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Adventures in cleaning the C: drive (XP)

By enderlicious ยท 16 replies
Nov 22, 2012
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  1. So I've had some issues, partly because my C: drive got clogged up. So, sharing what I've done (and where I've got some questions) on things I'm getting rid of, that Disk Cleanup doesn't automatically do:

    Deleted these (but haven't emptied the trash):

    3.25M C:\Documents and Settings\primary\.thumbnails\normal
    XXXX C:\Documents and Settings\primary\.thumbnails\fail
    I expect these two will regenerate with use

    C:\Documents and Settings\primary\Favorites

    5.61M C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\DrWatson
    Saved this elsewhere, don't recall using the software

    12.8M C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Apple\Installer Cache
    26.6M C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Apple Computer\Installer Cache
    Figure these are just detritus left-over from installing stuff

    702M C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Avira\AntiVir Desktop\INFECTED
    These are just quarantined items, I really do need a way to lock them up so they can't activate and save them elsewhere, in case when I go back thru archives there is something I wanted from the files...
    Right now, just dumped onto another partition. Avira may just grab them back (but I found others from a prior cleaning spree, so perhaps not?)

    3.83M C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Avira\AntiVir Desktop\LOGFILES
    (2.39M) Left these (unfortunately, they're the bulk of the space): avesvc, avguard, sched, setup
    Archived: dated ones (eg: AVSCAN-20120502-051015-33CE6F2E) and updates (eg: Upd-2012-11-13-04-15-31)

    ??? C:\WINDOWS\ie8updates
    Already deleted

    Any reason I can't remove these (a number of these have a blue name/font, what does that mean)?

    151M C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Avira\AntiVir Desktop\TEMP

    I've got a whole bunch of these, which look like service pack uninstallers - also, they're in blue...

    747M C:\WINDOWS\$hf_mig$
    This also looks like a service pack uninstall

    72.9M C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution\Download
    This also looks like a service pack uninstall
    (hmm, this one got cleaned up when I ran the suggestion given to me by jobeard: runas /user:administrator cleanmgr)

    Has a file: AskSLib.dll
    (also cleanmgr deleted)

    217M C:\WINDOWS\system32\config\systemprofile\Local Settings\temp
    Has a bunch of these: Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0-KB2656369_20120413_173054578-Msi0


    Anyone know what these are for?

    C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Windows Genuine Advantage

    21.1M C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows NT\NTBackup

    38.4M C:\WINDOWS\pchealth


    37.1M C:\WINDOWS\WinSxS

    9.03M C:\WINDOWS\system32\CatRoot
    Has files like: KB960225 (security catalog)
    5.56M C:\WINDOWS\system32\CatRoot2
    Has files: edb.chk, tmp.edb

    I have a bunch of empty XXXX folders like this, however this one has a file: dwintl.dll (MS Application Error Reporting)

    Not planning on removing this, but it (and everything in it) is blue (why? what's it mean?)?

  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,880   +903

    The \path\names\inblue tell you that directory is compressed.
    This is great for archives and seldomly used files, but really impact your performance if this is done to a dir with *.EXE or *.DLL files
  3. enderlicious

    enderlicious TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 55

    Hmm, well I didn't compress them.
    It's been done to stuff that's in my Windows directory - any comments on if I should undo it? Or, anything else in there that I could also compress (and how? 7zip, perhaps)? :D
    Other thoughts on those things that I might be able to get rid of? What else was cleanmgr s'posed to do?
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,880   +903

    Cleanmgr will enable [x] Compress infrequent files when a system is crammed full and very low on free space.
    The option was shown and if you didn't want that choice, you were free to remove the [x].

    The approach I use when working with a low free space system is
    1. toggle OFF and then back ON the system protection feature to discard old Restore Points (also reduce the size allowed)
    2. uninstall anything never or seldomly used
    3. manually delete old files I am willing to discard
    4. delete all browser history & cookies
    5. THEN run cleanmgr
    I'll respond to your list of file - -
  5. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,880   +903

  6. enderlicious

    enderlicious TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 55

    I thought the parens in my subject posting stated that I was running XP. Sorry that wasn't clearer.

    Wow, thanks much for the heads up on Windows Genuine Advantage.

    Re: infected files: I wasn't planning to 'recover' from them, but I was thinking about going into them (they're mostly html files, I'm guessing) and snagging the information from them, eg: text, images and/or links (ie: not code).

    Is there any reason I'd want to uninstall an update, after I've been running them awhile without problems? Assuming I could get my restore points working and stuff, why couldn't I just delete these, and if I needed to uninstall, just restore from an older restore point?

    And, one of the biggies: AntiVir Desktop\TEMP - you had no comment on?
  7. enderlicious

    enderlicious TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 55

    I didn't get any options. I got a dos-screen, said something like running, then flashed the s,s,failure,s and closed on me. But, yeah, I don't recall seeing the blue things prior to that (wasn't looking too hard), so I guess it could've been the program which did that.

    How do you toggle the system protection feature?
  8. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,880   +903

    unknown - - it has occurred that a new KB is in conflict with an older one and the fix required an uninstall.
    on a low free space system I would delete'm
    that SHOULD be true, but understand; Restore Points only cover system settings and drivers, nothing from \Program Files or user %userprofile%
    trying to be cautious - - I'm using Avast! and can't vouch for contents of AntiVir Desktop\TEMP\* Consider however the name TEMP - - things therein should be non-critical and recoverable *IF* needed by a reinstall.
  9. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,880   +903

    right-click My Computer->Properties
    [I've been on Win/7 almost a year now, so the XP is pure memory ...]
    The Performance has an Advanced button and inside that is enable/disable System Protection.
    SET A NEW LIMIT (say 50mb) and THEN disable. Let it finish. Make sure you only ENABLE again on the C: drive and the limit is the 50mb.
  10. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,880   +903

    COMPRESSION is a normal property for every folder. Cleanmgr does an intelligent guess based upon folder size and age.

    To set/reset this attribute right-click Folder->Properties->General Tab->Advanced Button
    you can set [x] or reset [ ] Compression
  11. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,880   +903

    as they say - - my bad - - it was clear in the subject and I got myopic on the details.
  12. enderlicious

    enderlicious TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 55

    Hey, I'm not complaining. Just trying to figure out how to do it better. So, my guess is to repeat in the content portion :)

    Thanks for your help.

    Still curious on if there's a way to figure out how much space an update is going to suck down, and if I can re-get an update that I 'cancel'ed.

    Gonna post a new thread on Prefetch... since I ran across that when I was doing the compilation of the sticky on optimizing windows speed...
  13. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,880   +903

    Got to go thru the KB lookup to see the download size
    Prefetch is a software means to speedup loading programs from \Program Files and has nothing to do with Windows Udates
  14. enderlicious

    enderlicious TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 55

    Not directly it doesn't. Except that cleaning out the Prefetch will get you some space on your C: drive, lack of which is impeding my updates from functioning...

    Saw it mentioned in the cleanup sticky note at the top of this forum, did a little investigating - and wrote that post (which has now disappeared?).

    Kinda related, kinda not - just thought I'd mention it, since I was working in those areas anyways.
  15. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,922   +630

    You tried running Ccleaner? It's pretty awesome.
  16. Cobalt006

    Cobalt006 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,777   +242

    Its a mild cleaner dose not get all temp files. Just internet files and fixes for the registry.
  17. enderlicious

    enderlicious TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 55

    Yeah, what Cobalt006 said. Also, by going thru things (got rid of large quarantined files from Avira), and some other things (compressed files, using method shown on other thread), I got enough space in my C: that I felt like risking the updates again (didn't figure out how to see how much space they were going to suck up). Crossed fingers, and went for it, and that's all working.

    Of course, still no luck on figuring out my other problems.... and making new ones :)

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