What could have caused my system to slow down about 40-50%. I backed up my hard drive and external before I left for vacation. This took abou55 minutes. When I returned.I had added about 500MB of files to my 40GB hard Drive that had been about 80% full. I made no changes to my external that had about 10GB of data on it. A few hours before I left for my trip, the backup of my internal and external hard drives took about 58 minutes. Upon my return it took about 1:50. What could have caused this?
For the last 4 nights of my trip I stayed at 2 different Hampton Inns. Hampton Inns have in room wifi connectivity. I usually turned my computer on, connected to the internet and just left it on when I left the room.
Have you done a search on your hard disk for files created in the last 4 days or whatever dates that this occurred? It's the simplest way to narrow down the cause of the problem.
Obviously with the size involved, it's either an awful lot of files or a small number of very big ones.
Pretty soon through your search you should have a very good idea as to where the problem lies.
The next thing after that is to make sure that there is nothing in your Windows or Windows\System32 folder that was created in that timeframe.
After that we'll look for AD Streams
EasyCleaner will not help. What I'm suspicious about is malware of some sort or other. The best thing is to get your hands dirty and look at the files. Pretty soon you'll know if something is in there. If you don't know what it is, you want know how to weed it out completely.
Temp files and temporary internet files can only get so large, TIE are set to a %age of your hard disk space, so that wouldn't be the case here.
ADS (Alternate Data Streams) are trojans that sit in jpg files and add large chunks to them without notifying explorer. A/V won't spot them, and they can really add huge chunks to a file.
Hijack THis contains an ADS scanner.