| By Fred Langa |
This week, a Windows Secrets reader learns what has been hogging his computer’s resources and causing sluggish performance.
In this article — the fourth in a series of eight on my Housecalls with readers — we identify the Symantec/Norton security suite as the main culprit responsible for a PC’s drastic drop in performance.
Delete Windows Update files to free space
So far, you’ve seen how to use some free, powerful tools to declutter a PC and speed boot times; how to resolve an address conflict on a small network; how to test the basic security of an Internet connection; and how to reduce the size of areas where enormous numbers of junk files can quietly accumulate. (If you missed the earlier installments, please take a look at Parts One, Two, and Three.)
As you may recall from last week, I was at Windows Secrets reader Gene Foster’s home in Tacoma, Wash., trying to figure out why his machine was bogging down. We’d already performed a thorough software housecleaning and had found and removed some 3GB of junk files from his system. In fact, we’d already done all the tune-up tasks listed in the first three parts of this series, but his PC was still not performing as well as Gene remembered it once had.
We dug a little deeper and found that, like many systems, Gene’s c:windows system folder contained a ton of files with names like $NtUninstallKB826939$ and KB935839.log. The actual numbers were different for each file, but they all followed the same basic pattern.
The NtUninstall files contain data needed to roll back or uninstall a Windows Update item. The .log files are a record of what each Update item did when it was installed. Obviously, these files are most useful immediately after you run Windows Update. If the system has a problem with the Update, you can uninstall it with the NtUninstall data or troubleshoot the problem by using the .log file.