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Cleaning up

Help Is on the way

Software programs keep getting bigger. The laBODY version of Microsoft Office, for instance, which we review in "Entrepreneur's Complete Guide to Software" starting on page 137, eats up 124MB of hard-drive space. This means it's more important than ever to keep your hard drive free of unused files and programs. Not only does this give you extra space, but, like a well-maintained engine, your hard drive will be able to perform daily tasks more efficiently.

In the good ol' DOS days, cleaning your hard drive was easy. You simply deleted everything from an application's subdirectory and removed a statement or two from the autoexec.bat file. Both Windows 3.x and Windows 95 are much more complicated than that--an application will put files in various subextensions such as .INI, .DLL and .DAT, making it nearly impossible to identify all the files associated with an application. This means even after a good cleaning, a lot of junk is still left on your system, junk that has the potential to slow things down and even cause errors.

When it comes to removing programs, Windows 95 users have a leg up on Windows 3.x users because Microsoft incorporated an uninstall utility in Windows 95. Unfortunately, this utility doesn't offer the depth and detail of a stand-alone product--and it also doesn't work with Windows 3.x. You'll probably be better served by turning to one of the programs we review here. All three come with a 16-bit version for Windows 3.1 users and a 32-bit version for Windows 95/NT systems. Here we review the Windows 95/NT modules.

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This article was originally published in the November 1996 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Cleaning up.

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