Windows Legacy OS forum

General discussion

HD churning and filling up

by oiptoner / September 14, 2006 11:51 PM PDT

This WIN98SE machine is operating with an 800 MHz AMD chip. It has had previous problems with freezing up, but we thought we had overcome these issues. Now the HD has been churning frequently and slowing operations to a crawl. I ran an updated version of NAV 5 yesterday and it found nothing. I also ran a current version of SpySweeper 4.5 and it found only a few unimportant cookies. Machine is left on 24/7, but this morning it was frozen and after a normal reboot it began to give a "disk full" warning whenever we tried to enter data into a program. At worst this hard drive should be only 10% full, leading me to believe that some program is replicating itself over and over. I have set NAV to run it's full search for Sundays so it is not running in the background. Ctrl-Alt-Delete comes up showing Explorer at the top of the list. This is a critical machine for us and I need to get it up and operating. Also, we are having troubles with the router this machine is WiFi'ed to so I cannot connect direct to the internet. Can anyone help?

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HD churning and filling up
by Bob__B / September 15, 2006 1:00 AM PDT

I might,
Open my comp...rc the c properties.
That should present a screen that shows used space and free space...could be a clue.

If you feel that used space is more than it should be I might run a pass of scan disc and pay attention to bad sectors.

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No bad sectors
by oiptoner / September 15, 2006 1:52 AM PDT

This machine is used for accounting operations only so does not need a large hard drive. Presently it has a 4 GB HDD which had approx. 1.2 GB used with 2.8 GB free. Now it shows 3.99 GB used with 12 MB free. Is there some way I can identify what has filled up the extra space? Since my modem is working I can hard connect to the internet, but with only 12 MB free I will not be able to download anything nor set up swap files.

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Can be simple.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 15, 2006 1:57 AM PDT
In reply to: No bad sectors

Use the search tool for files created or modified in the past week or time period of your choosing.


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Can be simple
by oiptoner / September 15, 2006 2:26 AM PDT
In reply to: Can be simple.

Thanks Bob. Great idea. A search showed hundreds of C:/WINDOWS/INF/INFBACK being run 08/28/06 while the machines user was on vacation. Each file was about 30 KB, but hundreds of times really adds up. What is this file and what will be the best way to eliminate all the copies? After elimination can I just do a defrag or do I need to do more to return the HDD to its proper state?

As a secondary question, how could this happen? Future prevention is my goal.

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Microsoft writes
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 15, 2006 3:45 AM PDT
In reply to: Can be simple

"INF files in the Windows\Inf\Infback folder are backup copies of the INF files located in your previous version of Window's Windows\Inf folder. Windows 98 Setup preserves these files, but they are not used."

From the knowledge base. Since files in that directory are not used, why keep them?


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OK. But...
by oiptoner / September 15, 2006 4:37 AM PDT
In reply to: Microsoft writes

How do I get rid of them, and prevent them in the future from filling up my HDD?

I have upgraded most machines to XP, but the accounting program on this machine is old DOS based software, and the manufacturer will not guarantee compatibility with XP. Ergo, we are running it under WIN 98.

Thanks for all the help so far. At least the problem is clarified.

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 15, 2006 4:41 AM PDT
In reply to: OK. But...

Find what makes it. We have many posts in the forums for the tools of choice. I only offer that Microsoft noted the directory and then wrote they don't use it. (bizarre or typical MS?)

You're there so it's up to you to get the scans done to find the pests.

As to 98 and old software you are facing the same problem the mainframers did years ago. It's your choice.


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Re: how?
by Kees Bakker / September 15, 2006 5:33 AM PDT
In reply to: OK. But...

How to delete: Explorer, command window, MS-DOS, possibly in autoexec.bat if they keep coming.

How to prevent: to start with, find out what program does it. It might even have been a one-time occurrence, not repeating in the future.

By the way: "not guaranteed to run" isn't the same as "not running in 98 compatibility mode" or "not running". Did you try already?


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No bad sectors
by Bob__B / September 15, 2006 2:48 AM PDT
In reply to: No bad sectors

Well that seems to say that your hd is really full and the problem is not with bad sectors.

You can use Robert's method or W.E. and check the size of each folder....I suspect you will find a the folder and see what's in it...the file names or exts may give a clue as to whether this is an app problem or a malware issue.

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10% of 4gb is not 1.2gb...
by reefurbb / September 15, 2006 10:56 AM PDT
In reply to: No bad sectors

1. what else is listed with ctrl+alt+del?
2. what is listed in msconfig-startup?
3. do you have a firewall?
4. if "wakeup on LAN" is enabled in BIOS(setup), you're 24/7 leaves you open to hack+, even if PC is shut off.
5. Wifi may not be secured, leaving you open.
6. trend micro housecall for stuff all others have missed.
7. "churning" happens when you are on or offline?
8. be aware that deleting a few hundred files may seem to lock up the PC. Just walk away for 20 minutes. ME had this bug about oemxxxx.inf, as much as 27,000 files. It would take an hour to finish.

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by oiptoner / September 16, 2006 12:58 AM PDT

My plan is to use the search command to see if anything new was loaded on the machine just prior to all the replications on the 28th. Then I am going to search for all the "windows/inf/infback" files on the system and delete them. Empty Recycle Bin and do a Defrag. After that I will load Filemon on the system to catch the culprit if it goes haywire again. Any problems with this plan?

I got lots of good help on this one. Thanks.

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Just noting.
by Kees Bakker / September 15, 2006 2:05 AM PDT

"Windows 98" on a "critical machine" some 4 years old giving troubles might be a good reason to spent 500 bucks for a nice new Windows XP machine. That, by the way, doesn't solve the router problems.

After you identify which files have been created (and deleted them) use Filemon (free download) to monitor which program is the culprit.


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