locked
Disk Cleanup has a MAJOR issue RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi. I know there is already a thread about this here: http://forums.microsoft.com/TechNet/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=2162102&SiteID=17 but not a single Microsoft representative has replied or given a statement on that thread, and as a fix has not been released, I decided to start a new thread, to make sure Microsoft are aware of this major issue with Windows Vista and its' Disk Cleanup utility.

    Basically, when Disk Cleanup scans my Hard Disk for files it can cleanup, it find two sets of very large files (on my 160GB Hard Disk it finds a massive 129GB to clean!) under the values of:

    "
    Per user archived Error Reporting Files" and
    "Per user queued Error Reporting Files"

    If you tick these values, and click clean, then Disk Cleanup formats your entire Windows Installation!

    A fix for this issue desperately needs to be relased Microsoft. One search on this with Google shows it is a very wide spread problem, and lots of people like me have lost all their fdocuments, files, programs and Windows installation, and those who do not have backups are put in a very bad position.

    While there is a consensus this issue is due to certain registry values being deleted/modified by third-party registry cleaners, I do not actually have a registry cleaner installed, and ave never performed a cleanup of my Registry. Even if I did, however, i still think Microsft should be to blame, as Windows should not be letting third-party programs modify such very important registry files. Files which, if modified, can cause catastrophic consequences. As such, I beleive it is up to Microsoft to release a fix, and I would like a Microsoft representative to respond to my thread with some sort of explanation.
    Friday, July 18, 2008 6:35 PM

All replies

  • pogo_stix

     

    Sorry, but your perception and description of this problem just does not make any sense.

     

    I am not a Microsoft employee, but I do have some information and thoughts on this subject.

     

    Disk Cleanup is a very stable component of Vista. It works perfectly well to cleanup uneeded files that can be safely deleted, and free up space, without corrupting anything on the system.

     

    The problem is that some overly aggressive, third party, registry cleaners delete critical entries in the registry which causes the Disk Cleanup utility to break.

     

    There are dozens of registry cleaners available, but all of them do not break the Disk Cleanup component.

     

    Some of the registry cleaner developers that do break DC have known about this problem for a long time, but they have declined to do anything to correct the problem, which would be as easy as excluding certain critical registry keys when they scan the registry. The 'blame' for this problem falls squarely on the makers of these products.

     

    The registry keys that are the subject of this discussion 'are' heavily protected. These keys cannot be deleted or changed unless the user, who necessarily has complete control over the system, intentionally does this, or gives another program permission to do this.

     

    So these registry cleaners cannot perform any deletions in the protected areas of the registry without the user granting the program explicit permission. Many of these programs will even 'require' that the user disable critical security components, such as UAC, DEP, Anti-virus programs or Anti-spyware programs to enable their program to run properly. Does this not cause any caution alarms to go off for the user? Could you really trust a program that asked for this kind of permissions?

     

    Do you really expect Microsoft to completely redesign key components of the OS every time a product is found that is badly designed and misbehaves? If they did change these components, would this cause other, legitimate, third party programs to break? Would changing the way these components work violate the documentation that Microsoft has written for developers about how to design their programs to be compatible with Vista?

     

    If you experienced this behavior without installing any of the products that are documented to cause the problem, then you need to find out which malicous program deleted those registry keys, because they do not delete themselves.

     

    Serious Disk Cleanup problem caused by broken registration - The Winhelponline Blog:
    http://www.winhelponline.com/blog/serious-disk-cleanup-problem-caused-by-broken-registration/


    If this post helps to resolve your issue, click the Mark as Answer button at the top of this message.
    By marking a post as Answered, you help others find the answer faster.

    Ronnie Vernon
    Microsoft MVP
    Windows Desktop Experience
    Saturday, July 19, 2008 6:46 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi. While I fail to see why my first post doesn't make sense, as I only reported what I, as the user, was experiencing, I do think you make a valid point.

    While I can indeed see it would be impractical for Microsoft to release a fix every single time a third party application interferes with the OS, do you not think this particular problem does warrant one? I lost my enire hard drive: all my files, programs, emails etc. The consequences of this particular problem are nothing short of catastrophic in terms of computer related issues. Surely when the OS deletes itself, a fix is warranted? While you're right in that the registry is protected, surely it should be just a case of Disk Cleanup knowing that it shouldn't clean your entire hard drive. There should be a way for the OS to protect it from itself. Now, while I am not a computer programmer, so wouldn't know how you would go about doing it, I am sure that, in this day and age, there can be a way for Microsoft to come up with a more intelligent Disk Cleanup application, one that doesn't delete the OS.

    I myself have only experienced one registry cleaner, WinASO, on someone else's computer, so couldn;t comment on the ins and outs of them. However, when I did use it then, there were certain files it said it couldn't delete, as they were protected by the OS. Surely that protection, which is reported as coming from the OS, not the registry cleaner itself, can be extended to these Disk Cleanup files, as they are obviously very important.

    Thanks for your comments, as they are very imformative, but I fail to see how an issue such as tgis, with such massive consequences, fails to warrant a fix from Microsoft.
    Sunday, July 20, 2008 5:55 PM
  •  pogo_stix wrote:
    Hi. While I fail to see why my first post doesn't make sense, as I only reported what I, as the user, was experiencing, I do think you make a valid point.

     

    I was just responding to the entire blame for this issue being placed on Microsoft.


     


    While I can indeed see it would be impractical for Microsoft to release a fix every single time a third party application interferes with the OS, do you not think this particular problem does warrant one? I lost my enire hard drive: all my files, programs, emails etc. The consequences of this particular problem are nothing short of catastrophic in terms of computer related issues. Surely when the OS deletes itself, a fix is warranted? While you're right in that the registry is protected, surely it should be just a case of Disk Cleanup knowing that it shouldn't clean your entire hard drive. There should be a way for the OS to protect it from itself. Now, while I am not a computer programmer, so wouldn't know how you would go about doing it, I am sure that, in this day and age, there can be a way for Microsoft to come up with a more intelligent Disk Cleanup application, one that doesn't delete the OS.

     

    While 'fix it' sounds simple enough, the reality may be something else, entirely. If the permissions were changed on those registry keys, this means that every component that uses those keys would also need to be rebuilt to handle the more restrictive permissions. This could be a huge undertaking and would require many changes, not to mention all of the testing that wouild need to be done on the new configuration and all of the programs/components that depend on those registry keys. This could even have an effect on the way certain third party programs are developed for Vista. It would be much simpler if the developers of the third party programs that cause the problem would simply exclude those registry keys from their scans.


     


    I myself have only experienced one registry cleaner, WinASO, on someone else's computer, so couldn;t comment on the ins and outs of them. However, when I did use it then, there were certain files it said it couldn't delete, as they were protected by the OS. Surely that protection, which is reported as coming from the OS, not the registry cleaner itself, can be extended to these Disk Cleanup files, as they are obviously very important.

     

    From what I have seen, there are registry cleaners available that do not cause this problem and actually do exclude the keys in question.


     


    Thanks for your comments, as they are very imformative, but I fail to see how an issue such as tgis, with such massive consequences, fails to warrant a fix from Microsoft.

     

    Hope this helps.


    If this post helps to resolve your issue, click the Mark as Answer button at the top of this message.
    By marking a post as Answered, you help others find the answer faster.

    Ronnie Vernon
    Microsoft MVP
    Windows Desktop Experience
    Sunday, July 20, 2008 7:09 PM
    Moderator
  • A trusted MS utility such as cleanmgr.exe is not "stable" and working "perfectly well" when it offers to safely free 280GB of unnecessary files on a 238GB HDD and then continues, without remorse, to happily delete your system, seemingly beyond recovery.

     

    The cleanmgr.exe programming logic and or error checking is inept and indeed, any MS application capable of such complete system destruction should necessarily have the logic to abort, or at least warn, on destructive error(s) such as this!

     

    I am not convinced this is solely a third party registry cleaner issue and I shall proceed to testing. Using process and or registry monitoring tools and filters on the relevant registry keys I should be able to determine which application(s) attempt to read or modify the registry values in question and post any results.

     

    Regardless of results, this program's susceptibility to this issue is unacceptable and MS should not only act to resolve it but should also consider a solution to maintain the integrity and optimal structure of the registry database in future OS products.

     

    Vista users now need to be made aware of this issue and a probability of this issue manifesting utilising third party registry applications.

     

    Anthony Edwards.

     

    digabits AT gmail DOT com

     

     

     

    Wednesday, July 30, 2008 5:20 PM