Diary of a computer tinkerer

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Well it could have been malware so I suppose it's almost on topic. Anyway
I'm an antiquated fossil that's been using pcs since the original IBM one so
I've been dragged kicking and screaming into the Windoze age when by
inclination I still hanker after the simplicity of DOS, 20mb hard disks and
Peter Norton's wonderful book on the IBM PC which taught me pretty much
everything I know about what goes on under the hood. I still use Ztree to do
file and disk management stuff although I can manage with Explorer at a

A fair chunk of the last few weeks has been taken up with getting rid of
Vundo and a couple of other malicious nasties which infested my system and
I'd been looking forward to a reasonable period of not actually having to
tinker with the bloody thing and just being able to use it. No bloody chance
of course. If there's one thing you can never have enough of it's hard disk
space. My 250 gb disk is partitioned into a 10 gb C drive for the software
and a 240 gb D drive for the other stuff, mainly downloaded tv progs and
movies. The trouble is I can download stuff a lot faster than I can watch it
so I'm always running out of space. In moments of desperation I move things
to the C drive if there's any room left on that and so it went over the
weekend until the C drive was full as well and windows started giving me
hard disk space warning messages. I fired up Ztree to see what I could get
rid of.

First things to go were a bunch of downloaded utilities and programs which I
keep in a special directory in case I ever need the installation files again
but I could always just delete them and redownload them if necessary. Out
went old versions of Emule, some antimalware progs, the BIOS flash utility
for a pc which I don't even have anymore and a movie which I haven't watched
yet after several months and probably never will. Then I noticed it. The
free space being reported by Ztree wasn't going up even though hundreds of
mb of files were being deleted from the disk. Being somewhat brighter than
the average bear I registered this mentally as 'unusual'.

Nip out of Ztree into Explorer and check the free space that's reporting on
the C drive. Drat, same figure. Hmmmm. Scratch head, sip whisky, scratch
head - PING. Light bulb goes on in the ancient cranium. Even though it's set
to be off maybe the recycle bin is saving the files for some odd reason.
Fire up the recycle bin and nothing, nada, empty as an empty thing. Drat,
more whisky, more head scratching.

If this were an old Dos pc my first guess would be lost clusters in the File
Allocation Table. Quite what NTFS does by comparison I'm not sure but it's
worth a look. Fire up a command prompt and see if XP still has Chkdsk
lurking in it somewhere. Yep and she's off and running. Problems in the
Master File Table

Re: Diary of a computer tinkerer

On Wed, 04 Feb 2009 12:49:38 +0000, Dave Baker wrote:

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* * *

Ztree, that takes me back more than a few years when a friend I worked
with depended upon that program...

Win2k was his favorite operating system, and mIRC was his playground...

Thanks for the memories, I had not thought of them days in a long while...

JR the postman

Re: Diary of a computer tinkerer

Postman Delivers wrote:
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If my post seemed somewhat abruptly curtailed it's because it wasn't
finished. I saved what I'd written so far as "send later" thinking that
would do something sensible like keep it until I was ready or at least
prompt me each time I signed on like AOL does for unsent mail but no, it
sent the bloody thing by itself next time I fired up OE. I suppose I should
write the second half but I've probably already bored everyone witless with
the first half.
Dave Baker

Re: Diary of a computer tinkerer

"Dave Baker" wrote:

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Please post it.

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