hard drive filling up rapidly from user profile

Hi, I've always had plenty of extra space on my 750GB hard drive, but today it suddenly told me that I only had 30GB left. It started scanning for ways to make more space, but then said that there wasn't enough space to perform that function.  The storage free space quickly dropped to 0, even though I didn't add any files.
All I did today was transfer photos from my tablet to my computer.
Whenever I would delete files, it would show that I had extra space for just a few minutes before rapidly filling itself back up to 0 free space left again.
I've emptied my recycling, temp folder, and browser cache, and transferred many GB of files to external storage, but my hard drive still fills up.
I uninstalled a few recently downloaded programs, like Wunderlist, Skype, and Spotify. And I uninstalled Picasa because it annoys me sometimes and makes duplicates.
I also rebooted, and now the storage seems to have stopped growing by itself, with 3 GB left on my hard drive.
I right-clicked Properties on my User profile, and it said it had 550GB in it and rising!
When I opened the User file, my Docs, Music, Videos, and Photos were all just a few GB big, but when I right-clicked on the Tracing folder to check the size, my computer shut itself down!
I'm currently scanning my computer with an antivirus, and it's scanned over a million items and is still scanning. But I still only have 3GB of space left on my C drive.
Can anyone help me get rid of whatever is clogging up my User Profile folder and eating up my disk space?

I ran a full virus sweep and it found nothing but cookies.

I narrowed it down to a hidden file - App data - Google Earth folder. A sub-folder named unified_cache_leveldb_leveldb2.0
Has 530GB in it.
A subfolder of that called Lost has 250GB in it, and the rest of the folder seems to be about a million .sst files, "Microsoft Serialized Certificate Store", each about 2mb big. Not literally a million: actually, 268,236 of them. Sweet Mercy.
And at least one log file.
.sst files are dated from 4/6 at 1:15pm to 4/6 at 4:55 pm, all today.
The Lost folder has 250mb worth of more .sst files, 2mb each, and two tiny manifest files.
The Lost .sst files are dated from 4/2 to 4/5 (yesterday).
I'm deleting the files and I'm going to uninstall Google Earth for a bit. I had a little trouble with the plugin a few days ago, I wonder if it's related.

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Some Ways To Free Up Disk Space

 

Paging File

 

Type pagefile in Start - Help and Support and follow directions. Ensure size is at least slightly bigger than physical memory size for technical reasons.

 

Remove files updated by Service Packs

 

To see how much space it taking up type what's below and note the total size (because it will scroll away). Also note that the total is higher than it actually is.

 

Start - All Programs - Accessories - Right click Command Prompt and choose Run As Administrator. Type (or copy and paste by right clicking in the Command Prompt window and choosing Paste).

 

dir c:\Windows\WinSxS /a /s

 

Then type

 

VSP1CLN.exe

COMPCLN.exe

 

Then to see the new size and compare to the old size

 

dir c:\windows\WinSxS /a /s

 

Compact the Various Databases Windows Uses

 

You can compact the various databases Windows uses. These are Windows Update, Windows Search, Windows Mail, Windows Contacts, Windows Calandar, some Windows  Live apps, and Internet Explorer ver 10.

 

Close Windows Mail and Internet Explorer. Wait a minute for Internet Explorer to release it's file locks.

 

To see how much space it taking up type what's below and note the total size (because it will scroll away).

 

Start - All Programs - Accessories - Right click Command Prompt and choose Run As Administrator. Type (or copy and paste by right clicking in the Command Prompt window and choosing Paste).

 

dir c:\*.edb c:\*.msmessagestore c:\WebCacheV*.dat /a /s

 

Then to compact

 

sc stop wsearch

for /r c:\ %A in (*.edb *.msmessagestore WebCacheV*.dat) do esentutl.exe /p "%A" /o

for /r c:\ %A in (*.edb *.msmessagestore WebCacheV*.dat) do esentutl.exe /d "%A"

sc start wsearch

 

Then to see the new size and compare to the old size

 

dir c:\*.edb c:\*.msmessagestore c:\WebCacheV*.dat /a /s.

 
Then to delete some temporary files.
 
 
del c:\*.integ.raw /s
 
Run Disk Cleanup
 
Start - All Programs - Accessories - Right click Command Prompt and choose Run As Administrator. Type (or copy and paste by right clicking in the Command Prompt window and choosing Paste).
 
cleanmgr
 
and tick what you want.
 

 
Explorer Crashing
 

To See if a Fix is Available

In Control Panel (and select Classic view in the left hand pane) choose Problem Reports and Solutions (type problem in Start's search box), go to Problem History, right click your error and choose Check For Solution.

 

You may also right click and choose Details for more info. Post those details here. The Fault Module Name is the important information.

 

Close Explorer and Start a Command Prompt
  • Close any Explorer windows
  • Start - All Programs - Accessories - Right click Command Prompt and choose Run As Administrator.
  • Click Start. Ctrl + Shift + Right click a blank spot (just above the power buttons is one place) then Exit Explorer.
  • Press Ctrl + Shift + Escape
  • Check all explorer processes are closed. On the Process tab select explorer and right click and choose End Process, repeat if more than one explorer in the list.
     
    Then to restart explorer after trying each of the following
    • Press Ctrl + Shift + Escape
    • In Task Manager click the File menu then New Task (Run) and type explorer
    Reregister the Shell's Registry Entries
     
    Close Explorer as above then type in the command prompt (or copy and paste by right clicking in the Command Prompt window and choosing Paste).
     
    regsvr32 /i shell32
    regsvr32 /i urlmon.dll
    regsvr32 RPCRT4.dll
    regsvr32 PROPSYS.dll
    regsvr32 MSCTF.dll
    regsvr32 cscui.dll
    regsvr32 rsaenh.dll
    regsvr32 timedate.cpl
    regsvr32 ATL.DLL
    regsvr32 OLEACC.dll
    regsvr32 actxprxy.dll
    regsvr32 USERENV.dll
    regsvr32 msshsq.dll
    regsvr32 NaturalLanguage6.dll
    regsvr32 thumbcache.dll
    regsvr32 WINTRUST.dll
    regsvr32 MMDevAPI.DLL
    regsvr32 audioses.dll
    regsvr32 audioeng.dll
    regsvr32 ExplorerFrame.dll
    regsvr32 msi.dll
    regsvr32 FirewallAPI.dll
    regsvr32 netshell.dll
    regsvr32 pnidui.dll
    regsvr32 QUtil.dll
    regsvr32 wpdshserviceobj.dll
    regsvr32 WINHTTP.dll
    regsvr32 QAgent.dll
    regsvr32 PortableDeviceApi.dll
    regsvr32 wbemprox.dll
    regsvr32 wbemsvc.dll
    regsvr32 fastprox.dll
    regsvr32 imapi2.dll
    regsvr32 wshext.dll
    regsvr32 gameux.dll
    regsvr32 msxml6.dll
    regsvr32 vbscript.dll
    regsvr32 jscript.dll
    regsvr32 wshext.dll
    regsvr32 wshom.ocx
    regsvr32 wshcon.dll
    regsvr32 scrrun.dll

     
    Delete Folder Settings
     
    Close Explorer as above then type in the command prompt (or copy and paste by right clicking in the Command Prompt window and choosing Paste).
     
    reg delete "HKCU\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell" /f
     
    reg delete "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Streams" /f
     
    reg delete "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\StuckRects2" /f
     
    Delete The Thumbnail and Icon Caches
     
    Close Explorer as above then type in the command prompt (or copy and paste by right clicking in the Command Prompt window and choosing Paste).
     
    del "%userprofile%\AppData\Local\IconCache.db"
     
    del "%userprofile%\AppData\Local\*.db"
     
    A Clean Boot for Explorer
     
    It might be caused by a shell extension.
     
    Explorer is built on addin programs called Shell Extensions. The standard ones are supplied by Microsoft but programs add their own.
     
    Some people report that their virus checkers warn about this web site. The software is perfectly fine.
    • Download
    http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/shexview.html
  • Close any Explorer windows
  • Start ShExView by right clicking and choose Run As Administrator
  • Disable all non Microsoft shell extensions
  • Click Start. Ctrl + Shift + Right click a blank spot (just above the power buttons is one place) then Exit Explorer.
  • Press Ctrl + Shift + Escape
  • Check all explorer processes are closed. On the Process tab select explorer and right click and choose End Process, repeat if more than one explorer in the list.
  • Click the File menu then New Task (Run) and type explorer
    and if it helps, reenable one by one to identify which one.
  • 1 person was helped by this reply

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    First lets test what hardware we can. Hardware faults can appear as many software faults, therefore we need to test hardware first..
     

    Please do the following in order. Memory faults can cause disk corruption, disk faults can cause disk corruption. Disk corruption causes corrupted files (which SFC may be able to fix). If you get an hardware error stop and post back. Do not run chkdsk with faulty memory.

     
    Memory Diagnostic
    If you haven't run a memory diagnostic then please do so. Click Start - Control Panel - choose Classic View in left hand pane - choose Administrative Tools -  then Memory Diagnostics Tool.
     
    S.M.A.R.T
    Start - All Programs - Accessories - Right click Command Prompt and choose Run As Administrator. Type (or copy and paste by right clicking in the Command Prompt window and choosing Paste).
     
    Disk drives in Windows monitor themselves for impending failure. The feature is called S.M.A.R.T. It will detect impending failure 30% of the time. In an elevated command prompt type (it's one line)
     
    wmic /namespace:\\root\wmi PATH MSStorageDriver_FailurePredictStatus get active,predictfailure,reason /format:List
     
    If it's on Active will be true, if not on turn it on in the computer's BIOS.
     
    Predict Failure should be False if everything's ok.
     
    In Vista and later if SMART predicts failure Windows prompts the user to run Backup.
     
    Run Chkdsk
    In Computer right click all your drives and choose Properties, then Tools tab, then click Check Now. Tick BOTH checkboxes then Start. Reboot. This will take overnight.
     
    SFC
    Check for file corruption by clicking Start - All Programs - Accessories - Right click Command Prompt and choose Run As Administrator. Type (or copy and paste by right clicking in the Command Prompt window and choosing Paste).
     
    sfc /scannow
     
    For Memory Diagnostic Results
    Click Start - Control Panel (and select Classic view in the left hand pane) choose Administrative Tools then Event Viewer then look at Event Viewer (Local) - Applications and Services - Microsoft - Windows - MemoryDiagnostic-Results for entries.
     
    Look for EventID is 1201 or 1101 and Source is MemoryDiagnostic-Results
     
    Double click the entry for details on that entry.

    For Chkdsk Results
    Click Start - Control Panel (and select Classic view in the left hand pane) choose Administrative Tools then Event Viewer then look at both the Application and System logs (under Windows Logs) for entries.
     
    Look for EventID is 7 and Source is Disk
    Look for EventID is 11 and Source is Disk
    Look for EventID is 51 and Source is Disk
    Look for EventID is 52 and Source is Disk
    Look for EventID is 55 and Source is NTFS
    Look for EventID is 130 and Source is NTFS
    Look for EventID is 1001 and Source is Autochk
    Look for EventID is 1001 and Source is Winlogon
    Look for EventID is 1001 and Source is WinInit
    Look for EventID is 1001 and Source is Chkdsk
    Look for EventID is 26212 and Source is Chkdsk
     
    Double click the entry for details on that entry.
     
    P.S. 7 and 55 are the auto repair codes where windows repairs disk errors silently on the fly. 52 is the SMART warning.
     
    For SFC Results
    Start - All Programs - Accessories - Right click Command Prompt and choose Run As Administrator. Type (or copy and paste by right clicking in the Command Prompt window and choosing Paste).
     
    findstr /c:"[SR] Cannot" %windir%\logs\cbs\cbs.log|more
     
    This will see which files are corrupted.
     
    To see if it did anything
     
    findstr /c:"[SR] Repairing" %windir%\logs\cbs\cbs.log|more
     
    There are frequent false positives for small text files Windows uses such as desktop.ini and settings.ini. Ignore these.
     

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    Hi,

    Use this free Program to find out exactly what is taking up the space.

    http://www.jam-software.com/treesize_free/

     

    And for cleaning up, CCleaner is much better than Windows Disk cleanup.

    http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner

     

    Do NOT use the Registry cleaning part of CCleaner!!!!!

     

    Cheers.

    ___________________________________________________

    Bill Smithers - Microsoft MVP July 2013 - Dec 2020

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    This is insane! There's NO WAY I can do ANY of that, are you kidding? Hell, I'll just reinstall a different Windows! Thanks though, but I think Microsoft should fix the problem, what the hell!

    I'm using Windows 10 !!! 4 years later!

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    Question Info


    Last updated September 22, 2020 Views 7,105 Applies to: