Tech Support Woes

Dumb users are dumb:

User: I decided to clean up my hard drive a little bit. Is there any stuff I can safely delete to make more room?
Me: Well, any of your old files that you don’t use – I would back them up and then delete them…
User: Yeah, but other hand that, is there anything I can delete?
Me: Yes, clean out the browser cache and temp files… You can use the free tool at to do that for you. It’s pretty good at freeing up space this way…
User: Oh, my Norton System Works already has something like that…
Me: Well, then there is not much else you can really do other than uninstalling software you do not use.
User: Well… I noticed I have this folder here and it’s pretty big… It’s almost 15 GB…
Me: Yes?
User: Well, it doesn’t seem to be used for anything. I was wondering if it can be deleted…
Me: What is the folder called?
User: Documents… No, wait… Documents and Settings
Me: [panic mode] Please tell me you didn’t delete that folder!
User: Uh? No, I wanted to ask you first.
Me: Oh, good! Don’t delete it. That is where all your user information is stored, your application settings, your Outlook emails. Also, your My Documents folder is stored in there…
User: Oh, no.. I have the My Documents folder elsewhere.
Me: No, trust me – when you click on the My Documents icon on the desktop it simply takes you to a folder inside Documents and Settings.
Me: It’s like a shortcut.
User: Um… Ok, if you say so…
Me: So don’t delete anything in that folder.
User: Ok, thanks.
Me: Anything else?
User: No, I think this is all I wanted to ask you about. Bye.

Granted, I don’t think Windows would actually let you delete all of the stuff in Documents and Settings. But with this guy, I’d rather not risk it. It’s the same dude that tried to clean up his HD in the past, by deleting NTLDR.

This is where a two partition scheme would probably work better. Just make C: the system drive, and tell users not to touch it, and set up D: or whatever as their data drive. Relocate My Documents to D: and you are all set. Tell users to install to C but save to D. This might be a worthwhile approach.

But then again, most of my users are smart enough not to delete system files.

[tags]tech support, cleanup, documents and settings, delete[/tags]

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8 Responses to Tech Support Woes

  1. Elephantman UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    He he he he he…

    well now… I would have went to work on his computer myself.


    Sounds like he needs to clean up his documents anyway. Hmm, why is that so hard anyway???
    I agree; dumb people are dumb.

    Reply  |  Quote
  2. Alphast NETHERLANDS Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:


    I am not a very IT minded person, but I have used two partitions systems (one for programs and one for data) for years and it is indeed very practical. If you add a regular CD or DVD backup of the files on the D drive (my data drive obviously), even a total coputer idiot like me can avoid most problems. Even when I have drunk too much… ;-)

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  3. Luke UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox SuSE Linux says:

    I’m really thinking about doing this with new machines that we buy. Dell now offers to partition the drive for you when they build the system so this is really something I could easily implement at work.

    Of course all the new systems will come with Vista now which will be a total pain in the ass.

    Reply  |  Quote
  4. Miloš UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    We partition drives on our images at MSU (CHSS). It has worked wonderfully for us.

    Reply  |  Quote
  5. Craig Betts UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Solaris Terminalist says:


    I am so glad I am not the only one! I think you need a nice little guide to hang at your desk:

    Reply  |  Quote
  6. Elephantman UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    he he he.
    I printed it out.


    Reply  |  Quote
  7. Luke UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox SuSE Linux says:

    Craig – LOL!

    Reply  |  Quote
  8. Ethan UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    About the partitioning the hard drive, my mother got an Acer laptop, with Vista preinstalled. Surprisingly enough, it was partitioned exactly the way you mentioned above. However, she puts data on C, and on D, and occasionally installs programs on D in addition to C, so the partitioning doesn’t really help. It is a good idea in theory, but some users STILL won’t catch on.

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