On the other hand I agree with you about the malware forum because of the problems mentioned (freeze, web pages going back etc.) and apparently lost disk volume. However, mintchip is convinced that his computer is clean and see no point in doing that.
It's not that I see no point in doing it. I run very tight security settings and have very safe browser habits, and have done numerous scans recently that show nothing. So, I prefer to start with the most obvious causes first, and then if those don't work, I take the next step, which in this case would be the malware forum. If I have any further problems, that is what I will do. At the moment, all problems have stopped. See my post to Topaz above.
Mintchip: did you also run Windows Installer Cleanup? Did it make any difference?
I was going to run it, but it gave a warning that said some or all of the programs I've installed may have to be reinstalled, and that scared me off. What are the chances of that happening? There might be things I can't replace, because I no longer have the CDs, and didn't want to take the chance.
As for how to locate large files, I have no good answer for that. You have to use windows explorer and search for them in a methodical way. For example, start with Properties of your user account and see if the volume shown makes sense. If you feel that the volume occupied is too high, look for suspected folder within your user account. It's a trial and error business.
I continued to search as you said and found a folder with music files that I had saved to the wrong place a few of weeks ago. I must have been half asleep when I did that, because I never would have saved it to that location. It was almost 9 GB of wav files, that I ripped from CDs and had intended to transfer to data CDs. I was extremely tired the night I did that, and when I couldn't find the files, I thought there was an error and they had not been saved, or I had done something wrong, then later forgot to do a search. I have now transfered it all to CDs. At the moment, all problems seem to have stopped and the hardrive is back to almost 50% free space. I have low RAM, which is something I need to upgrade, so maybe with such low hardrive space, it was causing problems with my computer being able to access the drive to use for additional memory.
Thank to both of you for your help and advice. I really appreciate it.
EDIT: And I forgot to say, I had also installed Nero a couple of weeks ago, and discovered yesterday that it was running several processes constantly, eating up my RAM. I uninstalled it, and performance improved immediately.
Edited by mintchip, 05 November 2008 - 04:44 AM.