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Old 4th August 2002   #1
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files safe to delete


I would like to clean up some of my files in Windows xp home edition.
I read that some extensions are safe to delete.
My question is are all extensions ending with
.tmp
.bak
safe to delete?
Waiting for a reply
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Old 4th August 2002   #2
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There is no easy answer for that. You can never be sure about .tmp and .bak files unless you have some insight into how all your installed software works.

I have a third party Fax program that stores the sent and received fax images and uses the .tmp extension. I found that out when I did a disk wide delete of all .tmp files, as you are considering. I was disappointed to find that all my fax records had vanished.

Furthermore, I have several programs that have an automatic backup feature and they use the .bak extension. It wouldn't be tragic to lose them but still it would be somewhat of a gamble. Working without a net, so to speak.

Having given you those warning examples, I will say that I delete any .tmp files that I find on the root of my drive and also any that are found in either of the temp folders. I delete ALL files of ANY extension found in the temp folders. That assumes that I'm not in the middle of an install, in which case the files may be important to that process. I leave all that are located within a program directory unless I happen to know they are useless. The only ones of that nature that come to mind right now would be the .tmp files I find in MsWorks and MsWord from time to time. They are always left as a result of me shutting down improperly or some program error that dumps me. Those are rare of late since getting XP but did occur often with W9x.

As for the .bak files, I leave them alone since they take up very little space and I'd have little to gain by deleting them.

The above procedure will keep you safe.

The bottom line may well be, if you aren't sure, leave it alone. The small space you gain will not be worth what you may lose. Sometimes you can open them with the Notepad and see what they are and if you need them.

Good luck.


Last edited by Zephyr; 4th August 2002 at 03:10.
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Old 4th August 2002   #3
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Thanks for your reply sator...
I was O.K. with deleting .tmp files in the temp folders but was not sure about the others.
This answers my question loud and clear, do not mess around with uncertainty.
Thanks again
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Old 4th August 2002   #4
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Zepher's correct in being cautious. Problem is I run on the edge a little, with few problems, so here's my suggestions, but use with caution and perhaps leave these deleted files in your Recycle bin for a day or two.
I run the following string in search/files and folders from the start menu:- *.old;*.bak;*.gid;*.tmp;*.dmp I've not had any problems. Any tmp files that windows needs for the current session won't be allowed to be deleted. Simply put these files are;- .old files are files after an upgrade/new install of a prog and sometimes after an uninstall of a prog. Safe to delete. bak files as Zepher said, and often left over from an uninstall, usually safe to delete. .gid files are help related files created when you access the help menu of a programme. They will be replaced if you use the help files of the prog again. .tmp files are temporary files from an installation or instance of a prog. Usually they are safe to delete and as above if needed won't allow to be deleted. .dmp Dump files can be a big waste of space created when the system crashes such as the BSOD (blue screen) pretty much usless, unless you (or MS) know how to interprete then for fault finding. I reclamed many megs of space when I first found out they were safe to delete. I actually turned of the dump files in system properties/startup and recovery/write debugging information (none)

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Old 9th May 2003   #5
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Hi all!

Bringing up an old topic since I took notes when I first read it and have acted according to the advice.

IŽve made an installation of WinXP Pro with OffXP Pro and wanted to "clean" the installation. I sent all files *.bak, *.dmp, *.gid, *.old, *.tmp, to the bin and let them stay there.

I restarted and opened the applications one by one and none of the Office applications worked. Windows started the installer and when I interrupted it, the message was that Office wasnŽt setup for the current user.

I took a look in the bin to see from where the different files had been deleted and decided to put back "data.bak" in "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\Office\Data".

This solved the problem and when I took a look in the actual folder I found a file "data.dat" and wondered why it doesnŽt work without the *.bak file. The date on "data.dat" is 05-06-2003 and on "data.bak" it is 02-10-2001 which means that it was present during the installation of either WinXP or OffXP.

I did a quick google-ing and found the recommendation that if more than one *.bak file was present all but the most recent one could be deleted but some applications need a *.bak file in some instances.

I just thought IŽd let You know,
Christer


Last edited by Christer; 9th May 2003 at 10:22.
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Old 9th May 2003   #6
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Just an Idea


Hi

I know it is not easy at all deciding which files are needed & which are safe to delete. The advice I was given was that unless I am 100% sure that files can go, the best strategy is to move them elsewhere ( another partition or create a folder ) If you then suffer error messages you can move the file back to where it should be.

Very much like putting them in the bin as Christer has done ~ just a little more secure ( in case you empty the bin & forget they were in there )


If you can read the file first it will help you make your mind up then move and wait to see if they are needed.

I agree with the 'caution' which has been stated in all the posts. I would need to remove files too but am a bit toooooooo cautious about what may happen by doing so

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Old 9th May 2003   #7
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I think that IŽll leave the *.bak and *.gid files alone. The *.bak files might be needed by the application and the *.gid files are recreated at the next session.

I have set (I think) the OS to not create any *.dmp files which I wouldnŽt know how to use anyway so IŽll hopefully not see any of those.

That leaves the *.old files of which there arenŽt too many and the *.tmp files which come in the hundreds. I get rid of all of them that Windows doesnŽt prevent deleting. Some current session *.tmp files cannot be deleted.

In another thread, different folders that could be cleared safely were mentioned. According to my notes; cookies-, dump-, history-, recent- and temp- directories can be emptied.
In one of my temp folders there were *.log files and *.txt files. The *.txt files were versions of the *.log files.
I did a search for all *.log files and there are quite a lot of them, the vast majority outside any of the mentioned "safe to delete contents" folders. Therefore I decided to leave the few examples in that temp folder too, including the *.txt files.

Am I beginning to think out loud again ...... ......

Christer

Oh, another thing while IŽm at it:

A few of my *.tmp files are write protected. I found that out when I tried to delete them and was prompted for confirmation. As a safety measure I kept them.
Does anyone know the significance of this write protection of a *.tmp file?

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Old 9th May 2003   #8
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temp. Mystery


Hi

I will have to look in for .tmps now

Looking about for an answer to your protected ones

The only thing I have found to date that temp. files can hold your 'undo' data therefore they may be still in use by some application & it is only after re-boot that the app. will no longer need them ?????????

Word can create a LOT of temp files - especially if not closed down properly. PSP creates lots too. In theory these should be deleted on exit BUT then is there logic with XP ??

Not all temps. are safe to delete until you know for sure they are no longer needed. Installing things creates a temp. folder which is needed until the re-boot - unfortunatley not all programs clean up afterwards !

Read this - SAFE to delete : *.log *.old *.bak & *.000 *001 *002 etc

*.bmp *.wav * *.avi - take up too much space ( normally superfluous )

Windows folder ( tonnnes of *.txt ( read me & log files ) safe to delete BUT double click to view contents first.

The files in \Windows\Temp folder - you will NOT be able to delete some files because they are in use by open applications. Apps. in a previous Windows session may not have been deleted
( multiply ! ) check the date & if they are from an old session then safe to delete.

Questionable files :

Double click - if you see 'open with ' then not registered to a file name - drop it into Notepad to read.
Check properties then Version to see if DLL + the program it may apply to.

Is there no software to do this for us ???????????

The more I read about & I almost afraid to boot the PC


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Old 9th May 2003   #9
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Hi miniB!

Quote:
Read this - SAFE to delete : *.log *.old *.bak & *.000 *001 *002 etc
Well, I "reopened" this thread because I found out that *.bak files ARE NOT SAFE TO DELETE!

Concerning the *.log files, there are active logfiles that cannot be deleted, the same as for some *.tmp files.
IŽm pretty sure that theyŽll be recreated if needed but since the size is rather small, I think IŽll keep them.

Concerning *.avi, *.bmp and *.wav files; arenŽt those like other documents, either you want them or not?

Quote:
Windows folder ( tonnnes of *.txt ( read me & log files ) safe to delete BUT double click to view contents first.
Well, this indicates to me that they might not be safe to delete.

IŽve asked myself a few questions:

Do I bother too much about a lot of stuff that I myself am making an issue but that really arenŽt of any significance?

Should I leave the computer to itself and use it as the tool it is intended to be and stop messing with it?

Do I spend too much time preventing a mishap which, if it should occur, would take less time to rectify?

...... ...... I need a drink ...... ...... Christer

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Old 9th May 2003   #10
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Sorry this was in a book !!!!!!!! *.baxs

I am asking the same questions ...... I am meant to be able to enjoy my computers - What do I do instead - try to clean out & re-organise

I have friends who do nothing & their PC's survive - think that should indicate something ?????

If the computer works then maybe it does know better
I think I will keep to being mini


Last edited by miniB; 9th May 2003 at 18:05.
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Old 16th May 2003   #11
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Dleting folders and stuff


I have a little trick I use when deleting folders that contain software that can't for some reason be deleted through the Control Panel (this happens, even in XP, although I'm not sure why).

I simply add '.del' to the folder name an wait to see what happens for a few weeks - if nothing untoward occurs, delete the whole thing later.

J

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Old 16th May 2003   #12
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cleaning unnecessary


hey i came across a free program called Easy Cleaner and have been using it for 3 years
it cleans registry and unnecessary files and other stuff and I have never had a problem with anything except with Windows XP
there is a place at the top of the clean windows that says "skip" and you must put "HelpCtr.exe" so that it wont delete ur XP help files

it took me a while before finally figured out why couldn't access by Windows XP help center

http://www.toniarts.com/ecleane.htm

this is where you get it

its an awesome propgram and if you look it over you can find how to set it up to backup what you're deleting so that if something screws up you can restore it or you can create a restore point before deleting anything

goodluck!

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Old 16th May 2003   #13
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Catalyst is right - Easy Cleaner works well and has the facility to backup the registry files deleted, but not unnecessary files - these go to the recycle bin or are deleted permanently (see options). Run only unnecessary files and registry.

But aren't you all getting just a little paranoid about deleting 'unnecessary' files ? With the size of today's drives space is rarely a problem and I doubt you would see any performance drop off ??


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Old 16th May 2003   #14
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You can use EmpTemp to safely remove files, cookies, short cuts, and other things.

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Old 16th May 2003   #15
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SO!!

Thanks Catalyze - I have twice lost my help system in XP, requiring repair install each time (then SP1, etc etc!!).

So now I know the culprit - Easy Cleaner.

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