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Removing some folders in Program Files

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I've made my own XP now, and I have a question. When I first start up there are created some folders inside my Program Files, and I was wondering how I remove them from being put there (I cannot remove all of them normally). The Folders are:

-Common Files <- Contains lots of files, I cannot remove this because it's needed?

-ComPlus Applications

-internet explorer

-microsoft frontpage

-movie maker

-msn gaming zone


-Outlook Express <- Contains the whole program

-Windows Media Player <- Contains mplayer2.exe

-windows nt


All the other folders doesn't have anything useful in them. So, wich one of these folders can I prevent from being installed, and how do I do it?

Edited by -Mithrandir-
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I tried this now, but it doesn't work because "the files are being used by another process". Is there a way to do this before the system starts up?

cmdow @ /hid



RD /S /Q %SYSTEMDRIVE%\Program files\"ComPlus Applications"
RD /S /Q %SYSTEMDRIVE%\Program files\"internet explorer"
RD /S /Q %SYSTEMDRIVE%\Program files\"microsoft frontpage"
RD /S /Q %SYSTEMDRIVE%\Program files\"movie maker"
RD /S /Q %SYSTEMDRIVE%\Program files\"msn gaming zone"
RD /S /Q %SYSTEMDRIVE%\Program files\"netmeeting"
RD /S /Q %SYSTEMDRIVE%\Program files\"Outlook Express"
RD /S /Q %SYSTEMDRIVE%\Program files\"Windows Media Player"
RD /S /Q %SYSTEMDRIVE%\Program files\"windows nt"
RD /S /Q %SYSTEMDRIVE%\Program files\"Xerox"

shutdown.exe -r -f -t 40 -c "Restarting MatiasXP"



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Yes, you need to disable Windows File Protection during the initial install. It's my understanding that you can disable WFP entirely, and easily, using a program like nLite or manually adding hacked files--as discussed in the Unattended Guide--or disable it temporarily to delete the Program Files directories that you do not want. You can also then reenable WFP with a reg tweak. It's all in the Guide.

I have always been curious as to the purpose of the Xerox directory, lots of time on Google with no result. Anyone know what that one's all about?

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This is starting to p*** me of, I have reinstalled 5 times now to get rid of this stupid folders, and I can't understand why none of you know the answer to this question? I use nLite and have removed lots of stuff. Why are these folders created with nothing in them, and how can I delete them?

cmdow @ /hid



RD /S /Q "%SYSTEMDRIVE%\Program files\ComPlus Applications"
RD /S /Q "%SYSTEMDRIVE%\Program files\internet explorer"
RD /S /Q "%SYSTEMDRIVE%\Program files\microsoft frontpage"
RD /S /Q "%SYSTEMDRIVE%\Program files\movie maker"
RD /S /Q "%SYSTEMDRIVE%\Program files\msn gaming zone"
RD /S /Q "%SYSTEMDRIVE%\Program files\netmeeting"
RD /S /Q "%SYSTEMDRIVE%\Program files\Outlook Express"
RD /S /Q "%SYSTEMDRIVE%\Program files\Windows Media Player"
RD /S /Q "%SYSTEMDRIVE%\Program files\windows nt"
RD /S /Q "%SYSTEMDRIVE%\Program files\Xerox"

shutdown.exe -r -f -t 40 -c "Restarting MatiasXP"



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This is starting to p*** me of...and I can't understand why none of you know the answer to this question?
Hey! Now I'm p***ed off. :realmad:
I use nLite and have removed lots of stuff
Could you be specific? For example, do you have WFP enabled or disabled (asked earlier)?!? Yes or No?
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Yet another reinstall, and it didn't work. I have disabled the WFP. When I try deleting the folders from cmd it says: "The process cannot acces the file because it is being used by another process". And yes, you can say that I should read the guide and search, but I have read the guide three times, and didn't find anything when I searched.

And to be honest I don't know why I should disable the WFP to be able to delete these folders. Isn't WFP just for the system files? This is just folders with nothing in them, except a few of them. But if you say so. Is the problem that I havent disabled it properly then?

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fwiw, you don't really want to wipe out ALL of those directories. They are part of other services and are protected by Windows File Protection (WFP). I'll list what I know about them and then you can choose how best to deal with them.

  • Common Files - Contains files shared with, or used by multiple Microsoft applications. It's also the location of the InstallShield info store for your installed apps. Required, don't waste your time trying to get rid of it.
  • ComPlus Applications - Contains files used by COM+ applications. If there are no COM+ applications installed, this folder will be empty. If it's empty, why bother with it?
  • Internet Explorer - Self-explanatory. Try uninstalling the program rather than trying to rip it out by the roots.
  • Microsoft Frontpage - Similar legacy directory as Xerox, needed in case it's ever used.
  • Movie Maker - A std app that can be removed in your answer file or w/nLite.
  • MSN Gaming Zone - A std app that can be removed in your answer file or w/nLite.
  • Netmeeting - Online collaboration/conferencing app can also be used for remote assistance (a poor man's remote control).
  • Outlook Express - Self-explanatory, see IE above. May still be there even if uninstalled due to WFP protection b/c it's needed as a basis for other MS apps.
  • Windows Media Player - Self-explanatory, see IE above.
  • Windows NT - Contains any applications that were ported from Windows NT, like Pinball. Again, if you don't need it, uninstall the app.
  • Xerox - From what I can tell this is a legacy directory (from 98) used by Windows Image Acquisition and protected by WFP just in case it's ever used by whatever MS licensed from Xerox.

I understand how one's Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder kicks in and starts nagging at you to clean up that useless stuff. But if it's not doing anything, or never will, is permenantly disabling WFP a reasonable trade-off?

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If you read what I have written, I have removed all of these programs (Outlook Express is still there and Media player contains mplayer2.exe). They are just empty folders, with nothing in them, and therefore I don't want them there.

I have tried figuring out this problem know, reinstalling lots of times. I tried turning of File Protection, but that didn't work. To be honest I thought this was gonna be a really easy question, that would be answered right away (it's just a question about removing some empty folders!).

Doesn't anyone else get some of these folders when installing? When I for example install TinyXP Beast Edition these folders aren't being put there. Is it really so hard to get rid of them?

There's gotta be another way doing this. I shouldn't even have to remove the folders using a .cmd.

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I'm just trying to point out that while it is possible to struggle with forcing the issue of permanently deleting these empty folders, is it worth the effort? Unlike other OS's, XP is requiring these folders to be present (most likely b/c they can't be monitored if they don't exist).

I'm just suggesting that you don't obsess over it b/c if you Google around you'll see many people ask the same thing and have to jump through hoops to achieve a "clean" directory structure. If the cost is crippling part of the OS and causing unknown future issues, is it really worth it? If you can accept the fact that, for some issues, you need to reboot, why not accept that WinXP requires certain empty folders to be present? If you want an OS you can have granular control over like that you wouldn’t be running Windows. Of course, if we could find a hack to adjust what WFP monitors, this would be a moot point.

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@Mithrandir Dude, you are killin' me. :P

but i've used nLite and did the patches, where it's disabled by default
No, it's not. Your choices are a.) 'Enabled (default)' and b.) 'Disabled.' You want to choose B, Disabled. It's a bit counter-intuitive, I grant you. Or skip nLite altogether and grab a hacked .dll from the unattended guide appropriate to your Service Pack level HERE.

Great, so WFP is disabled, now what? Run your batch file.

And then, if you want, reenable WFP by merging the following registry entry:

;enable Windows File Protection in conjunction with hacked SFC_OS.dl_ file found in I386
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon]

More about WFP HERE. I can tell you that this was the only way I was able to delete the Xerox, Microsoft FrontPage, and ComPlus Applications directories (empty by default, even when viewing hidden files and folders).

@Mordac85 Thanks for taking the time to document those directories.

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