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Vista Hard Drive space disappearing

(34 posts)
  • Started 8 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 8 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 8 years ago
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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 8 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 8 years ago
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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 8 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 8 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

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

Posted 8 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 8 years ago
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Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

Um...CybrGuy. Do you have SP1?

Posted 8 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 8 years ago
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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 8 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 8 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 8 years ago
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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 8 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 8 years ago
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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 8 years ago
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CybrGuy
Posts: 12

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

Posted 8 years ago
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Scott
Posts: 5618

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

Posted 8 years ago
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CybrGuy
Posts: 12

Yup. No joy. :(

Posted 8 years ago
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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 8 years ago
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irish2u
Posts: 1

Please when using Terms please be more dtailed for people who haven't a clue what one is talking, Like "WinDirStat" one doen't mention it might be a software their using to get the info. it saves people the time and puts everything in Laymens terms, Straight ,short and to the point, show your work and explain Visual is GREAT showing step by step, some people are VRY hands on then readin and comprehending things...Every one wants to learn and Vista is VERY confusing and Im one of these people...I had found when Buying a NEW m8300F Multi Media that their was 188gb being used and it had to do with something with the TV tuner recording programs and yes the store was at fault, but even calling HP has been a nightmare..So hats all who undersatnd and tak the time to share, Happy Fathers day to all, Peace

Posted 8 years ago
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CybrGuy
Posts: 12

Nope, I already ran that as it specifically includes a reference to the error message I am getting. It ran successfully but made no difference.

Incidentally, WU is failing with the same error as SP1 (0x8007370D), but I noticed that one of the times I ran WU it DID install other recent updates (kb940510, kb890930, and kb947821 [which is the tool in question and shows twice in the list]) yet still failed. I'm guessing that the ONLY update it isn't installing is SP1.

Posted 8 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

@CybrGuy, Did you at least get to download the SP1? If yes, you should try the installation in "safe boot mode" - that is, disable all processes (except the MS processes) and all start ups with msconfig.
@irish, I don't think that Vista is more confusing than any other operating system. If there is terminology you do not understand, I suggest you Google the expression. In most cases you can find either a Wikipedia entry or a program home page that will explain it. Try "WinDirStat" - they have a pretty clearly defined home page.

Posted 8 years ago
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Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

@irish2u. We tend to explain things at the level of the people we are explaining to.
So. To an absolute novice, we are quite happy to explain things in an easier way, and give click by click instructions on how to do things.
But, this can take a lot longer (all that extra typing). We are always happy to explain something if you don't understand it :)

Posted 8 years ago
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CybrGuy
Posts: 12

"@CybrGuy, Did you at least get to download the SP1? If yes, you should try the installation in "safe boot mode" - that is, disable all processes (except the MS processes) and all start ups with msconfig."

Yes, I have the 434MB SP1 update on my desktop. By "safe boot mode" do you mean something other than safe mode which one gets to by hitting f8 during a normal boot? If not, then I have already tried installing SP1 in safe mode, and I get the same 0x8007370D error.

I chose "safe mode with networking" in case that makes any difference.

Posted 8 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

Safe boot mode is somewhat different to safe mode. You call MSCONFIG, go to Services, hide the MSservices (little checkbox bottom left) and disable the rest (all). Then you go to Start ups and disable all. But if you had no luck with safe mode, that might not get you any further either. But, of course, it does not hurt to try. Did you check the "Problem Reports" in Problem Reports and Solution whether you can get a clue from there? Your problem is very strange. A few people seem to have the same error, but I have not yet seen any good proposal on how to get around it.

Posted 8 years ago
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CybrGuy
Posts: 12

I'm gonna give MS a shot at fixing it. I think they offer sp1 support for free.

Posted 8 years ago
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Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

They do

Posted 8 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

Here is the website with the references https://support.microsoft.com/oas/default.aspx?ln=en-us&x=8&y=7&prid=11274&gprid=500921 I found the chat support guys to be very helpful.

Posted 8 years ago
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CybrGuy
Posts: 12

I meant to get back here earlier. While MS's Indian contractees made a valiant attempt to solve the problem, they were unsuccessful. I actually spoke with them for a total of over 6 hours, 4 in one call, but the problem was never resolved. I subsequently decided to wipe the drive and reinstall and found that Vista refused to install on the hardware. After several attempts I determined that there was a hardware fault somewhere in the system, and the economy of making further attempts was bankrupt. After 20 or more hours into the system, I billed the client for 3 and suggested they replace the box, which they did. They now have a new Dell with XP and are quite happy...

Posted 8 years ago
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GaardCeteru
Posts: 148

Shocking! O__O How can you possibly not be able to format and reinstall OS into the drive?! *drops jaw* Sounds like something really serious was wrong with the hardware *faints*

Posted 8 years ago
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adeelshahid
Posts: 1

I recovered 5 GB of space just by using the Shadow Copy deletion procedure.

Posted 8 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

Deleting shadow copies frees the shadowstorage only temporarily. As new shadows are being written each day. it will be repopulated. You can reduce the shadowstorage permanently with( vssadmin Resize ShadowStorage /For=C: /On=C: /MaxSize=xGB ), but I would not recommend that. The shadows are very useful the day you need to reset your system to an earlier date.

Posted 8 years ago
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dj89706
Posts: 17

im haveing the same problem ive lost over 10GB in one hour....im one of those rookies at this stuff and cant figure it out.i have no pics or vidio or anything stored and deleted everything i could but every time i make more space it fills itsself back up.any help would be awsome

Posted 8 years ago
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