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  1. #1
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    How to clean hard drives?

    Would be interested to hear about how to go about cleaning out all drives on a computer?
    Thanks in advance,
    Phil.

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    Windows own Disk Cleanup (cleanmgr.exe) tool is a great place to start.

    Once that is done, you can use a disk space analyzer, to check what is taking up your disk space. This article suggests a few. I have used the first in the list for quite some time and i like it: http://www.techsupportalert.com/best...e-analyzer.htm

  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I have a cleanup batch file I use that includes the Disk Cleanup on steroids. Copy and Paste the following in Notepad, save as .bat file.
    Code:
    @Echo off
    cls
    cleanmgr /sageset:99
    del /F /S /Q "%systemroot%\temp\*.*"
    
    del /F /S /Q "C:\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\History\*.*"
    del /F /S /Q "C:\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\*.*"
    del /F /S /Q "C:\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Low\Content.IE5\*.*"
    del /F /S /Q "C:\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\*.*"
    del /F /S /Q "C:\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Temporary Internet Files\Low\Content.IE5\*.*"
    del /F /S /Q "C:\Users\%UserName%\AppData\Local\Temp\*.*"
    del /F /S /Q "C:\Temp\*.*"
    del /F /S /Q "C:\Users\%UserName%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Low\Content.IE5\*.*
    del /F /S /Q "C:\Users\%UserName%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\History\*.*
    
    ::Rem: No need to duplicate the following section for each registered User
    del /F /S /Q "%homepath%\Cookies\*.*"
    del /F /S /Q "%homepath%\recent\*.*"
    del /F /S /Q "%homepath%\Local Settings\cookies\*.*"
    del /F /S /Q "%homepath%\Local Settings\History\*.*"
    del /F /S /Q "%homepath%\Local Settings\Temp\*.*"
    del /F /S /Q "%homepath%\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\*.*"
    cleanmgr /sagerun:99



    The sageset and sagerun commands with cleanmgr add many options to the basic cleanmgr command

    Be advised, after running once the cleanmgr /sageset:99 command can be removed because once you set it once it will remain set.

    You can add more file paths as you like on your system.
    Last edited by RetiredGeek; 2012-08-09 at 08:47. Reason: Inserted Code tags for easier copying
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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    COWBOYPHIL (2012-08-09)

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    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    @ Ted: deleting the contents of the Windows Prefetch folder is not good advice (makes Windows slower over several sessions until the prefetch is repopulated); also, deleting all files from Temp folders could give problems later, especially if there is a pending post-install/reboot change waiting to be triggered from RunOnce.

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    COWBOYPHIL (2012-08-09)

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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I have never had a problem with either, but lines can be deleted as needed or wanted. I run the batch file at every boot (from the Startup folder) I have never had a problem deleting an app that I decided I did not like, after many successful deletions, but I use Revo Uninstaller. Revo uses the apps uninstall tool first then scans for leftovers. Always worked. I then use CCleaner to clean up the registry of just the uninstalled apps leftovers if any are present. Works great for me, YMMV.

    Thanks for pointing out those 2 entries for someone that may wish to try, but perhaps not so aggressively as me. Even though I have not had a problem with it, I deleted the prefetch line as others may have.
    Last edited by Medico; 2012-08-09 at 08:14.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


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    COWBOYPHIL (2012-08-09)

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    Thank you both very much.
    Phil.

  10. #7
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Hope the batch file helps. Like I said I placed a copy in my Startup folder so it runs once each time I boot my PC.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


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    COWBOYPHIL (2012-08-10)

  12. #8
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    Thanks Ted much appreciated.
    Phil.

  13. #9
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    Would be interested to hear about how to go about cleaning out all drives on a computer?
    Thanks in advance,
    Phil.
    I'd be interested in a more explicit explanation of the meaning of "cleaning out all drives on a computer".
    Does that mean just cleaning out the junk files, or totally wiping the drives clean of everything???

    Ted and I both, use essentially the same batch file. Mine is in my Startup folder, for a little FREE daily maid service, and it incorporates many more lines, with paths to junk folders that many people don't even have, or are unaware of. Many programs, like AV programs, store a HUGE amount of temporary and backup files, most of which can be deleted. My own Cleanup.bat file is currently up to well over twenty lines.

    One thing about Disk Cleanup, whether you run it from the Windows menu, a desktop shortcut, or from a batch file, DO NOT put a check mark next to "Setup Logs".
    Delete your Setup.log files and you won't be able to uninstall any programs. Everything else is fare game.
    A good cleanup, once a week, followed by a Defrag, will keep your HD running much faster and smoother.

    For a good cleanup, before doing my weekly C: drive backup, with Ghost 11.5, I start with my cleanup batch file, then "Extended Disk Cleanup", then "Easy Cleaner 2".
    Then while I'm on my Ghost boot disk, I delete all the old Restore Points and the Pagefile. I manage to delete over 6 gigs of junk, before doing my backups.
    After a backup, I then do an immediate restore, which re-writes the entire C: drive, eliminating spaces between files and of course, Fragmentation.

    Total Hard Drive Maintenance is not rocket science, but does require a certain amount of expertise and dedication.
    It's a part of what I do for a living....for the past 30 years.

    It's much easier than doing the maintenance on my car. Eh?


    Cheers Mates!
    The Doctor
    Last edited by DrWho; 2012-08-13 at 11:36.
    Experience is truly the best teacher.

    Backup! Backup! Backup! GHOST Rocks!

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    Thanks very much Dr. that sure is a bunch of information much appreciated and wiping is what I was interested in I dont know enough to ask the question properly.
    Phil.

  16. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by COWBOYPHIL View Post
    Thanks very much Dr. that sure is a bunch of information much appreciated and wiping is what I was interested in I dont know enough to ask the question properly.
    Phil.
    {My Highlighting}

    I'm a little confused. Ted and DrWho described their disk cleanup routines. If instead you are interested in wiping (i.e. securely erasing data from the drive), then that's a different story, as DrWho noted.

    Perhaps I misunderstand your needs, but if it is for securely destroying data then let us know and we can help with that too.
    In God we trust; all others must bring data.

    - William Edwards Deming. 1900 - 1993

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  18. #12
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    If you are truly looking to wipe free space from your PC (Data that has been installed will look like free space, but is still there until overwritten) there are many apps to accomplish this. The first that comes to mind is CCleaner (free) that has a wipe option.

    CCleanerWiprSpace.jpg
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


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  20. #13
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    There are several FREE disk wiping programs. Just Google for them.

    But besides being a really old guy, I'm also Old School, when it comes to my hard drives.
    Years ago, I made myself a DOS Boot disk, with all the necessary programs on it, to partition and format any hard drive.
    I have a lot more goodies on there too, but for now lets confine the chat to just FDISK, to partition a drive, or remove partitions from an already formatted drive. It will remove both DOS and NTFS partitions.
    So I would first remove all partitions and create one new one.

    Then, after a reboot, I would run the DOS Format command to format every sector on the hard drive.
    The format command writes and reads every sector on the HD, thus erasing anything that may have been written there.
    It also blocks out any bad sectors, so that the resulting formatted drive is 100% usable.

    If that drive is on a PC that you ever intend to use again, erasing the OS and all the hardware drivers is kind of like committing Hari-Kari. The PC is pretty much useless after that.

    If it's just a data drive, sure, go ahead and reformat it. But on the OS drive, I take great pains to save the OS and drivers.
    On an older PC, those drivers can be a real b***h to find again.
    First off, if you create a new User and then delete the old user, all the old users files are deleted as well. Then I would clean up the drive, removing any programs proprietary to the old user.

    Finally, I backup the drive, to another hard drive, using my favorite backup program, Ghost. Once the backup file is created and verified I then re-format the C: drive to wipe it clean, including free space, and then I restore the Backup Image that I made previously, to the C: drive. I now have a legal OS, on a clean drive, with all the hardware drivers and none of the previous owner's data or files.

    It takes a little while, to clean up a drive the way I do it, but I've done it so many times now that I could do it in my sleep.
    I've shared my technique.... I can also share my programs, with qualified personnel.

    Cheers Mates!
    The Doctor
    Last edited by DrWho; 2012-08-14 at 20:46.
    Experience is truly the best teacher.

    Backup! Backup! Backup! GHOST Rocks!

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  22. #14
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    Thank you all for the useful information.
    Phil.

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