Adding Disk Clean in Windows 95 and NT

Howdy and welcome back to The Weekly Geek!

This week I want to help you poor souls with Windows 95 or NT that have been left in the cold when it comes to automatic disk cleaning operations.

Note: For this procedure you will need a blank formatted floppy disk and access to a computer with Windows 98, ME, 2000 or XP. Feel free to ask a neighbor or friend.

  • First, insert the disk in your Windows 95 or NT computer.
  • Next double-click on the “My Computer” icon and then right-click one time on “3 ½ inch floppy (A:)”.
  • On the menu that appears choose “format” and then select “OK”.
  • Once the format is complete take the disk to the computer with one of the versions of Windows mentioned earlier and place it in the drive.
  • With their computer on, click the “Start” button in the lower left corner of the screen and then select “Find” or “Search” depending of the version of Windows you are using.
  • Next you will want to search the entire “C:” drive for “cleanmgr.exe” by entering it in the “search for” box, do not enter the quotation marks. It should be located under “C:\Windows\system32” or “C:\Winnt\system32” once again depending on the version of Windows you are using.
  • Once it is found, right-click one time on its name and select “copy” (do not select CUT or you will remove it from the computer you are working on). Next you need to double-click on “My Computer” and double-click again on “3 ½ inch floppy (A:)” to open it.
  • In the empty white space on the right side of your screen, right-click in that empty space and select “Paste” from the menu choices that appear.
  • Once the file has copied to the floppy, remove the disk and take it to your Windows 95 or NT computer.

Once you have placed the disk in your computer go to the “Start” button in the lower left corner and right-click one time on it, choose “Explore” from the menu that appears.

  • Go to “3 ½ inch floppy (A:)” and click one time on it, in the right hand pane click one time on “cleanmgr.exe”.
  • Now go to the top of the open window (Windows Explorer) and select “Edit” and then “Copy” from the drop down list. If you have Windows NT you will need to go to the left section of the new window that appears and click one time on the “+” (plus) signs next to “C:” and then next to “Winnt” and finally click one time on “system32”. If you have Windows 95 you will need to click one time on the “+” (plus) sign next to “C:” as well as “Windows” and click one time on “system”.
  • Go back to “Edit” and, this time, choose “Paste” from the drop down menu.
  • Once the program is copied from the floppy you will need navigate to it under “C:\Winnt\system32” or “C:\Windows\system” and to right-click on it (cleanmgr.exe) and select “create shortcut”. The shortcut will be created in that same folder.
  • Navigate to the shortcut (it should have a small black arrow inside a white box in the lower left corner of the icon), click one time on it, go to and click on “Edit” and select “Cut” form the menu.
  • Next minimize everything to get you back to the desktop (a quick way to do this is to press the “Windows” Key [located between the ‘Ctrl’ and ‘Alt’ keys] and the “W” key at the same time and then immediately releasing them both). Once back at the desktop, right-click on any open space and choose “Paste” from the options.

Now when ever you want to run a basic cleanup of your hard drive simply double-click on the desktop shortcut and follow the prompts.

The reason we placed the file under “C:\Windows\system” or “C:\Winnt\system32” is because of best practices, that is where it belongs, and if you ever accidentally delete the desktop shortcut you still have the program in its “proper” location.

When you do run Cleanmgr you will notice that there are not as many features (checkboxes) as were available in other versions of Windows, that is simply because the needed associations were not found. If you want to have Cleanmgr run automatically, just refer back to the last several weeks of tips on automating disk cleanup and follow those same simple steps to run the Task Scheduler, don’t forget to “Browse” to the program and not the shortcut on the desktop.

Stay tuned for the next edition of The Weekly Geek when we will cover how to automate the disk defragmentation program. Until then have a pop-up ad free week.