!!!
5. DeFrag ran successfully from safe mode but didn’t defrag most files.
6. Find *.tmp (successfully deleted all)
I don’t have a WinXP CD (didn’t come with the computer).
I’m trying to avoid have to recover CD to day one and reinstall a large number of programs and settings.
I don’t think I have a virus as BitDefender scans every 24 hours and I never open anything suspect or do a lot of downloading.
Any ideas? Once more, does anyone know of a chkdsk type third party software I can download to CD_ROM with another computer, then run entirely from the CDROM on the failed machine? I can't get online in any mode on the failed machine and have no hard drive space to install any software now. Additionally, deleting other files doesn't seem to change the perceived 201MB available a bit. Maybe nothing's really being deleted or maybe deletions aren't being counted anymore.
Thanks in advance.