There are many different cleanup utilities, and they mainly fit into a few key categories.
Firstly there are file cleaning products like Microsoft's Disk Cleanup utility,
that can quickly help to clean out unnecessary files and restore free space to the
available pool. There are 'PC privacy' tools which delete internet history and typed
URL entries stored as history within your browser records, including 'evidence' and
'privacy' cleanup tools. Also common is the porn detector software, which can be
used to discover porn images and video files and inappropriate material and can manage
the cleanup of these items. The last category of drive cleaners consists of forensic
style software which, by writing random garbage over existing data, completely erases
it from any part of the hard drive, so that it is not recoverable by any means.
The internet is full of software packages each of which approaches the issue of drive
cleaning by implementing different techniques. Many of these fall into the hard drive cleaner
category, and there are a number of these to choose from on software and shareware
sites. This is not the only function that software can do, as an example, several
can clean up orphaned data, detect and remove pornography, discover and clean copyrighted
material, and help with free space recovery.
Two key methods for cleaning a HDD come to mind; you can go the manual path, meaning
you select and delete items by hand, or secondly you can use an automated tool to
do the job. The more user intensive manual process means walking through the directory
tree, ie. directories within the drive then coming up with a list of which parts
of the drive are no longer required, and deleting them whenever necessary. This procedure
is much more thorough than running a cleanup program but can be repetitive and time
intensive. Software tools can be used instead, tools that make delete/dont delete
decisions based on fields which include file properties, last opened dates, etc.
and make a collection of files and folders that can be safely erased without involving