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Slimming WIndows

Purch the Windows File Protection cache (careful, and read this!)

CMD: Sfc /purgecache

More suggestions

Other suggestions (mostly from this article)

# 1.) c:\windows\system32\dllcache\
# NOTE: DON'T DELETE THIS FOLDER, JUST ALL THE FILES INSIDE! This folder uses a LOT of hard drive space, it holds a backup of every system file that windows uses. Deleting this will cause a SFC error when you replace a system file instead of windows putting back the original file. For people who want to mod there system, this is a good thing.
DEL %systemroot%\system32\dllcache\*.*

# 2.) c:\windows\servicepackfiles\i386\
# NOTE: DON?T DELETE THIS FOLDER, JUST ALL THE FILES INSIDE! This folder only exists if you installed a service pack on XP, if you did a slipstream it won?t be here either. This folder is the same as the dllcache, but has the new files that were updated by a service pack. If you delete the dllcache, deleting this is just like finishing the job.
DEL %systemroot%\servicepackfiles\i386\*.*

# 3.) c:\windows\$Uninstall----$
# These $uninstall----$ folders are used whenever you want to uninstall a windows update. If you delete them, you can not uninstall the update(s), but if the updates are working fine for you, there should be now reason to remove them.
# DEL %systemroot%\$uninstall* (this needs to be translated to DOS)

# 4.) c:\windows\cursors\
# This folder contains some custom cursers for windows, if you are happy with the default cursers, or use your own set like Blue Curve, then deleting this wont effect you at all.
RMDIR %systemroot%\cursors\

# 5.) c:\windows\driver cache\i386\
# NOTE: DON'T DELETE THIS FOLDER, JUST ALL THE FILES INSIDE! This is one you may not want to delete, this takes up a bit of space (about 80mb) but windows uses if you ever add or remove windows components and things like printer drivers. If you're your hardware is already working fine, you don't need this folder on your hard drive. For example, if you delete this folder, and try to install IIS, windows will ask for the CD or Network share with the files on it, if you don't need to add or remove windows components often, deleting this will free up some space for you.
DEL %systemroot%\driver cache\i386\*.*

# 6.) c:\windows\help\
# NOTE: DON'T DELETE THIS FOLDER, JUST ALL THE FILES IN SIDE! This folder contains all of the windows help files. If you are like me, and think they having 50mb of help files is a waste, then you probably want to delete it. If you delete this folder and try to view a help file, the Help and Support center will come up with a 404 error. No harm is done, you just can?t view the help files (because you deleted them?). There is also a tours folder inside of the help folder, you can delete everything in this folder also, but windows won?t let you remove the actual folder.
DEL %systemroot%\help\*.*

# 7.) c:\windows\inf\
# NOTE: DON'T DELETE THIS FOLDER, JUST ALL THE FILES INSIDE! This folder contains a lot of windows drivers, if you ever add new hardware, windows looks in this folder, then on your CD drive for the latest drivers. Any hardware you might get will probably come with the drivers on a disk, so this folder is just a wasting space on your hard drive with outdated drivers. If all of your hardware is working fine, and you don't plan on adding any new hardware for a while, deleting this wont effect your system at all. If you don't want to delete everything in it, you can go into the folder, press CRTL+F and search for mdm*.* and delete everything that comes up. These are all modem drivers, and it is very unlikely you will ever need them because you either have a modem installed already, or if you do add one, it will come with newer drivers.
DEL %systemroot%\inf\*.*

# 8.) c:\windows\srchasst
# This folder is the XP Search assistant, if you delete it, windows will just use the classic 2k style search instead, which is more functional and easier to use.
# WARNING: Some people have reported problems with this, and have not been able to search, try this at your own risk!!!
RMDIR %systemroot%\srcasst\

# 9.) c:\windows\downloaded installations\
# This folder holds the installers for some programs you download and install, for example, Tweak UI puts its installer in this folder, and so you can repair it or update its components later. Deleting this folder won't harm any programs I have ever seen, but you should look inside this and see what you are deleting first.
RMDIR "%systemroot%\downloaded installations\"
MKDIR %systemroot%\downloaded installations\

# 10.) c:\windows\media\
# These are the default windows sounds, if you don't want them, deleting them wont hurt anything.
RMDIR %systemroot%\media

# 11.) c:\windows\system32\restore\
# This is the system restore apps, if you delete this, system restore will no longer work. Before you delete this, you should go into System Restore, and delete all your restore points, and then you should go to the system properties and disable system restore. After that, you can delete this folder, and not worry about system restore slowing down your system or sucking up space. 
RMDIR %systemroot%\system32\usmt

# 12.) c:\windows\system32\usmt\
# This folder is the File and Settings Transfer wizard. If you have no need for it, then deleting this wont have any other effects besides the File and Settings Transfer wizard not working anymore.
RMDIR %systemroot%\system32\usmt\

# 13 A. c:\program files\msn
# 13 B. c:\program files\netmeeting\
# These are the MSN Explorer and Net Meeting applications. If you don?t need or use them, then you can delete these folders (For net meeting, you can only delete the files inside) and the only thing it will effect is that these programs will know longer work.

RMDIR c:\program files\msn
RMDIR c:\program files\netmeeting\

# 14.) C:\windows\system32\oobe
# NOTE: DON'T DELETE THIS FOLDER, JUST ALL THE FILES INSIDE! In this folder is the Out of Box Experience (The screens you see right after you have installed XP for the first time), and the XP Product Activation stuff. If you have a Retail or OEM version of XP, and you think you might ever need to activate again, DON'T DELETE THIS. So unless you are using XP or 2k3 CORP, you may still need this folder someday.
DEL %systemroot%\system32\oobe\*.*

# 15.) c:\windows\msagent
# This folder holds the MS Agent program. The MS Agent is a gay little wizard thing that looks like the Office Assistant, I personally hate this thing, and removing it will get rid of it for good! If windows wont let you remove the folder, just delete everything inside of it, and everything inside of the intl folder.
RMDIR %systemroot%\msagent

# 16.) c:\windows\java
# This is the crappy MS Java components that don't work well, and MS got sued over. If you have Windows XP slipstreamed with SP1a you wont have this because MS no longer distributes it. If you use websites that use Java Applets, you should keep this, or remove it and install Suns Java VM.
RMDIR %systemroot%\java

# 17.) c:\windows\mui
# This is a little app that allows you to switch between multiple languages, if you only use one language, then deleting this wont effect you at all. NOTE: I think this folder only exists on XP Pro because Home Edition doesn't support multiple languages.

Post Deletion:
After you have deleted everything you want to, I recommend you run the Registry Cleaner from jvPowerTools ( ). This will remove all the references to things you deleted so a window doesn't look for the files any more. If you delete the Java Folder, RegCleaner will find at least 50 reg entries related to it, and can remove them for you if you want.

What else can I do to make the windows folder smaller?

If you want to make your windows folder even smaller, and you use NTFS, you can use NTFS compression to make the windows folder smaller. Although you can compress everything it, compressing EXEs and DLL files will make you system a little bit slower, so I recommend compressing everything BUT EXE and DLL files."

That's it. Again I've tried most all of the above and the laptop on which I applied Private Pyles recommendations works just fine.

Do NOT delete "C:\Windows\ServicePackFiles".

# To clean the %windir%\installers folder download the 
# Windows Installer Cleanup Tool from MS and type
# C:\Program Files\Windows Installer Clean Up\msizap G!

DEL C:\windows\
# service pack - 240MB
hotfixes & updates
# uninstallers for installed apps (i.e. OK for base image, not later)
Cleaning Prefetch

Just like everything else in windows after a while the prefetch ends up with files that haven't been used in quite a while. Every so often you should browse to C:/windows/prefetch and clean out what you don't need.

| Prefetch Applications to make them load quicker |