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Removing Files from WINDOWS Directory

Posted on 2011-03-09
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I am on Windows 2003 Server

My C Drive tends to be getting filled up. I have a folder in the C Drive \ WINDOWS folder, of which consumes about 1GB or more.

The folder is : C:\WINDOWS\$hf_mig$
In this folder has got many KB folders. Can this be deleted?

What else can I delete from the WINDOWS Folder.

I noticed in the Windows Folder, there are many $uninstall$ directories, which are blue in color. Can this be deleted.

What files can I actually delete from the Windows folder to make up space.

I know further disk space is needed, but at this point, what can I delete to create space?
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Question by:ben1211
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17 Comments
 
LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:sihar86
ID: 35090739
File that used as temporary file are file that usually deleted.
Ex:document file(office file), internet files.
There is third party application that can remove temporary files
but sometime remove the neccessary file by windows.
Safer way to remove this is:
right click of your drive-> choose properties -> in tab general click button "disk cleanup"
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:Plantwiz
ID: 35090764
You likely can delete zipped files that you have unzipped.  It's double (well, not quite) but storing the same info twice and once the zipped folder is unzipped, the zipped file can be removed as you have all the contents unpackaged.

Look for programs you haven't used in a while (3 months, 6 months or a year...you decide) and uninstall of those real old apps you don't use.  You likely can re-download at a later date if needed.
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:enzogoy
ID: 35090848
a 1GB Windows folder is not big.  Trust me, not at all.  I rather to look else where to clean up the drive NOT Windows folder.  One mistake would cause you headache.  You only touch that folder if you know what you are doing.

Documents and Settings << this is the folder I will look into first.  Delete all the users which doesn't need to be there.  Clean up the Recycle bin.

the next one is all junk folders on the C: like application installation file.  After the installation, you forget to remove them, this is a good time to clean them up.

The last one is uninstall application which not needed anymore then get into Programs folder to delete them too.

Think twice if you plan to delete anything under WINDOWS folder.

enz
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LVL 96

Accepted Solution

by:
Lee W, MVP earned 1800 total points
ID: 35090873
C:\WINDOWS\$hf_mig$ should NOT be deleted.

If you need disk space, review what is actually using the space (filling you up periodically) and configure appropriately.  Please see my guide to boot drive size on 2003 which includes over 20 things to look at as possible resolutions for your space issues - http://www.lwcomputing.com/tips/static/bootdrivesize.asp
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Assisted Solution

by:guyinwonder
guyinwonder earned 200 total points
ID: 35090989
The easiest way to get more space with safe deletion is using Disk clean up tools from the windows.

did you know that cleaning the recycle bin , also can gain you hd space ? especially if you just recently delete big files.

and then off course you you can always delete old files that you didn't used anymore. or make it to zip .

temporary files from installer and Internet also can gain space if you delete them often .

all of that can be done in one move . .disk clean up tools from the system.
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Author Comment

by:ben1211
ID: 35091114
leew, the $hf_mig$  consist of KB directories. Why can't we delete these directories?

What about the uninstall directories in Windows that are colored blue?

Please advise.
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Author Comment

by:ben1211
ID: 35091122
what happens if these files are deleted? from the $hf_mig$ folder?
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LVL 96

Assisted Solution

by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 1800 total points
ID: 35091288
As per http://blog.ryantadams.com/2008/02/21/what-is-hf_mig-and-can-i-delete-it/ “When a security update, critical update, update, update rollup, driver, or feature pack installs GDR version files, the hotfix files are also copied to the %windir%\$hf_mig$ folder. This supports migration to the appropriate files if you later install a hotfix or service pack that includes earlier versions of these files.”

> What about the uninstall directories in Windows that are colored blue?
Please read the link I provided - I answered this in that question
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Author Comment

by:ben1211
ID: 35091527
which link Leew?  this? http://www.lwcomputing.com/tips/static/bootdrivesize.asp

I need to know if these folders can be deleted or not. And if they are deleted, what is the impact?

Please let me know.
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LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 35091568
Yes, that link - what don't you understand about it?
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Author Comment

by:ben1211
ID: 35092051
Leew, with regards to the $uninstall$ directories located in the Windows folder. I saw the link that you provided http://blog.ryantadams.com/2008/02/21/what-is-hf_mig-and-can-i-delete-it/ and then clicked on another link from that you sent me.

This link http://blog.ryantadams.com/2008/02/21/removing-ntservicepackuninstall-and-other-update-related-folders/
tells me that I could delete the $uninstall$ directories (blue in color)

If you ever wanted to remove an update (which can be done with Windows’ Add/Remove Programs feature), these folders would be used. However, if you don’t plan to uninstall any updates (99% of the time you never will need to), you can recover some disk space by removing those folders. You can delete any of the folders that start and end with a “$”, except for “$hf_mig$”. Depending on the number of updates you have installed, deleting these folders can save between one and several hundred megabytes worth of space.

So this means I could delete the $uninstall$ blue folders right?
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Author Comment

by:ben1211
ID: 35092069
with regards to the folder “$hf_mig$. If the files in here are deleted....will this only affect server migration? Assuming these directories are deleted from this “$hf_mig$ folder, and the server were to be rebooted, would this cause a problem?
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LVL 96

Assisted Solution

by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 1800 total points
ID: 35092276
Is there a reason you're relentlessly focusing on $HF_MIG$ and ignoring the 20 other places that are potentially using space?  Is there a reason you're not actually reading over the link I posted - specifically http://www.lwcomputing.com/tips/static/bootdrivesize.asp ? Your question is answered in that link in the section aptly titled "Remove Old NTUninstall Folders" and begins with When a Windows Update is applied, Windows creates a backup of the files and registry entries that were changed so that, if necessary, the update can be removed.

Should I copy and paste the ENTIRE PAGE here? I wrote that page so that I wouldn't have to clutter up questions with the same long list of options over and over....
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Assisted Solution

by:guyinwonder
guyinwonder earned 200 total points
ID: 35092349
ben1211:
check out this link hope it is clear enough for the impact..

This link
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LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 35092434
"This Link" basically says the same thing I do.
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Expert Comment

by:guyinwonder
ID: 35092731
Leew: yes  it does ..  :) well lets hope that Ben1211 got the cloud away from his problem now  :D
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Author Comment

by:ben1211
ID: 35099626
yes that link cleared my doubts.

So basically there's nothing else i can really delete to save on space?

I would then have to post another question as to how to I migrate the OS C Drive to a new server with a larger hard disk capacity.
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