Help: Disappearing Disk Space - is this a virus?

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Hi, I'm using XP Home with SP2.  

A couple of days ago, when I looked at the properties of my C:
drive, it said the disk had used approx 55GB with 19GB left.  The Defrag
utility said the same.   However, when I looked at all the space used in
all the directories on C: (hidden and systems files and directories are
made visible) I appeared only to have used about 25GB, which
was actually more like what I thought I'm using.  

After doing various virus and malware scans (nothing showing up) I
eventually reinstalled Norton Internet Security (had uninstalled a
couple of months ago and was using Zonealarm and CA eTrust AV).  At this
point, magically, C:'s disk properties now corresponded approximately to
the sum of the directories' space and I thought the problem was solved.

But ... now every time I boot up, the system takes a long time to settle
down (I know NIS adds some boot-up time but this is longer than I'd
expect) and if I look at the properties of C:, I find that the disk's
used space is around 0.5 - 1.0 GB more than before.  The space will stay
about the same for the whole session (many hours at least) but the next
time I boot up, the same thing happens - the space used by disk C has
increased again by 0.5 to 1.0 GB.  However, the total size of the
directories is still about 25GB and the Treesize utility, for example,
confirms this.

Do I have some sort of virus I can't detect?  HELP Appreciated!

Re: Disappearing Disk Space - is this a virus?

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When you say "the sum of the directories", and you including the files in
the root of the C: drive? By default, Windows installs its swap file in the
root of C:

Re: Disappearing Disk Space - is this a virus?

ABC said ...
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Yes - I'm including hiberfil and pagefile.  These are 600 - 700MB each.

Re: Help: Disappearing Disk Space - is this a virus?

On that special day, Sam, ( said...

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Did you change the settings in your explorer, to have it display hidden
and system folders, too?

Check your system with

maybe it shows more than visible directories.

Gabriele Neukam

Ah, Information. A property, too valuable these days, to give it away,
just so, at no cost.

Re: Help: Disappearing Disk Space - is this a virus?

Sam said ...
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Some further information.  Firstly, I am including hiberfil and pagefile
in this equation.  These are around 600 - 700 MB each.
Secondly, I've now switched off system restore and the problem has gone
away - that is, on re-boot, not extra space is lost.  However, when I
re-enable system restore, the old problem returns and each time I
reboot, I lose (i.e. have used up) around 1GB more of disk space.  I
also tried to restore to the restore point set when I re-enabled system
restore and it failed to be able to restore.

My question - is there something up with system restore and how can I,
perhaps, reinstall or repair system restore?  Have I got some sort of
virus which is not being detected by the various virus checkers I have
used recently (online checkers, NAV and CA eTrust AV).

Re: Help: Disappearing Disk Space - is this a virus?

Sam wrote:
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well, that's telling... it sounds like it's system restore that is using
up the space...

you wouldn't normally be able to see what was taking up all the space
used up by your restore points in windows xp because you wouldn't
normally have access to the folder (even as administrator) where they're

restore points are also normally made each day and each time something
is installed - which are the major reasons people would reboot...

now, i'm not sure each restore point is 1GB or why you failed to be able
to restore to a restore point, but the fact that the space problem only
pops up when system restore is enabled seems to indicate the system
restore is the culprit...

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that i don't know... have you tried looking at this faq ? it
has troubleshooting information in it that might be able to help you...

"they threw a rope around yer neck to watch you dance the jig of death
then left ya for the starvin' crows, hoverin' like hungry whores
one flew down plucked out yer eye, the other he had in his sights
ya snarled at him, said leave me be - i need the bugger so i can see"

Re: Help: Disappearing Disk Space - is this a virus?

kurt wismer said ...
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Thanks.  I've just reactivated system restore.  It createed an immediate
restore point.  I added my own restore point as a test.  I re-booted and
again about 0.6GB was added to the disk spaced used, but no extra
restore point was added - there were just the two.  I turned off system
restore and my disk space usage returned to normal.

I looked in the faq but couldn't see anything to help me there, I'm
afraid.  Someone must have an answer to this or am I going to have to
reinstall windows?!

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