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Deleting Junk and Maintaining the Hard Drive.

Over time files will accumulate in any machine.  These could be left over files from an uninstalled program, files we tucked away and forgot about or that are no longer current or needed,  or files saved by scandisk after a "blue screen of death" shutdown.  And, this one is almost as bad as asking for directions or buying a map when the significant other is with us ( yes dear I did want to stop by Miami on the way from Memphis to Nashville ) the files created when we do the unthinkable and click "Help" or F1.
Everyone knows that files ending with .gid .tmp .chk, and, if you're never going to take the "windows tour" again, the .avi files associated with the tour are safe to delete any time.    If you need to click help again it will make a new .gid file. Use the find files or folders feature and enter *.gid or *.tmp etc, and Recycle them.
Note: if you use the Grisoft AVG antivirus program, do not delete the .avi file found in the Grisoft directory.
There are some nice utility programs out there that will help us find even more.
Click Go get it to find it. Clicking Image will open a new page and Close Page will bring you back.

These can also be used with Windows 98.
Young folks, don't try anything on the Parent's computer without permission.

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Regseeker Icon
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Regseeker Registry and File Cleaner
A great free registry clean up utility from Hoverdesk that includes the ability to clear the Windows Stream MRU section of the registry.  Has the capability of clearing Temporary Internet and History files and Cookies.  Also shows and has the ability to remove installed programs and Start Up items.  Click the Freeware link on the page that opens.

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DOS level cleanup
This tip is for users that are comfortable with DOS commands.  Using windows to empty the Temporary Internet, Cookies, and History folders doesn't really get rid of everything, as the information still remains in "index.dat" files in each folder.  Use DOS level delete/deltree command to permanently remove the old information.  Windows and Internet Explorer will create new empty folders when next used.  Although the image shows it being done in Windows DOS, it can and should be done by booting to a DOS Command prompt.  A printable version of the required commands is available when you click Text.   Be very careful with this one!!  Or, download and install a small executable file named clean.com that I made, and run it from your autoexec.bat file and it will do it automatically every time you start your computer.  Instructions are in the readme.txt file included in the download.

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Scandisk and Defrag
I know, I know, everybody knows about scandisk and defrag, but how often is enough. Once a month should do unless you're a heavy user.  In that order, scandisk and then defrag. I do mine weekly. The more regularly you do it, the less time it takes. Always before and after installing new software. Remember to disable your screen saver and shut down your anti virus program before you start, as they will make scandisk and defrag restart their process, sometimes endlessly.  How?   Double click my computer, right click the C or other drive, click properties and then tools.

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Unnecessary backup files
If you've updated Internet Explorer, or if you never plan on going back to an earlier version, there is a feature in IE that lets you delete the files used to restore an earlier version.  Removing these files can free up some hard drive space.  Go to the Control panel, double click Add/Remove Programs, click once on Internet Explorer and click Add/Remove.  In the panel that opens click Advanced and select Delete backup information and click Ok.

AnalogX DLLArchive Icon
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Remove old dll files with DllArchive
Over time due to updating or uninstalling programs some unnecessary dynamic link library files get left behind.  This little free goodie from AnalogX will find them and isolate them in a folder until you know it's safe to delete them.  some dll files are quite large and this can free up quite a bit of space, and improve performance.

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Get rid of useless .log files
Some programs seem to have a "need" to create and maintain log files, most of which are useless information.  Use the Find Files or Folders feature and type in *.log and click find now.  They will open with Notepad or WordPad if you want to read the contents.  ( You might be surprised or embarrassed, especially if you use a messenger or chat program! )  Note: Do NOT delete install.log files as some are needed for the uninstall process.

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Get rid of files named mscreate.dir
These are leftovers from the Windows 3.1 days, are empty and are useless.  Use find files or folders and delete all that are found.  If you are using the FAT16 disk format each one consumes 16kb of disk space.

To be continued....
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This page was last updated on December 16, 2015.