View Full Version : PC OPTIMIZATION 2: Cleaning, Removing & Recovering Tools

06-10-2008, 09:09 AM
Be sure to see our TABLE OF CONTENTS (http://www.hackhunters.com/forum/index.php?topic=243.msg894#msg894) for links to every category in this Computer Tech Board

http://www.hackhunters.com/forum/Themes/cs-dk115v1/images/new_some.gif (http://www.hackhunters.com/forum/index.php?topic=508.0) PC OPTIMIZATION 2: Cleaning & Recovery Tools

Keeping your computer clean of unwanted files
ATF Cleaner
nCleaner second
Recuva - File Recovery
AbsoluteShield File Shredder 1.41
Drive Backup 9.0 Express
Unlocker 1.8.7
Free Window Sweeper
Revo Uninstaller



In this article, we’ll talk about hiden traces most software leave behind even after being uninstalled.

When you buy a PC (or you build it yourself) and once Windows is installed, I suggest to do a print-screen of the processes list from the Windows task manager window at the beginning before adding anything new. It’s the window you get with Ctrl Alt Suppr.

Here’s an example of what that window looks like: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Windows_Task_Manager.PNG


Doing this regularly you’ll be able to retrace easily new items added to your computer after you install new software.

Keep in mind we’re living in a $ based world and that’s why most of the limited time trial versions or the free trial versions leave traces in your PC.

It’s understandable and myself I’m promoting total honesty concerning any kind of software. I mean once you have a good antivirus and a good firewall, generally 3 - 4 specific tools are enough to maintain a good global PC health and keeping your drivers up to date. So I consider the total cost of this is very fair compared to the services you get.

I want this very very clear because my intention is only to teach you how to delete traces that can slow your PC or helping you to fix problems while deleting and reinstalling one of your programs, like a game.

SETUP: With that said, we’ll go with a good fictitious example to explain how it works:

1) take the time to do a few searches on the NET before. It's important to be sure you’re not going to download a fake software with a bad reputation because it’s a virus, a spyware, a malware, ….

2) never download a software if you’re not planning to install soon.

3) keep a pad near your PC to write the names and dates associated each time you install something new.

4) run 'Hijack This', to have a documented record list of the scan, before installing any new software.

REMOVAL: Okay, in this example we'll suppose you want to download and try a 30 days trial registry tool you found on a site. Of course you should always scan the downloaded file before the installation to be sure it doesn't have a virus. Also, I assume you are good students and you followed my 4 precedent steps above.

Suppose you have downloaded a program named RegistrySurvival, developped by SurgeonSoft and sold by ActiveDoctor. After 2 days of use or at the end of the 30 days trial offer, you decide to delete everything because the software is not doing enough to justify its $35.00 cost.

Most people don’t do the # 1 action or stop after the # 2 action noted below which is a big mistake. Do all steps to be sure you've removed everything.

1- If you have an associate file (or more) in your Windows task manager window running even when the program is not in use, stop the specific process(es).

2 - Uninstall the program with Windows or another tool like CCleaner.

3 - Next step is not that long but very important. Search with all the possible name combinations to find every file associated with the software you just deleted. With the windows search tool, you should try to search for files with all the potential names: For instance: RegistrySurvival, Registry, Survival, SurgeonSoft, Surgeon, Soft, ActiveDoctor, Active, Doctor. Note all the files and their locations (you can do this manually or simply with a print screen).

Delete all the files you have found. If you have a doubt about some files, you can verify in the properties window to confirm the date and time the files were created. (That’s why it’s important to write when it was added on your notepad before!)

4 - Do a manual search in your registries with all the same names.

5 - You can probably stop now but it could be a very good thing to run 'Hijack This' to see if you have suspicious file(s) remaining. If it’s the case and you have enough experience, check-off the appropriate boxes.

6 – Before doing anything else, restart your PC.

WHY IT'S IMPORTANT: Not doing a good clean-up each time after deleting softwares may cause you different kind of problems. For instance, while trying to delete a specific software / program, you have big problems and you’re unable to delete them because each time you try you get messages like : «Can not delete this file / software because it’s actually in use / used by another process / ...»

Nothing surprising…. and you won’t be able to delete it until you stop the appropriate program(s) in the Windows task manager window.

Talking about that subject reminds me a bad experience when my son (he’s a wargames fan downloading all the new demos) downloaded the B.... H... 2002 trial version. Once installed on your PC trust me it’s a nightmare and you have problems to delete it the usual way. I tried to contacted the company twice to get information but they never answered me. That's why I decided to learn how to take good care of that kind of problems and trsut me, since that time I helped tons of ppl.

It was a clasical case where you're unable to delete the installed program until you stop the B.... H.... related processes in the processes list before trying to remove it. Of course folowing each of the steps I just gave you should be a must each time you delete anything.

Unwanted programs can include an auto update, a counter or any kind of unwanted process running in the background that can slow your PC a lot or simply crash your game. Having a low ping is a good thing but if your PC is not healthy, you'll find that your game experience is slow anyway.

MISCELLANEOUS ADVICE: You should defrag your HD regularly. The best is to repeat the defragging until the process takes only a few seconds.

Cleaning manually your registries is also a good thing to delete scrap each time you delete a software but go easy if you’re not familiar with this action. You have two choices. You can access the command window by the start menu just by right clicking on your mouse or by clicking on the Windows key + R.

In the new window, type : regedit and press enter.
Press Ctrl+F than type the name in the search box.

I hope my explanations are not too complicated and feel free to ask for any additionnal information.

Good luck!

07-07-2008, 10:06 PM


CCleaner is a freeware system optimization and privacy tool. It removes unused files from your system. Can help Windows to run faster. CCleaner is a very good tool if you don't want to go playing with your registry.


Click Here >>> CCleaner (http://www.ccleaner.com/)

08-21-2008, 04:51 PM
ATF Cleaner


ATF is a new, freeware, temporary file cleaner for Windows, IE, Firefox and Opera with a simple, easy-to-use interface. Can also help Windows run faster.


Click Here >>> ATF-Cleaner.exe (http://www.atribune.org/public-beta/ATF-Cleaner.exe)

09-09-2008, 08:38 PM
nCleaner second


nCleaner is a system cleaner that allows you to clean both your system and applications, free more disk space, boost your system's speed and get more stability and privacy protection. FREE (only for non-commercial use)

http://www.nkprods.com/res/nc_icon.jpg nCleaner second

Click Here >>> nCleaner second (http://www.nkprods.com/ncleaner/)

09-15-2008, 05:08 AM


CCleaner is a freeware system optimization, privacy and cleaning tool. It removes unused files from your system - allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space. It also cleans traces of your online activities such as your Internet history. Additionally it contains a fully featured registry cleaner. But the best part is that it's fast (normally taking less than a second to run) and contains NO Spyware or Adware! :)

A very useful tool indeed, reg-cleaner included but always do a backup when they ask you for it, tho.

http://www.ccleaner.com/img/header_2.gif Crapcleaner

Click Here >>> CrapCleaner (http://www.ccleaner.com/download)

10-15-2008, 03:46 PM
Recuva - File Recovery


Recuva (pronounced "recover") is a freeware Windows utility from Piriform to restore files that have been accidentally deleted from your computer. This includes files emptied from the Recycle bin as well as images and other files that have been deleted by user error from digital camera memory cards or MP3 players. It will even bring back files that have been deleted by bugs, crashes and viruses!


Click Here >>> Recuva (http://www.recuva.com/)

10-18-2008, 06:18 AM
CleanUp! 4.5.2


Free disk space & protect your privacy. All in one easy solution. And all for free!

Introducing Windows CleanUp!, the quickest and easiest way to delete temporary files from your system.

CleanUp! is a powerful and easy-to-use application that removes temporary files created while surfing the web, empties the Recycle Bin, deletes files from your temporary folders and more.

CleanUp! frees disk space and reduces the "clutter" on your computer helping it to run more efficiently. It also can be used as a way to protect your privacy on the Internet. You can even instruct CleanUp! to securely delete files making it impossible to retrieve their contents using lower-level disk tools - just another way of protecting your privacy.

No gimmicks here, CleanUp! is so easy to set up and use that you'll have a lean, clean, mean machine in minutes.

Note that if you are going to run CleanUp! 4.5.2 without first making a backup of your system, then it is strongly recommended that you first run it in the new demo mode and verify the files that would be deleted before you first run it for real.


Click Here >>> CleanUp! 4.5.2 (http://www.stevengould.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=29&Itemid=72)

10-27-2008, 09:53 PM

Click on Ctrl+Alt+Del, select the option Windows task manager, then select Processes to take a look on the Processes list. Now how to make the difference between a suitable normal process or a non useful process or any kind of scrap running in your back.

Like I use to say, the best is always to take a screenshot when your PC is brand new. This way you just need to search for the new processes in the list. Anyway, worst case it’s not that long to identify every processes and search on a processes library to know what they are doing. That way, you’ll know if you have a process that shouldn’t be there.

With a tool like a processes library, it’s very easy to do. You just need to be patient. Generally, 30 – 60 minutes is enough to check everything you have on the list. If you find nothing bad, maybe it’s simply because you have too much processes running or because it’s time for a major clean-up.


This is a unique and indispensable process listing database. Uniblue's free and comprehensive online library of processes is for everyone who needs to know the exact nature and purpose of every process that should, and should not, be running on their PC. Definitely a great ressource!


Click Here >>> Processlibrary.com (http://www.processlibrary.com/)

11-19-2008, 01:38 PM
AbsoluteShield File Shredder 1.41


Windows does not physically remove deleted files from your hard disk. Emptying your Recycle Bin does NOT protect you at all. Your sensitive files can be recovered, even after you format your hard disk! When you delete a file from Windows, the OS just marks the file as deleted in the file allocation table, but the data of the file is still on your hard disk. There are many tools available which can let others easily recover your sensitive files even after you format your hard disk.

By overwriting the portion on the hard drive that was previously allocated to the files several times with junk data, AbsoluteShield File Shredder will completely erase files from your disk, without the possibility of recovery by any practical software or hardware methods. AbsoluteShield File Shredder 1.41 is a free tool to permanently remove files and folders from your system.


Click Here >>> AbsoluteShield File Shredder (http://www.sys-shield.com/download.htm)

12-09-2008, 01:57 PM
Drive Backup 9.0 Express


Easy new steps for total PC protection. FREE!

Backing up your data is like an insurance, you never have to worry if disaster strikes. Now there’s no more excuse for lost data – this insurance costs you nothing! If your system and data are safe now, keep them that way with Drive Backup 9.0 Express. This simple easy to use software doesn't ask you bewildering questions – it just backs up your data when and where you tell it, and recovers whenever disaster happens.


Click Here >>> Drive Backup 9.0 Express (http://www.paragon-software.com/home/db-express/download.html)

01-04-2009, 02:16 PM
Wise Disk Cleaner 3


By cleaning your disk with Wise Disk Cleaner, your computer will run faster, and you won't have to worry as much about filling your hard drive and replacing it with a newer, bigger one.

Wise Disk Cleaner is a user friendly, fast and easy to use application developed to free up disk space by deleting junk files that are no longer used by any software on your system. Even the least experienced user can easily remove junk files with this tool. The Pro version offers more features but the free version is interesting too.

Warning: Like any other kind of cleaner, you should delete only files you are sure about.


Click Here >>> Wise Disk Cleaner 3 (http://wisecleaner.com/download.html)

02-19-2009, 02:33 PM
Unlocker 1.8.7


Ever had such an annoying message given by Windows like:

Cannot delete Folder: It is being used by another program.
Cannot delete file: Access is denied.
There has been a sharing violation.
The source or destination file may be in use.
The file is in use by another program or user.
Make sure the disk is not full or write-protected and that the file is not currently in use.

Now you can stop seeking because Unlocker is probably the solution which you hope to find! The other good news is this tool is completely free.


Click Here >>>Unlocker 1.8.7 (http://ccollomb.free.fr/unlocker/#download)

03-10-2009, 10:19 PM


When you want to delete any private or any sensitive information or any kind of private file, an ordinary deleting of files isn't enough. Why? Because it's not complicated with a good recovery tool to restore your deleted items. A tool like Freeraser destroys the data you choose before the deletion, using a complicated procedure of filling the actual content with random data.

Freeraser can function on three different levels. (Fast, Forced, Ultimate). Last good point about Freeraser.... it is a free software.


Click Here >>> Freeraser (http://www.codyssey.com/)

05-13-2009, 07:51 PM
Free Window Sweeper 2.0


Free Window Sweeper is a free privacy tool for cleaning up the history of your activities on a computer. With simply one click, Free Window Sweeper allows you to remove Internet and computer traces, browser history, cookies, index.dat files, typed URLs and more. It also offers support for many 3rd party applications, and can clean custom file, folder or registry locations. It also has a cookie keeper and secure deletion method.


Click Here >>> Free Window Sweeper 2.0 (http://www.findsth.com/)

05-14-2009, 01:04 PM
Revo Uninstaller


Revo Uninstaller is a very popular an innovative freeware uninstall utility. It helps you to uninstall software and remove unwanted programs installed on your computer even if you have problems uninstalling and cannot uninstall them from "Windows Add or Remove Programs" control panel applet.

Revo Uninstaller is a much faster and more powerful alternative to "Windows Add or Remove Programs" applet.

With its advanced and fast algorithm, Revo Uninstaller analyzes an application's data before uninstall and scans after you uninstall an application. After the program's regular uninstaller runs, you can remove additional unnecessary files, folders and registry keys that are usually left over on your computer. Even if you have a broken installation, Revo Uninstaller scans for an application's data on your hard disk drives and in the Windows registry and shows all found files, folders and registry keys so you can delete them.


Click Here >>> Revo Uninstaller (http://www.revouninstaller.com/revo_uninstaller_free_download.html)

08-09-2011, 10:36 PM
I use the paid version of Revo & TuneUP Utilities on my custom built system and have for a very long time with no worries, for years these two have proven their worth, and kept my system top notch.