Microprogramming TECHNIQUES

 The Windows Disc Cleaner tool of choice

Section A. Overview

DisCleaner is a powerful Windows™ Application designed from scratch to deal with unneeded files created by the Operating System itself or by various Applications that are running on your computer. It was designed to offer a generally secure operation and a great user experience by minimizing the things you need to do in order to clean your computer from these unneeded files. However the engine is powerful but it does not make the difference between some intentionally created files and Application remnants. For this purpose, the selection of actions that DisCleaner offers, is divided into three categories, designated as Safe, Secure, and Unsafe. You still have the ability to control whether to clean certain files or not, from a list of files that DisCleaner arranges for you. For more information regarding the cleaning options available in DisCleaner, please refer to Section C. Clean Options Described.

DisCleaner's job is to clean the files covered by at least one of the categories you select, as well as cleaning user-specified files and/or directories.

General information

Version 2.4.6.159
Copyright © 1998-2004,2012 Microprogramming TECHNIQUES
All rights reserved.

Architecture: 32-bit / Processor: x86
Class: System Cleanup Utility

System Requirements

Operating System: Microsoft® Windows™ 98, 2000, NT, XP, Vista, and 7
Minimum Processor: 486DX4/120 MHz or Pentium® class processor running at 100 MHz or higher
Recommended Processor: Pentium® class processor running at 1.6 GHz
Memory: at least 64 Mo RAM
Minimum Screen Resolution: 800x600px at minimum
Recommended Screen Resolution: 1024x768px or higher
Video Subsystem: at least 16 Mo RAM and 2D acceleration

Important Note: This program may be used freely, without restrictions, apart from modifying, disassembling or reverse engineering the compiled files in the package (executable files, help documentation, embedded graphical content, and so on). Any reproduction or illegal copy of this content, may result in severe civil and criminal penalties.

Disclaimer: We are not responsible for any loss of information caused by misuse of DisCleaner. You are encouraged to read the help documentation of DisCleaner to inform yourself about actions DisCleaner will take on your hard discs.

Note: The dialog box above will show just once at the first run of DisCleaner. It reminds you about the very bad consequences on file and directory hierarchy, if DisCleaner is used improperly.

Section B. Main User Interface

DisCleaner is a very compact and portable application that features a rich user experience. You can do just about anything related to file cleaning, with only a few mouse clicks.

Fig. 1: The Main Window

The main window of DisCleaner, as shown in Fig. 1, is the first visual contact you will have with the application. You can choose to clean only a specific directory of your disc or you may choose an entire disc drive or partition. Additionally, you can clean multiple paths and/or disc drives in a batch-like mode by adding several items to the Cleanup List below the disc drives hierarchy. You can even choose whether the cleaner will simply delete files (faster, standard) or will secure delete files (slower but secure). The DisCleaner main window allows you to select the hard disc or directory you want DisCleaner to clean, as well as to specify your clean options. Start the scanning process by clicking the Continue button. The clean options are described down below at Section C. Clean Options Described.

The main window offers a set of command buttons that you can use in order to access functionality implemented within DisCleaner:

Uninstall Displays a list of installed Applications that you can uninstall. Refer to Section F. Uninstall Applications for more information.
Set Safe Sets only the options considered safe for the cleaning process.
Set Default Sets the default options for the cleaning process.
Set All Sets all options for the cleaning process.
Set None Unsets all options at once allowing you to select only those that suit your needs.
Continue Starts the scanning process prior to the cleaning process.

Section C. Clean Options Described

Windows Temporary Directories
Windows Operating System - related temporary directories only.

Windows Recycle Bin
All objects stored in the Recycle Bin regardless of the hard disc drive. If you don't need them, then you can dispose of.

Windows and Application Logs
Windows and other Applications often create log files that can be removed. This option will gather all the log files that will be found on the partition (or disc) where Windows is installed.

Windows Prefetch Directory
If allowes, Windows creates prefetch files for each executed application. These can be easily disposed of as some might be still left from old long-removed applications. Windows creates these files again, if the feature is enabled.

Windows CHKDSK File Fragments
When scanning hard discs, CHKDSK might recover and save certain file fragments. All these lost file fragments can be freely deleted if you don't need them.

Windows Thumbnail Files
These tend to consume a lot of hard disc space and can be freely removed if you don't use this feature.

Windows Start Menu Recent Documents
A number of recent documents links might be placed in your Start Menu. These can be easily disposed of.

Windows Start Menu Invalid Shortcuts
Start Menu shortcuts pointing to invalid files can freely be deleted as a small amount of disc space can be reclaimed.

Windows Desktop Invalid Shortcuts
Desktop shortcuts pointing to invalid files can freely be deleted as a small amount of dis space can be reclaimed.

Internet Explorer Temporary Cache
Internet Explorer cache directories tend to consume some disc space.

Internet Explorer Cookies
Internet Cookies can be cleaned to gain a small amount of disc space.

Temporary Files
Temporary files are created by several applications and may be freely erased.

Old Backup Files
A lot of applications create various backup files. They can be probably deleted. While you may still have some of your old data backed up in one form or another (based on specified backup application which involves a specific extension, often ".bak"), you need to carefully observe the files (objects) that fall into this category and will be found by DisCleaner. If you think these files present no importance, you may freely check this option.

Other Unneeded Files
These are files that do not fall in any of the categories above. While selecting this option, you should think twice if you want to keep files belonging mainly to MS-DOS (if you are a DOS applications developper, you may not want DisCleaner to mess around with your files). Carefully observe the files (objects) that fall into this category and will be fount by DisCleaner.

Apple .DS_Store Files
Mac OS X creates these type of files on network drives.

Apple Trash
Mac OS X creates a Trash related directory on drives that are shared with Windows.

Apple Spotlight Index
Mac OS X creates a Spotlight indexing related directory on drives that are shared with Windows.

Empty Subdirectories
All empty subdirectories that are found in the selected directory or drive.

Custom Files
These files match your search criteria defined in the Preferences dialog box. For purpose of extending the functionality of DisCleaner, option to scan and clean all files matching your specified file mask is introduced. So, for instance, if you would like to delete all help files (highly not recommended) with the ".hlp" mask, you just simply add the file mask in the Preferences dialog box. See Section G. DisCleaner Preferences for more information regarding this operation.

Custom Directories
These directories match your search criteria defined in the Preferences dialog box. For purpose of extending the functionality of DisCleaner, option to scan and clean all directories matching your specified directory mask is introduced. So, for instance, if you would like to delete all directories matching the "Test Directory" mask, you just simply add the directory mask in the Preferences dialog box. See Section G. DisCleaner Preferences for more information regarding this operation.

About prefetch files: Read the following information regarding prefetch files.

These files are created by the Microsoft® Windows™ operating system, starting with XP, every time you execute an application. These files are part of the Windows Memory Manager and are supposed to help your system run faster, according to Microsoft. However many prefer not to use the prefetch mechanism and either disable the feature or regularly manually delete these files. At this point, DisCleaner can come in handy as it can remove them by itself.

About thumbnails: Read the following information regarding thumbs.db files.

These files are created by the Microsoft® Windows™ operating system every time you watch over a directory in the "Filmstrip" or "Tiles" modes. In fact these database files contain scaled-down previews of each picture file present in that directory. Large pictures directories often generate large thumbs.db files. The only problem that occurs if one removes these files is that pictures in the respective directory tend to load a little slower because they are not cached in thumbnails anymore.

Tip: Before you choose to tick this option, it is recommended to disable thumbnails from within Windows. The steps are as follows:

     1. Click Start -> Settings -> Control Panel
     2. Double Click Folder Options
     3. Click the View tab
     4. From the list, tick Do not cache thumbnails
     5. Click Ok

Warning: Cleaning custom files and/or directories involves extra care because once the files are deleted, they probably cannot be recovered anymore.

Section D. The Files Section

When DisCleaner finishes scanning for files according to your options, you are presented with a list of files from which you can select or unselect whatever objects you want to clean or to keep. By default, all files found are selected and ready to be removed.

Fig. 2: The Files Section

Once again, you are presented with a set of command buttons:

< Back Returns to the main DisCleaner clean-up selection.
Stop Search Is enabled only during the search process and once pressed, search will be aborted. You can still clean the files provided that the list contains at leas one (1) object.
Report After finishing the cleaning process, you can press this button to view a report.
Select Safe Selects only objects considered safe from the list.
Select All Selects all the objects from the list.
Select None Unselects all the objects at once from the list.
Clean/Repeat Starts the cleaning process. After finishing the cleaning process, this button is called Repeat and allows you to start a new cleaning session.

While cleaning, DisCleaner will display a red progress bar and the file it cleans at a given moment in time.

Fig. 3: The Files Section while Cleaning

This process might take a lot of time, depending on the number of files and/or directories DisCleaner found, so please be patient.

Section E. The Report

DisCleaner can generate a report after the cleaning process. Click the Report button in order to show the Report window. Inspect the report to see any faults in the process of removing unneeded files. Files that cannot be removed are simply skipped and they appear in the Skipped Objects section of the report. These files were probably in use or OS-locked while DisCleaner tried to remove them.

Fig. 4: The Report Window

Close the Report window in order to return to DisCleaner.

Section F. Uninstall Applications

DisCleaner can facilitate the uninstalling of Applications currently installed on your machine. Launch the uninstaller via the Uninstall command button on the main DisCleaner window. DisCleaner can also remove entries belonging to Applications no longer installed on your machine. If such case occurs, DisCleaner asks you whether to remove the entry or not.

Fig. 5: The Application Uninstaller

When you finish uninstalling, close the window in order to return to DisCleaner.

Section G. DisCleaner Preferences

DisCleaner has the Preferences window at one click away. It provides useful settings to cope with your requests. Click the Preferences menu command from the main menu. On your computer it should look as pictured in Fig. 4 below.

Fig. 6: The Preferences Menu Command

The Preferences window allows you to modify General, Scanner, and Cleaner parameters through their appropriate preferences pages.



Fig. 7: The Preferences Window - General

Confirmations enables showing of a selection message box every time DisCleaner attempts to clean a file that is not considered a safe one. It is recommended to enable this feature if you want to double check DisCleaner's activity. For maximum speed and performance, uncheck the option. If Confirmations is checked then DisCleaner also asks when you attempt to close the application.

Allow Window Transparency enables or disables the transparency effect on all DisCleaner Windows.



Fig. 8: The Preferences Window - Scanner

Exclude Files allows you to define an array of comma separated filenames that will be excluded by the scanner.

Exclude Directories allows you to define an array comma separated directory names that will be excluded by the scanner.

Custom Files allows you to define an array of comma separated filenames that will be used by the Custom Files clean option in order to scan for files matching your criteria.

Custom Directories allows you to define an array of comma separated directory names that will be used by the Custom Directories clean option in order to scan for directories matching your criteria.

Tips:

+ Exclude Files and Custom Files work in tandem.
+ Exclude Directories and Custom Directories work in tandem.
+ Any OS-supported wildcards are allowed (for instance, an array of filenames could be "Temp*.?mp;*.chk;index.dat" and it is validated as files to be excluded or scanned for.

Warning: Custom files and directories matching the specified mask, once deleted, probably cannot be recovered.



Fig. 9: The Preferences Window - Cleaner

Secure Delete Passes specifies the number of rewrites the Clean engine will perform using a specific pattern, in order to securely delete your files.
This options only has effect if Secure delete files option is ticked in the main DisCleaner interface.

Random Rewrite Pattern specifies whether to use a random pattern when attempting to securely delete the files.
This options only has effect if Secure delete files option is ticked in the main DisCleaner interface.

Section H. What's New?

The following list shows what's new in the latest version:

Version 2.4.6.159 | Show All Versions

+ Implemented functionality to save the Clean-up Options when the Application closes
+ Implemented an option to disable transparency on all DisCleaner windows
+ Implemented window shadow to Main DisCleaner window
+ Improved the Statistics message box with total number of files removed and more readable layout
+ Fixed small bugs in the message box dialog window and its appropriate routines
+ Fixed displaying of total operation duration in the Report window
+ Fixed a bug related to Main window not responding correctly to ESC key events

Section I. Miscellaneous

Note: All bugs should be reported at: agroza24@yahoo.fr, Mr. Alexandru Groza.

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Thank you for using this Software suite.


  Copyright © 1998-2004,2012 Microprogramming TECHNIQUES
  All rights reserved.
  Version: 1.1 | Revision: A