Cleaning up your Hard Drive
Over time, your Hard Disk fills up with all kind of stuff, and before you know it, that drive you bought just a year or so ago, and which capacity looked great back then, is already alarmingly full. You need a certain amount of "headroom" or empty space on your hard drive for Windows 95/98 to function properly. Things like the Windows swap file require empty space on the hard drive for standby utilization and your system can slow down enormously if it's not available.
First, you should do is run Scandisk if you have not done so recently... I once ran scan disk on someone's computer and found 86MB of lost clusters!!! Staggering. You should run this standard maintenance procedure regularly along with the disk defragmenter. If you are running Windows 95, Windows 98, Millennium or Windows 2000 you probably get prompted to run it every time you start up after an illegal or improper shut down (you should always use the Start > Shut Down routine). You may have many lost clusters of total garbage hiding there. Unless you suspect there may be something, there you need that you have lost; I would recommend simply deleting any lost clusters to free up space.
To run Scandisk, simply go to Start > Programs >
Accessories > Systems Tools, select Scandisk and follow the
When you are finished cleaning-up your drive, always run Scandisk and Disk Defragmenter again!
Uninstalling unused Components
Many people never bother to check which components of Windows are installed, and which ones can be removed. Are you using the Microsoft Network? If not - and you have it installed - you can safe approx. 2.5MB. Microsoft Fax? Going rate approx. 2.6MB. Microsoft Exchange? A whooping 4.6MB to be saved here!
To uninstall Windows components:
Deleting Temporary Files
crashes, or locks-up and you have to use Ctrl+Alt+
This sometimes also happens when Installation routines of programs do not clean up (properly).
These files will be left in your \Windows\Temp folder.
You can use Windows Explorer to find and delete these files. To be on the safe side, do not delete files with today's date, these files could still be in use (most probably you will get an error telling you that a file cannot be deleted because it is in use).
You can also check your entire hard disk, to see if there are any temporary files in other places:
Deleting other files
Other files you could delete are files with these extensions:
To delete these:
To be on the safe side, delete your files to the Recycle Bin, and leave them there for a week or two. If you don't run into any problems, you can empty the Recycle Bin. If Windows or any program complains about a missing file, just select your Recycle Bin, find the file and right-click on it. From the context menu choose Restore. This will restore the file to its original location.
Temporary Internet Files
Another source of "disappearing" hard disk space is the Temporary Internet Files. To speed up your Internet browsing, pages, graphics and other page elements are stored in your browsers cache. It is worth it to clean this cache from time to time:
Internet Explorer 4.x / 5.x
The Internet Explorer 4 cache is seriously flawed. One of these flaws will result in the growth of the Index.dat files, even if you delete your cache using the method described above. Another flaw will sometimes have the effect that although you wanted to delete all files, many files will be left in the IE4 cache. This bug typically manifests itself when you click on a link, before the page you are on at that moment has fully loaded, or if you press the Stop button. This prevents the entries for the files already downloaded to be written to the Index.dat files, so these files will become "stray files"; Internet Explorer's cache management doesn't know that they are there!
To work around this:
Netscape Communicator 4.x
1. From Netscape's menu select Edit > Preferences
2. Click on the + sign next to Advanced in the Category window
3. Select the Cache entry
4. Press the Clear Disk Cache button
Another source of "disappearing" hard disk space is the Cookie Files. To speed up your Internet browsing, pages, graphics and other page elements are stored in your browsers cache. It is worth it to clean the cookie from time to time:
3. type in COOKIES
4. hit OK
This will open the cookie folder. You will not be able to delete the “index.dat” file but the others can be deleted. If you see the index.dat file highlight it by clicking once, then click on edit then invert selection. This will highlight all except the index.dat and you then hit the delete key and delete them all.
The cookie folder will store passwords for internet site such as yahoo mail ebay and ect so you may want to make sure you have your user names and passwords in the event that they are no longer there the next time you return to a favorite web site.
1. Click Start
4. System Tools
5. Disk Clean up
6. Click OK on the drive you would like to clean up
7. When the window pops up with a list of un-necessary files that can be cleaned from the system. I suggest checking them all.
8. hit Ok