PC stalls when doing disk clean-up...

By schizoid77 ยท 12 replies
Mar 26, 2003
  1. Hey. I'm very new to all this so bear with me. I have XP home edition, I think, and tried to doing a disk clean-up under system utilities. The dialogue box comes up saying it's scanning hard drive/compressing old files....well, the problem is, it's been like that for more than 12 hours now? I've done it before and it took less than 30 minutes for it to complete...and now it's stalling. Any suggestions?
    I've rebooted and tried several times....goes back to the same screen and sits there.
    I'm running an HP 2.26 Pentium 4 with 768MB PC2100 ram, btw.

    Much appreciated if someone can help....
  2. schizoid77

    schizoid77 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 113

    Thanks peeps, I truly appreciate all the help :eek:)
  3. RustyZip

    RustyZip TechSpot Paladin Posts: 322

    Have you tried checking for errors on the drive ?? You should do so before doing any disk clean up...
  4. schizoid77

    schizoid77 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 113

    thanks, but allow me to stroll down the ***** lane a little more and ask, "How do I check errors on the drive?" Is that what my virus scan does?
    Much appreciated yo

    This is the first problem I've ran into since I bought the damn thing a year ago or so!!
  5. negroplasty

    negroplasty TS Guru Posts: 516   +12

    Try doing a defragmentation of your main hard drive. Basically, Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools and Disk Defragmenter. Once the window opens up, hit the defragment button; but be warned, this process can take a long time depending on the size of your hard drive, it will also slow down your computer a lot whilst running so make sure you don't have any important programs or unsaved work running in the background. After it has finished, do a restart and see if you can run Disk Cleanup without freezing. Luck to you :grinthumb !
  6. schizoid77

    schizoid77 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 113

    Thanks man, but I tried that already...defragged...rebooted...shut down all tasks...started the disk clean up procedure...then......nothin...goes to same status as it was before and stays there all day. Scanning hard drive/compress old files for enternity....
    I left it on all day, so when I get home, the fury will unfold!
  7. RustyZip

    RustyZip TechSpot Paladin Posts: 322

    To "error-check" a drive, double-click on My Computer, right click on your hard drve, click properties, then click on the tools tab, and click "check now"... Make sure you tick the option "scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors"....

    If you have a better utility you can use, like Norton Utilities or similar... Use that instead, probably be more thorough and quicker...
    Hope this helps...
  8. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    How large is you hard drive?
    How much free space do you have?
    When you run the clean up utility, does your hard drive activity lamp (on the front of the case) flash, or does it not come on at all, or does it stay permanently lit, does the progress bar change?
  9. schizoid77

    schizoid77 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 113

    I have an 80 gig hard drive with about 49 gigs free. The activity lamp blinks for about 30 seconds and then goes out for good. The status bar shows 3 little boxes and doesn't move past that. The status still says Scanning/Compress Old Files, or something similar.
    I did the error check on the hard drive as suggested...rebooted several times, did a virus scan, I defragged. And I am still getting the freeze-up when trying the disk clean up.
    Oh yeah, and after I hit cancel...I checked the task manager and it shows cleanmgr.exe taking 98-99% CPU.

    I left it like this for more than 12 hours thinking maybe it just took a while...but I don't think that's the case here.
  10. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    Going by the symptoms you provide, it does appear that the clean up utility is not working. You may have damaged system files, or another application is preventing it from running correctly.

    Try the following to repair any damaged system files ...

    1. Go to the 'start' menu and select the 'run' command.
    2. Type 'sfc /scannow' to start the system file checker (you'll need your windows cd).

    See if this solves the problem. If it doesn't, then you can try disabling any other running applications (e.g. virus scanner, etc.) that are showing in the system tray. Finally, it may also be worth your while to reinstall windows (select 'upgrade' option when asked). This shouldn't affect your current settings or applications.
  11. schizoid77

    schizoid77 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 113

    Well what exactly does a disk clean up do? Is there software I can buy that will do it just the same/better? Any suggestions?
    Did someone say Norton Utilities?

    Thanks for the help peeps :)

    I've been surfing these forums for about 6 months now and this would be my first post. The site is awesome btw.
  12. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    Personaly, I never use disk clean as I manually get rid of files that I don't need anymore.

    Disk Cleanup frees up space on your hard disk by removing temporary Internet files, removing installed components and programs that you no longer use, and emptying the Recycle Bin.

    As you have 49GB of space free, then you're wasting your time with this utility. You can always get rid of temporary internet files through control panel > internet options, and you can also manually delete temporary files from the windows temp directory. Also, if you temporarily disable system restore, and then re-enable it, you will free up a considerable amount of space. The disk clean utility is useful for those users that do not like getting their hands dirty and fiddling with windows manually. For me, its a waste of space. I don't like the fact that it offers to remove programs that I no longer, but may wish to use later.
  13. schizoid77

    schizoid77 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 113

    Hey, you're right...I do all that other stuff manually already so this IS a waste of my time. Thanks for the schooling!
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