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Home > XPlite / 2000lite Professional > Issues with XP

Windows XP can store deleted objects and not free up the disk space you expect.

by LitePC

When you uninstall components using XPlite the deleted files are automatically transfered by the Windows XP setup engine to the %windir%\lastgood folder rather than deleted.

This is to provide you with the option of recovery during the next boot if something goes wrong on your system. Windows XP and 2000 have a standard recovery mechanism where you can hit F8 on the next bootup to enter the boot menu and then choose "last known good configuration" to boot your system into a state that (hopefully) works based upon the success of the last bootup.

When you choose the option for the "last known good configuration" Windows will move the files from the %windir%\lastgood folder back into their correct place in the OS folders. Windows boots from the backup registry tree HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\ControlSet00X copying this information into HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet to complete the reconfiguring of your system as "last known good configuration".

If you do NOT hit F8 because everything is working as it should Windows will boot successfully and assume that your current setup is a good working configuration so the files in the %windir%\lastgood folder are no longer needed and are deleted by the system.

Thus, if you use XPlite and everything is working 100% the %windir%\lastgood folder should be deleted after the next successfull boot automatically as the files are no longer needed.

Now.... sometimes Windows doesn't get this quite right and it will create a folder called lastgood.tmp or even lastgood(1).tmp that may contain files that will both survive the next successfull bootup (and remain there forever as orphans) in addition to the fact that the files wont be copied back even if you did choose to boot into the last known good configuration. XPlite tries when it can to delete such mistakes automatically before you see them.

If you have run XPlite and you dont see a reduction in size it is likely that the files have been placed in this lastgood folder and not deleted (perhaps you have not rebooted your machine yet). A reboot should solve the problem.

You can manually delete any of the files stuck in the limbo folders e.g. lastgood.tmp, lastgood(1).tmp.

Adding insult to injury, System Restore does make a compressed copy of the deleted files - so it is possible to see an *increase* in your Windows footprint after uninstalling components in XPlite if the files are placed in the lastgood folders and not deleted.  Temporarily disabling system restore and rebooting will clear the restore data and any previous restore points.

The solution to all this is simply to check you Windows folder and delete any lastgood, lastgood.tmp, lastgood(X).tmp folders or derivatives (assuming that you have rebooted and your machine is working as you expect).

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