Clean up your Hard Drive In Windows XP.
Over time, your Hard Disk fills up with all kinds of stuff, and before you know it, that drive you bought just a year or so ago, and whose capacity looked great back then, is already alarmingly full. You need a certain amount of "headroom" or empty space on your hard drive for Windows to function properly. Things like the Windows swap file require empty space on the hard drive for standby utilization and your system can slow down enormously if it's not available.
Check out these steps to slim down on your Hard Disk's use:
Uninstalling unused Components
Many people never bother to check which components of Windows are installed, and which ones can be removed. Are you using Microsoft Fax Services? If not, you can save around 3.7MB. Use Internet Explorer, but not MSN Explorer? Uninstalling MSN Explorer gets you 13.5MB back! Don't play the "standard" Microsoft games? They use 12.1MB of space!
To uninstall Windows components:
Deleting Temp Files
When Windows crashes, or locks up and you have to use Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart, some temporary files will be left on your disk. Some installation routines will also leave temporary files behind.
These files will be left in your \Documents and Settings\your username\Local Settings\Temp folder.
You can use Windows Explorer to find and delete these files. To be on the safe site, don't delete files with today's date, these files could still be in use (most probably you'll get an error telling you that a file can't be deleted because it's in use).
You can also check your entire hard disk, to see if there are any temp files in other places:
Deleting other files
Other files you could delete are files with these extensions:
To be on the safe side, delete your files to the
Recycle Bin, and leave them there for a week or two. If you don't run into
any problems, you can empty the Recycle Bin. If Windows or any program
complains about a missing file, just select your Recycle Bin, find the file
and right-click on it. From the context menu choose Restore. This
will restore the file to its original location.
Temporary Internet Files
Another source of "disappearing" hard disk space are the Temporary Internet Files. To speed up your Internet browsing, pages, graphics and other page elements are stored in your browser's cache. It's worth it to clean this cache from time to time:
Outlook Express just removes the "pointers" to the actual email from the index, but to actually remove the email itself, you need to run the Compact Folder function.
You can access this function from the Outlook Express menu: File > Folder. You can choose either Compact or Compact all Folders, the difference is that the first one only compacts the folder currently selected.
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