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If I've backed up my programs folder, can I delete it?


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#1
Alias775

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My computer needs every little bit of space! The programs folder is over 2 GB!

Does my computer actively use them or are they just there in case of need?

I've backed them up in a Vault that's not on my computer. So, I can retrieve them
at any time.

Can I delete this major folder?

Thanks, Alias775 :)
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#2
FNP

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Alias775-

Deleting the Program Files folder is not encouraged. It contains all the files needed to run your installed programs (like Microsoft Office, iTunes and Skype), as well as Windows functions (like Windows Defender). If you're really in a space crunch, consider removing some of your personal files- there's no way that necessary system files are taking up too much space (unless your hard drive is tiny).

Let's take a look at the partitioning on your computer.
  • Go to Start > Run.
  • Type in diskmgmt.msc and click Enter.
.
On right side you will see a visual depiction of the partitions on your hard drive. I need you to take a screenshot and attach it to your next reply.
  • To take a screenshot press Print Screen on your keyboard. It is normally the key above your number pad between the F12 key and the Scroll Lock key.
  • Go to Start > All Programs > Accessories > Paint.
  • Press CTRL+V to paste the contents of the screenshot into the paint workspace.
  • Go to File > Save As.
  • Save the file as a JPEG to your desktop.
Please attach the screenshot to your next reply.
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#3
phillipcorcoran

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There's little point in backing up the 'Program Files' folder. Presumably you've done that in case you should ever need to re-install Windows, but if that were necessary you would have to re-install those programs anyway using the original installation/setup programs. Simply trying to restore them from your 'Program Files' backup would not work because, after a fresh Windows installation, the required information in the Registry would be missing as well as support files in other folders. Only re-installing those programs from scratch can create the required support files and Registry information.

And, with all due respect to FNP, to say that deleting 'Program Files' is "not encouraged" is a huge understatement.
You must absolutely not do it otherwise much of Windows will be unable to function.

The only suitable candidates for backing up are:
Your own files (photos, music, documents etc),
Backup copies of software you've downloaded,
Device drivers you've downloaded,
Backups of your bookmarks, emails & contacts.

Edited by phillipcorcoran, 26 May 2010 - 02:23 PM.

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#4
FNP

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Ok, I could have spoken with a little more force. Thanks, phillipcorcoran. :)

Screenshot? Maybe we can help free up some space. :)
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#5
phillipcorcoran

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Regarding your space problem, 3-4GB is getting a little tight for Windows XP to work efficiently, and with only that much space left you really shouldn't be putting anything else on there.

One decision I made long ago is to not put any of my own data on the C: drive. I have three external drives with identical copies of my data on each of them. That's currently freeing up 15GB of space on the C: drive (I have loads of hi-res, uncompressed photo files as I'm a keen photographer).

It also means when I image the C: drive, the imaging process is quicker, as is restoring it.

So you might consider doing that - a couple of external USB drives to hold stuff that doesn't have to be on the C: drive.

Edited by phillipcorcoran, 26 May 2010 - 02:43 PM.

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