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[winxp] GUIDE: Making your windows folder smaller!

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Bold_Fortune    0

Update

As many of you know, my site went down for the full month of September. I really haven't much control over the site, because it really isn't "my" site. The site belongs to a generous lady named Sadie who lives in England. She gave it to me to support my work on Slimming Down Windows XP: The Complete Guide.

The guide was always for you. That is why I created it. It is my gift to those who always wanted to know which files they can delete from Windows XP, but couldn't find their answers. My site was only an afterthought.

Should the unforeseen happen, should my site go down again, whether temporarily or permanently, you should know that two other sites now host my guide for you, WinCert.net and Jan's Graphix an Stuff.

Slimming Down Windows XP: The Complete Guide has always been and will always be a work in progress. I edit and make changes to its contents on a continuous basis. I will continue my work on my guide on my site as well as on the above two sites.

Sincerely,

Bold_Fortune

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NormaJean    0

thank you, a very usefull guide, always nice to remove some unknown junk from your system.

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DJ_Alex    0

Maybe many users should not touch windows that way because then, they can regret and there is no turning back, hehe. First of all, do an image with drive image xml or another program before changing anything in win xp!

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Inter_XYZ    2

I deleted some stuff recommended from first page but I had some error in startup (missing system file). I had to repair Windows with CD.

Also now I cannot reinstall Office because setup do not know language in my system. I see in Regional and Language Options language list is totaly empty. I use English interface only so how is gone english with all other languages?! I read all 36 pages and as I've seen no one had this problem. Can you tell me how to back items from C\Windows\MUI folder? At least english. In Microsoft Download Center not available English Interface Pack. I use muisetup.exe file to install english but nothing happens. Drop down list from regional and Language Options is still empty (after restart).

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Inter_XYZ    2

OK I've installed now 2003 with no problem. And when I asked some friends to give me content from C:\Windows\MUI they said me that folder is with one fily only. So not MUI folder cause I have no languages. So what do you think what I have deleted and caused empty drop down list of languages?

I'm waiting for any replay. ;)

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@thehop    0

BTW: Before make any changes on the System, it's good to have one bootable Windows (ore more)

in Reserve. XXCLONE copy a running Windows to an empty Partition, and add it automatically to the

BOOT.INI.

XXCLONE http://www.xxclone.com/iwhatis.htm

- Makes a self-bootable clone of Windows system disk.

- Supports all 32-bit Windows (95, 98, ME, NT4, 2000, XP).

- Can restore the self-bootability in many cases.

- It takes only a minute to run.

- Everyone should keep the Freeware handy for just in case.

- The Pro version is ideal for daily backup.

- Supports common internal disk drives (IDE, SATA, SCSI).

- Supports external USB/FIREWIRE drives (good for a laptop).

- Competes with Norton Ghost, DriveImage, MaxBlast.

- Much faster than any of them in typical daily backup.

- Need not go to the DOS mode. Operates in regular Windows environment.

PS: Can save time and troubles :) ... therefore i look younger and younger since Years :rofl:

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hamamo    0

ok

that help minimize the folder size

but every one should do that on his/her responsibility

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onlinebackup    0

May have been a sensible option when hard drive space was higher (much higher)

Still could be used in very limited circumstances such as extreme poverty or meanness.

You would possibly end up in a whole lot of deserved trouble as a consequence.

John

http://www.backupanytime.com/contact.htm

[GUIDE]: Making your windows folder smaller!

By: NeoMayhem (neomayhem@neomayhem.cjb.net) for Neowin.net

Original Thread: http://www.neowin.net/forum/index.php?act=...=62837&st=0

Why would I want to do this?

There are many reasons for making your windows folder smaller, first it saves space and removes windows features you will probably never use that are just slowing down your computer.

What can you delete?

That is what this article is about, I will explain everything I know is safe to delete, and what happens if you do!

Everything I explain in this article has been done on my main system and my other systems for at least 3 months now, my systems have been perfectly stable, and I don?t think I have got a fatal error or BSOD yet this year!

Will this really improve the speed of my system?

I don?t have any results to prove it, but I think it does improve boot time a little, and after a clean install, it does seem to make the system slightly faster after deleting these thingDisclaimer: In no way is neowin.net or NeoMayhem responsible for what you do to your system, this is ONLY for advanced users who know a little about windows and computers and can reinstall/repair a windows installation if necessary. This has worked for me wonderfully and hopefully will for you to!

Final notes: This has been tested on Windows XP Pro Final and SP1 (Not home, but it should work fine) Windows 2003 Enterprise Server 3700, RTM, and The Free Evaluation version (Any 2k3 version should work fine), and Windows 2000 Pro. If the following folders are not on your 2k/2k3 system it means they are only in XP and you don?t need to worry about them. .

If for some reason you can not delete a folder, just delete the files inside, I tried to make not of the folders that cant be deleted, but depending on your system and if you use FAT32 or NTFS it may be different.

All of the paths listed in there are C:\Windows and C:\Program Files, if your folders have different names (Like C:\WINNT on windows 2k) then you should use that path instead.

Well, lets get started deleting, these start out ordered from largest to smallest, but after the first few files they are all fairly small, and are just in a random order.

1. c:\windows\system32\dllcache\

NOTE: DON?T DELETE THIS FOLDER, JUST ALL THE FILES INSIDE! This folder uses a LOT of hard drive space, it holds a backup of every system file that windows uses. Deleting this will cause a SFC error when you replace a system file instead of windows putting back the original file. For people who want to mod there system, this is a good thing.

2. c:\windows\servicepackfiles\i386\

NOTE: DON?T DELETE THIS FOLDER, JUST ALL THE FILES INSIDE! This folder only exists if you installed a service pack on XP, if you did a slipstream it won?t be here either. This folder is the same as the dllcache, but has the new files that were updated by a service pack. If you delete the dllcache, deleting this is just like finishing the job.

3. c:\windows\$Uninstall----$

These $uninstall----$ folders are used whenever you want to uninstall a windows update. If you delete them, you can not uninstall the update(s), but if the updates are working fine for you, there should be now reason to remove them.

4. c:\windows\cursors\

This folder contains some custom cursers for windows, if you are happy with the default cursers, or use your own set like Blue Curve, then deleting this wont effect you at all.

5. c:\windows\driver cache\i386\

NOTE: DON?T DELETE THIS FOLDER, JUST ALL THE FILES INSIDE! This is one you may not want to delete, this takes up a bit of space (about 80mb) but windows uses if you ever add or remove windows components and things like printer drivers. If you?re your hardware is already working fine, you don?t need this folder on your hard drive. For example, if you delete this folder, and try to install IIS, windows will ask for the CD or Network share with the files on it, if you don?t need to add or remove windows components often, deleting this will free up some space for you.

6. c:\windows\help\

NOTE: DON?T DELETE THIS FOLDER, JUST ALL THE FILES IN SIDE! This folder contains all of the windows help files. If you are like me, and think they having 50mb of help files is a waste, then you probably want to delete it. If you delete this folder and try to view a help file, the Help and Support center will come up with a 404 error. No harm is done, you just can?t view the help files (because you deleted them?). There is also a tours folder inside of the help folder, you can delete everything in this folder also, but windows won?t let you remove the actual folder.

7. c:\windows\inf\

NOTE: DON?T DELETE THIS FOLDER, JUST ALL THE FILES INSIDE! This folder contains a lot of windows drivers, if you ever add new hardware, windows looks in this folder, then on your CD drive for the latest drivers. Any hardware you might get will probably come with the drivers on a disk, so this folder is just a wasting space on your hard drive with outdated drivers. If all of your hardware is working fine, and you don?t plan on adding any new hardware for a while, deleting this wont effect your system at all. If you don?t want to delete everything in it, you can go into the folder, press CRTL+F and search for mdm*.* and delete everything that comes up. These are all modem drivers, and it is very unlikely you will ever need them because you either have a modem installed already, or if you do add one, it will come with newer drivers.

8. c:\windows\srchasst

This folder is the XP Search assistant, if you delete it, windows will just use the classic 2k style search instead, which is moWARNING: Some people have reported problems with this, and have not been able to search, try this at your own risk!!!t your own risk!!!

9. c:\windows\downloaded installations\

This folder holds the installers for some programs you download and install, for example, Tweak UI puts its installer in this folder, and so you can repair it or update its components later. Deleting this folder won?t harm any programs I have ever seen, but you should look inside this and see what you are deleting first.

10. c:\windows\media\

These are the default windows sounds, if you don?t want them, deleting them wont hurt anything.

11. c:\windows\system32\restore\

This is the system restore apps, if you delete this, system restore will no longer work. Before you delete this, you should go into System Restore, and delete all your restore points, and then you should go to the system properties and disable system restore. After that, you can delete this folder, and not worry about system restore slowing down your system or sucking up space.

12. c:\windows\system32\usmt\

This folder is the File and Settings Transfer wizard. If you have no need for it, then deleting this wont have any other effects besides the File and Settings Transfer wizard not working anymore.

13 A. c:\program files\msn

13 B. c:\program files\netmeeting\

These are the MSN Explorer and Net Meeting applications. If you don?t need or use them, then you can delete these folders (For net meeting, you can only delete the files inside) and the only thing it will effect is that these programs will know longer work.

14. C:\windows\system32\oobe

NOTE: DON?T DELETE THIS FOLDER, JUST ALL THE FILES INSIDE! In this folder is the Out of Box Experience (The screens you see right after you have installed XP for the first time), and the XP Product Activation stuff. If you have a Retail or OEM version of XP, and you think you might ever need to activate again, DON?T DELETE THIS. So unless you are using XP or 2k3 CORP, you may still need this folder someday.

15. c:\windows\msagent

This folder holds the MS Agent program. The MS Agent is a gay little wizard thing that looks like the Office Assistant, I personally hate this thing, and removing it will get rid of it for good! If windows wont let you remove the folder, just delete everything inside of it, and everything inside of the intl folder.

16. c:\windows\java

This is the crappy MS Java components that don?t work well, and MS got sued over. If you have Windows XP slipstreamed with SP1a you wont have this because MS no longer distributes it. If you use websites that use Java Applets, you should keep this, or remove it and install Suns Java VM.

17. c:\windows\mui

This is a little app that allows you to switch between multiple languages, if you only use one language, then deleting this wont effect you at all. NOTE: I think this folder only exists on XP Pro because Home Edition doesn?t support multiple languages.

Post Deletion:

After you have deleted everything you want to, I recommend you run the Regisrty Cleaner from jvPowerTools ( http://www.vtoy.fi/jv16 ). This will remove all the references to things you deleted so a window doesn?t look for the files any more. If you delete the Java Folder, RegCleaner will find at least 50 reg entries related to it, and can remove them for you if you want.

What else can I do to make the windows folder smaller?

If you want to make your windows folder even smaller, and you use NTFS, you can use NTFS compression to make the windows folder smaller. Although you can compress everything it, compressing EXEs and DLL files will make you system a little bit slower, so I recommend compressing everything BUT EXE and DLL files.

Using this guide, you should easily be able to make your windows folder less then 1gb, but because some programs add there own files to the windows dir, your results may differ from what other people have gotten there folder sizes to. After a clean install, it is fairly easy to get your windows folder less then 700mb so you can put a image file of your clean install on one CD and be able to restore it easily.

That is all for now, if you have your own, feel free to post them below and if my system still works well after deleting them, I will add them to this guide!

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M1000    0

Very Nice topic ...... thaks man !

:alien:

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oliviaharis    0

Windows Explorer provides a bigger view of your disks' contents, and makes it easier to work with files and folders at the same time, I prefer it over My Computer.One reason some people prefer My Computer is because it automatically appears as a shortcut on the Windows desktop. This means you can open My Computer without launching it from the Programs menu. If this is important to you, then you should create a desktop shortcut for Windows Explorer, too.

--------------------------

oliviaharis

detractor

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Ulf von Barth    0

Dear NeoMayhem,

First of all, let me thank you for a very useful guide on reducing the size of our Windows systems.

As a matter of fact, the most annoying feature of the Windows system is that it has a very strong

tendency to expand with time. Every time there are updates to Windows, copies of the the older

versions of the programs are left lying around on your hard drive. And, unfortunately, many third

party programmers have adopted the same policy.

NeoMayham has obviously given a lot of thought to these problems. Let me, therefore, describe

a couple of experiences and pose a couple of questions in the hope of some enlightened responses

from NeoMayham or anybody with some knowledge of which files are essential for a stable Windows

system (I am thinking mainly about XP-SP3).

Every time (quite often) Internet Explorer is updated a copy of the old version is written in the

directory ie7updates. Thus, for every update, this directory grows by ~20MB. I have started to

delete these older verions without any adverse effects on my system. I just keep the latest

version which worked well from experience. (I suspect that I will no longer be able to roll back to

an arbitrary older version!) Any comments?

When I ask my system to compress old files I find that the system compresses all files in the

dierctory ie7. Does this mean that these files can be deleted if everything is already working fine

and I do not intend to uninstall Internet Explorer.

I once had a problem with my Windows Media Player. (I got an unknown error message every time

I used it. Later, I found out, by pure chance, that the problem was caused by Nero from Ahead.)

The advice I got from Microsoft was to reinstall Windows MP starting from the first versions (6.4 - 9 -

10 - 11) (Win MP can actually not be removed from the system. MP Classical will always be there.)

But since I had deleted all $xxx$-files associated with the Media Palyer this roll-back was not

possible. Then, I just went to a friend who has a lot of disc space and keeps his $xxx$-files,

put the ones relevant the Media Player back onto my machine via a floppy, and then had no

problems uninstalling and later reinstalling Windows MP.

The lesson from this experinence seem to be that one can delete a lot of Windows files from

ones hard drive, even many which a Microsoft representative would claim to be essential,

provided one first saves copeis on, let's say, a CD. Comments?

A Microsoft representative has told me that the suggestion above is a bad idea because there are

pointers in the Registry fingerig to the deleted files and this will screw-up the system. Even if the

files are restored to their original location, they will be useless! Comments?

I have a huge directory on my machine called c:\windos\installer. It is 1.1 GB! Most of the files in

this directory gets compressed by the system when I ask it to save space on C:\. The biggest

file in this directory is $PatchCache$ (380MB). How about deleting the files in this directory?

Or save them to a DVD? Or just the file $PatchCache$ ?

Let us all work to slim down our Windows systems! All the best, vonbarth.

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Rebounder18    0

I anticipate that there are abounding affidavit for authoritative your windows binder smaller, aboriginal it saves amplitude and removes windows appearance you will apparently never use that are just slowing down your computer.

_________________

How

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Chris4    0

Can someone upload C:\WINDOWS\srchasst as a .zip please? I've deleted it and now I can't search at all.

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cakadir    0

Thank you very much. The guide was very useful and well explained. I could increase the free space in my Eee PC900 to 1.58 GB from 225 kb (which was causing lot of headaches). Thanks again

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c3ntury    133

Nice guide, im using Vista 64x and some of the folder wernt there though -.-

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laq3    4

This guide still relevant for windows 7?

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majax79    0

Does anyone know where I can find Bold's guide to SP3? I found it once but I haven't been able to find it since.

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MelodySean    0

good job

thanks.

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Raa    1,565

This guide still relevant for windows 7?

No, do NOT do this on Vista/7.

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majax79    0

That's the guide for SP2. He wrote an updated guide for the stuff that is installed with SP3. It listed the files installed with Health Key and Certificate Management Service and the three other services that are newly installed in sp3.

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LiquidSolstice    115

It's for precisely THIS reason I'm extremely annoyed that all the Windows forums got moved into one. I really REALLY wish they changed it back, we have idiots who don't realize that not everyone has Windows 7 suggesting to the OP in EVERY BLOODY THREAD to upgrade to Windows 7 to solve their problem, and we have stupid guides like this which will result in someone removing something they shouldn't, running to this forum for support, and then proceeding to blame Microsoft for creating a bad operating system.

*sigh*

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majax79    0

It's for precisely THIS reason I'm extremely annoyed that all the Windows forums got moved into one. I really REALLY wish they changed it back, we have idiots who don't realize that not everyone has Windows 7 suggesting to the OP in EVERY BLOODY THREAD to upgrade to Windows 7 to solve their problem, and we have stupid guides like this which will result in someone removing something they shouldn't, running to this forum for support, and then proceeding to blame Microsoft for creating a bad operating system.

*sigh*

This guide isn't stupid, it's informative. Maybe you should freaking relax. I wasn't running to this forum for support or blaming Microsoft. I just wanted the Bold_fortune SP3 little guide he made because I can't find it anywhere. I don't delete everything in Bold" guide but it is a very useful guide...and since I don't see YOU providing any guides I don't think you have any room to talk. If you have a problem helping people then you should leave the forum.

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LiquidSolstice    115

This guide isn't stupid, it's informative. Maybe you should freaking relax. I wasn't running to this forum for support or blaming Microsoft. I just wanted the Bold_fortune SP3 little guide he made because I can't find it anywhere. I don't delete everything in Bold" guide but it is a very useful guide...and since I don't see YOU providing any guides I don't think you have any room to talk. If you have a problem helping people then you should leave the forum.

Yes, you're a perfect judge of who's being helpful, right? Congrats on your....what is this, your fifth post in three years? Fantastic. I should totally even regard you as one bit of a helpful member. You keep deleting. Then, when you want to use something and you can't, I will laugh. Enjoy your decade-old operating system.

And by the way, you watch yourself. Don't dare tell me about what "helping people" is. I'm pointing out the damage that these guides can do to a computer. Oh wait, I doubt you'd know how annoyed these "guides" make us skilled users because you don't even contribute to this forum to be able to keep an eye on things. This thread used to be in the XP forum, where all threads pertaining to that age-old changeaphobe attracting operating system used to be. Then they consolidated all the Windows forums into one.

And for that reason, I will be very vocal about such an old guide for such an old operating system is a bad idea to follow. This is not the first "guide" that I've seen on here and it won't be the last, I'm sure of that. Now run along child.

Oh, I provide quite a bit of support. To the most current operating system that is.

Here's just a few:

http://www.neowin.ne...#entry592403248

http://www.neowin.ne...#entry592655960

And of course, my attempt to explain to people like you that things like using Windows Classic instead of Aero will not speed your computer up, it will only slow it down:

http://www.neowin.ne...ed-performance/

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