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Diaries of Microsoft being complete trash
Posted: Posted June 28th by Jo Nathan

I always knew Microsoft was the butt of many jokes in the tech world, but it wasn't until I started my new job back in November that I started to realize just how terrible they actually are.

Case in point: last week, I was trying to figure out why several Windows 7 PCs at one client were all running out of disk space. When I got access to one of the machines and could do a disk usage analysis, I found that about 150GB of space was being used up by thousands of files in C:\Windows\Temp, all with filenames like cab_xxxx_x (where the x's are incrementing numbers). What the hell is going on?

A quick Google search led me to this article:
https://goo.gl/N31uoL
The tl;dr of it: When certain logs get too big, a cleanup process chokes on it and dumps a 100MB junk file into C:\Windows\Temp while trying (and failing) to compress them, and it will do this every 20 minutes until the C drive has every single one of its bytes used up. And apparently Microsoft has known about this problem for years but has done nothing about it. Best of all, it seems this can happen on Server 2008 R2 systems as well, which I'm sure the sysadmins just love.

It's an easy problem for IT folks to fix, but we really shouldn't have to do Microsoft's job for them. They should just fix their shit and not be complete trash.

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There are 16 Replies

My work computer has become ridiculously slow in the past few months. I wonder if this could be why?

Posted June 28th by Vandy
Vandy

If you notice your C drive loses several GB's of free space every day even though you're not saving a lot of new files, that could be why. If it's general system slowness, it could be caused by a number of things.

Posted June 28th by Jo Nathan
Jo Nathan

Thanks for reminding that I need to clean out my temp folder.

Posted June 28th by Ghowilo
Ghowilo

Hah, was dealing with this issue a few weeks ago at work myself. Definitely a fun one.

Posted June 28th by Count Dooku
Count Dooku

My Temp folder hasn't been cleaned in weeks. 16 MB. IDK what you're experience was with Windows 7, but Windows 10 is great.

Posted June 28th by mariomguy
mariomguy

I just cleared mine with CCleaner and it had a little over 100MB. Also Win10

Posted June 28th by Vandy
Vandy

This issue may not be present at all in Windows 10. That article says it's a "known problem with Windows 7, 8, and 2008 R2 (and possibly other versions)."

Windows 10 is shitty in other ways. To learn more about that, stay tuned for future episodes of "Diaries of Microsoft being complete trash!"

Posted June 28th by Jo Nathan
Jo Nathan

My favorite Windows pet peeve is how I have to update my Windows Update service before I can update.

Windows 7: supported until 2020! Technically!

Posted June 28th by nullfather
nullfather

But seriously, though, if I can give Microsoft credit for anything, it's that Windows 10 is better at housekeeping than its predecessors. I've even read that registry cleaners don't really fix anything anymore in Windows 10, and in fact they can actually mess things up.

Posted June 28th by Jo Nathan
Jo Nathan

All the machines I saw it on were running Windows 7 as well.

Windows 10 is shitty in other ways. To learn more about that, stay tuned for future episodes of "Diaries of Microsoft being complete trash!"

About to start rolling out Windows 10 workstations in our domain. Started testing a GPO earlier this week, turns out you can't disable the Windows Store on the 'Pro' version of 10. Microsoft wants you to shell out for enterprise edition to do that!

And even if you do kill the store, it takes some useful things with it (calculator is an app now, thanks Microsoft!). So I'm currently trying to figure out the easiest way to get rid of pre-installed garbage like Candy Crush Saga and Xbox App that don't belong on a workstation. There are powershell scripts floating around to do it, but apparently every time Microsoft does a major update the apps tend to magically reappear.

Posted June 28th by Count Dooku
Count Dooku

Set up a Schedule Task - cmd /c del /f /s /q %temp% & del /f /s /q C:\Windows\Temp

String up any other directories to run at a scheduled time that works for you. Run as SYSTEM.

Posted June 28th by LLight
LLight

I just found Candy Crush Saga in my list and hastily deleted it. I hope it doesn't come back.

Posted June 28th by Vandy
Vandy

My Windows 10 experience has been surprisingly stable. No crazy temporary dumps that aren't made by programs, registry cleaners don't really find much to clean, search function works fast and well, having zipped folder functions built-in is incredibly useful, zooming on image icons is great, Windows Defender works very well for antivirus, and CPU usage while idling is very minimal.

The only "problem" is the high overhead in memory: 3-4 GB of RAM for the OS and a couple Google Chrome tabs is quite common. I'm not sure what exactly is going on that requires 3 GB (I assume some sort of cache or aid to help with search functions, as well as potential background downloads), but if you're running heavy programs and you only have 8 GB of RAM I imagine it can be annoying. Thankfully 8 GB RAM is minimum spec nowadays, and most power users have 16-64 GB right now. I have a lot of problems with programs and my computer, but none of those problems are caused by Windows. There might've been some instability issues with Adobe Illustrator earlier this year, plenty of instability issues with Unreal Engine 4, and various issues with other third party software (including Steam), but not Windows. Windows 10 for me has been amazing.

But I'll keep an eye on this diary to see if there turns out to be a cause for concern.

Posted June 28th by mariomguy
mariomguy

I have had no issues with Windows 10 myself.

It's an easy problem for IT folks to fix, but we really shouldn't have to do Microsoft's job for them. They should just fix their shit and not be complete trash

I believe it. I had to help a client two weeks ago with this problem. Turns out exactly as you said: 350GB+ in this lady's temp folder (on Windows 7).

I had to track it down remotely and delete the damn folder. She was ready to go out and buy a new hard drive too.

Posted June 29th by Forte Lambardi
Forte Lambardi

Well dang. Good thing you caught it before she wasted money. One of my coworkers had actually started upgrading the drives on some of the affected computers at our client before I found out what was happening.

Re: Windows 10 - as far as stability goes, I have had no issues with my PC on Windows 10. In my experience, the problems with Windows 10 are mostly hindrances and qualms about their data collection policies, but especially the hindrances. Microsoft changes things around and puts things in different locations for the sake of change and not for any actually beneficial reason. What is the point of even having the power menu anymore if they're just going to remove useful shortcuts from it? Control Panel and Command Prompt make up probably 99% of the time I spend using the power menu, and Microsoft removed them for some psychotic reason. I know you can add them back in, but sooner or later they'll remove the option to do so. All I can say is, thank god for Classic Shell - my Control Panel is always right there when I need it.

Posted June 29th by Jo Nathan
Jo Nathan

What is the point of even having the power menu anymore if they're just going to remove useful shortcuts from it? Control Panel and Command Prompt make up probably 99% of the time I spend using the power menu, and Microsoft removed them for some psychotic reason.

I know your pain for sure.

They changed CMD to Power Shell and Power Shell (Administrator) in the Power Menu also.

My Advice, also, with the Windows 10 Creator's Update, hold off on this please if you can do so.

Posted June 30th by Forte Lambardi
Forte Lambardi
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