Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Cleaning Windows 10 TEMP Folder - Disk Cleanup or Delete ALL

This post examines is a detailed examination of Disk Cleanup for Temporary files in Windows 10.

Disk Cleanup for Windows 10 continues to perform the same way as previous versions in regards to deleting TEMP folders.

When you choose Disk Cleanup "Files to Delete:" category "Temporary Files", 

it refers to files in c:\TEMP and c:\Windows\Temp folders.

Before you read further, now's a good time to review my post on all the Windows 10 Disk Cleanup "Files to Delete" Categories. And a word of caution, removing some categories has irreversible consequences....

Disk Cleanup will only find and deleted if they are older than 7 days.

But what if you want to delete all the files now? 

One suggestion is to modify the registry LastAccess dword value from 7 (days) to 0 (days). There are two locations in Windows 10

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\ CurrentVersion\Explorer\VolumeCaches\Temporary Files

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\ CurrentVersion\Explorer\VolumeCaches\Temporary Files

Sounds like a great idea and I tried it. It did not work! I also tried all combination of Flags, but that did not work either.

After some long research, I have discovered why.

Simply put it Temporary Files calls dataclen.dll
to clean up the actual files, but this dll does not implement a IEmptyVolumeCache2 handler which respects LastAccess value.

If it implemented IEmptyVolumeCache2 we would see a View Files button beside Temporary files.

is missing for Temporary Files 

It only implements IEmptyVolumeCache handler, which does not respect LastAcess or Flags settings.

You can actually create your own Files to Delete category/handler to delete files you want
and is well documented at this Microsoft MSDN article entitled "Creating a Disk Cleanup Handler". 

In fact, each software app/ program should use this API to clean up their own mess, but they don't. Here's my post on Google Chrome being a pig with install files. Google should create their own "Google Chrome Installation Files" and "Google Chrome Temp Files" to clean up their own shit.

Final Solution

So in the end, if you want to delete all files in TEMP folder now you can do this

Enter these shortcut string into Windows Explorer location bar

 for you 
appdata\local  directory
%windir%\Temp  for you windows\temp directory

and do the trusty select all (CTRL-A)  and DELETE.

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Windows 10 Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Metro Tile Creator

In honor of winning an MVP award in 2014, here's a freebie to fellow MVPers!!!

This is an update to my original MVP Powershell script and now updated to work on Windows 10.

I created a Powershell script to create a MVP Metro tile to link to:

  1. Microsot MVP Award site (https://mvp.microsoft.com/)
  2. Yammer (https://www.yammer.com/microsoftcommunityinfluencers/)
  3. Enter your own blog URL where your MVP Award is displaying

This is an update to my old powershell script and now updated to work on Windows 10.

MVP Download Script Request Form on for Microsoft MVPs


Email *

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Monday, July 20, 2015

Windows 10 Preview Edge 20 and IE 11 Browser Performance Tests

Here's a couple of popular performance test for browsers tested using Window 10 Preview using the new Edge browser and IE 11. 

The 1st browser test is the ever popular html5test.com,  which test how well a browser supports HTML5. 

Here's how Edge 20.10240.16384.0 and IE 11 running on Windows 10 Preview stacks up. Edge 20 has 66 point lead over IE 11.

Just to review what the HTML5 Test sites does, here some info from their FAQ file. 

Why do you include specifications that are not part of HTML5?

HTML5 means different things to different people. You could argue that HTML5 only includes features that are defined in the W3C HTML5 specification. Or you could argue that it includes every specification, draft or experimental feature that is added to browsers in the last couple of years. We decided to take the middle ground and split the test into three parts: the official HTML5 specification, specifications that are related to HTML5 and some experimental new features that are extensions of HTML5.

Many of the related specifications were at one time part of HTML5. During the development of the specification they were moved to separate specifications.

But WebGL isn't even a W3C specification!

The W3C isn't the only organization that creates open specifications for the web. The WebGL specification is published by Kronos, the same group that is also responsible for OpenGL. WebGL is related to HTML5 though and listed as one of the HTML5 technologies on the W3C HTML5 logo page. The W3C HTML5 specification allows the canvas element to be extended by new drawing methods and WebGL is one of them.

The 2nd browser test is the Dromaeo.com Javascript  Performance Test Suite choosen because it runs the Mozilla JavaScript performance test suite which includes Dromaeo JavaScript Tests, SunSpider JavaScript Tests and  V8 JavaScript Tests all in one place. The higher the number the better.

Seup: These test take up to 15mins to run and depends on your VM Setup. I was using VirtualBox 4.3.28 with 3-i7 processors and 4 Gigs of memory.

Here's how  Edge 20.10240.16384.0 on Windows 10 Preview stacked up. 

Here's how  IE  11.10240.16384 on Windows 10 Preview stacked up. 

Here's how  Firefox 39 on Windows 10 Preview stacked up. 

Here's how  
Chrome 43.0.2357.134m on Windows 10 Preview stacked up. 

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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Windows 10 Disk Cleanup - A detailed look at Disk Cleaning "Files to Delete" categories

Windows 10 Disk Cleanup has many new file deletion categories.

Update: Windows 10 Creator Update (CU) categories
Windows 10 Version 1809 (October 2018 Update) Disk Cleanup - A detailed look at Disk Cleaning "Files to Delete" categories

How to Use

Disk Cleanup wizard detects outdated files that can be delete, so if the category appears you can select those files to be deleted. By category, I mean potential files to be deleted under the "Files to delete:" heading in the bordered box below. 

These potential files to be deleted 
will be enumerated each time you run Disk Cleanup, so the categories will change each time you run it and and be different on other computers.

Click "View Files" button to examine the files that are to be deleted in each category.

Click "Clean up system files" button to to analyze the selected drive and display what Windows system can be cleaned up. A progress bar is shown during this process. Wait for this to finish.

When done, Disk Cleanup shows the total amount of space that can be freed up. Then, in the 'Files to delete' section you see different types of files that can be deleted. 

This will include categories such as 
'Downloaded Program Files''Recycle Bin''System error' files, 'Temporary files' and others. For each category of items, you see how much space they occupy at the moment. 

New to Windows 10, are 'RetailDemo Offline Content''Windows ESD installation Files (new)' and a favourite since Win 8 'File History Files'. 
See below for a full explanation of all categories!

Recommendation:  Select all categories to delete all the files, but review the categories below for further details. 

Extra : Click 'Clean up system files' button (to save allot of gigs of space) - see below.

Detailed Explanation of all 'Files to Delete' Categories:

Category Description

Files created by BranchCache service for caching data.

BranchCache is a wide area network (WAN) bandwidth optimization technology that is included in some editions of the Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 operating systems, as well as in some editions of Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7. To optimize WAN bandwidth when users access content on remote servers, BranchCache copies content from your main office or hosted cloud content servers and caches the content at branch office locations, allowing client computers at branch offices to access the content locally rather than over the WAN.

RetailDemo Offline Content (new)
Blank description

Removes content download when running in Retail Demp Mode.
"Retail Demo" mode in Windows 10 has additional content to help sell and   lock the computer in a retail store.
WARNING:Once you activate Retail Demo mode, your user account will be deleted automatically and you'll not be able to turn off the Retail Demo mode. So make sure to read the "Important things to remember" given later in this topic before activating Retail Demo mode.
File History Files (new since Win 8) Remove File History Files

File History saves copies of your files so you can get them back if they're lost or damaged. It automatically backs up files in the background and lets you restore them from a simple, time-based interface.
Game News Files The Game News Files facilitate delivery of the RSS feeds to your Game Library.
Game Statistics Files The Game Statistics Files are created to aid maintenance of various game statistics.
Game Update Files The Game Update Files are files created in the course of updating your Game Library Games. They are temporarily stored in a dedicated folder.
Old ChkDsk Files Check Disk (chkdsk) is a command line that you use to recover files from your hard disk, generally caused by surface errors due to aging, bumping and smoke, that cause bad sectors (lost data) to appear. Chkdsk recovers what it can of these sectors in files which was written over the bad sector into files ending in .CHK.
You can open and read the contents using Notepad or even better Notepad++. Often the contents are not worth keeping but they can be. Chkdsk files are indicative that a drive is starting to fail. If new bad sectors continue to appear you should replace the drive or you risk losing all your files.
FOUND.001|?:\\FOUND.002|?:\\FOUND.003|?:\\FOUND.004|?:\\FOUND.005| ?:\\FOUND.006|?:\\FOUND.007|?:\\FOUND.008|?:\\FOUND.009"
Delivery Optimization   Files Delivery optimization files are files that were previously downloaded to your computer and can be deleted if currently unused by the Delivery Optimization service.

Files used in Delivery Optimize Management of the desktop using
the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) and System Center Configuration Manager

Content Indexer Cleaner Blank description

The Windows search indexer is constantly running in the background to make file searches as quick as possible.
Temporary Setup Files These files should no longer be needed. They were originally created by a setup program that is no longer running.
Located in directory C:\\Windows\\msdownld.tmp|?:\\msdownld.tmp
Download Program Files Downloaded Program Files are ActiveX controls and Java applets downloaded automatically from the Internet with you view certain pages. They are temporarily stored in the Downloaded Program Files folder on your hard disk.
Temporary Internet Files The Temporary Internet Files folder contains webpages stored on your hard disk for quick viewing. Your personalized settings for webpages will be left intact.
Offline Web Pages Offline pages are webpages that are stored on your computer so you can view them without being connected to the Internet. If you delete these pages now, you can still view your favorites offline later by synchronizing then. Your personalized settings for webpages will be left intact.
Debug Dump Files Files created by Windows.
Recycle Bin The Recycle Bin contains files you have deleted from your computer. 
Setup Log Files Files created by Windows.

System Error Memory Dump Files Remove system error memory dump files.
System Error Minidump Files Remove system error minidump files.
Temporary Files Programs sometimes stores temporary information in the TEMP folder. Before a program closes, it usually deleted this information. You can safely delete temporary files that have not been modified in over a week.
Temporary Sync Files Remove Windows Media Sync files.
You can use Windows Media Player to copy music, videos, and pictures from your Player Library to a portable device, such as a compatible MP3 player. This process is called syncing. These are temp files in caches create in this process which are delete

Thumbnails Windows keeps a copy of all your picture, video, and document thumbnails so they can be displayed quickly when you open a folder. If you delete these thumbnails, they will be automatically recreated as needed.
User File History Windows stores file versions temporarily on this disk before copying them to the designated File History disk. If you delete these files, you will lose some file history.
Per User Archived Windows Error Report Files used for Windows Error Reporting (WER). These are logs of errors (program crashes mostly) that were reported to Microsoft by the Windows Error Reporting service.
Per User Queued Windows Error Report Files used for Windows Error Reporting (WER) and solution checking. 'Queued' just means that it contains error reports that haven't been sent yet for whatever reason, and as such have been stored locally on your hard disk, waiting to be sent.
System Archived Windows Error Report System Archived files used for Windows Error Reporting (WER).These are logs of errors (system crashes) that were reported to Microsoft by the Windows Error Reporting service.
System Queued Windows Error Report System files used for Windows Error Reporting (WER). 'Queued' just means that it contains error reports that haven't been sent yet for whatever reason, and as such have been stored locally on your hard disk, waiting to be sent.

'Clean up system files' button you see the following dialog box

This will include categories such as'Windows ESD Installation Files''Windows Defender'and others. 

Windows Update Cleanup only appears in the list when the Disk Cleanup wizard detects Windows updates that you don't need on your system.  This category will generally save you the greatest amount of space. All of these are okay to delete, that is the purpose of this wizard. 

Recommendation:  Carefully select categories to delete all the files, but review the categories below for further details, some have irreversible effects.

Detailed Explanation of 'Clean up system files' categories

Category Description
Windows ESD installation Files
You will need these files to Reset or Refresh your PC.
Windows ESD Files was introduced to upgrade to Windows 10, behind the scenes.
Windows ESD Files are files used for a upgrade to a new version of Windows. ESD stands for Electronic Software Delivery and delivers files in an encypted (.esd) format. This then contains a .wim file. A Windows IMage (.wim) file contains one or more compressed Windows images. Each Windows image in a .wim file contains a list of all of the components, settings, and packages available with that Windows image. Install.wim file in its turn contains everything needed for a complete Windows installation.

You can convert the Windows 10 .esd file to make your own ISO disk to upgrade any PC later!
Temporary Windows installation files Installation files used by Windows setup. These files are left over from the installation process and can be safely deleted.
Previous Windows installation(s)Files from a previous Windows installation. Files and folders that may conflict with the installation of Windows have been moved to folders named Windows.old. You can access data from the previous Windows installations in this folder.
Update package Backup FilesWindows saves old versions of files that have been updated by an Update package. If you delete the files, you won't be able to uninstall the Update package later.
Windows Update Cleanup Windows keeps copies of all installed updates from Windows Update, even after installing newer versions of updates that are no longer needed and taking up space. (You might need to restart your computer.)
Device driver packages Windows keeps copies of all previously installed device driver packages from Windows Update and other sources even after installing newer versions of drivers. This task will remove older versions of drivers that are no longer needed. The most current version of each driver package will be kept.
Windows Defender Non critical files used by Windows Defender

All files in these locations will be deleted
Microsoft\Windows Defender\LocalCopy and
ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows Defender\Support"
Files discarded by Windows upgrade Files from a previous Windows installation. As a precaution, Windows upgrade keeps a copy of any files that were not moved to the new version of Windows and were not identified as Windows system files. If you are sure that no user's personal files are missing after the upgrade, you can delete these files.
Windows Upgrade Log FilesWindows upgrade log files contain information that can help identify and troubleshoot problems that occur during Windows installation, upgrade, or servicing. Deleting these files can make it difficult to troubleshoot installation issues.
Service Pack Backup Files Windows saves old versions of files that have been updated by a service pack. If you delete the files, you won't be able to uninstall the service pack later.

When you click OK, Disk Cleanup will prompt you to confirm that you want to permanently delete the selected files. 

If you have never done, you'll be surprised at the Gigs of space freed up. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Windows 10 Snipping Tool and its 1st cousin Edge Browser Webnotes

One of the top 10 most useful tools in the windows arsenal is Snipping Tool

Now in Windows 10 gets an upgrade by now being directly integrate the snipping concept into tools themselves. 
So far the new Windows 10 browser called Project Spartan now Edge has this snippet feature built in and is called Webnotes.

Webnotes is differentiated from Snipping Tool by one additional feature, it can save to One Drive. And since it's built into the browser it can also save images to Favourites, so you can easily retrieve them later. There also the reading list, a sort of hand-me down version of OneNote

I have made the suggestion to Windows Feeback as part of Windows 10 Insider Program, to add the ability of Snipping Tool to save to OneDrive as well. Frankly, it really should be a standard for any program that can save a file, to be able to save to Onedrive directly.

If you need more information, please visit: