PC Doctor February 3, 2011

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Dear PC Doctor:

I have a 2 gigabyte USB thumb drive that is messed up. There are some weird files on there that I just can't delete. I don't remember putting them on there since they don't actually open anything when I double click on them. How can I clean my thumb drive of these files?


Dear AJ,

Those weird files can be a big pain sometimes! If you happen to plug your thumb drive into more than one computer, especially computers that run different operating systems, you'll end up with unnecessary files. While they don't usually take up much space at all, they can be very distracting.

When this happens to me, I like to reformat my thumb drive. This way you can start with a completely fresh start, with no buggy files and no bad permission issues. After plugging the drive into a USB port, click Start, then Computer. You should see your drive listed in the “Devices with Removable Storage”. Backup! Make sure you save the stuff you want to keep off the drive by backing it up on your computer. Next, right click the drive. In the menu, select “Format”. A new formatting window will pop up. In the drop-down menu for “File System” select “NTFS”. While we're at it, unclick the box labeled “Quick Format”. Leave the other settings at default and click Start! To make sure you're certain, a warning window box will appear. Click OK. The size of your drive will determine how long it will take to format your thumb drive.

Once finished, move the original files back onto your drive if you wish. Take advantage of the situation to clean and organize your files into folders... you'll thank me later!

            PC Doctor

Here's a tip about a very handy website that I recently used after upgrading my desktop to Windows 7. With the fresh install, I had to reinstall all my favorite applications. www.ninite.com allows you to download and install a set of applications all at once!

Save time and your memory by running through the list, selecting the apps you want to install, then click “Get Installer”. From there, it's all automatic! Depending on how many applications you select, it might take a bit to download. However, since they'll install without any prompts, you can leave your computer to do the work while you work on something else!

A few cool features are that it will install the correct version of the software for your computer. No need to worry about whether or not your computer is running 32 or 64-bit! Unlike other download sites, you won't get any unwanted toolbars and junk— only stuff you want is what you'll get!

            PC Doctor


Until next time... happy computing!