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What is this file for: 386SPART.PAR?  Can I delete it?

Posted on 1998-10-28
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I am trying to clean up my hard drive from large unused files, and noticed a hidden file about 4 megabtyes in my c:\ root directory with the filename 386SPART.PAR. In looking at it the date is todays. An editor shows it to a binary file but some reference words to prodigy are noted. This system used to be connected to the internet via Prodigy, but not for over a month.  It seems strange that the date is current and the file is hidden.  Can I safely delete this file and freeup 4 megabytes?
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Question by:MinnEE
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5 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:rwilson032697
ID: 1804862
This file is a swap file used by the OS.

DO NOT DELETE IT - EVER!

Cheers,

Raymond.

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by:MinnEE
ID: 1804863
Thanks for the quick response, but I can't accept your answer yet if I don't understand it better. (My other computer, DOS 6.2, has no such file). Also if I turn this system off and reboot it what files are being swapped and why do they have to be saved? This system has half of its 120 mb of hard drive free and I just defraged it and is has 16 mbyte of Ram. I can see not deleting a swap file when the system has been running for a while, but if I just start up in DOS (5.0), nothing has happened yet. There seems to be stuff in here from over a month ago that is no longer used.
What makes the file so large? I have a hunch it was used temporarily for something that was down loaded from the internet.
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ryans earned 200 total points
ID: 1804864
The swapfile is created by Win3.1X and is where the "virtual memory" is stored.  A simple anaology to this would be: when you(cpu) reads a book(harddrive), you make crib notes(swapfile) of what was just read.  This info is accessed much quicker rather than going back to the book and searching through all the pages for a small piece of data.  In Windows 3.1X, there is a setting for "virtual memory" that you can choose the size of this swapfile along with it being "permanent or temporary".

Need more info??
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by:ryans
ID: 1804865
"Can I safely delete this file and freeup 4 megabytes?"  In windows, set this to "temporary" and it may go away when you EXIT (not shell) out of windows.  If it doesn't, you can safely delete it...  As a note, if you delete before you change it to "temporary", it will be automatically recreated.  Keep in mind though the recommended size of the swapfile is directly proportional to the amount of RAM in the system.  Look in your Win3.1X book (if possible).
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by:MinnEE
ID: 1804866
Thanks for the fast response!. The first answer led me to my Win 3.1 user's guide found under "swap-file settings".  The info here was useful along with the extra explanation. Under the control panel settings, one can see the size of the virtual memory or swap size. Apparently, the stuff in the file was quite old because there was no need to displace it with new data.    
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