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Problems with Disk Cleanup

by bee / September 17, 2004 10:43 PM PDT

Lately over the last few days, everytime i try to do a disk cleanup on my PC (Windows XP), it starts up, shows a few green squares and says its compressing files and then freezes and crashes Sad It used to do this sometimes when i tried to do a cleanup after the computer had been on for a while so i used to do it as soon as i switched the PC on instead and it would be okay but its not even letting me do that now :S

Anyone got any ideas why this might be happening and how i might try and fix it? Thanks.

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Re: Problems with Disk Cleanup = Shouldn't crash.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 17, 2004 10:50 PM PDT

If it crashes, that's a sign that you will have other issues soon.

I do expect it to take hours on some machines during that step. Most of us will remove the compress old files from the disk cleanup.

Here's how -> http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=812248

Sadly, this article is badly written but will likely fix your complaint.

Bob

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Re: Problems with Disk Cleanup = Shouldn't crash.
by bee / September 17, 2004 11:03 PM PDT

Thanks for replying Happy Is modifying the registry something i should attempt to do seeing as i know very little about this side of things when it comes to PCs? I wouldnt even know how to go about backing up the registry! Sad

"Use Registry Editor at your own risk."

sounds a bit worrying :S How come it was always working but is not now all of a sudden? Would i just follow the instructions on that article or do i need to do the backing up? Not very good at this stuff Sad

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Re: Problems with Disk Cleanup = Shouldn't crash.
by Mark5019 / September 17, 2004 11:24 PM PDT

back it up if you can read which you seem to be able to its easy just read it dont rush

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For me... I just delete the key noted.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 17, 2004 11:38 PM PDT

Since no one I know wants to re-enable the feature, I just delete the key.

As to the warning... you will read that passage on each page that mention registry editing. It's a stock passage.

Bob

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Re: For me... I just delete the key noted.
by bee / September 17, 2004 11:42 PM PDT

Once i delete the key, does it mean that it wont be able to compress the old files like it did before? It used to free up a few MBs every time, is this not necessary then?

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Re: For me... I just delete the key noted.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 17, 2004 11:47 PM PDT

"Once i delete the key, does it mean that it wont be able to compress the old files like it did before? It used to free up a few MBs every time, is this not necessary then?"

Your choice. Leave the key and wait for the compress old files to finish. On some machines it takes hours. As such, it's not very useful.

YOUR CHOICE!

You never revealed if it's a crash since some define crash as the machine doesn't appear to do much for a minute.

In closing, in explorer the right click may offer a "compress" option if all the stars are in the right order.

Bob

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Re: For me... I just delete the key noted.
by bee / September 17, 2004 11:53 PM PDT

By crash i meant that it freezes and then switches off or freezes and i cant do anything (even ctrl, alt & del) so i have to use the main off switch.

Thanks for all the replies, i will give deleting the key a go Happy

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That crash is a sign your machine needs help.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 18, 2004 12:04 AM PDT

Here's why. When the file compression runs, the CPU may warm up and may lock up solid.

It may be time to pull the case cover and remove the dust bunnies.

Bob

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Re: That crash is a sign your machine needs help.
by bee / September 18, 2004 12:09 AM PDT

I hard a feeling it might be something to do with being too warm as it always used to crash after i had been on for a while and attempted a cleanup Sad

Wow, open up the case? Would someone like me doing that be safe?

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Safe for most.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 18, 2004 12:14 AM PDT

Dust bunnies don't usually bite. I have seen them run away.

Bob

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Re: Safe for most.
by bee / September 18, 2004 12:20 AM PDT
In reply to: Safe for most.

Lol! Well my friend is also saying i should give it a go and im just reading about opening up the case etc so maybe i will try it.

Thanks very much for your time Happy

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Re: That crash is a sign your machine needs help.
by bee / September 18, 2004 1:40 AM PDT

Well ive just removed the dust from inside and tried the cleanup but its still crashing :(, will have to delete the key like you mentioned i guess.

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Is the CPU COOLING FAN ....
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 18, 2004 1:44 AM PDT

Running, and not clogged?

Bob

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Re: Is the CPU COOLING FAN ....
by bee / September 18, 2004 3:30 AM PDT

Yeah it is as far as i can tell. I blew into the fan and it was going round fine no problems; i blew out the dust as well.

Dont know if this is strange or not, but i just tried from a guest account to do a clean-up and it worked fine. I know there are hardly any files on that account but i am only using about 4.6GBs so should it really make that much of a difference do you think?

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There is an issue... fairly rare.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 18, 2004 3:58 AM PDT

I found that Microsoft didn't handle deep subdirectory paths well or corrupt (to Microsoft) zip and other files and disk cleanup and other tools would behave oddly or stop responding. I did not experience a lock-up or reboot.

It's important to define what a freeze, lockup, pause, nonresponsive and so on because each type of behavior points to different areas to troubleshoot.

Your test of the guest account has me no longer suspecting a heat issue, but the odd issue I encountered years ago when XP first showed up before SP1.

To test for this issue which I've yet to find any article about, I explore My Computer and click on drive C: Then I right-click-properties). I check or uncheck the Index checkbox and click apply. Another box pops up and I allow it to apply to subfolders. Grab some paper to take notes if the procedure finds something while we wait.

If there is a file/folder that Windows can't deal with, then this will stop on the errant folder. How you deal with this folder is up to you.

Your choice to leave the checkmark in the allow indexing box, but I leave mine unchecked.

Bob

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Re: There is an issue... fairly rare.
by bee / September 18, 2004 4:24 AM PDT

Did that and this is what i got:

An error occurred applying attributes to the file C:\WINDOWS\$NtUninstallQ308...\autolfn.exe

Access is denied.

I cancelled, should i have ignored instead and let it go on?

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Re: Problems with Disk Cleanup - Similar problem
by jdorisco / September 18, 2004 3:09 PM PDT

Operating System: Windows XP Home Edition, Processor Speed: 1.4 GHz, Processor Type: Intel Pentium 4, RAM: 256MB, RAM Technology: PC133 SDRAM, Hard Drive Capacity: 20.0GB, Graphics Support Integration: NVidia Riva TNT2 M64 32mb AGP4X, Installed Graphics Memory: 32MB, Video Bus: AGP 4X, Bus Speed: 400 mhz, Modem Speed: 56.6kbps, Via Rev 5 or later USB Universal Host Controller,
I.E. version: 6.0.2800.1106.xpsp2.030422-1633
------------------------------------------------------
When running the Disk Cleanup Utility on my machine, I find that after checking the necessary boxes, it simply will not clean-up the following files: Web Client/Publisher Temporary Files and Compress Old Files. I know how to find and remove these keys from the registry volumecache, but I?m unclear as to the effect this will have, on the subsequent caching of these types of files. My desire is to free-up a little disk space, not to permanently? delete these file caching functions.

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NOT Similar problem
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 18, 2004 9:19 PM PDT

You should have made your own post, but in short, Disk Cleanup only cleans some specific areas.

My suggestion is that you make a fresh post with more detail rather than adding it to a thread which is not the same issue and is quite long.

Be sure to post in the XP FORUM as well.

Bob

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(NT) (NT) Thanks Bob - I'll do both.
by jdorisco / September 19, 2004 11:10 AM PDT
In reply to: NOT Similar problem
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That's your "ada!"
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 18, 2004 4:40 AM PDT

" Did that and this is what i got:

An error occurred applying attributes to the file C:\WINDOWS\$NtUninstallQ308...\autolfn.exe

Access is denied.

I cancelled, should i have ignored instead and let it go on?"

The account you did the disk cleanup with... may not have permissions and as such fails. This would have worked on my machine since... my account is in the administrative group.

Bob

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(NT) (NT) Typo. I meant "AHA!"
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 18, 2004 4:40 AM PDT
In reply to: That's your "ada!"
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Re: That's your "ada!"
by bee / September 18, 2004 4:54 AM PDT
In reply to: That's your "ada!"

But I am the administrator on my PC too. Very confused now Sad

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Re: Problems with Disk Cleanup
by Joan / September 18, 2004 4:58 AM PDT

I had the same problem and typed in the info on Google. I got a page back that showed me a very simple configuration change. It has worked ever since.
jk

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Re: Problems with Disk Cleanup
by bee / September 18, 2004 4:59 AM PDT

Hi Joan. That sounds promising! What did you put into google?

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Can i try this??
by bee / September 18, 2004 5:05 AM PDT
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We covered that.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 18, 2004 5:21 AM PDT
In reply to: Can i try this??

The issue we have now is one of permissions or ownership of said files. An idea that confounds many is that even the administrator doesn't "own" or "have permission" to some files unless... it is granted.

The file that's tripping up the compress old files was likely found with the method I noted and your choice as what to do about it.

For me, if it's in some TEMP directory, I just delete it.

Bob

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Thank you
by bee / September 18, 2004 8:42 AM PDT
In reply to: We covered that.

Thank you so much for your time and patience with me Bob. I deleted the temp files manually from start>run and then went to do the clean-up and it worked!! Happy Cant believe it was something so little causing such a big problem lol!

Thanks again Happy

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Bee, your payment will be...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 18, 2004 10:12 AM PDT
In reply to: Thank you

To remember this little issue and share the knowledge if someone else appears to have the same issue.

And thank you for being so helpful by following the instructions I provided. You helped me help you find it.

I only wish there was an article desribing this issue. But I fear its fairly rare. It happened once to me and I dug into it for what seemed to be months on and off till I tripped over a way to make the file that was tripping it reveal itself. I'm a big fan of google.com but never have found this bug named or documented.

MY BET is that this can cause other issues that will now be avoided.

Best of continued luck.

Bob

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Re: Bee, your payment will be...
by bee / September 18, 2004 11:01 AM PDT

I actually looked at google.com to see if i could find anything and was a bit surprised to see that there were quite a few other people who had this same problem and were asking about it on various computer forums. Most of them suggested deleting the compress old files key but very few suggested manually deleting temp files. And obviously doing the latter would be much easier for people to do.

Is it not possible to pass the info on to the writers of the articles, it could be added to number 812248?

Anyway im just glad that theres places like this for people like me to come and get help Happy

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I wish it could be duplicated.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 18, 2004 11:10 AM PDT

I have not tried hard enough to create the issue. So "next time" I have a machine that exhibits the bug I will have to move more slowly and figure out what's so odd about the file that is giving both disk cleanup and the attribute setting we did such heartburn.

Microsoft ignores such reports unless you can create the issue on demand. Even so, one bug which causes Explorer to crash found the response to be "Don't do that!" when I offered that issue. Explorer has had an issue with corrupt images, video and such for years...

Anyhow, you are now the proud owner of the cure for a fairly rare bug.

Enjoy,

Bob

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