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This chapter is from the book

Cleaning Your Disk

Another tool that can help you recover chewed-up space on your hard drive is the Disk Cleanup utility. It analyzes the specified disk, comes back with a list of "safe" files to delete, and lets you select which ones you want removed.

The amount of space you can recover using this tool varies from a fraction of a megabyte to tens of megabytes, so the results will vary, depending on the way you use your machine (or perhaps the way you have used your machine in the past).

Here are the steps you will want to take to reclaim some of your disk space:

  1. To begin the Disk Cleanup process, click Start and then choose All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, and click Disk Cleanup.

  2. After a bit of behind-the-scenes work, the Disk Cleanup tab shown in Figure 3.2 opens, showing you which files you can safely delete and how much disk space you would regain by making the selected deletions.

Figure 3.2Figure 3.2 You might be surprised by just how much disk space you can get back.

  1. Click a file type's name to see a description of what it is and how deleting it would affect your system. Place a checkmark in the checkboxes of file types you want to remove from your system. Should you change your mind about deleting a file type, simply click the checkbox a second time to remove the check.

  2. When you are ready to start deleting the files, click OK. The utility will ask you if you are sure about the deletion. Click Yes or No as appropriate. A status bar appears, displaying the progress of the job. When the files have been successfully deleted, the application shuts itself down.

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