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Old 26th December 2002   #1
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Disc Cleanup: what does "Compress Old Files" mean?


I am running XP Pro on a new computer and whenever I go to DISC CLEANUP a "Compress Old Files" box comes up that I can either check or not.
What does it mean to compress old files. Why not delete them or are they important?
Thank you,
Paul

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Old 28th December 2002   #2
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"Old Files" are those that have not been accessed in a period of time. I think this time is 50 days by default, but you can change this time by highlighting those files in DC and clicking Options.

Compressed files save some disk space. However, they must be decompressed before being used and then recompressed afterward. This can slow slower computers.

The amount of disk space gained will vary, but is not significant unless you have a small drive. Even if you do have a small drive, you can wait until your space gets small before you compress.

And, no, do not delete them. They may be needed again. System files, backups, the dll cache, and many more important files are included in the compression.

The actual compression algorithm is not intuitive. You can, for example, compress a directory without compressing the files the directory contains.

You may find this useful:

HOW TO: Use File Compression in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/default...b;en-us;307987

More information in Start-->Help and Support.


Last edited by Abraxas; 28th December 2002 at 00:57.
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Old 28th December 2002   #3
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ABRAXAS-I guess what your saying is to leave them alone--I have a 120 Gig HDD and it's a brand new computer.
The main reason I was inquiring about the compressed file setting was that I never had that choice on my old WIN 98SE OS-- the compressed file box is only showing 1345 KB--

There is also another box labled "Web Client/Publisher Temp Files--that I did not have on my old computer--it's only showing 32KB, so I guess it's best for me to leave them alone.

The reason I'm asking so many questons was that before this computer all I had was a little 200mhz laptop and I faithfully cleaned it up--I would delete temp files, cookies, and history files every day and scan disk and defrag it once a week and it served me great for the the last 3 years ( the wife is using now using it with a wireless home network system to learn how to use a computer)
that's why I wanted to keep this new one clean from the very start.

NOW if I could only learn how to back up my files and Outlook Express I would be a happy campe.
Thanks for the help,
Paul

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Old 28th December 2002   #4
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Disk Cleanup does a pretty good, safe job of cleaning. Your temp files will be in C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Temp. Some older installation programs may use Windows\Temp.
There are many other free cleanup programs.

Saving OE files is discussed here:
Backing Up Outlook Express

I also found it handy to make a shortcut to chkdsk (it should specify the /f switch to actually repair the drive on reboot, as in "chkdsk /f").

The Windows defragmenter is a simplified version of Executive Software's Diskeeper and works fine.

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Old 28th December 2002   #5
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Thank you abraxas.
Paul

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Old 28th December 2002   #6
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There are a lot of good programs available to defrag and clean your computer. As you have discovered, simple maintenance can go a long way.

There are many more cleaning programs that do a better job than XP's native apps. Registry cleanup is a topic that can be debated as to its necessity (I've known people who never did it and had computers that ran just as well as they did when new after a few years), but one I just discovered that seems to work well on the automatic setting is RegScrubXP:
http://home.carolina.rr.com/lexunfre...PSetup_3.2.exe

You may want to look at AdAware at:
www.lavasoft.de
This will remove the ads, spyware, etc. that accumulate. The 5 version is a little outdated, but 6 is due out in Jan.-Feb.

If you want to spend money, Pest Patrol is very good:
http://www.pestpatrol.com/

Many more recommendations from the members here. Come back for more!


Last edited by Abraxas; 28th December 2002 at 23:34.
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Old 28th December 2002   #7
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abraxas, I just got done reading this about Ad-Aware on the "Lockergnome Tech Specialist" site. this is a good site for people with all varying degrees of knowledge about computers.

Lockergnome Article

Anti-Spyware Shift
http://www.spywareinfo.com/newslette...2/12252002.php

I was beginning to wonder what was up with Ad-Aware and the total lack of updates over the last three months. According to our pal, Mike, Lavasoft is a sinking ship and he recommends that it now be abandoned. I've been using a bit recently, but have been uneasy about whether it's actually catching everything. Mike confirms these suspicions, noting that known spyware is missed entirely, or not handled properly, potentially resulting in damage to working Windows network configurations. The alternative I usually suggest mirrors that of Spywareinfo.com... Spybot S&D.

Paul

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Old 29th December 2002   #8
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Thanks, Paul. I'm aware of the scuttlebut about AdAware and it probably does miss some of the more recent pests.

However, it is such a good program, and their explanation of the engine needing a complete reworking before it can catch all the newer, more sophisticated pests makes a lot of sense.

I use other things, but I'm looking forward to their new release.

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Old 29th December 2002   #9
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FWIW - I routinely run both Ad-Aware and Spybot. And Ad-Aware still catches the occasional critter that Spybot (with current updates) misses.

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Old 29th December 2002   #10
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10-4 to Newt!

My findings also.

10-4 to Abraxas

RegScrubXP is excellent, I have run it after a pass thru EasyClean "registry clean", Regcleaner "Do them all" and System Mechanic "registry clean" and RegScrubXP still found entries.

But for those reading this, RegScrub is only for XP and Win2k not win98 or ME.

Mike


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Old 29th December 2002   #11
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Hey guys I just found another article on Ad-Aware that doesn't lok good for the company.
Paul

http://www.spywareinfo.com/newslette...2/12252002.php

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Old 29th December 2002   #12
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Mike-I read you recommendation for Reg Scrub XP--being that I am still a novice when it comes to stuff like this and this is a brand new computer would it be wise for me to install Reg-Scrub.
How hard is it to use and can I mess anything up using it.
Also is it a download or do you have to purchase it from a store.
Thank, Paul

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Old 29th December 2002   #13
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That was the first article I happened across, Paul . At the risk of being too defensive of Lavasoft, I'd like to point out that his statement about AdAware doing damage is not substantiated and extreme.

Wait and see. I just don't abandon my friends too easily .

PS. RegscrubXP is free from the link posted above. You will be safe if you use the automatic option and just clean what it checks.


Last edited by Abraxas; 29th December 2002 at 15:10.
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Old 29th December 2002   #14
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abraxas-HELP-i just installed Reg Scrup from your link and during the set-up it came up with a box that with some options and one one them said "Reg Scrub finds problem" so I cliked that and then it came up with 131 problems--they where all listed----at the bottom of the box there were 3 options

Select all problems
Unselect all problems
Fix selected problem
then NEXT
I didn't see anything about automatic select like you said.
What should I do now?
Paul

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Old 29th December 2002   #15
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10-4 to Abraxas

I have never had a problem with it.

More problems come from people manually tinkering with the registry.

Paul the registry is like a master index or the nervous system of windows.

It tells windows how things work, where things are, and many other things.

The problems bad entries can cause range from the registry just being so large (full of bad entries maybe but not necessarily) which slows access.

The registry uses serial access meaning to get an entry, windows has to read from the beginning to the point of retrieval. So if t does not find it, it reads completely thru the registry. Since the registry can be many Megs in size, it needs to be cleaned and compacted. The registry is read intensively at windows start. And it generally is read on almost all program starts.

Bad registry entries can cause problems when a bad entry points to nothing or and erroneous value thus slowing down or giving errors or lockups.

Every registry entry must have a beginning and end. If the start or end is missing it is a bad entry.

Examples:

a program is uninstalled but the reg entry is still there points correctly to something say like a video controller or HD or anything. Has no beginning.

a modem or some hardware is removed (as opposed to a program like above) now we have the reverse, a beginning but no end.

Also when things are removed in almost all cases there is a blank spot where they came out. Relates to you removing an entire paragraph in a document but not closing up the space between.

The registry may be clean of bad entries but has dead space. This space is handled when the registry is optimized (also called compacting) by scanreg or other means.

The registry can be cleaned of dead links and be optimized/compacted and still have logical errors. registry cleaners can not get these.

In short here is what a registry cleaner does.

Looks for:
entries that have no beginning and removes
entries that have no end point and remove

What they do not do:
Fix entries that have begin and end but invalid or erroneous values.

Yeah I know I wax prolific. Can't help it! I know you don't have all day to read about the registry. And I don't really have all day to write either but I want to be clear. If you want to learn I want to teach.

Mike

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