From steve eckard on Sun, 20 Feb 2000
I would appreciate some advice on what to delete off my C drive. I seem
to be just about out of space and know that there's plenty of junk
there, but I'm not sure which is which. Are there any guidelines on what
is not needed. Thanks for your help.
My email address is [snipped]
The fact that you refer to it as your "C" drive suggests that it is running MS-DOS and probably MS-Windows ('95, '98, or whatever).
Personally I'd start by removing that and putting in Linux. However that's based purely on my personal bias. It's what most people would expect from the "Linux Gazette Answer Guy."
Presumably you'd like to be a bit more selective.
This is one of the long-standing problems with MS-Windows in all its many flavors (3.0 through 3.11, WfW, '9x, and NT). It is customary for software to scatter their files all over your drive(s) and to embed drive/path information throughout their configuration files (or "registry" trees).
That leads to two problems:
- You don't know which files belong to which packages.
- Adding a new drive and trying to move data and programs into the additional free space leads to "transplant shock" or requires removal and re-installation/configuration of some software.
These lead to other problems. Proper function of your system can be dependent on the order in which some of your software was installed. Re-installation of some software can result in the replacement of some DLLs with older versions, which can cause other software to fail.
Basically the whole design is like a house of cards.
You could try some programs like "Uninstaller" or "Cleansweeper." I don't remember the actual names of any of these but you can find a list of them in the TUCOWS (http://www.tucows.com) "Win '95/98 Disk Cleaner Utilities" category at: http://www.tucows.com/diskc95.html
Of course you should use these programs with caution and only after you've backed up any data (particularly that thesis that you might need to graduate). Of course my favorite disk cleaner for MS-Windows partitions is the Linux command:
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hda?
... which will WIPE OUT WHOLE FILESYSTEMS without so much as a "Are you sure?" warning prompt!
TUCOWS is self-proclaimed to be "The Ultimate Collection of Windows Software." If you're going to continue using MS-Windows you might was well have a decent selection of shareware and freeware to make it more tolerable.
They also run Linuxberg (http://www.linuxberg.com) (or http://linux.tucows.com/index.html) which is a good source of free and shareware Linux software. They are arranged in categories and each is rated with one to five "penguins" (stars).