Clean Hard Disk

Having a clean hard disk will improve the performance of your computer.

Clean hard disk data to improve performance and remove the unwanted files that may be on your hard drive. Unfortunately, a common obstacle is knowing what you can clean off of the hard disk without causing any problems.

This page does require the reader to have an extensive knowledge of Windows and where Windows folders are located.

If you don't have expertise for a clean hard disk, don't fear! Software tools exist to make this process quick and simple. SecureClean is a program tool that can:

  • Clean hard disk data to improve system performance.
  • Safely and reliably reclaim wasted disk space.
  • Find and erase past web surfing history.
  • Clean your hard disk of unneeded traces of personal information left on your computer.
  • Protect you and your family from identity theft.

If you are getting rid of your computer, or want to clean everything off your computer, including your operating system, then check out WipeDrive.

When you install (or upgrade to) a new version of Windows, there are many files placed in your root directories and Windows directories that can be deleted. To access the root directory you will need to open the "My Computer" icon, then go to the local hard drive (most cases it is C). Now open the Windows folder. The files to remove include:

In Your Windows Directory:

Anything with the extensions:

  • .TXT
  • .PRV
  • .LOG
  • .OLD
  • .BAK
  • .000, .001 (and so on...)
  • and .- - -.

Do a search (Start Menu - Find Files or Folders) and search for any .BMP and .TXT files in the Windows directory. Use QuickView to view them, and delete them if desired.

In Your Temp Directory (usually WindowsTemp):

You should never delete any files from this directory, unless the dates of the files are earlier than the last time you booted up. Your applications use these files to store temporary information, and won't function properly if you try to remove them. Usually, any files in this directory that are more than a day old can be safely removed.

If you look in the root directory (C:) you will run across a lot of strange files. There are some files in your root directory that are just taking up room and make things look complicated. However, there are other files that are essential for the operation of Windows. Even the files that can be removed must be done so in the correct way, or trouble can result. Therefore, if you get the urge to remove some files from your root directory, read about each file first.

Some of you may find files in your root directory that are not on this list. Especially if those files end with the extensions .jpg, .gif, .bmp, .wav, .doc, .wpg, .htm, and other ending associated with office programs, the chances are that you put them there yourself without realizing it. You may wish to move them to your personal folder. Removing files to clean hard disk needs caution and careful planning.

Thus read about each of the following files carefully before moving or deleting files from your root directory. When in doubt, these are all relatively small files, so leave them...

Read Carefully before deleting any of these files:

Autoexec.bat - Windows configuration file
This file contains commands that should be run by Windows before the 32-bit portion of the operating system is started. This file is necessary only if you need to load a real-mode driver.

Autoexec.dos - Previous MS-DOS Autoexec.bat file
This file contains the original Autoexec.bat file from the previous operating system. It is used if you boot the previous operating system.

Bootlog.prv - Previous Windows startup log file
This file records the progress of the previous Windows startup process. When you request a logged boot (or if Windows performs one automatically), the previous Bootlog.txt file is renamed to Bootlog.prv before the new Bootlog.txt file is created. This file is not necessary for the proper operation of Windows and can be deleted.

Bootlog.txt - Windows startup log file
This file records the progress of the Windows startup (boot) process. It is created if you request a logged boot, and is also created automatically by Windows if Windows detected that the previous boot was unsuccessful. This file is not necessary for the proper operation of Windows and can be deleted.

Command.com - Windows command line processor
This program is the Windows command line processor. This file is necessary for the proper operation of Windows and should not be deleted.

Command.dos - Previous MS-DOS Command.com file
This file contains the original Command.com file from the previous operating system. It is used if you request to boot the previous operating system.

Config.dos - Previous MS-DOS Config.sys file
This file contains the original Config.sys file from the previous operating system. It is used if you boot the previous operating system.

Config.sys - Windows configuration file
This file contains parameters that describe the real-mode (16-bit) drivers that should be loaded into memory as part of the Windows startup process. This file is necessary only if you need to load a real-mode driver.

Cvt.log - Drive Converter (FAT32) Log File
This file is created by the Drive Converter (FAT32) when you convert a drive to FAT32 and may be useful for troubleshooting failed conversions. To remove this file, delete it from Windows Explorer.

Detlog.old - Previous Windows detection log file
This file records the progress of the previous Windows hardware detection process. When you request that new hardware be detected, the previous Detlog.txt file is renamed to Detlog.old before the new Detlog.txt file is created. This file is not necessary for the proper operation of Windows and can be deleted.

Detlog.txt - Windows detection log file
This file records the progress of the Windows hardware detection process. It is created during hardware detection and is consulted by the hardware detection recovery process if the previous attempt to detect hardware caused problems. This file is not necessary for the proper operation of Windows and can be deleted.

Io.dos - Previous MS-DOS Io.sys file
This file contains the original Io.sys file from the previous operating system. It is used if you boot the previous operating system.

Io.sys - Windows MS-DOS
This file contains Windows MS-DOS. This file is necessary for the proper operation of Windows and should not be deleted.

Msdos.dos - Previous MS-DOS Msdos.sys file
This file contains the original Msdos.sys file from the previous operating system. It is used if you boot the previous operating system.

Msdos.sys - Windows configuration file
This file contains parameters necessary for the early phases of the Windows startup process. This file is necessary for the proper operation of Windows and should not be deleted.

Oemlog.txt - Windows Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) log file
This file records the progress of the Windows OEM preinstallation process. This file is not necessary for the proper operation of Windows and can be deleted.

Scandisk.log - ScanDisk log file
This file is created by the ScanDisk program to record the result of the most recent clean hard disk scan. This file is not necessary for the proper operation of Windows and can be deleted.

Setuplog.txt - Windows Setup log file
This file is created by Windows Setup to record the progress of the installation procedure. It is consulted by Windows Setup as part of installation recovery. This file is not necessary for the proper operation of Windows and can be deleted.

Suhdlog.dat - Windows Setup hard disk log file
This file contains a copy of all Master Boot Records and Partition Boot Records on the system both before and after the upgrade to Windows. This file is used by Windows Uninstall to restore the clean hard disk master boot sector as part of the uninstall process. To remove this file, click "Old Windows 3.x and MS-DOS system files" in the Add/Remove Programs tool and then click Add/Remove.

System.1st - Windows first registry
This file contains a copy of the original registry created by Windows setup. Although this file is not necessary for the proper operation of Windows and can be deleted, it is recommended that the file be retained because it can be used to restore the registry should it become damaged.