Free Space on my computer mysteriously disappears

Posted on 2010-08-17
Last Modified: 2013-12-06
Hello there,

In the last couple weeks or so I have had a very strange problem. Quite literally GB's of free space in my hard drive have dissappeared and I can't seem to track it down.  I was toying over the idea it was either a hard drive going bad or some mysterious spyware going on.  I have a WD hard drive and have used windows chkdsk at the xp cd recovery level as well as scheduling one from windows itself and when reading the event viewer log for winlogin I noted 0 KB of bad sectors found.  Also I did an extended test using a bootable WD lifeguard CD and found no errors so I tend not to think it is do to the hard drive going bad.

I have also used multiple antivirus programs on my system including Norton internet Security, malwarebytes, spyware doctor, advanced system optimizer 3 and Trend Micro house call online scanner.  two of these programs (spyware doctor and advanced system optimizer) apparently found what it flagged as malware/spyware and cleaned it up but the free space was still draining from my system.  I would move GB of files to an external hard drive and it seemed as though twice a day I would lose 4 or more GB of space.

I do have system restore turned off as I read that this might be the cause of the issue.  I do have windows xp pro sp 3 currently on my computer and I have left the hard drive indexing service turned on although I was in the process of turning it off but then opted to recheck it as I realized this was turned on by default via Microsoft and it was only as of late that the problem started up and I have had a 500 GB hard drive in my computer for a couple years now.

Anyway with all that said I have done a hijack this log just today to see if you may be able to detect anything funny in it since I am no expert in HJT logs and perhaps may advise in using combofix if it comes down to this.  

In essense I am trying to knock out this free space leak without reformatting my computer as I have lots of software to reinstall and development environments to setup again etc... etc... so I am hoping I can eradicate this nuisance without reformatting.

Before this happened I have had Norton Internet Security 2010 well and alive with no problems.  If it is spyware it certainly is not behaving like most virus/malware behaves as in no computer slow downs, no attacking of the norton internet security and no fake av popups but still this constant leaking of hd free space is very wierd and I don't know where it has all gone.

As of now I have freed up about almost 1 GB of free space but I should have over 100+ GB given all the files I moved off my C drive and the capacity of the HD has not been reduced just the free space.

Anyway thanks a lot for looking at this and advising in anyway you can here is my HJT log.

Logfile of Trend Micro HijackThis v2.0.4
Scan saved at 4:49:21 AM, on 8/17/2010
Platform: Windows XP SP3 (WinNT 5.01.2600)
MSIE: Internet Explorer v8.00 (8.00.6001.18702)
Boot mode: Normal

Running processes:
C:\Program Files\APC\APC PowerChute Personal Edition\mainserv.exe
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support\bin\AppleMobileDeviceService.exe
C:\Program Files\Advanced System Optimizer 3\ASO3DefragSrv.exe
C:\Program Files\Bonjour\mDNSResponder.exe
C:\Program Files\Spyware Doctor\BDT\BDTUpdateService.exe
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Java\Java Update\jusched.exe
C:\Program Files\Roxio\Drag-to-Disc\DrgToDsc.exe
C:\Program Files\Creative\SBAudigy2ZS\DVDAudio\CTDVDDet.EXE
C:\Program Files\Brother\ControlCenter2\brctrcen.exe
C:\Program Files\Diskeeper Corporation\Diskeeper\DkService.exe
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Real\Update_OB\realsched.exe
C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 8.0\Acrobat\Acrotray.exe
C:\Program Files\Google\GoogleToolbarNotifier\GoogleToolbarNotifier.exe
C:\Program Files\Creative\MediaSource\RemoteControl\RCMan.EXE
C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin\jqs.exe
C:\Program Files\Common Files\LightScribe\LSSrvc.exe
C:\Program Files\Common Files\LogiShrd\LVMVFM\LVPrcSrv.exe
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Intuit\QuickBooks\QBUpdate\qbupdate.exe
C:\Program Files\APC\APC PowerChute Personal Edition\apcsystray.exe
C:\Program Files\TP-LINK\TL-WN313G_353G_353GD\RtWLan.exe
C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.2\OLAP\bin\msmdsrv.exe
C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.1\MSSQL\Binn\sqlservr.exe
C:\Program Files\Norton Internet Security\Engine\\ccSvcHst.exe
C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.3\Reporting Services\ReportServer\bin\ReportingServicesService.exe
C:\Program Files\Spyware Doctor\pctsAuxs.exe
C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\90\Shared\sqlwriter.exe
C:\Program Files\Norton Internet Security\Engine\\ccSvcHst.exe
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Macrovision Shared\FLEXnet Publisher\FNPLicensingService.exe
C:\Program Files\Advanced System Optimizer 3\ASO3.exe
C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe
C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe
C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe
C:\Program Files\Trend Micro\HiJackThis\HiJackThis.exe

R1 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Default_Page_URL =
R1 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Default_Search_URL =
R0 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Start Page =
R1 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings,ProxyOverride = *.local
O2 - BHO: (no name) - {02478D38-C3F9-4efb-9B51-7695ECA05670} - (no file)
O2 - BHO: Adobe PDF Reader Link Helper - {06849E9F-C8D7-4D59-B87D-784B7D6BE0B3} - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\Acrobat\ActiveX\AcroIEHelper.dll
O2 - BHO: ContributeBHO Class - {074C1DC5-9320-4A9A-947D-C042949C6216} - C:\Program Files\Adobe\/Adobe Contribute CS3/contributeieplugin.dll
O2 - BHO: AcroIEHelperStub - {18DF081C-E8AD-4283-A596-FA578C2EBDC3} - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\Acrobat\ActiveX\AcroIEHelperShim.dll
O2 - BHO: Skype add-on (mastermind) - {22BF413B-C6D2-4d91-82A9-A0F997BA588C} - C:\Program Files\Skype\Toolbars\Internet Explorer\SkypeIEPlugin.dll
O2 - BHO: Browser Defender BHO - {2A0F3D1B-0909-4FF4-B272-609CCE6054E7} - C:\Program Files\Spyware Doctor\BDT\PCTBrowserDefender.dll
O2 - BHO: Symantec NCO BHO - {602ADB0E-4AFF-4217-8AA1-95DAC4DFA408} - C:\Program Files\Norton Internet Security\Engine\\coIEPlg.dll
O2 - BHO: Symantec Intrusion Prevention - {6D53EC84-6AAE-4787-AEEE-F4628F01010C} - C:\Program Files\Norton Internet Security\Engine\\IPSBHO.DLL
O2 - BHO: Web Developer Toolbar - {88836b34-ff60-42d0-a684-e58683fcc4b9} - C:\Program Files\Web_Developer\tbWeb0.dll
O2 - BHO: Google Toolbar Helper - {AA58ED58-01DD-4d91-8333-CF10577473F7} - C:\Program Files\Google\Google Toolbar\GoogleToolbar_32.dll
O2 - BHO: Adobe PDF Conversion Toolbar Helper - {AE7CD045-E861-484f-8273-0445EE161910} - C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 8.0\Acrobat\AcroIEFavClient.dll
O2 - BHO: Google Toolbar Notifier BHO - {AF69DE43-7D58-4638-B6FA-CE66B5AD205D} - C:\Program Files\Google\GoogleToolbarNotifier\5.5.5126.1836\swg.dll
O2 - BHO: Java(tm) Plug-In 2 SSV Helper - {DBC80044-A445-435b-BC74-9C25C1C588A9} - C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin\jp2ssv.dll
O2 - BHO: JQSIEStartDetectorImpl - {E7E6F031-17CE-4C07-BC86-EABFE594F69C} - C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\lib\deploy\jqs\ie\jqs_plugin.dll
O3 - Toolbar: Norton Toolbar - {7FEBEFE3-6B19-4349-98D2-FFB09D4B49CA} - C:\Program Files\Norton Internet Security\Engine\\coIEPlg.dll
O3 - Toolbar: Web Developer Toolbar - {88836b34-ff60-42d0-a684-e58683fcc4b9} - C:\Program Files\Web_Developer\tbWeb0.dll
O3 - Toolbar: Toolbar - {081230F8-EA50-42A9-983C-D22ABC2EED3B} - C:\Program Files\FreeRIP3\toolband.dll
O3 - Toolbar: Adobe PDF - {47833539-D0C5-4125-9FA8-0819E2EAAC93} - C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 8.0\Acrobat\AcroIEFavClient.dll
O3 - Toolbar: Contribute Toolbar - {517BDDE4-E3A7-4570-B21E-2B52B6139FC7} - C:\Program Files\Adobe\/Adobe Contribute CS3/contributeieplugin.dll
O3 - Toolbar: Google Toolbar - {2318C2B1-4965-11d4-9B18-009027A5CD4F} - C:\Program Files\Google\Google Toolbar\GoogleToolbar_32.dll
O3 - Toolbar: PC Tools Browser Guard - {472734EA-242A-422B-ADF8-83D1E48CC825} - C:\Program Files\Spyware Doctor\BDT\PCTBrowserDefender.dll
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [WrtMon.exe] C:\WINDOWS\system32\spool\drivers\w32x86\3\WrtMon.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [USRpdA] C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\USRmlnkA.exe RunServices \Device\3cpipe-USRpdA
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [UpdReg] C:\WINDOWS\UpdReg.EXE
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [SunJavaUpdateSched] "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Java\Java Update\jusched.exe"
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [SBDrvDet] C:\Program Files\Creative\SB Drive Det\SBDrvDet.exe /r
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [RoxioDragToDisc] "C:\Program Files\Roxio\Drag-to-Disc\DrgToDsc.exe"
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [QuickTime Task] "C:\Program Files\QuickTime\qttask.exe" -atboottime
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [QuickFinder Scheduler] "C:\Program Files\WordPerfect Office 11\Programs\QFSCHD110.EXE"
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [NeroFilterCheck] C:\WINDOWS\system32\NeroCheck.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [LogitechQuickCamRibbon] "C:\Program Files\Logitech\Logitech WebCam Software\LWS.exe" /hide
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [Kernel and Hardware Abstraction Layer] KHALMNPR.EXE
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [iTunesHelper] "C:\Program Files\iTunes\iTunesHelper.exe"
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [CTSysVol] C:\Program Files\Creative\SBAudigy2ZS\Surround Mixer\CTSysVol.exe /r
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [CTHelper] CTHELPER.EXE
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [CTDVDDET] C:\Program Files\Creative\SBAudigy2ZS\DVDAudio\CTDVDDet.EXE
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [ControlCenter2.0] C:\Program Files\Brother\ControlCenter2\brctrcen.exe /autorun
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [CloneCDTray] "C:\Program Files\SlySoft\CloneCD\CloneCDTray.exe" /s
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [Adobe ARM] "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\ARM\1.0\AdobeARM.exe"
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [TkBellExe] "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Real\Update_OB\realsched.exe"  -osboot
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [Adobe Reader Speed Launcher] "C:\Program Files\Adobe\Reader 9.0\Reader\Reader_sl.exe"
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [Acrobat Assistant 8.0] "C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 8.0\Acrobat\Acrotray.exe"
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [Adobe_ID0EYTHM] C:\PROGRA~1\COMMON~1\Adobe\ADOBEV~1\Server\bin\VERSIO~2.EXE
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [KernelFaultCheck] %systemroot%\system32\dumprep 0 -k
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [SystemProtector] "C:\Program Files\Advanced System Optimizer 3\SystemProtector.exe" /autorun
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [ctfmon.exe] C:\WINDOWS\system32\ctfmon.exe
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [swg] "C:\Program Files\Google\GoogleToolbarNotifier\GoogleToolbarNotifier.exe"
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [RemoteCenter] C:\Program Files\Creative\MediaSource\RemoteControl\RCMan.EXE
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [AnyDVD] "C:\Program Files\SlySoft\AnyDVD\AnyDVD.exe"
O4 - HKCU\..\RunOnce: [FlashPlayerUpdate] C:\WINDOWS\system32\Macromed\Flash\FlashUtil10h_ActiveX.exe -update activex
O4 - S-1-5-18 Startup: Webshots.lnk = C:\Program Files\Webshots\Launcher.exe (User 'SYSTEM')
O4 - .DEFAULT Startup: Webshots.lnk = C:\Program Files\Webshots\Launcher.exe (User 'Default user')
O4 - Startup: Webshots.lnk = C:\Program Files\Webshots\Launcher.exe
O4 - Global Startup: APC UPS Status.lnk = ?
O4 - Global Startup: Logitech SetPoint.lnk = C:\Program Files\Logitech\SetPoint\SetPoint.exe
O4 - Global Startup: PopMenuStartUp exe.lnk = C:\Program Files\WinBatch\System\PopMenuStartUp.exe
O4 - Global Startup: QuickBooks Update Agent.lnk = C:\Program Files\Common Files\Intuit\QuickBooks\QBUpdate\qbupdate.exe
O4 - Global Startup: Status Monitor.lnk = C:\Program Files\Brother\Brmfcmon\BrMfcWnd.exe
O4 - Global Startup: TP-LINK Wireless Utility.lnk = C:\Program Files\TP-LINK\TL-WN313G_353G_353GD\RtWLan.exe
O8 - Extra context menu item: Append Link Target to Existing PDF - res://C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\Acrobat\ActiveX\AcroIEFavClient.dll/AcroIEAppendSelLinks.html
O8 - Extra context menu item: Append to existing PDF - res://C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 8.0\Acrobat\AcroIEFavClient.dll/AcroIEAppend.html
O8 - Extra context menu item: Convert link target to Adobe PDF - res://C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 8.0\Acrobat\AcroIEFavClient.dll/AcroIECapture.html
O8 - Extra context menu item: Convert link target to existing PDF - res://C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 8.0\Acrobat\AcroIEFavClient.dll/AcroIEAppend.html
O8 - Extra context menu item: Convert selected links to Adobe PDF - res://C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 8.0\Acrobat\AcroIEFavClient.dll/AcroIECaptureSelLinks.html
O8 - Extra context menu item: Convert selected links to existing PDF - res://C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 8.0\Acrobat\AcroIEFavClient.dll/AcroIEAppendSelLinks.html
O8 - Extra context menu item: Convert selection to Adobe PDF - res://C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 8.0\Acrobat\AcroIEFavClient.dll/AcroIECapture.html
O8 - Extra context menu item: Convert selection to existing PDF - res://C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 8.0\Acrobat\AcroIEFavClient.dll/AcroIEAppend.html
O8 - Extra context menu item: Convert to Adobe PDF - res://C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 8.0\Acrobat\AcroIEFavClient.dll/AcroIECapture.html
O8 - Extra context menu item: Google Sidewiki... - res://C:\Program Files\Google\Google Toolbar\Component\GoogleToolbarDynamic_mui_en_96D6FF0C6D236BF8.dll/cmsidewiki.html
O9 - Extra button: (no name) - {5067A26B-1337-4436-8AFE-EE169C2DA79F} - C:\Program Files\Skype\Toolbars\Internet Explorer\SkypeIEPlugin.dll
O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: Skype add-on for Internet Explorer - {5067A26B-1337-4436-8AFE-EE169C2DA79F} - C:\Program Files\Skype\Toolbars\Internet Explorer\SkypeIEPlugin.dll
O9 - Extra button: Skype - {77BF5300-1474-4EC7-9980-D32B190E9B07} - C:\Program Files\Skype\Toolbars\Internet Explorer\SkypeIEPlugin.dll
O9 - Extra button: Research - {92780B25-18CC-41C8-B9BE-3C9C571A8263} - C:\PROGRA~1\MICROS~2\WEB2~1\Office12\REFIEBAR.DLL
O9 - Extra button: Sothink SWF Catcher - {E19ADC6E-3909-43E4-9A89-B7B676377EE3} - C:\Program Files\Common Files\SourceTec\SWF Catcher\InternetExplorer.htm
O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: Sothink SWF Catcher - {E19ADC6E-3909-43E4-9A89-B7B676377EE3} - C:\Program Files\Common Files\SourceTec\SWF Catcher\InternetExplorer.htm
O9 - Extra button: (no name) - {e2e2dd38-d088-4134-82b7-f2ba38496583} - C:\WINDOWS\Network Diagnostic\xpnetdiag.exe
O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: @xpsp3res.dll,-20001 - {e2e2dd38-d088-4134-82b7-f2ba38496583} - C:\WINDOWS\Network Diagnostic\xpnetdiag.exe
O9 - Extra button: Messenger - {FB5F1910-F110-11d2-BB9E-00C04F795683} - C:\Program Files\Messenger\msmsgs.exe
O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: Windows Messenger - {FB5F1910-F110-11d2-BB9E-00C04F795683} - C:\Program Files\Messenger\msmsgs.exe
O16 - DPF: {6E32070A-766D-4EE6-879C-DC1FA91D2FC3} (MUWebControl Class) -
O16 - DPF: {E2883E8F-472F-4FB0-9522-AC9BF37916A7} -
O17 - HKLM\System\CCS\Services\Tcpip\..\{41472F7C-2A61-4DB3-B69C-AC5A84CC3D2F}: NameServer =,
O17 - HKLM\System\CS1\Services\Tcpip\..\{41472F7C-2A61-4DB3-B69C-AC5A84CC3D2F}: NameServer =,
O18 - Protocol: skype4com - {FFC8B962-9B40-4DFF-9458-1830C7DD7F5D} - C:\PROGRA~1\COMMON~1\Skype\SKYPE4~1.DLL
O22 - SharedTaskScheduler: Browseui preloader - {438755C2-A8BA-11D1-B96B-00A0C90312E1} - C:\WINDOWS\system32\browseui.dll
O22 - SharedTaskScheduler: Component Categories cache daemon - {8C7461EF-2B13-11d2-BE35-3078302C2030} - C:\WINDOWS\system32\browseui.dll
O23 - Service: Adobe Version Cue CS3 - Adobe Systems Incorporated - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\Adobe Version Cue CS3\Server\bin\VersionCueCS3.exe
O23 - Service: APC UPS Service - American Power Conversion Corporation - C:\Program Files\APC\APC PowerChute Personal Edition\mainserv.exe
O23 - Service: Apple Mobile Device - Apple Inc. - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support\bin\AppleMobileDeviceService.exe
O23 - Service: ASO3DiskOptimizer - Systweak Inc., ( - C:\Program Files\Advanced System Optimizer 3\ASO3DefragSrv.exe
O23 - Service: Bonjour Service - Apple Inc. - C:\Program Files\Bonjour\mDNSResponder.exe
O23 - Service: BrSplService (Brother XP spl Service) - brother Industries Ltd - C:\WINDOWS\system32\brsvc01a.exe
O23 - Service: Browser Defender Update Service - Unknown owner - C:\Program Files\Spyware Doctor\BDT\BDTUpdateService.exe
O23 - Service: Creative Service for CDROM Access - Creative Technology Ltd - C:\WINDOWS\system32\CTsvcCDA.exe
O23 - Service: Diskeeper - Diskeeper Corporation - C:\Program Files\Diskeeper Corporation\Diskeeper\DkService.exe
O23 - Service: FLEXnet Licensing Service - Macrovision Europe Ltd. - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Macrovision Shared\FLEXnet Publisher\FNPLicensingService.exe
O23 - Service: Google Update Service (gupdate1ca7c2b64af3f48) (gupdate1ca7c2b64af3f48) - Google Inc. - C:\Program Files\Google\Update\GoogleUpdate.exe
O23 - Service: Google Software Updater (gusvc) - Google - C:\Program Files\Google\Common\Google Updater\GoogleUpdaterService.exe
O23 - Service: InstallDriver Table Manager (IDriverT) - Macrovision Corporation - C:\Program Files\Roxio\Roxio MyDVD Basic v9\InstallShield\Driver\1050\Intel 32\IDriverT.exe
O23 - Service: iPod Service - Apple Inc. - C:\Program Files\iPod\bin\iPodService.exe
O23 - Service: Java Quick Starter (JavaQuickStarterService) - Sun Microsystems, Inc. - C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin\jqs.exe
O23 - Service: Lavasoft Ad-Aware Service - Lavasoft - C:\Program Files\Lavasoft\Ad-Aware\AAWService.exe
O23 - Service: Logitech Bluetooth Service (LBTServ) - Logitech, Inc. - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Logitech\Bluetooth\LBTServ.exe
O23 - Service: LightScribeService Direct Disc Labeling Service (LightScribeService) - Hewlett-Packard Company - C:\Program Files\Common Files\LightScribe\LSSrvc.exe
O23 - Service: Process Monitor (LVPrcSrv) - Logitech Inc. - C:\Program Files\Common Files\LogiShrd\LVMVFM\LVPrcSrv.exe
O23 - Service: Norton Internet Security (NIS) - Symantec Corporation - C:\Program Files\Norton Internet Security\Engine\\ccSvcHst.exe
O23 - Service: Intuit QuickBooks FCS (QBFCService) - Intuit Inc. - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Intuit\QuickBooks\FCS\Intuit.QuickBooks.FCS.exe
O23 - Service: RoxMediaDB9 - Sonic Solutions - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Roxio Shared\9.0\SharedCOM\RoxMediaDB9.exe
O23 - Service: SiSoftware Deployment Agent Service (SandraAgentSrv) - SiSoftware - C:\Program Files\SiSoftware\SiSoftware Sandra Professional Home 2009.SP2\RpcAgentSrv.exe
O23 - Service: PC Tools Auxiliary Service (sdAuxService) - PC Tools - C:\Program Files\Spyware Doctor\pctsAuxs.exe
O23 - Service: PC Tools Security Service (sdCoreService) - PC Tools - C:\Program Files\Spyware Doctor\pctsSvc.exe
O23 - Service: stllssvr - MicroVision Development, Inc. - C:\Program Files\Common Files\SureThing Shared\stllssvr.exe
O23 - Service: ThreatFire - PC Tools - C:\Program Files\Spyware Doctor\TFEngine\TFService.exe

End of file - 17144 bytes
Question by:cyborama
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
  • +1

Accepted Solution

DeadRatRacer earned 500 total points
ID: 33455591
To see where the space is going, you may have luck with WinDirStat ( Is it possible that one of your SQL databases or transaction logs has grown overly.

If by some chance it is your SQL .ldf file, the recovery model may need adjustment to Simple on the database.
LVL 46

Expert Comment

ID: 33456328
Does the space return back after restart? If not then something is taking backups on your system. Usually this is done by shadow copies of Windows VSS service. It can be activated on each volume. And the space taken by its snapshots saved in $System Information folder.
Look with Windirstart suggested above which folder is growing.
LVL 63

Expert Comment

ID: 33458033
log should be analyzed at
PRTG Network Monitor: Intuitive Network Monitoring

Network Monitoring is essential to ensure that computer systems and network devices are running. Use PRTG to monitor LANs, servers, websites, applications and devices, bandwidth, virtual environments, remote systems, IoT, and many more. PRTG is easy to set up & use.

LVL 63

Expert Comment

ID: 33458071
Do you have any kind of backups running ?

treesize or windirstat may help pinpoint options.
for a hard drive clenaup


Leew, one of the key experts here has some great pointers on creating space in the system drive, perhaps with it you can free up enough space.

I hope this helps !


Author Comment

ID: 33459610
Hello DeadRatRacer,

I just did a search for all files on my drive that was modified within the last 3 days and came up with an interesting conclusion.  You are right that one of my sql log files had been blown out of proportion.

That log file was almost 300 GB when I saw it.  For now I just simply stopped the sql service and deleted that file and its companion dat file from my system and reclaimed the space back of almost 300 GB.

The question I have is could you elaborate more on possible causes that would cause a sql log file to go out of control like this and more about how you might adjust the recovery model of a database to Simple.

Also what could I do to prevent this sort of implosion of a log file from happening to any of my other databases on my local computer server.

Luckily the one that got imploded was a database that wasn't being used much anymore but my other databases are.  I have had mssql 2005 installed on my windows xp pro for a couple years now and even had to reinstall it when reformatting my hard drive once and only recently like as of two weeks or so ago did I notice I was losing free space on my hard disk.  This tells me something went awry two weeks ago that hadn't been a probelm ever before for me.

Thanks again for your help,


Expert Comment

ID: 33459842
SQL Databases have several recovery models and they affect both recoverability in case of problems AND how the log (ldf file) is used.

Long story short, if you are using the Full recovery model, the log fills with every change made since the last 'SQL Aware' backup. This allows you to recover from corrupt DB and the like without losing any data. The problem comes when you are using Full and NOT backing up the DB in a supported way. That is when you see a massive backlog of stuff kept in your transaction log.

MS created the Simple recovery model for that those that do not want/need to do regular backups and only keeps a minimal log that it overwrites as needed. (AKA Circular Logging) Downside is greater possibility of data loss when disaster strikes.

Best: Use Normal Recovery and start backing up SQL on a regular basis (lots of options, I like SQLBackupAndFTP for simplicity) and shrink log once after doing so.

Easiest: Change to Simple Recovery and truncate/shrink log

In SQL studio, right click on the DB, choose properties. One o the options in there is Recovery Model, change that to Simple and save, do a backup if possible then right click on DB again, go to tasks, and attempt to shrink transaction log. That should recover the space, if not there are more aggressive/less recommended ways that can be attempted.

Since you deleted the log, you will likely have problems mounting your MDF back in - if you need to do so you can attach it without a log, I can look up the some info if you end up needing to do so.

Expert Comment

ID: 33459893
One point I forgo to mention is that it *is* possible for Simple Recovery logs to grow massive, but you need to have a one or more stuck/hung/uncommitted SQL transactions that would indicate a logic problem is the app using the database. Restarting would clear that for the most part so  I don;t believe it applies to your situation. TMI? :)

Author Comment

ID: 33461162
no that particular log file won't be a huge loss as it was a database I was developing for a client who sort of aborted the project for a while at least.

The information you shared is sure useful though in regards to this issue rising up again.  I heard so many explanations to hard disk space being lost from restore points, to indexing of hard drive to spyware/malware but nothing in regards to a possible imploated or out of control log file from a sql database server but now I know this is just another tool in my toolbox in regards to troubleshooting this type of issue.

Thanks for all your help,


Author Closing Comment

ID: 33461168
Very helpful, very informative.  Thank You very much for your insight into sql database issue.  I was able to recover all my space back.

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