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  1. #1
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    How to remove 'orphan files' (Windows XP Pro, fully patched)

    Can anyone tell me if there is a program which would examine the HDD of a machine and 'tag' all 'orphan' files, which are not needed for the applications currently installed on the drive? Note: I'm not looking for a registry cleaner, I have those. I'm looking for something that hunts down the actual program "bits" that are no longer needed (perhaps from programs which were manually deleted, etc.).

    __________________________________This is why
    I have a laptop which was donated to us (charity donation) which has many applications on the HDD which do not have icons in the start menu, and which do not seem to work when launched from the exe in the folder. Somehow they have become 'orphaned'.

    I thought it best to just do a fresh install of Windows XP Professional, and start over. At the install I selected to reformat and change to NTFS file system, and had it go ahead. After the OS installed, a volunteer monitored while all the current patches were downloaded, and installed.

    When I came in and looked at the machine, I found that the installation had converted the drive to NTFS, and installed the Windows XP Pro, and all patches, but the bloody crap apps which were there before, are still there, and are taking up several gig's of drive space. I should mention here that there are NO uninstallers available, either in add-remove programs, or in the folders themselves.

    I can certainly just directly delete the folders of the orphan applications, however that would leave all DLL's and other crap which they installed in Windows and elsewhere, still on the drive.

    I COULD reformat the drive and start over, but how excruciating, having to do all those windows updates AGAIN! I only get 28.8 so it takes most of a day to download them all, etc.

    That's why I thought I'd ask if there was any kind of program available which examines all of the DLL's, etc. on a drive, and 'tags' ones which are no longer needed by programs.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    St Louis, Missouri, USA
    Thanked 1,197 Times in 1,042 Posts

    Re: How to remove 'orphan files' (Windows XP Pro, fully patched)

    If you formatted the drive as part of the install, you must have had another partition to begin with. If this is the case you can just delete the folders you don't want/need on that partition.


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