TechSpot

Gradual free space loss???

By Darminato
Sep 14, 2002
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  1. Whenever I start my machine up, my computer says that I have about 5.4 gigs of free space and gradually over time, I lose space to nothing at about 10mbs every 10 seconds or so. And when I restart my machine, all the space is back. I've recently converted my files from FAT32 to NTFS and then I noticed the problem.

    The only programs that are loaded during bootup that I notice are Norton AntiVirus and AOL instant Messenger.

    If anyone can think of any possible reasons as to why this is happening, I would be glad to check it out and see if it fixes the problem.

    I'm running Windows XP with service pack 1.
  2. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,304   +52 Staff Member

    The most likely culprit is your virtual memory / swap file / page file... Whatever you would like to call it.

    Since you convered to NTFS, I will assume you have Windows 2000 or Windows XP. This means your pagefile can be found in C:\pagefile.sys. You will have to enable "show hidden files" and "show system files".

    Check to see if it is increasing/decreasing in file size. This activity is normal and it will continue to grow larger as you open more applications. Once you close those applications, it will still remain the same size until you restart your system. When Windows starts up the next time around, it creates a fresh copy of pagefile.sys which should be the default size Windows specifies... Then it continue to grows as memory usage becomes more heavy.

    It is generally recommended to have a set size for your pagefile larger than what you typically need. Depending on how much RAM you have, you may want to try a larger value since this reduces fragmentation and may improve speed slightly.

    If you have any questions on how to adjust hidden file settings, adjusting your pagefile size or need more info on the pagefile, feel free to ask. You can fine plenty of info at the microsoft knowledge base about these things as well. (Check out my signature).
  3. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 6,504   +6

    The only time I saw something like this was fixed by this:

    Right click my computer, properties, system restore, make sure that "turn off system restore on all drives" reboot.
  4. RustyZip

    RustyZip TechSpot Paladin Posts: 418

    I think Phantasm66 is on the right track...

    I had the same problem at work with Windows Millenium (crap)...

    I noticed the hard drive was over time getting full-up with system files, that i thought were made by System Restore.

    The way i corrected it was to turn off System Restore, re-booted into DOS, deleted the files that System Restore made, and Hey-Presto. Everything was fine afterwards..

    Hope that helps...
  5. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,871

    I wouldn't recommend turning off System Restore, just limit it to a smaller size, just enought for one or two points. System Restore can be a handy feature when updates or installs go bad.

    Sounds like the most likely cause is the pagefile though, you say it is all back when you reboot, System restore is going to hold most of that space all the time, dropping and adding points all along unless it is limited in size,

    the pagefile will just keep building until you reboot, when it is supposed to clear. If you set a max and min size for the pagefile it will stop doind that. I would recommend setting the maximum and minimum 1.5x physical RAM but not to exceed 350MB, If possible give it its own partition, this will keep it from becoming fragmented.
  6. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,304   +52 Staff Member

    I don't think it would be system restore because he gets his space back after reboot... System restore files should stay there. You may want to check that out all the same though.
  7. Darminato

    Darminato TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    I've checked out the system restore options, and I have it set to 1%. I tried turning it off and rebooting, but that didn't work either, so I turned it back on.

    I also checked the page file, which was actually my first guess. I have it locked down at 768mb, so there's no file expanding.
  8. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,916   +9

  9. drunk_donkey

    drunk_donkey TS Rookie

    Memory Loss driving me crazy

    I have been loosing 1 gb of memory each day. I have tried removing junk files and chkdsk but nothing is working. I started with 48gb and now I'm at 19! Does anyone have any idea how to fix this. PLEASE HELP!
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