Cleaning And Tuning Tips

Removing Unused Files

Note: There is an enhanced version of the Clean Up Tools in the Microsoft Plus 98 pack. If you wish to find out more about it, please click here.

The Windows 98 Disk Cleanup tool that is built into Windows 98 can help you free up space. Disk Cleanup starts automatically under certain conditions--for example, if you copy a file to a hard disk with less than 3% free space, say, 30MB on a 1GB hard disk. However, it's a good idea to use the program regularly, so you don't reach that 3% threshold in the first place.

To start the utility, choose Start|Programs|Accessories|System Tools|Disk Cleanup. The program opens a dialog with two tabs: Disk Cleanup and More Options. The Disk Cleanup tab includes a Files to remove list box; there are four basic check-box items--Temporary Internet Files, Downloaded Program Files, Recycle Bin, and Temporary files--though you may see others (for details, see the next tip). Choose More Options, and you'll see two choices--Windows setup and Installed programs--that you also can access through the Control Panel's Add/Remove Programs option. These let you remove unneeded Windows components or application programs. If your disk doesn't use the FAT32 file system, you'll also see an option for converting it to FAT32.

Find Out What Your Deleting

Before you delete files with Disk Cleanup, make sure you know exactly what you're deleting. The first two items you'll find in the "Files to remove list" are Temporary Internet Files and Downloaded Program Files, both of which refer to directories that Internet Explorer 4 uses for files it downloads to your hard disk.

If you delete these files, you'll just end up downloading them again the next time you visit the Web pages; if the pages are on your hard disk, however, they'll load more quickly. If you clean out these directories too often--say, weekly--you'll waste time downloading the same pages over and over. The Files to remove list shows how much disk space you'll reclaim by deleting each item. If you'll gain only a few megabytes by selecting these two choices, you may want to uncheck the boxes.

The third choice on the Files to remove list is Recycle Bin; checking it will empty it. The Temporary files option lets you delete files that various programs have put on your disk. These are almost always safe to delete.

Next up is "Temporary Files". These are the files that are kept in you're, Windows/Temp folder that are generally of no use at all. These are also almost always safe to delete.

Finally we have "Delete Windows 98 uninstall information". This tends to be about 50-70 MB's of information. If you decide to delete this, then you must understand that you cannot go back to your former version of Windows without completely reinstalling.

View The List Of Files To Delete

If you have any doubts about which items you can safely tell Disk Cleanup to delete, most of the items under Files to remove give you a list of proposed deletions. Simply select an item and choose the View Files button. The button will disappear if you select Temporary files, presumably to prevent you from manually deleting a temporary file that a program is using.

While you're viewing these lists, you can delete files manually by selecting them and choosing File|Delete. With the Recycle Bin, for example, you might want to click the Date Deleted button to sort the list by date and look at the most recently deleted files. (Recent deletions are the ones you're most likely to discover you need after all.) If you see any that you want to keep, select all the others manually and delete them with the File|Delete command.

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Cleaning and Tuning Tips 2
Cleaning and Tuning Tips 2



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