When you buy a new car, you generally don't expect to find the door pockets stuffed with maps or the upholstery already supplied with cookie crumbs and grease stains. However, when you buy a new computer these days, or get assigned one at work, it usually comes preloaded with thousands of software particles in every nook and cranny of your hard drive. Some of the files are parts of programs you use; on a used computer, some are left over from programs and operations long gone.
This chapter helps you figure out which files you can delete or move safely, and which you should leave in place.
Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional assumes you're the sort of person who doesn't want to be bothered by details; it hides many of its own files, and even whole folders. This maneuver has the advantage of keeping you out of areas where you could do significant damage to the computer's operation. On the other hand, if you're reading this chapter, you're probably more curious than the average user, and you want to know more about the system you're working with.
To see everything Windows 2000 has been hiding from you, you have to flip three different switches, shown in Figure 10-1.
Figure 10-1. To get at the hide/show switches, open a desktop folder window and choose Tools→Folder Options→View. In the list of checkboxes, under the heading ...