Manually running Windows Disk Clean

Hello, Howdy and Good Day! Welcome back to the ever fun and exciting world of The Weekly Geek!

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving, I am thankful for you, the faithful readers of The Weekly Geek and even more so for the soldiers that are away from loved ones protecting the freedom of citizens of foreign countries with there very lives, may God protect them, and bless them and the families they have left here in America.

In previous editions we walked through how to have Windows automatically cleanup your hard disk. As I had mentioned before, the Windows disk cleanup utility is pretty conservative and safe which means that it leaves a lot of clutter and “stuff” (remember that this is a Geekly technical term) that you do not need on your computer. This week we are going to discuss how to manually clean up your hard drive to get that ever so clean and fresh feeling back into your computer.

The first way we are going to do this is by simply removing old unneeded files and junk storage areas. This is not difficult however you should take each step in stride and be careful, rushing any job can cause problems so let’s take a deep breath relax and get started.

The most common files to remove are:

  • *.chk (old scan disk files)
  • *.bak (automatically created back up files)
  • *.zip (compressed files)
  • *.prv (Windows boot log files)
  • *.tmp (temporary files)
  • *.log (log files)
  • *.wbk (Microsoft Word automatic backup files)
  • *.pwl (password files)
  • readme.txt or .rtf (read info files)
  • Mscreate*.*
  • *.001 (replaced files)
  • License.txt or .rtf (Software license notes)
  • ~*.* (previously opened files)
  • *.chw (old help index files)
  • *.dmp (Windows crash/dump files)

HP Printer software has a tendency to add junk file that will slow down your printer. You should look for and remove any multiple copies of hpdj*.idx, hpdj*.pdl or hpilog*.*

To find and remove any of the above files go to your “Start” button in the bottom left of you screen, click one time and go to “Search” or “Find” depending on which version of Windows you have. In the Find/Search are look for All Types of Files and Folders and be sure that your entire computer is selected in the Search in area. In the Search for What box, type in the information above such as “*.tmp” without the quotes.

The asterix (*) is the computer term for everything, in the case above we are looking for every file in the entire computer that has the extension .tmp, in other words every temporary file.

To reduce the search time you can enter several types of files to look for at once, to do this simply place a comma and a space between the items you are searching for, an example would be “*.tmp, *.chk, mscreate*.*” (without the quotes). In this example the computer would be searching for all files that end with tmp or chk and all files that begin with mscreate.

Once you have files listed in the search box we want to delete them from the system permanently. To do this click one time on any of the files found then press the “Ctrl” key and the “A” key at the same time and release both at the same time (Ctrl + A means to select all or everything), all the files should be highlighted. To delete the files press and hold the “Shift” key and then press and release the “Delete” key then release the “Shift” key. If there are a significant number of files your computer may take a little while to remove the listed files.

Your computer may come up with and error stating something to the effect “Cannot Delete XXX because of YYY”. This simply is telling you one of the files selected is in use. Select “OK” then highlight only a few files at a time and delete them until you narrow down which file it is that is causing the problem and then simply leave it on your computer. That is all there is to it! Repeat the above process until you have removed all of the file types listed at the beginning of this article.

Stay tuned for next weeks exciting and fun filled edition of The Weekly Geek when we will go over how to remove unwanted and unneeded programs from your computer. Until then have a virus free week.