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  1. #1
    Matrix's Avatar
    Matrix is offline Senior Member
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    Default Can I delete empty zero length 0 bytes files in Windows?

    There seem to be a lot of zero length or 0 bytes or empty files on my computer?

    Can I delete them safely? What are they?

  2. #2
    hackerman1 is offline Gold Member
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    NO.

    do NOT delete.

    some programs has 0-byte files in their folders.
    i read about it, but i canīt explain it right now, try a google-search...

  3. #3
    whs's Avatar
    whs
    whs is offline Gold Member
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    Those are probably some hidden system files. If you delete them, your system might crash.

  4. #4
    HappyAndyK's Avatar
    HappyAndyK is offline Site Administrator
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    Zero length files may be used by some MS installation - un-installtion processes, Mail programs, etc.

    Deleting all blindly, may cause your Windows or your installed programs to function incorrectly.

    So unless you know which zero length file to delete, best NOT to delete them; as it is they don't occupy any disk space as such!

  5. #5
    hackerman1 is offline Gold Member
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    hi !

    i had a lot of system maintenance to do yesterday, i was busy moving partitions from one HD to another, so i didnīt have time to do it,
    but here is the explanation:

    NTFS ADS

    "Alternate data streams (ADS)

    Alternate data streams allow more than one data stream to be associated with a filename, using the filename format "filename:streamname" (e.g., "text.txt:extrastream"). Alternate streams are not listed in Windows Explorer, and their size is not included in the file's size. Only the main stream of a file is preserved when it is copied to a FAT-formatted USB drive, attached to an e-mail, or uploaded to a website. As a result, using alternate streams for critical data may cause problems. NTFS Streams were introduced in Windows NT 3.1, to enable Services for Macintosh (SFM) to store Macintosh resource forks. Although current versions of Windows Server no longer include SFM, third-party Apple Filing Protocol (AFP) products (such as Group Logic's ExtremeZ-IP) still use this feature of the file system.

    Malware has used alternate data streams to hide its code;[13] some malware scanners and other special tools now check for data in alternate streams. Microsoft provides a tool called Streams[14] to allow users to view streams on a selected volume.

    Very small ADS are also added within Internet Explorer (and now also other browsers) to mark files that have been downloaded from external sites: they may be unsafe to run locally and the local shell will require confirmation from the user before opening them. When the user indicates that he no longer wants this confirmation dialog, this ADS is simply dropped from the MFT entry for downloaded files.

    Some media players have also tried to use ADS to store custom metadata to media files, in order to organize the collections, without modifying the effective data content of the media files themselves (using embedded tags when they are supported by the media file formats such as MPEG and OGG containers); these metadata may be displayed in the Windows Explorer as extra information columns, with the help of a registered Windows Shell extension that can parse them, but most media players prefer to use their own separate database instead of ADS for storing these information (notably because ADS are visible to all users of these files, instead of being managed with distinct per-user security settings and having their values defined according to user preferences)."

    NTFS - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    more info, including some examples on how to create such files:

    Frank Heyne Software - NTFS ADS

    i deleted some "empty" 0-byte files myself, and then i got problems with the program that had those files in itīs folder.

    so do NOT delete them !

  6. #6
    Matrix's Avatar
    Matrix is offline Senior Member
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    Good I asked first! Will not be touching them now!

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