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Try to clean up or reformat?

  We have a dim 4550 with a 40 gig drive. The drive has about 35 gigs of stuff on it, of which maybe 4 gigs is stuff I know  what it is (documents, pictures, etc.). Is there anyway to clean off the stuff I (probably) don't need or should I just erase everything and start over?
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9 Replies
Denny Denham
6 Thallium

Re: Try to clean up or reformat?

wishiunderstood,

It will probably be faster to reinstall Windows (including formatting C:\) and start fresh than to wade through 31GB of information to determine what it is.

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GreyMack
4 Ruthenium

Re: Try to clean up or reformat?

If there is a large multitude of various and unrelated small files and folders, they could be very time-consuming to identify and determine whether they are necessary. If there are 947 Windows restore points, they might be easier to clean up.
 
Windows Explorer doesn't directly indicate folder size, but a program to add that capability or display the consumption of drive space graphically might be helpful. If nothing stands out, it could just be an accumulation of various clutter.
 

GM
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Denny Denham
6 Thallium

Re: Try to clean up or reformat?

GreyMack wrote, "Windows Explorer doesn't directly indicate folder size, but a program to add that capability or display the consumption of drive space graphically might be helpful."

My favorite in this class of utilities is the little freeware program available here.

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mombodog
6 Thallium

Re: Try to clean up or reformat?

open windows explorer  Flag-E keys

right click on the C drive and do properties, run disk clean up, may take a while, when it is done calculating, select the "more options" tab and then system resore cleanup, when done with this do not close it, select the disk cleanup tab and unselect the compress old files if it is checked and check the boxes of things you wish to clean out then hit OK and it will finish clean up for you and then close it. Do a properties again and see if you recovered enough space for your needs..

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Re: Try to clean up or reformat?

  I think I really do need to reformat, but I'm a little reluctant (nervous) about doing so. It will be the first time I've tried, and with my luck  this pc will probably end up on a shelf in the basement until I have the time to try to fix whatever I tried to fix. Where to go to get instructions?

     Denny D, did Dell put you on their payroll yet? Do you get some kind of "preferred guru" discount  for all the problems you've solved for everyone??

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Denny Denham
6 Thallium

Re: Try to clean up or reformat?

wishiunderstood,

Instructions are here. Windows XP is the easiest of Microsoft's operating systems to reinstall.

No "preferred guru" discount has been offered, but if I die at the keyboard I am guaranteed 72 virgins in Dell heaven (which is somewhere south of Round Rock, TX, or in Bangalore, I forget).

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Re: Try to clean up or reformat?

Before reformatting, do I need to do anything to empty the hard drive?
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Denny Denham
6 Thallium

Re: Try to clean up or reformat?

wishiunderstood,

Save anything on the drive that you wish to keep to removable media. The installation process will remove everything from the C:\ partition.

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BBraxton
4 Ruthenium

Re: Try to clean up or reformat?

What is your primary motivation -- responsiveness? (speed)

If it were mine, before I do anything with the hard drive like format and re-install, I would make sure all critical Windows updates are current (may require re-boot two or more times during the process -- some have dependencies) and also run DEFRAG once a week. In old, old systems it was not a huge problem to let defrag go by for a year or two but NTFS (as I understand) benefits from much more frequent executions of defrag. ("My Computer" RIGHT-click "Manage" and click Defrag)

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