By Leo Notenboom
My C: and D: drives have many gigabytes of .DAT files under “Documents and
Settings”. I’m trying to free up space on the C: drive. Can I delete any of
these files? I really don’t know what they are, how they got there, or why they
occupy so much space on my computer!
I don’t know.
Honestly, I have no idea either as to what they are, how they got there, or
why they occupy so much space. That’s the problem with “.dat” files – there’s
no way to know what they are without more information.
But I do have some ideas on how to determine if deleting them is ok, and
ways to do it safely. And those ideas apply to any file type, not just
By Harry McCracken
You’re familiar with Moore’s law. You know all about the accelerating pace of information technology. Regardless, you’re still amazed at how many gigabytes you can fit in your pocket these days. Remember how your first computer’s entire hard disk only held 20 megabytes? You could accidentally swallow a thousand times as much data now if you weren’t careful.
But how much did that old hard drive cost? I mean really cost?
Syndicated Tech Columnists Bob & Joy Schwabach recently documented their visit to our humble site. Their ‘On Computers’ column is one of the largest circulation computer columns in the world and appears each week in 8 publications.
Some PC vendors are making a practice of creating a small partition on a system’s primary hard drive in which to store the systems’ original restoration information. Generally these partitions are 5 – 12 Gigabytes in size and are preformatted during the manufacturing process. The practice appears to have replaced the inclusion of a restoration CD for some PC vendors. While it may be considered a convenience by some to have the operating system and driver backups loaded on the local hard drive, the practice should not be considered a safe backup practice for these system files.