Copyright Michael Karbo, Denmark, Europe.

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    Chapter 18. Disk cleanup

    All the pc’s software takes up a lot of space on the harddisk. There are hundreds of programs and thousands of files, and they are read to and from the hard disk in a continual stream of disk acti­vity. The hard disk can easily tolerate that, but the problem is that the files (or rather the file system) unavoidably gets ”contaminated”. In this chapter I show how you can clean up in the files, and how you can control and optimize the file system and repair possible damages.

    Start disk cleanup

    Windows continually creates temporary files, which occupy space on the hard disk. That happens during regular use, and it happens especially when you go on the Internet. This file garbage needs to be deleted regularly:

    1.  Go to the Start menu. Select menu items All Programs --> Accessories à System Tools à Disk Cleanup:

    2.  That starts the Disk Cleanup tool. You first need to select a drive. Click on OK, and the cleanup starts with the C-drive.

    3.  That opens a dialog box with two tabs. On the first you see how much space can be freed with the disk cleanup, and you see which file types can be deleted.

    Figure 87. Here disk cleanup suggests the deletion of 64 MB superfluous files.

    What can you delete?

    The program suggests deleting some groups of files. You can often just click on OK, since they are superfluous files. But you can also choose to retain some of them by removing the checkmark from them. If you are in doubt as to whether a file or group of files can safely be deleted, you can select it and read a brief description (as in Figure 87).

    You just need to click on OK and then on Yes to delete the files, then disk cleanup starts:

    If you want to free even more space on the hard disk, the Disk cleanup tool can also help yoo there. See the tab More Options (Figure 88). That gives you three options. That is about cleaning up in:

  • Windows components

    ·        Installed programs

    ·        The files for System restore.

    Here you can delete many of the Windows components and programs that you have installed on your pc. So be careful.

    Figure 88. Here you can clean up the harddisk.

    Delete Windows components

    If you are short on space on your harddisk, then there are guaranteed some Windows components that you do not use, and which then can deleted with no harm. It could be the program MSN Explorer which occupies 13 MB. I do not use that, so I remove the checkmark by MSN Explorer in the list. When I finish the Disk cleanup tool, the program is deleted from the harddisk, and I save 13 megabyte harddisk space.

    Notice that you in the same dialog box can choose to install Windows components, which for some reason are not already installed on your pc. You need to check that for yourself.

    Clean up in your installed programs

    It may also be to your advantage to check if there are unneeded programs on your pc. That done in the second section of the tab, where you need to cllick the button Clean up…

    You get a list with all your installed programs. They each occupy space and resources, and you can remove (de-install) them individually:

    Figure 89. Check routinely if there are unneeded programs installed on your pc.

    The last option for disk cleanup is to remove files that pertain to the function System Restore. Read more about that on page 81.

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