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EugeneH

how much is too much

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Hey guys, not sure whether this is just me being paranoid but recently I got a new computer built for me, things were going sweet until I downloaded a possibly corrupt file from a torrent site =/. So far, nothing on my computer seems unaffected by it EXCEPT for the amount of data that ccleaner clears up. All that happened was that it disabled me from being able to do anything for about a minute, followed by the blue screen of death. I forced restart my computer and after booting up, there wasn't any apparent damage caused by this (programs, games ran fine). Not knowing what else to do I decided to run ccleaner and to my horror I saw roughly 250megs had cleared up. Leading up to this ordeal I ran ccleaner once a week with only about 200/300kilobytes to clear. But since this incident it seems like "stuff" just accumulates and I've been running it daily with about 70-100megs to clear each day. Most of it points to firefox cache and the windows thumbnail cache, making up for about 95% of the data. I expressed my concern to my friend who build my computer but he reassured me that it was normal and that he clears about 80megs a day himself (i dont want to portray the wrong image here, he's a good mate and wouldn't rip me off. Even offered to do a fresh install of the OS but stood strongly by the fact that nothing was wrong with clearing that much data a day).

 

I know it would vary between users and their applications they use, but would appreciate some perspective as to how much people generally use. Just so you get an idea of what I use my computer for, I've only been using it to play games as it is new and I haven't installed any big applications yet. At the moment I play call of duty MW2 and quakelive (runs through browser). Besides that I only use my computer to browse the internet, occasionally watching videos online etc. I can see how most of the usage would point to firefox as it is actually what I use most, but does this mean that if I don't use ccleaner all this data would continue to eat up my HD space? And why is it that after the "incident" has my firefox usage suddenly skyrocketed. I've been using my computer consistently for the same stuff prior to this with only a couple of hundred kilobytes building up over a whole week. and now there's suddenly 100 megs building up a day.

 

I've run AVG and spybot with nothing harmful detected. Does this sound like spyware on my computer or is this me being a complete computer noob and the amount I'm accumulating is perfectly normal. Also as a test one day I ran ccleaner in the morning and left my computer on all day until I came back from work. I ran ccleaner again and about 50megs of sh*t had built up with no activity on my computer.

 

Input would be greatly appreciated. Would just like to know whether this is normal or I should have a fresh install of windows 7 (which wouldn't be such a loss as I haven't installed much on my computer).

 

Thanks in advance! sorry for the long post.

 

cheers

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If it was me, I would go and check what is actually in the Firefox cache (before running CCleaner, of course).

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I think its completely normal. The only thing that seems to be a bit scary is the part where you said the computer froze for a minute and there was this blue screen of death afterwards. But I'm using Windows 7 too and there has been a few occasions that it froze too but the computer worked normally after a reboot and there was apparently nothing wrong.

 

Let me get this straight for you, this is how the Internet works: you open your browser, you go to multiple sites and watch videos, your browser downloads all these web pages and videos to your computer so you can view them. Add those all up after a day of going to like a hundred or more webpages and maybe like watching 10-20 Youtube videos and you get like 200 MB of this data saved in your Firefox browser cache. So running CCleaner, with the default settings makes you clear Firefox's browser cache so you its completely normal that several megabytes (MBs) of data is cleared by CCleaner. I myself clear about 100-200 MBs of this data a day, depending on how heavily I was browsing. And most of the data would be from the cache of either Firefox or IE.

 

You are using AVG as well. AVG keeps logs of its events like when it was started or had a virus scan and CCleaner is also set to clear those logs so that also adds up to the junk files that you see CCleaner would clean. Never mention all the other applications who automatically make logs that CCleaner is set to clean.

 

And by the way, you also play Quakelive. I also used to play it once but it actually downloads Quake map data somewhere in C:\Users\Username\AppData directory but that is NOT part of the cache so you can always play and launch the game from Firefox even if you have cleared Firefox's browsing cache with CCleaner.

 

 

I hope that makes things clear.

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If CCleaner had only been clearing a small amount of browser cache data in the past, you probably had the browser set to empty the cache on exit. No way you could even visit one page and only have 200-300 kb to clear.

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thanks for the input guys. As Thrak mentioned, the logical explanation would be that FF emptied its cache on exit. What's strange is that I never tampered with my firefox settings so it just seems strange that all of a sudden (incidentally straight after I downloaded that suspicious file, followed by a brief blue screen of death), it would start storing its cache. Besides that, the amount I have to clear up (most of it being accountable by FF) seems about right considering the number of videos and browsing I do. What I don't get is the accumulation of data that occurs from inactivity. I know there must be "background" activity going on, but after having run ccleaner in the morning, going to work then running it again once I got back I found that about 40megs had built up in Windows Explorer-Thumbnail Cache. Maybe I'm overly paranoid as its a new computer but if someone could clarify that this is normal then I shall continue to just run the ccleaner daily and be on my way.

 

thanks, appreciate the help

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I suggest that after a morning clean,

when you return in the evening leave Firefox running for the evening clean, so its cache etc is skipped.

If the sum total of deleted files is back to the previous level of 300 kilo bytes per week,

then the the 200 Mbytes per day is just Firefox cache and probably innocent.

Personally I would still follow Hazelnut's suggestion re Spyware Hell,

a sudden change to computer operation puts me on full alert.

 

If however there is more than 300 KB there is something else happening.

Definitely time to hunt the malware.

 

After the above test you can close Firefox and CClean as normal.

 

Alan

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In my opinion. spybot is left behind now which is sad. It was once a create tool. Over shadowed by applications like malware bytes, combo fix, and even a square which is good for a quick cleanup.

 

If you are going to be downloading torrents i'd suggest using a decent AV. Does AVG even monitor p2p? One that has the ability to monitor p2p like avast5

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