Quick Windows Tip: An extra quarter gigabyte

Thursday, January 7, 2010 , Posted by Johnny Fuery at 1:12 AM

Originally Published 2007-05-31 18:49:41

I've been busy this week not only pondering my place in the world, but also catching up on less-than-fun activities like accounting and tax prep (gotta love wearing all the hats, eh?), so I haven't been too focused on writing. There's lots on the brain, it just hasn't gestated enough to reach the point of articulation.

That being said, the time thinking and filing instead of computing means I cleaned up my laptop a bit in what I think of as quarterly maintenance. This is for Windows only. You Mac and Linux users can go ahead and gloat.

3 minutes to an extra 250 MB:

  1. Open Control Panels > Internet Options and select "Delete Files...". Tick the "Delete All Offline Content" checkbox.

  2. Open your windows root directory (either C:\WINNT or C:\WINDOWS depending on the version in use) and delete all files that begin with a dollar sign ($). Do not do this if Windows Update is currently running or is asking for a reboot. These files are hidden by default, so in order to see them, you'll need to open Tools > Folder Options, select the "View" tab, and select "Show hidden files and folders". Remember to empty your recycle bin when finished.

After these tasks, I also like to run disk defrag, accessible by right-clicking a drive from "My Computer", opening "Properties", selecting the "Tools" tab, and clicking "Defragment Now...". Use "Analyze" to determine if it's worth your time, because you're machine will be unusable for about 30 minutes while this runs.

Hope this is helpful. I'll be back on the topic of entrepreneurship tomorrow.


On 2007-05-31 19:29:27 Jason Spence said:
I do these same tasks every once in a while to reclaim space. Each time I do, I tell myself that I will do it quarterly; however it always ends up being a once a year task. I had a script that ran monthly on my last pc, but forgot to migrate it to my new pc and haven't had the energy to recreate it.

On 2007-06-02 01:05:57 Johnny Fuery said:
Understood, Jason. It's just annoying enough to think about, but not noisy enough to actually go and write a script for it.

I do this for several clients, too, and I've found that it's usually worthwhile to make a visit to every desktop once a quarter just to check on things. There are minor issues that users live with all the time that are simple to address, but yet are never quite enough of an annoyance to warrant a help desk call (or time taken away from blogging ;-).

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