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What are these files and why do they multiply?

By tepeco
Mar 13, 2009
  1. Here is a screenshot of the files. They reside in the C:/WINDOWS directory and there are 179 of them. They seem to multiply. Are they necessary and can I dump them? Or should they be left alone?
     

    Attached Files:

  2. bielius

    bielius TS Booster Posts: 211   +14

  3. tepeco

    tepeco TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 65

    Actually, I don't think these are temp files. If they were temp files, I would think that my daily cleanup should take care of them. I cleanup my temp files every day using a cleanup program (ccleaner) and these files not only remain, but multiply over time. Each of my computers have them, but none of them have the same number of folders. My laptop, had 175 of these folders and I might add, the laptop was running quite slowly. That was solved by a complete factory fresh format and reload. Now it runs like a sprinter.

    For now, I have temporarily moved all of these folders from the Windows folder and placed them in a temp folder on the C:drive to see what will happen. So far, nothing has happened as a result of their removal. So... maybe they are temp files after all.
     
  4. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,335   +36

    Your print screen shows the blue zipped files from Window Updates. Note the $Nt at the beginning of each. Each time you do a Windows Update, you'll be getting one of these files.Seeing these means you have the system set to show hidden files and folders. Change the setting as follows:

    Control Panel> Folder Options> View tab> UNCHECK 'show hidden files and folders'> Apply> OK.


    Now go back to Windows Explorer. You won't see them. More precisely, they are uninstallers for the updates for the KB number at the end. If you check the image, you can also notice updates for WMP 10.

    These files aren't going to slow a computer down and 'technically' if you aren't going to uninstall the updates, you 'can' delete these files. For myself, and I am ultra-conservative about what I allow to remain on my system, I left them.
     
  5. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,425   +77

    As Bobbye says, they are windows update uninstalls. They allow an update to be uninstalled if you find it is causing conflicts. if you look in control panel/add or remove programs, every one is also there. Click one and agree to uninstall causes one of these $Nt_99999 to run.

    Two points, they are virtually never any use to you, and the number you have suggests you may be still on SP2. If you install SP3, most of them disappear, because they are rolled up in SP3. You also gain well over half a Gb of disk space, as SP3 deletes the superceded installs as will as uninstalls.
     
  6. tepeco

    tepeco TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 65

    Thank you. That appears to be the answer I was looking for. Actually, I don't want to hide any folders and is my reason for having set this view intentionally. I want everything that is on my computer to be in plain site. I realized that these were hidden files alright, but it was the necessity of keeping them that puzzled me. I figured they had limited to no use and with what you have told me, that's true. In the case of my laptop, which is older and has only an 80 gig HD, knowing they were there and having eliminated them, I freed up a significant amount of real estate. Actually, I thought I did have SP3 already. I'll take a look at that when I get back to that laptop at my office. As far as their contribution to computing speed, I'm glad to know these files don't cause a slowdown. They just pile up and fill space. Thanks again for the answers.
     
  7. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,335   +36

    I understand what you mean about being distasteful having any files 'hidden.' But a part of that is for the protection of the user. We have many users who go through their systems deleting files or folders- any files or folders! Of course, we know this is bad computing, but by having the files and folders which are a necessary part of the operating system hidden, it makes them unavailable to those random deletes.
     
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