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is it okay to delete these files?

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6 replies to this topic

#1 LauraMarie


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Posted 05 July 2009 - 10:36 PM

I was reading in an article that I was allowed to delete the files in these folders without harming my computer. The article said everything should work well as long as you don't delete the folders, just the files and as a result you'd save 1GB of space.

Before I do, I want to get some opinions from you guys. Will deleting any of the files in these folders harm my computer?

c:\windows\driver cache\i386\

Also, can I delete exe launchers? itunes exe takes up a ton of space.

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#2 Stang777


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Posted 05 July 2009 - 10:45 PM

I do not believe you should delete anything in those windows files

#3 Romeo29


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Posted 05 July 2009 - 11:13 PM

Warning: Messing with Windows folder is not advised. This may render your computer useless.

contains backups of your system files. When, for some reason, system files are deleted/get corrupted, Windows copies the file from this backup.
When the file is not found in the cache, you are prompted for inserting Windows CD so file can be extracted from it.
Rather than deleting the files in the cache, you can do sfc /purgecache, that way Windows will empty the cache in a more efficient way.

This folder contains service pack uninstall files. When you installed SP1/2/3 over an exisiting installation of Windows XP, the uninstall option files are copied here.
If you do not want to have an option to uninstall SP later on, you can delete them.

c:\windows\driver cache\i386\
You should not delete all the files, but only driver.cab. But you would lose the functionality of automatically installing a hardware when you plug it in. Windows would ask you to insert XP CD instead.

You should not delete files in this folder. This folder contains catalog inf files. These are necessary for PnP (Plug N Play) enumeration. When a new device is found, Windows checks inf files for a matching device driver then looks the driver up in the c:\windows\sysem32\drivers.

Warning: Messing with Windows folder is not advised. This may render your computer useless.

Edited by Romeo29, 05 July 2009 - 11:19 PM.

#4 hamluis



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Posted 06 July 2009 - 10:01 AM

A link to that respective article...would be enlightening.


#5 Maurice Naggar

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Posted 12 July 2009 - 02:46 PM

Do not delete any files and folders without knowing what the impacts are. It is good you checked here first.

DO indeed get us the link to the article you read.

Make sure you know that the c:\windows\servicepackfiles folder is where the last service pack system files are! It is the archive from the most recent service pack. And NOT the uninstall information.

The following is not for newbies or for those who are not familiar with how to move/copy & burn to CD/DVD or more important, safely work with the registry editor.
Here's how to save that big chuck of space, after a service pack upgrade:

If you will never need to un-install the Service Pack (meaning you'll never be able to go backwards later and you are happy with the current O.S. SP-level), then the $NTServicePackUninstall$ folder can be removed.

On the C:\Windows\ServicePackFiles folder.... you can archive it to CD or DVD (copy and burn to off-line media) , then delete it.
You'll need to update the registry key at
Modify the ServicePackSourcePath value at that location to reflect the new path.

N.B. that not all Windows folders are named Windows. Some are named WINNT
Likewise some system configurations will have XP installed on a drive other than C:
So please adjust as appropriate.
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#6 joseibarra


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Posted 12 July 2009 - 04:19 PM


I found this article which is chock full of advice regarding same:


Since it says so on the Internet, it must be good!

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates.

#7 Multi-Destiny


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Posted 13 July 2009 - 12:53 AM

I'll answer your second question.

YES, you can delete any .exe installers that are NOT crucial to Windows; iTunes is definitely one of these. Delete these files once every month, and keep only the important installers.
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