Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Read the article that everyone's commenting on.
VERY GOOD ADVICE AS USUAL.ABOUT A YEAR AGO I USED A LITTLE PROGRAM TO GET RID OF DUPLICATE FILES,IT DID THAT ALLRIGHT AND AT THE SAME TIME IT GOT RID OF XP AND I HAD TO REINSTALL,SO LISTEN TO LEO.
I got a call from a guy who couldn't get MSN Messenger to run. I couldn't either even after reinstalling it. Also I noticed the adware program wouldn't run. I downloaded that version and even that wouldn't run.
An antivirus scan showed no infection. The only clue was when trying to run Lavasoft Ad-Aware it wouldn't but there was a error message concerning the file RICHED20.DLL. I assumed it was corrupted/missing - did a search and found 4 instances of the file on the computer.
I decided to download a new copy of the internet. They didn't have the install CD and I wasn't sure about the copies on the system. After downloading I wasn't sure where to put it. I chose SYSTEM32 folder even though there wasn't a copy there. Problem solved.
I had a similar problem with WMP.DLL from Media Player 10. Found 4 instances of the file on my hard drive and decided to use one of them. It worked by coping the file from one folder (can't remember the name right now) to the SYSTEM32 folder where again the file was missing. It worked. Duplicate files aren't always bad.
On March 22, 2007 I deleted all duplicate files, and my system crashed as a result. Leo is giving good advice.
For some now, I 've, almost religiously, been running CCleaner, then Disc Cleanup, then Drive Cleanup before turning off my computer. I wanted to know how it looked once, so after performing my usual shut down cleaning, when I next turned it on, I ran the same programs. There's a surprise. It seemed that all those nasties (or most of them at least) were back. I had done no surfing, no going on online, nothing. What's going on here? Am I wasting my time doing these chores?
I've learned this lesson the hard way. Once I ran one of these duplicate finders to clear up some duplicate files (lean = fast, right?). When I got done ALL of my shortcut files had disappeared. My desktop was blank, my start menu was blank, my quick launch was blank. I've decided since then that duplicate files aren't that bad....
I agree that deleting duplicates files could be a problem IF you're not looking at the duplicates before you delete them. Checksums are important when integrating it into a duplicate file program.
Also, I'm still wondering how someone could lose their operating system without knowing it before they click.......hmmmmmm
I agree with all of you! but i am sys admin and i create lots of backup... so to organize this we use duplicate finder it help me a lot!
As Leo and many other in this thread says it is not safe to remove all duplicate files. I would recomend only to remove user files (digital photos, music, documents etc) and carefully check every file before removing it and not use any programs that automaticaly removes clones without your control. The problem is not only to find the duplicate files but to select which ones to remove.
You could try using our software Clone Tools that will give you control of exactly what you are doing by displaying all clones in a file browser. Windows system directories are exlcuded from the duplicate scan by default.
Well Leo, You shot me down...sorta. I discovered your site while seeking an efficient solution to a duplicates problem (some unknown application or some action on my part has resulted in vast numbers of duplicate files, primarily shortcuts, on my Vista system. It would take many hours to remove them all individually). My problem is not primarily a duplicate program removal issue, but you have convinced me to be extra cautious. I have encountered problems such as you describe in the past, sometimes with disastrous consequences. Thanks for reminding me of the potential problems.
Never delete files from the Windows directory
Only delete files you know are safe to delete
I use Directory Report to find dups
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