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  1. #1
    4 Star Lounger
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    An article in Windows Secrets says to "Start by deleting old $NtUninstall{xxx}$ files from XP's C:\Windows folder". What is the amount of risk involved in doing this? It seems they may be needed if a Windows Update fails. And what is the advantage of removing them when I have 250GB free space on a 279GB drive?

  2. #2
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    The risk is that you can no longer uninstall that particular patch. If the patch is old enough and your system is running fine I don't see a problem in deleting the folders. If you feel you have adequate disk space the only advantage to deleting them is the amount of space taken in backups is less.

    Joe
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  3. #3
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    Generally speaking, down the list from those Unneeded file folders, you will usually find a KBnnnnnn.log file for each one.
    I've been just deleting those too. It doesn't take weeks or months to discover if a Windows Update is going to cause you problems. Normally just a day or two will tell the tale. Those file folders are just like temp files....only good for a short period of time, then they are JUNK.

    Think of it this way, if you do regular scans with your AV or AS or even an AT (Anti-Trojan) program, every file you delete is just one more file that those Anti-Malware programs won't have to scan....over and over and over again.

    And if you're in the habit of backup up your OS drive on a regular basis, like I do, you'll be glad you don't have to back up all those junk files. That will keep your backups as small as possible.

    I was really glad to read that article in my Windows Secrets Newsletter. It's always good to know that others like to do the things I've been doing for a long time. I feel vindicated!

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  4. #4
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    One should also be able to safely delete the contents of C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\"Download" folder in Windows XP.
    If your absolutely in need of space, one could copy them off to a partition and wait awhile prior to deleting them.
    The above folder can take up as much as 500 MB worth of space.
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  5. #5
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    I also found Fred Langa's article extremely valuable. I too have an older PC and wish to keep it 'fresh'. I have a 110GB drive with 40GB occupied however it runs very slow so I have been doing a bit of cleaning lately.
    Will cleaning out these older Windows Updates (I have some going back to 2003, when I purchased the computer) up speed things up?

    It is a Toshiba laptop, 2.4GHz Celeron with 1GB RAM.
    Life is short, eat dessert first.[media]http://www.radreise-verlag.de/UBCmedorand.jpg[/media]

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Hi Barbara,

    If you are referring to the $NtUninstall(xxx)$files, and not the actual updates themselves, then it would not hurt to delete the ones you know you will never need. I would leave any more recent ones just to be safe. You may not notice any performance increase because you seem to have plenty of free hard disk space on hand.

    Also, follow Fred's other tips, especially the one on drivers, if you have not already updated any of your hardware drivers yet. Check out how many restore points are occupying hard drive space, run CCleaner to clean out temp files and cobwebs, defrag your hard drive, etc.

    If you have a more recent computer, equipped with a dual or quad core processor, then your Celeron powered Toshiba will always seem slow in comparison. If your Toshiba is considerably slower than it was in the past, then Fred's routines should help restore some of the performance.
    Deadeye81

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  7. #7
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    Thanks Gerald,
    Yes, I was referring to the $NtUnistall{xxx}files. I have many years worth and will not delete the ones for this (2010) or last (2009) year. If I remember, though not well enough, there was a way to delete restore points but I cannot remember how to get to that screen. Can you give me directions to get there?

    As for the defrag, yes I do wish to defrag however always in the past my defrag action would stall and then restart. If I were to drop to Safe Mode would that prevent a stall?

    I do indeed have a new Toshiba quad core i7 with 4GB RAM however the old Toshiba ran much much fast then it does now. It can take as long as 4-5 minutes to boot completely and then when I launch my browser (Firefox) that can take another 2 - 3 minutes. Because the defrag has always been nearly impossible to perform is has never been done. Perhaps a defrag will help, hopefully.

    What is your opinion of doing a defrag in Safe Mode?
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  8. #8
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    Deleting the $NTUninstall.. files themselves will not speed up your PC. Although, deleting the ones prior to 2009 is a good idea from a disk space perspective. In the C:\Windows folder there will also be KBxxxx.log files that can also be deleted. Those are just logs of the installation of various patches. They serve no purpose other than help debug a failed installation.

    You should use a tool such as WhatInStartup - Disable/delete programs at Windows startup to review and manage what is started when you boot the PC. If you are not sure of what you are seeing post a screenshot and someone here will be able to help.

    As far as defrag goes, you could try a free third party tool such as MyDefrag v4.3.1 or Defraggler - File and Disk Defragmentation - Free Download.

    You can use something such as CCleaner - Optimization and Cleaning - Free Download to help do other cleanup on your system. Ccleaner can be somewhat daunting with all its options. Again if you are not sure, ask and someone here can help.

    Depending on what applications you have open simultaneously your 1GB of RAM could be limiting performance. Also, in a notebook of that age the disk drive is likely very slow compared to newer machines. So, anything requiring disk access will be slower than on a newer PC.

    Joe

    Joe

  9. #9
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    I have posted a thread on my results of the WhatInStartup as Joe suggested. Now I am running the Defraggler to see if I can make my old PC run like a younger machine.

    I will post my results after having deleted all those $NtUnistall{xxx}files and the defrag.
    Life is short, eat dessert first.[media]http://www.radreise-verlag.de/UBCmedorand.jpg[/media]

  10. #10
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    I have reclaimed more than 1GB of space on my drive by deleting all those old update and KB log files. Amazing what the computer retains.
    Thanks to Fred Langa for an excellent article and to JoeP and Gerald Shepard for added help and guidance.
    Life is short, eat dessert first.[media]http://www.radreise-verlag.de/UBCmedorand.jpg[/media]

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