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Vista Hard Drive space disappearing

(34 posts)
  • Started 6 years ago by CybrGuy
  • Latest reply from dj89706
  • Topic Viewed 51595 times

CybrGuy
Posts: 12

I have a Vista HomePremium box here that has been exhibiting very strange behavior. All of it's free hard drive space has been disappearing. It has a 200 GB drive that was only 1/4 full, and starting a month or so ago it began filling up rapidly.

Recently I went to install something and found that the hard drive was completely full. I deleted about a gig of data, and found that that space was GONE in only a few minutes.

When I fired up WinDirStat, I found that the report queue in Windows/WER was taking up 171 GB!!! 99% of those files were created since the middle of last month.

I'm looking for an explanation of why this is happening and how to stop it. I can copy some of the log file info here if necessary, but the fact that they are being created so quickly and taking up so much space is just outrageous. Although I am fluent in XP, Vista is kinda new to me. Has anyone seen this before? Any ideas?

Posted 6 years ago
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mika7367
Posts: 31

Yeh,had the same problem but it turns out Vista not only stores restore points but also makes shadow copies of the hdd as well,so every now and then it makes a copy image of your hdd and saves it to your hdd.Therfore you end up with anything up to 3-4 complete backup images on your hdd???.Stupid I know.Try this:-
Control Panel/Performance Information and Tools/Open Disk Cleanup
Click on files from all users
on the task bar you will see Disk Cleanup for (C:),click on it
when it opens up the window click on "More Options"
Click on System Restore and Shadow Copies
click cleanup
click delete and then ok then delete files.

I do this once a week just to keep my kit running,LOL!.

Posted 6 years ago
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jd2066
jd2066
Posts: 3814

I don't think this is a shadow copy problem. There is a limit to how much space a shadow copy can take which certainly shouldn't be more then 50% of the drive.
Not to mention it would be unrelated to the WER report queue which seems to be taking most of the space.
I'm not sure what would case reports to take that much space.
My only guess would be the error reports are storing a copy of RAM at the time the error happened and with 1GB or 2GB or RAM that could add up quite a bit with many error reports. No idea how that many error reports could be made in such short time though.

Posted 6 years ago
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mika7367
Posts: 31

@jd2066.I'm starting to think along the same lines as your previous post unless CybrGuy has a major malware/virus problem.????.

Posted 6 years ago
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whs
whs
Posts: 17584

Mika, Since you posted your "shadow storage" story here too, I repeat my answer from the other thread:
I think you are confusing things. "Restore points" and "Shadow Copies" in Vista is the same thing. When Vista creates a restore point, it writes a shadow into shadowstorage. These are typically 1GB per shadow and are written once a day and whenever a program or update is being downloaded. The size of the shadowstorage is 15% of your OS disk - and it is limited to that. When the shadowstorage is full, Vista starts overwriting old shadows starting with the earliest. Vista also never writes "full disk images" a la Norton Ghost. It writes deltas of the changes in the system - and as said above, those are typically +/- 1GB. Cleaning up the shadowstorage cannot cure the posters problem. There must be something else wrong

Posted 6 years ago
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mika7367
Posts: 31

@whs I stand corrected,you are right,however a lot of the info I got was from Microsoft Forums (maybe I shouldn't believe everything I read).Thanks again.

Posted 6 years ago
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whs
whs
Posts: 17584

No problem. We all get ourselves misguided at times. But that's what we are together for: Learning by doing.

Posted 6 years ago
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CybrGuy
Posts: 12

Thanks, Guys. As it turns out, while the problem appears unrelated to shadow copying, mika did point me to the right spot to relieve the primary symptom of the problem. Disk Cleanup in Vista DOES have the option to include (or rather remove) "System queued Windows Error Reporting" so that allows me to clear the disk space problem. However, after about 8 hours, that queue is back up to nearly 9 GB of error reports, so I need to find what is generating the errors.

I wonder if there is a setting somewhere that toggles between regular error reporting and verbose reporting, where I may have the latter enabled?

Posted 6 years ago
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Lighthouse
Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

Um...CybrGuy. Do you have SP1?

Posted 6 years ago
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CybrGuy
Posts: 12

Yes

And the queue now says it is 32 GB, tho I can't see that when I go to look at it... :(

Posted 6 years ago
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whs
whs
Posts: 17584

Did you try to stop the error reporting?

1. Type PROBLEM into the Start search and open "Problem Reports and Solutions".
2. In the left pane, click Change settings.
3. Click Advanced Settings and set problem reporting "off" - or:
4. In the Block list, under "Don't send information about the following programs", click Add, and then find and select the programs for which you want to stop reporting problems.
5. Click OK.

Posted 6 years ago
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CybrGuy
Posts: 12

Thank you. Now at least I can keep the reports from filling the hard drive. I'm concerned about the report generation as well, but for now this lets the user continue to use the box.

I just noticed that windows update isn't working properly, and that is probably part of the error generation.

Posted 6 years ago
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CybrGuy
Posts: 12

Well, after shutting down the error reporting, I just went back and checked and the queued WER is up to 4.57 GB already. Dunno why, but even the symptom doesn't seem to be handled...

Posted 6 years ago
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whs
whs
Posts: 17584

This is really strange. Something went haywire. Can't you reset to a safe recovery point? There is probably none from before your SP1 upgrade, but with a 200GB hard drive you should have at least a months worth of recovery points (if the SP1 is older than that).

Posted 6 years ago
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CybrGuy
Posts: 12

OK, well I made a significant mistake up thread. Lighthouse asked if I had SP1 on this computer and I looked in update history and saw SP1 and said yes. On closer inspection it appears that I saw Office SP1 listed and mistook it for Vista. Sorry.

So here is the deal. I am unable to install SP1 as it fails with the same (8007370D) error I get when trying to do a regular Windows update. This is a scratch built box and it does have SigmaTel sound, but it does have drivers from April 2008 so that shouldn't be stopping the updates.

And there are no restore points (before yesterday) on the system as SR was turned off when the drive filled up with the error reports.

My first problem now is getting WU to work and getting SP1 installed over this 8007370D error. Your help is appreciated.

Posted 6 years ago
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Scott
Scott
Posts: 5618

Just disable the audio drivers in Device Manager and see if you actually can download SP1. It's what worked for me.

Posted 6 years ago
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CybrGuy
Posts: 12

Disabling the audio drivers has no effect. Same error message.

Posted 6 years ago
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Scott
Scott
Posts: 5618

Darn. Have you tried the SP1 standalone version?
(I understand this may not resolve the underlying issue)

Posted 6 years ago
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CybrGuy
Posts: 12

Yup. No joy. :(

Posted 6 years ago
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whs
whs
Posts: 17584

I suggest you run the SP1 Readiness Tool first. http://www.microsoft.com/downl.....laylang=en That will correct any missing prerequisites etc. Then I would download the SP1 from here http://www.microsoft.com/downl.....laylang=en and SAVE it in e.g.DOWNLOADS - not RUN it. Then you can install it from DOWNLOADS (simple double click). Should you have e.g. a troublesome audio driver, the SP1 install will throw it out and you can just get a new one after the SP1 installation.

Posted 6 years ago
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