Microprogramming TECHNIQUES
 the Windows® disc cleaner tool of choice

Synopsis

DisCleaner is an application designed to clean your hard disc drives. It follows the classical guidelines to software application development in order to present you with a clean, familiar, and fully functional graphical user interface. Internally, it contains both high level mixed with low level routines featuring optimizations that guarantee the functionality of the application as intended on the minimum system requirements.

DisCleaner is fast and reliable and does only one job: it cleans your hard disc drives. Thus you will not encounter unneeded functionality or unwanted options that might slow down your experience or cripple the performance of the internal engine.

Section A. Overview

DisCleaner is a powerful Windows®-based application designed from scratch to deal with unneeded files created by the operating system or by various Applications that are (or were) installed 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. However the engine is powerful but it does not make the difference between some intentionally created files and your standard Application remnants. For this purpose, the selection of actions that are offered to you, is divided into three categories, designated as safe, potentially unsafe, and unsafe. You still have the ability to control whether to clean certain files by making your selection from a list that is shown right before starting the clean-up process. For more information regarding the available clean-up options, please refer to Section C. Clean-up Options Described.

Trademark Notice

Microsoft, Windows, Windows Explorer, and MS-DOS are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.
Apple, Macintosh, Mac OS X, and Spotlight are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Apple Computer.
Intel and Pentium are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Intel Corporation.

General Information

Version 2.4.8.239
Copyright © 1998-2004,2016 Microprogramming TECHNIQUES
All rights reserved.

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

System Requirements

Operating System: Microsoft® Windows® 2000, NT, XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 10
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 32 Mo RAM (512 Mo recommended)
Screen Resolution: at least 800x600px (1024x768px recommended)
Video Subsystem: at least 4 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. The compiled content includes 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. This program is closed source.

Disclaimer: We are not responsible for any loss of information caused by misuse of DisCleaner. You are encouraged to read this help documentation to learn about the repercussions of certain actions that are categorized as unsafe. As with any stored data manipulation software, you are responsible for your actions in case of unwanted data loss. Use this program at your own risk.

Tip: This message appears just once at the first run of the program. It reminds you about the severe consequences on the file system 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 and directory cleaning, with only a few mouse clicks.

Fig. 1: The Main window

The main DisCleaner window, as shown in Fig. 1, is the first visual contact you will have when the program is launched. You can choose to clean only a specific directory of your disc drive, an entire disc drive or partition, or a combination of one or more of these items, in batch mode. All these just by adding them items to the Clean-up List right below the storage media hierarchy. The main window also allows you to specify the clean-up options that you can follow according to your requirements. The clean-up options are described down below at Section C. Clean-up Options Described. Start the scanning process by clicking the Continue button.

Before even starting to scan or clean, DisCleaner will first check whether your clean-up selection of paths and/or disc drives are located on a solid-state drive (SSD) and if you have the Secure Delete Files option enabled, it will prompt with a confirmation message. We strongly advice you to turn off this option if your machine contains an SSD.

Warning: The Secure Delete Files option does not work with solid-state drive (SSD) devices because of the way they are build and how they store the information. Also keep in mind that using this option with an SSD device, will cause severe life span shortening of the memory cells of your SSD and the data will still remain untouched. So please use it only with HDD devices.

This message appears whenever you check the Secure Delete Files option, in order to remind you about the severe consequences on using it with SSD devices.

This message appears whenever you have the Secure Delete Files option enabled and an SSD device was found installed on your system. It appears once when you are about to scan for files and another time when you are about to delete files. This behavior cannot be disabled.

The main window offers you a set of command buttons that you can use in order to control the flow of the program. These buttons are described below.

Uninstall Displays a list of installed Applications that you can uninstall. Refer to Section F. Uninstall Applications for more information.
Set Safe Checks only the options considered safe.
Set Default Checks the default clean-up options.
Set All Checks all the clean-up options.
Set None Unchecks all the clean-up options.
Continue Starts the scanning process that precedes the cleaning process.

At any time you can consult the statistics collected by DisCleaner during its use.

Simply enough, the Statistics menu item will bring up the window pictured above.

Section C. Clean-up Options Described

Windows Temporary Directories
Temporary directories content only.
Windows Recycle Bin
All objects stored in the Recycle Bin regardless of their physical disc location.
Windows and Application Logs
Windows and other Applications often create log files that can be deleted. 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 allowed, Windows creates prefetch files for each executed application. These can be easily disposed of as some might be still left from old longtime deleted 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 files tend to consume a lot of hard disc space and can be freely deleted if you don't use this feature.
Windows Start Menu Recent Documents
The recent documents links placed in the Start Menu can be deleted.
Windows Start Menu Invalid Shortcuts
Start Menu shortcuts pointing to invalid files can freely be deleted and a small amount of disc space can be reclaimed.
Windows Desktop Invalid Shortcuts
Desktop shortcuts pointing to invalid files can freely be deleted and 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
These are created by the operating system and various applications and could be deleted.
Old Backup Files
A lot of applications create various backup files. They can, probably, be 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 that fall into this category.
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 an active MS-DOS applications developer, you may not want DisCleaner to delete your files. Carefully observe the files that fall into this category.
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 Windows shared drives.
Apple Spotlight Index
Mac OS X creates a Spotlight indexing related directory on Windows shared drives.
Empty Subdirectories
These are empty subdirectories located in each directory of your selected paths.
Custom Files
These files match your search criteria defined in the Options window. For purpose of extending the functionality of DisCleaner, the 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 Options window.
Custom Directories
These directories match your search criteria defined in the Options window. For purpose of extending the functionality of DisCleaner, the 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 Options window.

Warning: Cleaning custom files and/or directories involves extra care because once the files are deleted, they probably cannot be recovered anymore. See Section G. DisCleaner Options for more information regarding this operation.

About 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.

About thumbnails

These files are created by the Microsoft® Windows® operating system every time you access a directory with Windows Explorer set in the Filmstrip or Tiles modes. In fact these database files contain scaled-down previews of each picture file present in that directory. Directories that contain large amount of pictures often generate large thumbs.db files. The only problem that occurs if one deletes 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

Section D. The Files Section

When DisCleaner finishes scanning for files according to your search criteria, you are presented with a list of objects from which you can select or unselect which you want to delete or to keep. By default, all the objects in the list are selected and ready to be deleted.

Fig. 2: The Files Section

Once again, you are presented with a set of command buttons. They are described below.

< Back Returns to the main window.
Stop Stops the current search or clean, if in progress.
Report After finishing the cleaning process, you can press this button to view a report.
Check Safe Checks only the objects considered safe.
Check All Checks all the objects from the list.
Check None Unchecks all the objects at once.
Clean/Repeat Starts the cleaning process. After cleaning, this button is called Repeat and allows you to start a new session.

An object is a virtual representation of either a file or a directory. Double-clicking an object from within the list will invoke the default Windows behavior for that specific file or directory.

Tip: This message appears when you attempt to open an object from the list while the Open Object Confirmations option is enabled. You can disable this security check at your own risk. Beware that certain files could be infected by viruses or malicious scripts. These might harm your computer if launched into execution.

Fig. 3: The Files Section while Cleaning

Tip: While cleaning, a red progress indicator gives you a visual feedback regarding the time required to complete this operation. Depending on the speed of your hardware and the amount of files you want to delete, the clean-up might take some time so please be patient.

Section E. The Report

DisCleaner fills a report after the the clean-up. Click the Report button in order to show the Report window. Inspect the report to look for faults and statistics. Files that cannot be deleted are simply skipped and they appear in the Skipped Objects section of the report. These files were probably in use or locked by the operating system.

Fig. 4: The Report window

Close the Report window in order to return to DisCleaner.

Section F. Uninstall Applications

DisCleaner can also facilitate the uninstalling of various Applications that are currently installed on your machine. Launch the uninstaller via the Uninstall command button in the main window. You can also delete entries belonging to Applications that are no longer installed on your machine. If you are in such case, you will be prompted whether to delete 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 Options

The Options window is at one click away. It provides useful settings to customize your DisCleaner experience. Click the Options menu command from the main menu. On your computer it should look as pictured in Fig. 6 below.

Fig. 6: The Options Menu Command

The Options window allows you to modify General, Scanner, Validator, and Cleaner parameters through their appropriate options pages.

Fig. 7: The Options window - General


Confirmations enables message boxes to pop-up whenever a file that is not considered a safe one is about to be deleted. For maximum speed and performance, uncheck the option. Aditionally this option prompts you with a confirmation message box when you attempt to close the program.

Open Object Confirmations enables message boxes to pop-up whenever an object from the Clean-up List is about to be opened. An object is either a file or a directory. It can be opened by double-clicking its name in the list once the scan procedure completes.

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

Use File System Icons enables the use of the file system icon associated with each found object in the Files Section.

Fig. 8: The Options window - Scanner


Exclude Files allows you to define an array of semicolon separated file names that will be excluded by the scanner.

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

Custom Files allows you to define an array of semicolon separated file names that is used by the Custom Files clean-up option to scan for files matching this criteria.

Custom Directories allows you to define an array of semicolon separated directory names that is used by the Custom Directories clean-up option to scan for directories matching this criteria.

Tips:

Exclude Files and Custom Files work in tandem.
Exclude Directories and Custom Directories work in tandem.
Any wildcards that are supported by the operating system are allowed.
(for instance, Temp*.?mp;*.chk;index.dat)

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

Ignore Symbolic Links excludes all symbolic links from the search criteria.

Fig. 9: The Options window - Validator


File Date Validator applies search constraints related to date.

Created indicates when the file was created.
Modified indicates when the file was last modified.
Accessed indicates when the file was last accessed.
Older indicates whether the file is older than specified date.
Newer indicates whether the file is newer than specified date.
Date indicates the date to validate against (format is: mm/dd/yyy).

File Attributes Validator applies search constraints related to attributes. If you use this validator then only files complying to your specific combination of attributes will be searched.

Archive indicates a ready to archive file.
Read Only indicates a read-only file.
Hidden indicates a hidden file.
System indicates a system file.

File Contents Validator applies search constraints related to contents.

Containing indicates the string to search for inside the files.
Case Sensitive indicates whether the search string is case sensitive.

File Size Validator applies search constraints related to size. The file sizes are always expressed in Ko. For instance, the number 2 represents 2048 octets while 1024 represents 1 Mo.

Minimum Size indicates the minimum size of the file.
Maximum Size indicates the maximum size of the file.

Fig. 10: The Options window - Cleaner

Secure Delete Files enables using a secure delete mechanism to ensure the deleted files will not be recoverable.

Secure Delete Passes indicates the number of rewrite cycles.
Random Rewrite Pattern indicates whether to use random rewrite.

Warning: The Secure Delete Files option does not work with solid-state drive (SSD) devices because of the way they are build and how they store the information. Also keep in mind that using it with an SSD device, it will cause severe life span shortening of the memory cells of your SSD and the data will still remain untouched. So please use it only with HDD devices.

The Defaults button applies the default settings for the selected options page.
To save your preferences, click OK. To discard them, click Cancel.

Section H. Commandline Options

DisCleaner includes some basic commandline options. This means that you can invoke the executable program file with the clean targets supplied as manually typed command line parameters.

The basic commandline syntax is:

  disclnr32.exe <clean_target_1> <clean_target_2> ... <clean_target_n>

A real life example would be this:

  disclnr32.exe C:\ D:\ G:\Programs\Temp\ "H:\Old Data"

Notice how the parameters containing spaces are enclosed in double quotes. This is the standard commandline parameter syntax. For more information regarding passing commandline parameters, please consult the official Microsoft documentation.

Section I. What's New?

The following list shows what is new in the latest version:

Version 2.4.8.239 | Show All Versions
+ Added: Clean-up List selection is now saved when the Application closes
+ Added: New scanner options (Validators page) accessible through the Options window
+ Added: Application option to ignore symbolic links
+ Added: Application option to confirm object opening actions
+ Added: Defaults button to reset each individual preference page in the Options window
+ Added: Possibility to pass clean targets as commandline parameters
+ Added: Possibility to add all clean targets at once by adding the parent node (Computer) to the Clean-up List
+ Added: Possibility to check or uncheck multiple items at once in the Files Section, via multiple selection
+ Added: Possibility to use the file system icons in the Files Section
+ Added: Possibility to open objects from the list via double-click actions
+ Added: Color codes for potentially unsafe and unsafe items in the Files Section when using system icons
+ Fixed: A number of low incidence bugs inside the Options window
+ Fixed: A minor bug related to wildcards presence in file and directory exclusion lists
+ Fixed: A high incidence bug (file extensions taken from short filenames instead of the proper long ones) when scanning for files
+ Fixed: A high incidence bug (adding duplicates) when scanning for files
+ Fixed: A high incidence bug (Invalid pointer operation) when reopening the Uninstall Applications window
+ Improved: Reworked and tweaked the UI while rewriting parts of it
+ Improved: Only one instance of DisCleaner can run at any given time
+ Improved: Saving of preferences and the internal preferences system
+ Improved: Major internal refactoring in order to increase stability
+ Improved: Scanner engine speed
+ Improved: Refined the internal rules of the scanner engine; now results are more accurate
+ Improved: Internal array of scanner validators and the validator engine; now it is scalable
+ Improved: SSD devices detection section
+ Improved: Statistics message box and added more indicators
+ Improved: English language corrections and improvements both inside the Application and the Documentation
+ Introduced: Failsafe mechanisms inside critical program section blocks
+ Introduced: Easter eggs -- happy hunting!

Section J. Miscellaneous

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

DONATE

If you like what we are doing, please consider making a donation. Any amount is treasured and will help us (Mr. Alexandru Groza) continue our work and release more valuable software, free of charge. Many thanks goes to all of those who already donated!

Thank you for using this computer program.


Copyright © 1998-2004, Microprogramming TECHNIQUES
All rights reserved.
Version: 1.4 | Revision: E