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Is It Ok To Delete Non-tmp Files In A Temp Folder?

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#1 elblaino


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Posted 23 January 2006 - 01:01 PM


Can I delete all the files I find in a directory called "Temp", even if they aren't TMP files?

(I hope so -- because I just did it! Leap before you look!)

I don't like having useless files hanging about, and some of them, though clean, make me think they were involved in a recent Vir__nd_ attack I had the pleasure of receiving.

I run a Sony VAIO laptop which runs Windows XP (English OS). I have it partitioned into a C drive and a D drive, with programs (incl. Windows) on the C drive, and documents on the D drive. No viruses were found today during my most recent scan.

I read a post from April 2004, "Deleting temp files" in the Windows 95/98*Grinler forum but couldn't tell if I was okay with some of these file types.

The directory in question:
C:\Documents and Settings\FirstName LastName\Local Settings\Temp

The file types (number of files):
BAT (1)
DAT (3)
DB (1)
DLL (1)
EXD (2)
EXE (2)
HTM (1)
INI (1)
LOG (1)
RAM (1)
SMI (6)
TMP (147)
TXT (1)
XML (1)

Most of the TMP were named qfn##, where ## is digit, digit + digit, digit + alpha, or alpha + digit and the alphas were A-F. I don't know, maybe related to quicken updates from my checking account?

= =

I figured it was okay to delete everything that didn't hiccup when I tried and didn't have a date of today, so that's what I did. Do you think that is okay?

What remained, incidentally, were

1. setup.exe from BusinessObjects, I installed the software three months ago from disk
Warning prompt: "a read-only file -- are you sure?"

2. removalfile.bat which -- spectulation -- dates to about the time I got a V--m--ndo or related virus; there was an xml file just before and a htm file three days later.
"a system file -- are you sure?"

3. IEC153.temp
"a read-only file -- are you sure?"

4. IECF.tmp
"a read-only file -- are you sure?"

Then there were two which I could have deleted but they dated to today so I didn't:

5. jusched.log

6. ~DF8124.tmp

I left those 6 where they were and put a copy of the whole folder contents prior to deleting anything in a different directory "just in case." Of course, five seconds too late I read that if one is really thinking in "just in case" mode one should delete it to the Trash but not empty the Trash, so that you can restore them later -- I think I ran into a problem before where a copy wouldn't do -- the program wanted to have the original baby, not a copy that had once lived in another location.

I look forward to hearing your advice! Thanks!


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#2 Dngrsone


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Posted 23 January 2006 - 03:28 PM

For teh most part, any files in the \Windows\Temp folder are okay to delete.
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#3 franktiii


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Posted 23 January 2006 - 03:30 PM

generally anything in the temp folder that is not todays date, or since the last time you rebooted, should be safe to delete.

If there are any files you have questions about, you can create a new folder, name it test, or whatever, and move the questionable files over. If after a few days nothing asks for those files you can be reasonably sure that they are truly safe to delete.

Well behaved software does not put anything permanent in the temp folder. Course we know how rare well software can be.

#4 elblaino

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 04:34 PM

Well, thanks folks. It sounds like I should be okay. Some of the files I deleted came back automatically later, but most haven't yet. I've got them all in another directory and will wait and see how my machine works for now.

#5 usasma


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Posted 24 January 2006 - 12:57 PM

When in doubt never delete a file. Here's the way to do it and remain safe:

1) Create a folder on your Desktop
2) Move the files (not copy) to the new folder (that way they're no longer where they're supposed to be.
3) Run the computer for a week or two.
- if no problems, delete them to the Recycle Bin
- if problems occur, put the files back where you got them from
4) Leave the files in the Recycle Bin "just in case" - they'll be purged as the Recycle Bin fills up.
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