Windows XP's default installation doesn't provide you with a decent utility for tracking down duplicate files. However, Microsoft does have a tool called Duplicate Finder, which is part of the Windows XP Service Pack 2 Support Tools. Here's how to install and use the Duplicate Finder tool:
- Download the Windows XP Service Pack 2 Support Tools and follow the instructions for installing the Complete installation version.
- Open the Run dialog box by pressing [Windows]R.
- Type Dupfinder in the Open text box and click OK.
- Once DupFinder loads, simply select the drive or folder to search and then click the Start Search button.
- When DupFinder completes its search, you can scan through the list and examine the duplicate files.
Here are tips for working with the list of duplicate files:
- Use either the Print Report or Export Data commands on the File menu to create a permanent record of the duplicate files.
- Use the Sort command on the View menu to reorganize the list for better analysis.
- To get more detailed information about any file, select the file, pull down the File menu, and select the Info command.
- Leave duplicate files in the Windows folder and its sub folders alone.
- If you don't recognize the duplicate file, it's better to use the Rename or Move commands on the File menu rather than the Delete command.
Note: This tip applies to both Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional.
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