We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
2,862 Tutorials

How to remove files and folders from Program Files

Don't lose important system files

QUESTION To free up some space on the main drive of my Windows XP SP3 PC, I copied the Program Files folder to the D drive, deleted 2.5GB of files from the C drive, and then copied the Programs File folder back to its original location.

Everything works okay, but when I try to get online I get the message: ‘Windows Installer...Preparing to install’. This then changes to: ‘Windows Installer...Please wait while Windows configures Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003... Gathering required information’. Eventually, I’m told ‘Installation file SKU017.CAB could not be found. If FrontPage 2003 was installed from a CD please insert CD and continue’. JE L

HELPROOM ANSWER The Program Files folder is a System folder and contains many hidden files and folders that often are not copied. If you moved the folder, deleted files within it, then moved it back, the hidden files have not been preserved. You may also have cleared out many System settings and files that pointed to the Programs Files folder. As a result, Windows is now searching for components that are no longer there. To remove files and folders from Program Files you should use the Add/Remove Programs (Programs and Features in Vista/Windows 7) applet in the Control Panel.

To get things back the way they were, you’ll need to reinstall Windows XP. Unfortunately, you’ve inadvertently cleaned out your restore points.

You’ll also need to reinstall Office 2003, and possibly a new copy of your web browser.

Download Windows Live Essentials 2011

See also: How to fix everything: the ultimate guide to fixing technology

Free tech support in the Helproom Forum

IDG UK Sites

Acer Aspire R11 review: Hands-on with the 360 laptop and tablet convertible

IDG UK Sites

Apple Watch release day: Twitter reacts

IDG UK Sites

See how Framestore created a shape-shifting, oil and metal based creature for Shell

IDG UK Sites

Apple Watch buying guide, price list & where to buy today: Which Apple Watch model, size, material,?......