Help with System 32 Duplicate Files

February 17, 2009 at 17:01:24
Specs: Windows XP Home SP3
Hi All!! I came here last night for the first time with a quick question & everyone was so super & so quick in responding that Im back again with another question. Again, my question may sound silly & may be common sense to most of you but Im not very computer savvy & just want to be sure before doing anything.
While browsing the system32 folder, i noticed a BUNCH of files,(one's I believe are absolutely needed for windows to fuction properly), such as:
the Authorization Framework file: "authz.dll" , but i have duplicates that read "authz(2)(2).dll" & they show EVERYTHING exactly the same.I opened up the Properities & not one thing is different...even the file's sizes are the same??!!
Can I Delete the Duplicates?? or are they there for a specific reason & needed??
There's a whole lot like this...some even go to (3) ????
....other expamples are:
Routing Utilities file:"rtutils.dll",i also have "rtutils(2)(2).dll"
& the Generic Host Process for Win32 Services file:"svchost.exe" & "svchost(2)(2).exe"
Windows Shell Common DLL file:"shell32.dll" & "shell32(2)(2).dll"
IPv6 Helper DLL file:"wship6.dll" & "wship(2)(2).dll
IE PNG Plug in Image Decoder file:"pngfilt.dll" & "pngfilt(2)(2).dll" & "pngfilt(3).dll"
System Event Notification Service file:"sens.dll" & "sens(2)(2).dll"
Windows Security Configuration Editor Client file:"scecli.dll" & "scecli(2)(2).dll"

....& these are just some...there are several more.

ok to delete dup ??? or are they suppose to be there for some reason?
just thought id ask before I do anything damaging.
Thanks for any assistance!
Many Hugs!!

See More: Help with System 32 Duplicate Files

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February 17, 2009 at 20:41:51
If you aren't having any problems, if it ain't broke, don't try to fix it.

On the other hand, if you can't leave it alone...

The ones with the numbers in brackets are probably identical copies of the normally named one, though I don't know why some would have two numbers in brackets, or what made them.

Sometimes you un-intentionally make copies of some file(s).
E.g. if you move the mouse at all while actually clicking on files while trying to select them for a list with the Crtl key held down, Windows makes identical copies of the files in the same folder - "Copy of xxx.yyy" - but you may not notice them right away because they're at the bottom of the list, even AFTER you leave that folder and come back to it, if the files are sorted alphabetically - the file(s) is(are) still at the bottom of the list - Copy of ....
If there are more than one the "Copy... files are at the bottom of the list one after the other.
If you do it again for the same file, or if your mouse settings respond very quickly you may make multiple copies of the same file the first time - the second one will be "Copy (2) of xxx.yyy", the third one "Copy (3) of xxx.yyy", and so on.

Other circumstances in Windows? or other programs may insert a number in brackets (or two in your case) within the file name of an identical copy.

Normally only the normally named file name is usable by Windows.

So - you can probably move (cut and paste) the seemingly identical files with the number(s) in them, or delete them, and not have anything bad happen,
but to be more sure......

Sometimes files can appear to be the same but they're not, even though the number of bytes is the same.

Copy down the names of the files and their seemingly identical copies with the numbers in brackets.

FC - file compare - is an old legacy program that can compare the data contents of files.

Start - Run - type: cmd (click OK or press Enter)

type: cd.. (press Enter) - note the two periods - dots
type: cd.. (press Enter)
type: cd\windows\system32 (press Enter)

you should then be at

type: fc (normal file name) (copy? file name) (press Enter)

as in
fc(space)(normal file name)(space)(copy? file name) (press Enter)

fc shell32.dll shell32(2)(2).dll (press Enter)

If the data in the files is identical you will be told it is.
FC: No differences encountered

However, FC cannot deal with spaces within the file name - but the copy? files probably don't have them.
shell32(2)(2).dll probably has no spaces in it though it may appear it does if the display is using certain fonts, between the (2)(2)

If the normally named files are identical to copy? files with numbers in brackets, you can probably safely move or delete the ones with the numbers in brackets.

If they are NOT, FC will display a different message, such as similar to
FC: Differences encountered at zzzzz:
shell32.dll : xxxxxxx
shell32(2)(2).dll : yyyyyy

In that case, the normally named file MIGHT be malware!
Run a full scan with your anti-malware (anti-virus, anti-spyware, etc) software of at least the C logical drive!

type: exit, or close the black window, to return to Windows.

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February 19, 2009 at 12:04:20
Hi TubesandWires....
I used the command fc thingy you gave & it worked like a charm!!
It found NO differences with any of the duplicates. It took me a long time to go through & check them all as there were so many, but it worked & I deleted the duplicates & all seems to be running fine..., at least so far they are & Ill keep my fingers crossed!!
It gave me back some much wanted space too, so MANY THANKS for the advice!!!

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February 19, 2009 at 12:59:59
You're welcome to our help - that's why we answer - to hopefully solve your problem(s).

A tip for next time you need to type in cmd mode, that I should have mentioned, but it does require a little explanation.
There is a built in software line buffer that stores the last line you typed at a black screen at a command (ME and previous) or cmd (2000 and up) line prompt in all Microsoft operating systems (up to and inc. 128 characters in older operating systems, more in newer ones).
If you are going to be typing more or less the same thing as the last line you typed with only a few changes, simply hold down the > cursor key to display the previously typed line, and just use the Del or Ins keys, etc., to modify part of the line that needs to be different rather than you having to type the whole line again. You can use the < cursor key to go back in the display of a previous line if you need to.

"It gave me back some much wanted space too.."

?? Those files weren't taking up much space.

Windows will run slower if you don't have enough free space on the partition Windows was installed on, which is usually C. What size is that partition (usually C) on your computer, and how much free space does it have? (Hold your cursor over the drive letter, or RIGHT click on the drive letter, choose Properties, to see the graphical version).

The files in the Recycle Bin take up space that may not be subtracted depending on where you look in Windows - make sure that is emptied frequently, when you're sure you don't need the files there anymore.

You can easily Delete Temporary Internet files in Internet Options in Control Panel, or in Internet Explorer - Tools, or change the maximum amount of space used by then in the Settings for them there. They do not end up in the Recycle Bin when you delete them.

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Related Solutions

February 19, 2009 at 19:43:42
Have you ever used System Restore? It will rename files in the way that you have mentioned. A dialog will appear before allowing the desktop to be fully loaded. Somewhere on that dialog it will have a labeled text that will say something like Files and Folders that were renamed. Clicking that text label will show you all the Files and Folders that SR renamed. Just a thought

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March 18, 2009 at 15:48:50
Hi TubesandWires & GregS,
Please forgive me for My Delay in Responding back to this Posting. Im SOOO Sorry!! I have been thinking of ya's if that matters at Ive been reminding myself that I have to come here & check back on this post but Ive just been so busy that the times I do get online, I get so caught up with everything else that before I know it, its 1am & time for bed!!..Sorry!!! & Please Know Im VERY GRATEFUL for you're Help & Time!!!

Thank You for the tip for the cmd mode! It wouldve been helpful for that day, but now I know for the future & the info you already gave was more then enough help for that issue & you helped me rid the problem & Im very thankful!
...Now,...Yes, it DID indeed free up space. When I tell you this Computer is an Oldie...Im not Kidding!! & You ask about the Space........Ugggg, Im so very embarrassed to tell you, but I will.....Are you Ready?? This is an OLD Gateway G6-400 from 1999!! We had an uprade on it, but it was sooooo long ago like in 2002 or something, but this Carries:
Quantum Fireball EX10.2A HardDrive, with 9.55 GB & 256MB Ram
.....( i know, Dont Make Fun!!)
Its an Intel II & Runs from a Linksys DSL Connection.
I Know, I Know, I Know, that i Desperately Need a New Computer & a Larger Hard Drive & Im working on it, but Im a Single Gal living alone thru this Poor Economy, supporting myself as well as my Own House on Southern Long Island, & Im pretty much living paycheck to paycheck, so I NEED this Computer to last just a bit longer...& to be honest with runs well for what its running off of !! Im saving a smidgen of $ from each check to put towards a whole new system & I will get one within the next year!!

~~ Now,..this does have ALOT of Space avail for what it least I think so,....having over 64% free right now & this is without a Clean Up done after a day of working on usually at about 67-68% free space...& it WAS up to almost 75% free before Installing the New .Net Framework!!,....but this Free Space Amount is a NEW Recent thing! It used to only be at 10% Free Space Avail on a Good Day & it's even been down to 5% at times...prior to transferring Photos & Music to a Flash!!! & it having the Amount if Free Space it has right now is ONLY because I just got done with Working on it for almost a month!!
I tweaked it & followed Some Suggestions from the "Slimming Down Windows XP" guide that is offered online by Bold Fortunes & I also learned to Clean Out my Start Up Programs & to Disable some Automatic Services & stuff like that but It took me about a full Month to complete the Tweaking & Cleaning because I did TONS of Internet Research Prior to Deleting things...Checking for Safety & getting Second & Third Opinions & I Only Deleted & Did what worked for me from the Guide, BUT this Free Space currently avail is WITHOUT My Printer being Reinstalled & it is Also without My Music & Photo Program!...Napster isnt Reinstalled yet & neither is my Gimp Photo Program. Its pretty Much ONLY Running IE7....along with Avast AntiVirus, Spyware Blaster, & CCleaner. I used to have IE along with AOL, but Im not Reinstalling AOL right now, but did want to try to Install Mozilla & Mozilla's Thunderbird Mail Program if I get the space to do so...but for now Im going to Reinstall what I need by Priority & see how it goes! I dont need any Office Program Installed right now...just need my Printer back & a Photo Program & hopefully those will still leave enough space for Mozilla.
******* But,.I do want to ask you this,....since you touched on the subject a bit...& i hope i wont be breaking any rule by asking here without making a new post..??....
~~Someone told me that I could Resize my C Drive to gain more space by using a Freeware / Shareware Partitioning Program??? & then they said that I could even ask XP to ove my Page File?? They said that if I also set my Pagefile's Minimum & Maximum to the same that it would prevent fragmenting which in return will increase space??
My PageFile reads :
6997 MB Total Avail, with 577MB Allocated, 382 Minimum & 768 Maximum

Should I Try this Partitioning thing or the PageFile thing?? What do you think?? Id love to know. I dont like doing anything without another opinion from someone with computer knowledge....which I know you have!...I'd be again,...VERY GRATEFUL!!

THANKS BUNCHES ~~ Hugs Hugs ~~

HiYa...Again, Sorry for taking so Long!! THANK YOU for you're Info!
I DO indeed use System Restore, & Ive Actually become quite reliant on it. Its helped me out so many times in the past with no failing on me! I make a new Restore point everyday just incase but I did increase the Space avail for Restore so now it only holds onto about 4 days of Restore points. I would much rather do Backups instead as I know System Restore wastes lots of Ram & Space, but I have tried to no real success!! Im on an OLD OLD computer & when I attempted a Backup & Tried to save it to a CD,...My computer wouldnt do it & I dont think My Hard Drive has Burning Capabilities. Ive also tried to Burn Music to a CD & it doesnt do it...but I did run SyncBack Backup Program & I tried to save it all to a Flash Drive but it wouldnt all fit on the 4GB Flash that I had at the time~I guess I need a bigger one. I ended up just saving the system just incase I keep the Restore Function active....& so YES...the System Restore is most likely what caused those duplicate files..although I dont remember it ever giving me that messagfe that files & folder were changed, but I may just not have noticed it & clicked ok after the restore just to continue~Soon before noticing these folders I had a Program removed my Creative Sound Blaster stuff & so I kept doing Restore Points & then Reversing them...(i didnt know when the issue exactly i was guessing)..but i bet this happened then cause I noticed them soon after this issue!!
THANKS for the Info. its good to know for the future!!



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