Well, its been an interesting couple of days. Earlier this week my machine just started “going nuts” when it stopped being able to perform the simplest tasks:
- Open legacy Word documents (.doc files).
- Open legacy Excel documents (.xls files).
- Install updates to Windows Live Messenger.
- Pull back and sort the list of Windows Live Messenger contacts.
- Post content to this blog using Windows Live Writer.
- My start menu was telling me it couldn’t display all the items.
- Other odd stuff….
Today I finally got the sh*ts with it and decided to figure out what was going wrong. It turns out that all these things were related to my TEMP folder having too many files. My %TEMP% folder was sitting at about 9.6GB and my suspicion is that Windows was actually having trouble allocating temporary file names, as a result, all of the operations above which tend to require temporary files started to fall over.
It took me about ten minutes to delete the files (boy does my disk need a defrag) but everything seems to be working correctly again. The problem with this particular problem is that it manifests itself as lots of seemingly unrelated things and things kinda keep working. I suspect only very heavy computer users see this problem because you need to allocate ALOT of files to run out of temporary filenames (I had about 65,000+ temporary files).
Oh well – I might of held off a rebuild for another couple of months…