11-17-09 - Cleaning

I did a full clean up of my laptop and it's running like a million times better now. There are lots of badly behaved apps on Windows that seem to just crud up your disk with temp files so badly that they make themselves slow. Do this on a fragmented disk and it's slowness death.

How to fix :

1. Uninstall badly behaving apps (* see later)
2. Del temp files and caches (* see later)
3. Defrag disk
4. Reinstall bad apps

The key thing is getting your disk free of all the shit before the defrag, so that the shit files aren't getting mixed in with the real stuff at the front of the disk when you defrag.

Here's my temp file cleaner :

echo dir c:\temp :
call d -r  c:\temp\*
REM call d -r "%USERPROFILE%\local settings\temp\*"
REM call d -r "%USERPROFILE%\local settings\temporary internet files\*"
call zdel -y -r  c:\temp\*
call zdel -y -r "%USERPROFILE%\local settings\temp\*"
call zdel -y -r "%USERPROFILE%\local settings\temporary internet files\*"

REM call zdel -y -r "C:\Program Files\Visual Assist.NET\vc7\history\*"
REM call zdel -y -r "C:\Program Files\Visual Assist.NET\vc7\cache\*"

REM call zdel -y -r  "c:\windows\system32\config\systemprofile\local settings\temp"
REM call zdel -y -r  "%USERPROFILE%\application data\acd systems\acdsee\imagedb.*"
REM call zdel -y -r  "%USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\VisualAssist"

(d is a dir and zdel is a delete ; -r is recursive).

Visual Assist and ACDSee are two apps I use regularly which are fucking retarded in that they seem to just grow their caches on disk indefinately until they get so big that it badly affects their startup time. My ACDSee was taking a few seconds to start up and I was like "WTF" and found the ImageDB cache was a few hundred MB; delete that mofo and it starts up fast again. You probably don't want to do those REM'ed out lines every time you clean up junk (it will make VA do a full reparse), but they're good to do once a month or so.

(*) badly behaving apps :

There are a few apps that seem to crud up your disk super badly with temp files; you may even have trouble finding them all; they're mostly under "Documents and Settings" , spread around in Local Settings and Application Data. With all of the following apps you should first uninstall them, then go through these temp dirs and find as many of the files they left behind as you can and delete them, becuase they don't clean up after themselves correctly. The worst offenders that I've seen are :

1. Firefox. So impossible to make this beast clean itself. If your Firefox is taking a long time to start up, best move is to uninstall it. It will leave lots of shit behind, delete that manually.

2. Adobe Everything. I had tons of shit from Acrobat Reader 6, Acrobat 7, and Acrobat 8, even though I uninstalled all of them (Foxit FTW). Uninstall all and delete manually.

3. Apple Everything. Uninstall all Apple software, delete all the shit they leave behind, then do yourself a favor and don't reinstall it. There was almost a gig of mystery shit in Apple folders, including shit like copies of installation packages of various versions of iTunes. No I don't want you to backup the install packages for me thank you very much.

In all I freed up about 10 Gig from this, and getting rid of all the shit before the defrag lets the defrag do better work.

ps : may as well run Malwarebytes while you're at it.

pps : may as well delete the masses of VC shit too :

zdel -r -y "*.(ncb|ilk|idb|opt|plg|dsw|pch)"

ppps : may as well checkpoint your p4 server too :

p4d -jc -z


Tom Johnstone said...

Yeah I routinely do basically the same process, but I use a handy little app called CCleaner-


Tom Johnstone said...

(I also use Smart Frag to automatically defrag my HDD)

cbloom said...

Yeah I've seen CCLeaner before, but the idea of running somebody else's app to randomly delete a bunch of files on my disk gives me the willies.

Plus I personally have lots of meta information that they don't have. For example I know what apps & data I really care about. I don't care about anything Adobe or Apple because if I want them again I can always reinstall them, so I delete their temp files very vigorously. But I do care about my Dev Studio installs a lot and I'm worried I couldn't reinstall it, so I don't touch all it's shit even though it has a ton.

I did take this chance to uninstall MSDN though, since I pretty much just use the web these days anyway for VC help.

Aaron said...

Nice roundup of tune-up apps for a
weak xp laptop
and modern vista box from reghardware (including CCleaner).

The punch-line: those tune-up apps often do very little, and some even make things worse.

old rants