Crap Cleaner

Though my own use of Microsoft Windows has fallen off sharpely, I still have family (that I will acknowledge) who use Windows. Since I’m a “computer guy”, I’ve been called in before to clean family computers that have grown slow from crap building up on their hard drives. There’s a lot to clean: since Windows isn’t housebroken, it tends to gather all sorts of garbage: TEMP files (*.tmp), bad Registry entries, bad data discovered by Window’s chkdsk hard drive scanner (*.chk), log files, cached internet files, and all sorts of other junk. And this doesn’t include that malware, viruses, and spyware that are ubiquitous on Windows.

CCleaner, a freeware utility from Piriform, has long been my goto Windows cleanup utility. It’s graphical user interface is self-explanatory enough that my father and my late mother could be taught to use it and they are/were in their late sixties. My years spent doing technical support have revealed one inescapable fact: most people over 65 have difficulty making the mental leap needed for use personal computers effectively. The leap can be made but the largest component of their mental block, a paralyzing fear that they’ll “break” their computer, is hard to overcome. Explaining that having Windows on their computer meant that their computer was already broken was rarely comforting.

Now I learn that there’s a version of CCleaner for MacOS X. MacOS X is superior to Windows in almost every way (mostly because it “lacks” the Windows Registry). But it is not immune from accumulating crap on your hard drive. So far, CCleaner is just as good at cleaning out obscure corners of MacOS X (I’m using MacOS X 8.0 “Mountain Lion”) as it is at cleaning out obscure corners of Windows.

If you’re using MacOS X or Windows, download, install, and run CCleaner regularly. Given the price (free), it’s a no-brainer.

Now they just need to bring their disk defragmenter Defraggler to MacOS X and HFS+ and my MacOS X system maintenance collection will be complete.

[Disclaimer: I am not an agent provocateur from Piriform]

12 thoughts on “Crap Cleaner”

  1. “Now they just need to bring their disk defragmenter Defraggler to MacOS X and HFS+ and my MacOS X system maintenance collection will be complete.”Now they just need to bring their disk defragmenter Defraggler to MacOS X and HFS+ and my MacOS X system maintenance collection will be complete.

    In general the need for defragging a *nix system is almost nil. The file systems used across the *nix world make better use of the disk write function and intelligently allocate blocks.

    Now I don’t know about HFS or HFS+ but I don’t know much about Apple stuff, I avoid it. I have built a hackintosh, a technical exercise you understand, but grew bored with it quickly.

    I’ll be 66 in about a month.

  2. I just put this on my Mac and ran it, and it took 56.8 MB of crap out of my machine.

    Thanks, LC.

  3. ext2 had minor issues with fragmentation but that’s the last UNIXish filesystem I defragged.

    HFS+ is less advanced than most UNIX/Linux/BSD filesystems. In a sense, it’s very similar to FAT32: a primitive legacy filesystem (HFS, FAT) adjusted to accommodate large hard drive sizes and other modernities. And like FAT filesystems, it’s subject to file fragmentation, though not to the same extent.

    By default, HFS+ often ships in a mode where file names are case insensitive, a “feature” that that can catch people expecting UNIXish behavior by surprise (it did me once). When I purchased my last Apple laptop, I repartitioned, reformatted, and reinstalled the operating system first thing to use HFS+’s case sensitive mode. If you read the epic reviews John Siracusa has been writing about OS X for the past decade:

    He is constantly bewailing how backward HFS+ is.

    There was discussion about Apple using ZFS:

    a filesystem for Solaris developed by the late Sun Microsystems. It fizzled for some reason (it may have struck Jobs as aesthetically displeasing) but there is an ongoing effort to maintain an open source version:

    OSX still has legacy support for NEXTSTEP’s UFS variant. You just can’t install OSX on that partition.

    This is a helpful discussion for the interested:

  4. L.C. – I have downloaded it and am doing a full backup tonight – if any of you are using Windows Acronis TrueImage is great – saved me twice. I’ll see what it does tomorrow – thanks for the suggestion!

  5. L.C. – Thanks for the recommendation – I downloaded it last night – and because I am hesitant on freeware did a full backup last night – 235 GB – this morning I run it and it got rid of 5GB of “crap” – so thanks – now to read Dan’s recommendation –

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