In the course of daily use Windows XP can generate thousands of temporary files in its operation. These files can be more persistent than their name implies. They can end up consuming large amounts of valuable disk space.
The Disk Cleanup utility provides you with a safe way to delete these temporary files.
To access this utility proceed as follows:
- Right click the drive icon (C:) in the My computer window.
- Click on Properties in the opened context menu.
Click here to proceed to the Local Drive (C:) Properties.
Cleanup your Browser (IE7 & Internet Options):
The Web Cache refers to the Temporary Internet Files and History Files of Internet Explorer. These files can become quite large, occupying quite a bit of hard disk space.
Their file size should be limited to reasonable values and cleared out periodically.
Click on the IE icon to review and adjust your Web Cache.
Purging your E-Mail Client (Outlook Express):
Over time your Inbox, Sent Items, and Deleted Items folders can become bloated with old messages, that are no longer required or desired. To ensure an efficiently running computer system these folders must be cleared out and compacted.
It also may be desired to archive (backup) this information for future reference.
Click on this icon to review the deletion of Outlook Express 6 files.
The Use of CCleaner:
CCleaner is an optimization tool utility, combining a system cleaner of unused and temporary files and a Registry cleaner.
It helps to protect your personal privacy by removing traces of Web sites you have visited and files you have opened.
Cleaning up the Windows operating system, allows it to run more efficiently and faster, as well as freeing up space on your hard drive.
Click on the icon to view a summary of CCleaner's operation.
There are numerous *.log and *.temp type files, along with MRU (Most Recently Used) lists that can keep growing in size, with no direct means of clearing them out. This can consume large amounts of hard disk space with unnecessary information, which has no direct use.
A similar situation prevails with the Registry Data Base, resulting in a significant slowdown in the Windows operating system.
CCleaner has been designed to be safe and secure in its operation. It has multiple checks in place to prevent useful information from being deleted.
Checking Your Hard Drive For Errors:
After clearing out as much unnecessary file and data information from your hard drive, it is advisable to check for errors in the disk's file system and in the disk medium itself.
These errors can cause a wide range of problems, such as the ability to open or save files, BSOD (blue screen of death) type errors and wide spread data corruption.
The Windows XP system is capable of recovering automatically from many disk errors. It is advisable to use the in built Windows XP "Check Disk" utility tool from time to time, to check for and correct any disk errors that may be present.
Click on the disk icon to detect and repair disk errors.
It is strongly suggested to perform these tests prior to defragmenting your hard drive, so as to prevent corrected files from being placed in an area of the hard drive that is defective.
Over time your hard disk's performance can become degraded because of disk fragmentation.
Each time you open or save a file on a fragmented disk, disk performance suffers. Sometimes it can be quite dramatic, as the disk heads have to spend extra time moving from cluster to cluster before they can begin reading or writing data.
Disk defragmentation focuses on drive organization. Improving performance by physically rearranging files, into contiguous clusters. Free space is consolidated (the compacting process), making it less likely new files will be fragmented when they are written to disk.
Click on the Defragmentation icon to review the utilities operation.
Frequent defragmentation will reduce the amount of time required to perform subsequent defragmentation's.