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deleting duplicate files

Posted on 2006-06-22
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-03
after system would not boot. I tried to repair win xp pro. using recovery console and installing off of cd. Neither worked. had to install a fresh copy of win xp pro onto drive in a folder named windows2. I copied most of the files I needed to new windows folder. but now I have many of the files are duplicate but with a diferent path instead of c: it is D: but the files are the same. i need to clean up all the files that have been renamed with C: drive instead of D: DRIVE also i need to get rid of windows2 and have everything back to windows.
Question by:totalcom1
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Accepted Solution

pweegar earned 1000 total points
ID: 16961883
Sounds like you really messed things up. If it was me, I would
1) back up all data I wanted to keep.
2) Re-Install Windows XP. When asked I would delete ALL partitions, and then recreate them. Start from a newly reformatted hd
3) Install XP, updates, service packs
4) Re-install applications and programs.

Expert Comment

ID: 16962261
What pweegar said. Then restore your backed up data.

Expert Comment

ID: 16962905
There may just be another way. It has worked for me - and with XP.

Now you are up and running again, back up what you need to (though something tells me back-ups are not your problem right now) and reinstall XP over your original installation. This should not, of course, overwrite your installed applications or, for instance, your My Documents folder. You will, of course overwrite some of your customisations, though that would happen anyway if you delete the partitions.

This may not be quite as clean as the above options, but there is nothing to stop you from doing that if you are still unhappy. The up-side is that you won't have to re-install everything else right now, and if you want to get really drastic later on, you can reformat your disk your leisure. The choice, as they say, is yours.

Alternatively, download.com do a number of duplicate file removers. Not all are free, but come to think of it neither is your time.

Hope this helps.

Expert Comment

ID: 17024422
    Assuming you are able to boot up your system with the new copy of WinXP Pro, it sounds more like you have a massive file organization challenge, not necessarily an OS problem.  I have had complete disks of data, user accounts and settings wiped out by reinstalling WinXP, so I am going to assume you literally mean what you say - that you just want to remove duplicate files that exist on both your C: and your D: drives.  (If you hesitate to use any "automatic" duplicate removal software, I cannot blame you.  I don't trust them either.)
     As long as you understand the difference between applications and data, here is an old trick that can work wonders with data.  Open TWO copies of My Computer, and tile them side by side.  If you have trouble opening two copies, open one copy and then open any existing folder.  Then you should be able to go back and open a second copy of My Computer.
    This might sound odd, but now you have two side-by-side views of your disk contents.  Set one to drive C: and the other to drive D:  Since WinXP alphabetizes the contents, you can now scroll down in lock-step views of both drives.  This makes it super easy to spot the duplicates.  This is easier than it sounds.  The trick is to remember that you are opening two copies of My Computer and you can look at two different drives at the same time, one copy on the left of your monitor, the other on the right.    
     For best results, use the View command to show the file details (not thumbnail or tile views).  Then you can use the file size and date info as a double check that you are deleting the correct files.  I know you didn't ask for backup advice, but I would burn ALL files (by files I mean anything you created using an application but not the application itself) to optical disk before starting.  The method i described takes a little practice.  It is slow but accurate, and is also a great way to keep your files organized because you can drag and drop between the two open windows.
     Note there are some conventions using this method.  The standard methods of selecting groups of files (Shift or Ctrl keys) work the same.  Just make sure you drag exactly on top of any sub-folder you want to contain the files, or that there is a large I-bar when you want them in the top level folder.  Again, this is easier if just try it and practice for five minutes.
     Good luck.

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