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Tech journalist since the dark ages. Windows Secrets, LangaList newsletter, Windows Magazine (NetGuide, Home PC), Byte, Popular Computing, yadda yadda yadda. Google me, if it matters.

This feed is mostly personal interest; it's NOT my professional writing. There's tech here, yes, but also lots of general science and some politics and weird humor thrown in.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Lost: 300 gigabytes of drive space!

Most Windows and PC troubles fit into patterns, but every once in a while a truly weird, never-before-seen problem crops up.

Reader John Willoughby titled his e-mail "A very unusual problem." He wasn't kidding.

"My desktop PC, which has two 360GB drives, began to slow down a few days ago, so much so that it seemed like it was going to seize up. 300GBs of drive space had been swallowed up, and I have no idea how. A search showed that, in one day, hundreds of 1GB temp files had been set up. I deleted these and got most of the lost drive space back. I have no idea how or why those files were created. I'd appreciate any suggestions."
That's the opening item in my weekly WindowsSecrets column this week; we run through what might cause 300 one-gigabyte mystery files to show up within a short time; and look at how to prevent it from happening again.

Other items this week:

  • How to get your startup programs placed in their optimal load order
  • Quieting down a noisy laptop
  • The case of missing the RAM (when 4GB turns into 2.87GB...)
Full issue contents:

Free content posted on Aug. 19, 2010:

Paid content (cheap! <g>):

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