Drive Cleanup is a free portable program for Microsoft Windows devices that removes information from missing storage devices such as disks, floppy drives, CD-ROMs, USB storage devices and other types of devices from the machine it is running on .
The Windows operating system keeps records of storage devices that have been connected to the system in the past.
This is usually not a big deal in most cases, but some users may want to delete Windows storage device data for a variety of reasons.
It can be useful if you have problems with the device so that you can start over the next time you connect them to the machine. It can also improve privacy as it can prevent other people from finding out about devices that were connected to the PC in the past.
While the latter may not make much sense on single-user systems, it can be useful for PCs at work, school, or other public places.
The easiest way to do this is by using Drive Cleanup for Windows. The command line app comes in a 32-bit and 64-bit edition that should be compatible with most Windows operating systems, including Windows 7, but also newer versions of Windows.
This is what the software program will do when run by the user:
Delete from the device tree not present
- USB mass storage devices
- disk devices
- CD-ROM devices
- floppy drives
- Storage volumes
and its linked registry items under
HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ MountPoints2 \ CPC \ Volume
The software comes with various switches. Adding -t to the program, for example, will simulate removal and display all items that would be removed if the program were run by the user without the -t parameter.
This can be very useful to ensure that no problems are experienced after running the program.
-t test mode
-don’t wait when it’s over
-u only USB mass storage devices
-d only disk devices
-c CDROM devices only
-f floppy devices only
-v only storage volume devices
-r log items only
The switches can be used to remove all or just certain storage devices from the list of previously but not currently connected devices.
The program requires administrative privileges to run (except for trial mode). The portable tool is only 19 kilobytes in size, making it an ideal addition to a repair USB stick. It can be downloaded from the developer’s website at Uwe-Sieber.de.
Drive Cleanup is a useful program. While it is specialized in what it does, it can be useful in the scenarios mentioned above.