Occasionally, you'll want to delete unwanted files to free up space on your hard drive. It is usually easy to choose which.jpg,.doc or.xls documents to throw away.
However, what about the many gigabytes of.dat files? Are these safe to delete, or will it cause your computer to crash?
The extension.dat stands for data file. These are used by many applications so you can't know what it stands for without knowing the application that created it. Thankfully, even if you don't recognize the extension, the following steps can help determine if any file type is safe to delete.
1. Back up the File: Copy it to a hard drive, CD, another computer, anything. Just make sure to save the file first so you can get it back if you actually needed it.
2. Rename the File: After you rename the file, (remember to record the original name), use different applications on the computer and then reboot. If an error occurs due to the missing file name, you know what the file did and you can decide if you need to replace it. If no error occurred, move on to the next step.
3. Delete the File: First, make sure you've saved the file in step #1. After that, delete the file in question. Then, use your computer for a while, reboot, and experiment with different applications. If an error occurs, you know what the file did and can assess the situation from there. If no error appears, you're probably off the hook. Still it is important to keep the back up. An error may occur later if the file is connected to an application you rarely use.
4. The computer may not allow you to delete or rename the file. This indicates the file does matter. Use a tool, such as Process Explorer, available from Microsoft's website, to learn which application is using it. Then you can decide if you need to keep the file.
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|Amol Bhure (ultra l33t) was born in Maharashtra, Seventh July Of Nineteen Hundred Nineteen Ninety A.D. He's currently pursuing his B.E in Bangalore. A cyber Security Professional, Hacker, Designer, Programmer. Keen interest in hacking and network security and he developed several techniques of defending and defacing websites. He's of the opinion that people should learn this art to prevent any cyber attacks. Currently Amol works as a member of 'Null International', Bangalore chapter as a network security guy. Apart from this, he has done internships at YAHOO! India, AMAZON India, etc. He has also attended various International conferences like NullCon GOA, c0c0n, ClubHack, Defcon , SecurityByte, ICFoCS, OWASP, etc.. He is certified with RHCE, LPT, CEH v7, SCJP, AFCEH. In programming he knows stuffs on C, C++, C# , JAVA (SCJP), .NET , and PHP. Additionally he knows few hardware languages like HDL, VHDL, Verilog, Embedded Micro controller Programming. He has been featured on google hall of fame. Amol was named a "India's top 10 hacker" by google. "World's top 50 hacking blog" by google.|