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Temp file problem

Q

I used a batch file written by a programmer to delete unnecessary temp files as a precaution against viruses and malware, including all *.tmp, *.pf, *.dmp and *.chk files, plus the contents of Windows\Temp, Windows\Installer, Temp and other folders.
In the process I lost my default icons for Windows utilities and some other programs, including Office 2000. I’ve since been able to restore the icons for Office and a number of programs by pointing the icon setting to the program's exe file. Is this okay or should I try to reinstall the necessary temp files?

A

Temporary files are just that - temporary. This is why Windows comes with a built-in Disk Cleanup tool to remove the worst of these. Your problem is traced back to the fact that your batch file deleted the contents of the Windows\Installer folder, which is used by Windows Installer to store details of program installations, including the icons that are associated with the program files themselves.
 
   Sadly, there’s no way to get the files you’ve deleted back short of reinstalling the programs in question, which is the safest way of dealing with the problem. If you have a large number of programs that require reinstalling in this way, you might like to consider reinstalling Windows itself from scratch.
 
   We also suggest you ditch the batch file and use a more reputable solution for cleaning out your temporary folders - try CCleaner, a link to which you'll find below. In terms of protecting your computer against viruses and malware, keep your security software up to date and perform regular full scans, switch browser to Firefox (or at the very least upgrade to Internet Explorer 8 if you're running XP) to lessen the risk of spyware infecting your system and be careful what you download.
 
   Should you ever need to clean out part of the Windows\Installer folder for troubleshooting purposes, click <a href="http://support.microsoft.com/kb/290301" target="_blank">here</a> for Microsoft’s own Windows Installer Cleanup Tool.

This Q&A was originally published in issue 150 of PC Answers

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