Why does rendering put 3GB of files in my C:Drive that I can't find?

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I've spent the past 3 hours trying to render a video clearing space on my C:Drive after Windows10 gave me a low storage alert. Eventually I noticed the following pattern:

  • I start with 3GB of available storage in my C:Drive
  • I render my video to save in the D:Drive
  • The video gets to 100% and then crashes
  • I look at the C:Drive and it's down to 258MB free
  • I look around in the C:Drive and can't find anything new that I can clear out
I've done this 5 times and noticed the pattern the 4th time. The 5 effort confirmed that Camtasia is doing something that's triggering a whole lot of files and not delivering the video.

What's going on? How can I fix this?
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Oz du Soleil

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Posted 3 months ago

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Ed Covney

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How big is C: drive? You're going to need a lot more headroom than 3GB !!!  It dangerous running with  that little of space, I'm surprised you haven't had big hardware problems. Hopefully your on Windows XP or Vista, because v.7 and beyond expect to create up to 15GB worth temp files.

Run "Disk Cleanup", when the 1st Disk Cleanup window appears, click "Clean up system files".
The next time you're given a choice of what file category to clean up, check all boxes of with greater than 0 bytes. It'll take 5 or 10 minutes, but it should free up a lot of space.

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Oz du Soleil

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I'm on Windows10 and the C:Drive is 100GB and I can't see what else to move off the drive because I don't know what all these .lua and .bak and .dll file are. But I've moved most of my videos, music and pictures off the C:Drive.

I ran Disk Cleanup and it got me about 40K more space.
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Oz du Soleil

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I still wonder where in heck are all these new files that Camtasia triggered during rendering, and why it's happening in the C:Drive when all my source files and the video I'm trying to produce are all in the D:Drive.
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Joe Morgan

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Camtasia writes productions to the temp folder on your C Drive by default.

Heres what that looks like.In the image, a video is partially rendered. When you check the properties of the folder, its showing 105 MB of a mp-4.
Which is exactly what I'm rendering.




I save the temporary files to the same folder I render to. By all rights, that means Camtasia doesn't have to re-write the completed video to the same hard drive.It just has to associate the rendered video to its location, and its no longer a temporary file. 

You change the temporary folder location in editor preferences.



Its better to have more headroom on your main drive. You might consider getting a larger drive.

There are a lot of files in your temp folder, you may find several GB of files in there.If you check the properties of that folder, you may find its overflowing.
Generally speaking, you can safely delete all of them. That's what I do.
I select all of them, and a few are left behind.Because they cannot be deleted.

C:\Users\Your User Name\AppData\Local\Temp
  
To render your video successfully, change that folders location and you're good to go.
You can deal with the rest later.

Regards,Joe
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Oz du Soleil

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THANKS!!!! I just changed that setting to a drive where I've got over 300GB available and the video rendered with blazing speed!!!! WOW.

Now I have to figure out what the hell to do on the C:Drive
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Joe Morgan

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If you've never cleaned out your temp folder.
I'm thinking you'll find your 10% free space in there.
Glad you're up and running.
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Oz du Soleil

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I just found 24GB of room to clear out in that folder. GEEZ!
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Ed Covney

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Then you didn't do a proper "disk cleanup" did you?  Because that includes the temp folder you can check off.
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Mal Reynolds

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I agree strongly with Ed (Edit: and now with Joe, who got in just before I posted this); 3 gigabytes is way too small an amount. As a rule of thumb you should have at least 10% of the space on your C:\ drive free. I also agree with the suggestion to run disk cleanup. However there are some things that disk cleanup won't catch, for example:
  • A lot of programs write data to a special folder (or actually a collection of folders) called Application Data folders. You can get to one of these (the Roaming one) by typing %AppData% (with the percentage signs) into the address bar of Windows Explorer / File Explorer. Techsmith does write data there, both the the Roaming folder and, if you go up one level you'll find another folder called Local which is used to store larger files. My Techsmith folder in Local has about 490 meg in it, mostly from crash dumps. Which is not to say that's the only thing that Techsmith uses the thing for while rendering. The project may well be on the D:\ drive but unless you manually move the appdata folder, it will still be on the C:\ drive and therefore vulnerable to bloating during program operations. You need to be careful in doing this, but sometimes cleaning it out manually is the only way that you can reduce its size. (But don't do it indiscriminately, obviously.) Disk Cleanup will rarely touch it because it generally doesn't know what data is and isn't supposed to be there. Certainly you can safely blow away folders relating to old programs which are no longer on your machine, or error logs like the ones that I referred to above.
  • There is a folder called C:\Windows\Temp, which is a temporary files folder. Unless you are running as an Admin and have explicitly given yourself access to this folder, Windows will lie to you and tell you that it contains no files. But it will; oh it will. Due to what I regard as unconscionable ineptitude on the part of Microsloth's programmers, I fight a never ending battle as error logs are constantly being dumped in there. What error logs? Generally error logs about the Store service (which is harder to kill than your average vampire) trying to install Microsoft's pathetic phone apps that nobody wants or needs onto my desktop. In the last 24 hours this idiocy has generated 8.7 gigabytes of wasted bloat onto my C:\ drive. If you have never looked at this folder, I suggest that you do so and blow away EVERYTHING, leaving only what Windows says is currently in use.

(Edited)
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Muscle Whisperer

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I've been doing this for years (even though some people say that Microsoft's Windows 10 does the job - but it doesn't):
On my Windows desktop I create a folder called Maintenance, and inside it I create shortcuts to the folders:
  • Windows\Temp
  • Users\YourNameHere\AppData\Local\Temp
Every so often (depending on how frustrated I am) I simply click on the shortcuts, hit [CTL]-[A] and delete all files. You'll get a message that some files can't be deleted because Windows is using them. Skip those.
Voila - more space.
Mal, thanks for the extra bloat file info

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kayakman, Champion

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also ... periodically check the Camtasia crash dump folder at C:\Users\YourUserName\AppData\Local\TechSmith\Camtasia Studio\CrashDumps

if you experience a hang/crash, a crash dump file is often created in this folder; the folder can hold up to 3 crash dumps, more will overwrite previous ones; I do not believe they are ever automatically deleted

on my system, a typical dump file is 2.5 GB; so 3 = 7.5 GB; they can take up some serious disk space, and manually deleting them can help; so when 7.5 + GB goes missing, it's the first place I look

perhaps keep a shortcut to that folder in your Quick Access, and check it often
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Joe Morgan

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I had 3 recent files totaling 3.99 GB.
I run a 1 TB SSD dedicated to the operating system and all my installed programs.
Which is currently 117 GB total. So I have no overhead issues.
Those running smaller or close to full SSD's might benefit from this information.

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Oz du Soleil

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@Kayakman, I just checked that folder, fortunately it was empty.
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Ed Covney

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Joe - I had one 855MB file which Disk Cleanup didn't touch. Shame on TS for not informing us about huge files that they create in hidden directories. I've never held them in high esteem, but this is a new low of poor software / product management (IMHO).
(Edited)
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Mal Reynolds

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Ed, all software companies are guilty of it. Techsmith is an angel in comparison to some. I had mentioned  Techsmith's Local appdata folder in my previous post; I had 490 meg in crash reports which is a chunk of change, but relative peanuts. By far Adobe is THE second worst. (Microsoft is THE worst IMHO for burying so much in C:\Windows\Temp, a folder that most people don't even realise exists and which is hidden from them.) 

Every time Bridge is upgraded to a new version it leaves the cache from the previous version in %AppData%. It's in Adobe's own folder rather than Temp,  so Disk Cleanup won't touch it. The files that relate to the now defunct versions - and I speak from experience - can run to tens of gigabytes. And unless you manually delete those entries, you never get that space back.
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Ed Covney

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Actually, I think Microsoft, Embarcadero and Intel are the BEST by FAR. I judge MS by Windows & Office; Embarcadero by Delphi and DBMS, and Intel by their on-line documentation for all their products, device drivers, everything Intel (It's the reason I'm never afraid to buy Intel anything!)

When is the last time your Windows or Office product crashed? I had Windows 98 crash in 99 but is was a SCSI controller problem which had plenty of log support to ID the problem. Delphi can have errors and lots of them, but they were all caused by me and Delphi always helps me correct them. Like AI, no?

I'm not saying any of the above are perfect, but it so easy to get the straight dope on any problem I have because they are so well documented. (Intel is the best at pin-pointing a direct path to "all questions answered").

TS is the first s/w house I've encountered that doesn't practice elementary standards in software/management development. It's as if they have 4 or 6 development managers that never talk to each other, and each do it their own way. Try to get a consolidated list of every folder their software writes files to. It doesn't exist and will never exist because, each development section is STILL protecting THEIR area of influence.  I'm sure they'll get better someday, but IMHO, as of now, they are getting worse instead of better. Just my opinion. Here's what's wrong with TS: They create new versions & capabilities before they correct OLD problems.

It will bite them eventually. How can they correct it? Current programmers fix problems in old version BEFORE they're allowed to continue on the development team. New "software engineers" join either the problem fixer group, or the new development group, their choice if qualified. Problems get fixed, development slows to a snail's pace. Using previous versions as a starting point, also allows new developers to ID questionable code.Both are sorely needed at TS. 

And doesn't this community exist because TS s/w is very poorly documented? They have great tutorials, but where's the tutorial on Oz's problem? Thousands of users run into problems that aren't covered in Videos or in documentation. I wonder how many customers leave TS because of it.

I agree on Adobe though.

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Mal Reynolds

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> When is the last time your Windows or Office product crashed?

For Windows? Yesterday, actually. For Office? Not since last week.

Not to mention the fact that Calc hasn't worked since the last "upgrade". ("You'll need a new app which never installs". Because yeah, I really want a kewl "app" as opposed to a robust old school application. )

Then there's the way that the notification centre periodically fails, which... who cares, because it's an exercise in pointlessness, right? But there's the way it's sometimes jammed open, cluttering your desktop.

Oh, and the Start menu sometimes doesn't work, but enough reboots and running the Windows Update troubleshooter that... yeah, pretty much nobody knows about...will cure that. Oh how fondly I remember Windows Update 1803.

And I'm at a loss to see where Microsoft has documented the fact that it it has put in... how many now? Ah, 12 gig of error log events in the last 24 hours into a folder that you can't even see unless you explicitly give yourself access to it. In my humble opinion no competent programmer would help themselves to that much of your disk space to write the same errors over and over and over again every couple of minutes.

The most recent update for Windows has failed to install on my desktop, what, 6 times now? Seven maybe? And yet it keeps trying, with the inevitable "Waiting to think about configuring Windows updates maybe some day, please do not turn off your computer, 30% done as it always is",  followed by "no, wait, update failed, rolling back" because I have allll the time in the world to wait for Windows to get its act together.

And then when a major update does install, you get that massively creepy, skinny fonted "Hhhhhhiiiiiii" fading onto the screen like something out of a Steven King novel. "Just setting a few things up, why don't you go and cook a roast dinner while you wait?"

In the meantime an update on my Android devices usually takes about a minute, start to finish.

Then of course there are the uncommanded reboots which Microsoft thinks it is entitled to do; to find out how to stop these you need to go digging through dozens of articles, rarely written by Microsoft, to ferret out the appropriate registry hacks and / or group policies that you need to implement to stop them from happening.

And even then, as I discovered last week, Windows may well decide that it'll do an uncommanded reboot anyway.

Then we have automatic restarts which happen 30 seconds after you tell the computer to go to sleep. Open up the system logs and you'll find tens of thousands of irrelevant log entries on drivel but try to find the answer to ONE question - "What EXACT process / application / service / setting triggered that restart?" - and Windows will shrug its shoulders dumbly, look down at its feet, and mumble "uh, dunno."

And don't get me started on how OneDrive announces that it "couldn't merge changes" when the file in question was only ever open on ONE of my computers.

And these are just some of the various malfunctions from Windows. It doesn't count the number of stupid, "don't care what the user thinks or wants" design decisions that Microsoft has undertaken over the last few years in both Windows and Office.

If I didn't need to run some Windows applications, I probably would have dumped it years ago.

I'm not saying that Techsmith is completely blame free. There are some woefully bad (programming) decisions such as:
- Snagit claiming the Shift F9 key for itself eeeeevery installation, notwithstanding that it screws up Excel users.
- More generally, each new version of Snagit and Camtasia having amnesia about the settings that applied to its predecessor. The settings are stored in (eg)Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\TechSmith\Camtasia Studio\ in the registry. Each version then has its own sub-folders. That's fine, because it is possible that the user may want to use different settings on different versions.

Side note: Credit where it's due, I don't see any registry entries from prior versions of both Snagit and Camtasia in the Registry, and I've had at least three different versions of both on this machine over time. It was only a couple of weeks ago that I purged the older ones. (9 and 2018 in Camtasia's case.) Clearly, then, the uninstaller is cleaning up the registry, something that some programs don't bother about.

However I'm at a loss to see why new installs can't set the initial selection state from older installs, if any.  The way things stand you have to go through and set eeeeeverything up again.

  • Shift F9 isn't working in Excel. Oh, right, new version of Snagit. {Goes through and kills all of the shortcut keys that Techsmith feel the right to help themselves to. This is not a documentation problem, this is a "Techsmith needs to knock that off" problem.}
  • Clicks Record in the Camtasia recorder. "Ah-three, ah two, ah three-two-one!" "That ^*)*&^%% countdown timer is back!!! Oh, right, I installed a new version." {Goes through and resets at least 7 different settings in the recorder options.}

Then it's on to editing. Wait, why did that track just auto stitch... oh, right, new version. I have to unset that. And change most of the folder options. And some of the shortcuts. And the timings. And... sigh.

This would be so much easier if the options state of the version currently being installed were to be set to the state of the last known version, if any.

But as to this problem... should TS have documented everywhere that they write to? Maybe. But to be fair Oz's was an edge case. He was flying on vapour in terms of his hard disk space. In most cases it doesn't matter AS much where, specifically, the program is writing to. But it may well be an exercise that's worth doing.
(Edited)
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Joe Morgan

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Fortunately, I don’t experience the Windows problems you’re reporting. I’m still running version 1903. I waited 6 months after its release to install it. I’ll wait just as long to install 1909.

Perhaps you should consider reverting back? Or maybe an operation system re-install is in order. I’m not clear on if you got 1909 to finally install or not?

I use Adobes CC.I won’t be updating to 2020 versions until spring. There new releases are always loaded with bugs.

Waiting 6 months has served me well. Windows 10 has been very stable for me. I didn’t upgrade from 8 until almost a year after its release. Same with 8, I waited almost a year to drop 7. It worked fine by the time I used it.

Camtasia was crashing left and right on me this morning. I wasn’t doing much. I bit the bullet and installed the update released 4 days ago. That got the crashing under control.

 I still can’t use my graphics card like I should with 2019. As soon as a video hits the media bin with audio. CPU usage jumps to 8% to 10% when you’re doing Nothing. Plus, the GPU runs at 40% to 50+% constantly.


I reported it to TechSmith over 4 months ago. They could reproduce the error. Were aware of it. They told me they didn’t know when they “Might” fix it. Their right, they haven’t fixed it yet.

 Latest update: this is an excerpt from support in October:::

They do have it on their backlog to investigate further so at some point it will be looked at but it may be a little while.

Oh great, they’ll look at it one day. Boy, whew! Do I ever feel good about that {:>( Just think, one day their going to look at it.

They never fixed a problem with Nvidia cards in version 2018. So I’ve been pretty much screwed since 2018 was released. As far as I know. Version 9 is the most stable version overall.I can run my card in 9, but it's not used for rendering.

 In recently run tests. Camtasia 2019 takes nearly 50% longer to produce a video without my GPU.

 TechSmith just keeps barreling along. They don’t bother fixing what’s broken first. They supposedly fixed variable bit MP3 stuttering in this latest release. A bug dating back to Camtasia 8.0.0. Released 7 years ago. The bug might go back further?

Not an excuse.....I think software technologies have outpaced the workforce. There simply aren’t enough competent coders to meet demand. Tech is suffering everywhere.

 Mac computers are starting to roll out operating systems like Windows 98. Catalina is a disaster. Apple consumers should lower their heads and quit telling themselves how wonderful Apple products are.

Just my thoughts