pooter problems

Something has gone very wrong with my poor old machine and I’m trying to fix it. It just sits here thrashing the hard drive hour after hour, for no reason that I can find.

I’ve run all the system tune up programs. I’ve run all the malware killer programs. While that helped a tiny bit, and found some naughty cookies and a couple of latent trojans lurking in the background, the machine is still close to dead. And what’s worse, running the Super Anti-Spyware in Full Scan mode took 4 and a half hours ... for a 22Gb disk? No way. And as I sat an watched it, I saw the same directory being swept over and over, file after file. Thousands of them. Tens of thousands of them. So I wrote down that directory, and looked stuff up online.

It turns out that Windows has this issue wherein it tries to cache the entire internet, every last file, on your PC. This is the dreaded “Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5” directory problem. Which is almost the problem I’ve been having. So I read up on that, applied the solutions, cleaned out the files and the local index.dat files ... and still the problem persisted.

It turns out that ... at least for my machine ... I have the same ...\Content.IE5 directory structure hidden deep in WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\config\systemprofile\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5. And down in that hidden directory, once I rest Explorer to make the directory unhidden, I found dozens of subdirectories, some old some new, and each one had THOUSANDS of small files in it. Thousands! Every little arrow, button, background color .gif, URL, page header ... blah blah ... every last bit of every web page visited. Funny thing, not only do I not even have IE5 on this machine any longer, I rarely even use IE. I even uninstalled Chrome because we just didn’t get along.

And not one of the articles I saw mentioned the shadow copy of the files hiding down in SYSTEM32. Strange.

So I’ve spent many hours cleaning ... nearly 5Gb worth of crap off of this machine. Finally I opened a DOS window and did things the old fashioned way, rmdir /s [directory name], because killing the files with Explorer and then emptying the Recycle Bin of gigs worth of files was taking forever.

It’s finally done. I’ll post this, then try to reboot the system. Assuming that I haven’t utterly killed the PC, I can then run the FileAssassin tool to delete further instances of Content.IE5s index.dat files on reboot - both of them, the visible one and the invisible one. Then I can pull up Control Panel and IE8 or whatever version that damn browser is and make sure all the caching settings are set to Off or to as small a size as allowed. And cross my fingers once again.

Posted by Drew458    United States   on 02/27/2013 at 02:59 PM   
  1. Damn, that’s a bit scarier than my post.
    But in one way you’re luckier than most ppl we both know, who aren’t up to all that geeky tech stuff and would be totally lost.

    I’m still running XP but I think I need to unload a lot of junk and take photos and music and some videos OFF my dsktop and remove them all to flash drives and cloud storage.
    Things have gotten VERY slow, especially opening some web pages.

    Yeah, I liked Chrome at the beginning and it did seem quick, but there’s problems there on my machine. Using Safari once in awhile and that isn’t so hot either. So back to FFox. For awhile anyway. And even they aren’t All That.

    Posted by peiper    United Kingdom   02/27/2013  at  03:51 PM  
  2. I removed 138,714 files from this PC. Windows is a slut pig, but I can’t blame Bill Gates completely. One of the maintenance tools I use on the PC had “decided” to make my PC run “faster” by turning on Indexing. And another one had turned on Automatic Updates. And that damned Acrobat reader - you know, the one that has a new version to install every single week it seems - was running an update checker in the background.

    I tell you, you’ve got to stay on top of this shizz. You can’t just rely on one tool, no matter how good it is. Same thing with anti-virus and anti-malware tools; you need more than one. And somewhere you need a list, that says I want Service A, Service B, and Service D running, but not service C. And you have to watch the tools every time because they have their own ideas.

    Lovely silence from the HD now. Effin’ indexing. What a pain. I’m going to write a quick DOS script to start at C: and remove index.dat from every directory.

    I still haven’t rebooted yet ... a little fearful to do so, but I think things will be fine.

    Posted by Drew458    United States   02/27/2013  at  06:18 PM  
  3. So this explains your absence without leave,Bummer.
    At least your machine did not go Poof like mine did last spring when the PS/mobo /proc and HD all went up in a flash. Luckily I had most of my needed stuff on a flash backup.

    Posted by Rich K    United States   02/27/2013  at  09:32 PM  
  4. Remember the thing about gas prices last week? Here’s Why:
    By the end of November the US had already imported more than 450m (million) barrels of crude from Saudi Arabia, more than it imported from Riyadh in the whole of 2009, 2010 or 2011, according to figures from the US energy department. For the first time since 2003, Saudi imports accounted for more than 15 per cent of total US oil imports. The Gulf as a whole accounted for more than 25 per cent, a nine-year high. Other Gulf exporters are also seeing unusually strong US demand. By the end of November, Kuwait had shipped more oil to the US than in any year since 1998.

    Posted by Rich K    United States   02/28/2013  at  06:33 AM  
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