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How to know which files to delete??

I want to delete unnecessary or unwanted files or progams but don't know how to go about this....??
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ameka
Asked:
ameka
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1 Solution
 
Somebody_elseCommented:
whatever you do DON'T delete any file with the extension .dll

you can go to
Start(button)>settings>control panel
and select the "add/remove programs" icon in the control panel window and then choose which programs you want to delete/remove.

if you do a file search for:
*.txt
this will show all the text files on your hard drive and you could delete them.

unless you know what you are doing it is best not to just start arbitarily delete files, instead you could get a third party utility like "windows cleanup" (or something like that) in the utility section of Fry's or CompUSA, this will look at all your files and make suggestions as to what is ok to delete.



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PasciCommented:
Files that you can safely delete are Temporary Internet Files and Temporary files, to be safe only delete Temp files that are more than a week old.

For the Temporary Internet files:
right-click on internet explorer and select properties, then delete the files from there.

For the Temp files: Go to Start-Find type "Temp" in the Named field, then double-click on the Temp folder after it is found, and delete all the files that are older than a week.

For Removing Programs: go to the Control Panel and look under Add\Remove programs, then remove any programs that you do not want to use.

There are other files you can remove such as Screensavers, Windows Themes, some help files, some fonts, some Windows components, but be very selective and proceed with caution, you should probably only remove some of these if you are running out of disk space.

I hope this helps, good luck!!

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AwmytieCommented:
    Could you clarify something about your question, please?  Is it that you do not know how to delete a file whose name you know?  Or is it that you dont know the names of files that you might want to delete?  Or, maybe, both?

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amekaAuthor Commented:
Like you say, Awmytie,.....both!! but mostly I don't know the names of files I might want to delete or don't needed that are taking up space???
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rayt333Commented:
MY advice is get a good uninstalling program, Norton has one, Remove-it, McAfee has one, but this is much safer then deleting them your self
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expertmbCommented:
hi,

 select which are unnecessary files for u and select all and press delete button

 and don't delete system related files  like

 dll.
 exe's(related to system)

 good luck

 mb..

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rayt333Commented:
Somebody_else
Thats looks just like your comment???
Is this your brother??


ameka
Please reject that proposed answer since Somebody_else said that and more in his comment, this is a copied answer
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amekaAuthor Commented:
Answer seemed too glib!!   Not enough detail for a novice like me... Prefer to check out Uninstall software available.  Thanks anyway.
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nomadic1Commented:
Try the addon pack for Win98 PLUS! kit.  They have a really good add on program to help clean out unwanted files.  Probably the best around for a novice.
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dvd99Commented:
Well like what hass been said here do not delete any .dll or .exe files and it is usually best to keep .txt files unless you look at them before you delete them.
Any .html (look at it first) .tmp , .chk and temp internet files can be deleted and you don't need any file in the C:\windows\temp folder and also if you are trying to get more space delete as many .wav or .avi files you don't like!!
see http://whatis.com for info on any files.
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rayt333Commented:
dvd99
This is from the EE welcome page, notice the last line in particular, this is something you should heed if you plan on helping out here.
It pays to carefully read the thread of the question. That will prevent you from posting an answer that has already been suggested or tried.   It also may give you the insight to post
*the* right answer that the other experts have missed.  You should not post as an answer something that is already suggested in a comment.

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AwmytieCommented:
    Contrary to what others said, there is a safe way to eliminate unneeded duplicate .dll files, but one has to be careful.  You probably have a great many .dll's; some of the outdated ones CAN cause problems in addition to hogging disk space.
    To get an idea Start - Find - Files&Folders - type in *.dll and click FindNow.  Select View - Details - and click the Name column to sort them in alphabetic order.
     Where there are duplicates, the the higher version number one should be in you [harddriveletter]:\Windows\System folder; others that are NOT in \Windows\Sysbkup are candidates for elimination -- but not so fast, now. First, change the candidate's ".dll" extension to something memorable, like ".duh" so that it won't load -- after a few months, if nothing has needed that old .dll, delete it.  Of course, you now have to remember that you have a bunch of .duh files...
     I haven't verified this, but there supposedly is an inexpensive shareware program that will automate this process for you called DLLChecker, from http://www.VB2Java.com/
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AwmytieCommented:
    Contrary to what others said, there is a safe way to eliminate unneeded duplicate .dll files, but one has to be careful.  You probably have a great many .dll's; some of the outdated ones CAN cause problems in addition to hogging disk space.
    To get an idea Start - Find - Files&Folders - type in *.dll and click FindNow.  Select View - Details - and click the Name column to sort them in alphabetic order.
     Where there are duplicates, the higher version number one should be in your [harddriveletter]:\Windows\System folder; others that are NOT in \Windows\Sysbkup are candidates for elimination -- but not so fast, now. First, change the candidate's ".dll" extension to something memorable, like ".duh" so that it won't load -- after a few months, if nothing has needed that old .dll, delete it.  Of course, you now have to remember that you have a bunch of .duh files...
     I haven't verified this, but there supposedly is an inexpensive shareware program that will automate this process for you called DLLChecker, from http://www.VB2Java.com/
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rayt333Commented:
ameka
First please reject the proposed answer to open the question up again!! I don't know why some people say they agree with the posted comments in the answer they post?? Kinda looks like they only want to steal some points not try to help the person needing help??

BUT anyway you can check out this site for some freeware or shareware software that will do what you are wanting to do (clean up your files) Most have limited amount of uses but that will let you know if that program will do as you want it to do. Check the complete list and download a few to try out:
http://winfiles.cnet.com/apps/98/file-cleanup.html
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rayt333Commented:
I forgot to mention but I cannot recommend you delete any files on your own without knowing exactly what it is you are deleting and what may happen to your system if you accidently delete a needed file. It is better to get a program to help you do this, even then there is no guarentee that you still won't delete a needed file but in most cases there is a backup made for emergency cases before the files are deleted
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AwmytieCommented:
    I would suggest you boot up in DOS mode, then start with C:\
(or whatever your hard drive letter is), then check DIR /p (the /p keeps it to a single screen at a time without the whole bunch zipping past), for each directory and sub-directory.  Make a note of names of large files to see if any of them are something you saved but don't really need.  
     Some that tend to hog a lot of space, and may no longer be needed include .htm or .asp files, graphics files, .log files, readme files, .txt files (you can check these with TYPE (FILENAME) | MORE  -- the vertical bar and "more" again lets you read one screen at a time.
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rayt333Commented:
Awmytie
He stated " Not enough detail for a novice like me..."

Are you sure you want him going into the computer files and deleting files that he really has no idea what they are needed for? this is a sure case for a format and reinstallation of his OS and all programs. You should never tell a "self proclaimed" novice to go into the system files and delete certain ones unless you know for sure what those files are needed for. I don't doubt for a second you know what you are doing but do you feel comfortable telling someone else to do that? what if he deletes just one wrong file? he may have an useless paperweight on his desk.
I can only recommend using a commerical software like suggested above to make the recommendation on what files can safely be deleted and make a backup for you in case of problems, the backups can be deleted in a few weeks if no problems arise to free up more disk space.

Remember it only takes deleting one needed file to make your system useless without reinstalling everything, do you really feel lucky?
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AwmytieCommented:
    Oh, yeah; I've been there and done that (and, sometimes, learned from my mistakes).   If I had one solid recommendation to make it is this:  Before you erase ANYTHING -- do a complete backup so you can undo anything you did wrong!
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Somebody_elseCommented:
the only thing I could add the my original post is to agree with awmytie and rayt333 on the point to backup all of the files you want to delete and run your system for a week, if no problems then you can safely delete the backup.
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rayt333Commented:
If you delete the files from inside Windows then they will go to the recycle bin until you empty it, this would be a good way to test the computer but start slowly and delete some files and leave them in the recycle bin for a week or two and run all the programs to test them to be sure none needs the deleted files, when you are sure then empty the recycle bin.

Note that when doing it this way you will not see an increase in free space since the files will still be on the HD until you empty the recycle bin
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amekaAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the advice... from everyone. This is getting too complicated for me just now, so I'll get a software program or pay for some hands-on help.
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AwmytieCommented:
  Some other stuff you can safely get rid of:  In Netscape, click Communicator - Tools - History; select the top item, hold down shift and the down-arrow key to select the rest, hit Delete.  In IE5, click Tols - Internet Options - Clear History - OK.
   Likewise in Netscape Navigator, navigate to Sent files, highlight the first, shift-downarrow for the rest, delete; same dude in IE5's Outlook.
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rayt333Commented:
ameka
Why did you accept as the answer the proposed answer from dvd99?? All he\she did was agree with what had already been posted? Me and Awmytie were the ones trying to help you and you give the points to a "answer stealer" What kind of thanks is that??

If this is your way of rewarding the ones who help you then please don't expect much help!!
Thanks alot
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AwmytieCommented:
  You can delete all the .tmp .chk .old .001 & .bak files you can find.  And don't forget to empty the recycle bin.
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